Diamonds are unique. They are used to mark special occasions and to seal life-long bonds. A big part of why diamonds are considered to be so special is how rare the material is. It grows in the ground in only certain places around the world, and this rareness is reflected in its price.
However, there is an alternative to mined diamonds that cost much less, but are just as real in every sense. Lab grown diamonds have the exact chemical and physical properties of mined diamonds. New technology has allowed diamond producers to create diamonds in weeks, as opposed to billions of years for mined diamonds.
Manufactured diamonds are not like cubic zirconias or other synthetic diamond alternatives. They look and feel identical to mined diamonds, because they are exactly the same. Neither your friends nor an appraiser without the proper equipment will know the difference. They are real diamonds, and they can be just as special for your engagement.
Lab-Grown vs Mined Diamonds
Mined diamonds have formed over billions of years. They start as carbon dioxide that is trapped as much as 100 miles underground. The heat and pressure are so great that the carbon dioxide gets crystalized into diamonds. This all happens so far under the earth’s crust that there would be no way to extract them, except for a lucky phenomenon. There are volcanic explosions erupting deep in the earth’s core at all times. These eruptions push the diamonds up towards the surface, where they can be extracted by diamond miners.
Lab-grown diamonds are created in one of two ways: (HPHT) using extreme high pressure and high temperature, or (CVD) chemical vapor deposition. (Typically no visual difference between these two processes).
A High Pressure-High Temperature diamond starts as a diamond seed that is implanted into carbon. It is then heated up to 1500 degrees celsius and the equivalent of 1.5 million pounds per square inch is brought down to bear on it. The carbon melts and and flows around the seed to form a diamond.
The Chemical Vapor Deposition process also starts with a diamond seed. It is heated up to approximately 800 degrees celsius, and exposed to a carbon gas. This gas is then transformed into a plasma material using a microwave technology, which causes the carbon to form around the diamond seed. Using either of these methods will produce diamonds that are exactly the same as the ones that formed billions of years ago.
Why Choose Lab-Grown Diamonds?
There are several reasons why you might want to choose a lab-grown diamond for your engagement ring or next jewelry purchase. One of the strongest reasons is Lab Grown diamonds tend to be less expensive. Since there is no mining process, lab-grown diamonds are less expensive to produce even at higher graded qualities. That means that diamond distributors and retailers can sell Lab Grown diamonds for significantly less. Estimates show that many times you can purchase a Lab Grown diamond for up to 50% less or more than a minded diamond.
Lab Grown diamonds are ethically sourced. Buying a Lab Grown diamonds means that you can rest assured knowing you are not supporting unethical practices.
There are many that believe Lab Grown diamonds are more eco-friendly than mined diamonds. Mining for diamonds can have a major impact on the environment, even with the measures that many diamond companies have adopted in recent years.
Can you tell the difference between a lab-grown and mined diamond?
You cannot tell the difference between the two types of diamond just by look or touch. All lab-Grown diamonds have inscriptions that identify the certificate number and certifying Lab, but that can only be seen using high powered magnification. Most mined diamonds also have a number inscribed that identifies the diamonds and its certifying lab. You can use that number to reference the diamond report online. Even a jeweler would not be able to tell them apart other than from an inscription without special training and equipment.
Are Lab-Grown diamonds considered imitation?
Lab-Grown diamonds are synthetic (man-made) diamonds . The term synthetic causes confusion and makes Lab Grown diamonds sound more like imitations, such as cubic zirconia. Lab Grown diamonds are not exactly the same chemical, physical and optical properties as mined diamonds.
Can Lab-Grown diamonds come in different colors?
One of the bonuses of choosing to buy lab-grown diamonds is that you can choose different colors, such as the ever-popular pink, for your engagement rings. Colored mined diamonds are exceptionally expensive and out of reach for many consumers, but Lab-Grown colored diamonds are much more affordable and look just as fabulous.
Are Lab-Grown diamonds a good investment?
Lab-created diamonds are not as valuable as mined diamonds. This is because mined diamonds are rarer and cost more to produce. However, diamonds in general are not the best for investment purposes, but buying a Lab-Grown diamond and pocketing the price difference to spend on your wedding or honeymoon would be a great financial choice.
Since they are manufactured, are lab grown diamonds flawless?
You might think that a lab-grown diamond would look perfect since it is created in a lab as opposed to found in the earth. However, they are manufactured by duplicating the conditions that are found in the earth. Their color and clarity can vary from diamond to diamond. Lab Grown diamonds are graded just like a Mined diamond.
How long does the growing process take?
In general, it can take 6 to 10 weeks to produce a lab grown diamond and longer for larger diamonds. Polishing and fishing the finished diamond will add to the time.
If you think a lab-grown diamond is the right choice for you, or if you have any questions, please contact us.