Lab-grown diamonds present an exciting opportunity for customers to get a bigger diamond at a lower price point. Below, we equip you with the facts about lab-grown diamonds, and its industry, that will help you consider the best diamond option for you.
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What are lab-grown diamonds?
Lab grown diamond engagement rings are fast-becoming a trend in the diamond market, with increased consumer interests in sustainability as well as a desire for larger, more impactful stones. Lab-grown or man-made diamonds are made in labs using a range of techniques.
Typically a ‘diamond seed’, a very small part of a diamond, is used to grow a lab created diamond. These laboratories either replicate the high pressure and temperature found in the earth’s mantle where naturally-mined diamonds are formed, or they use superheated gas to grow the diamond. They’re often referred to using terms like cultured diamond, engineered diamond, man-made diamond or synthetic diamond.
Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?
Sometimes a mined diamond is referred to as a ‘natural diamond’ or a ‘real diamond’ which is incorrect, as lab-grown diamonds carry an identical diamond crystal structure as a mined diamond–they should both be considered as a real, natural diamond.
Synthetic or cultured diamonds also shouldn’t be confused with a diamond simulant, like moissanite or cubic zirconia. A synthetic diamond carries an identical crystal structure and aesthetic to that of an earth-grown diamond, while simulants are gemstones that are not chemically identical to an earth-grown diamond and while they do result in a similar appearance, they should be categorised as diamond alternatives.
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Where should I purchase my lab-grown diamond?
We’re continuously developing relationships with lab-grown diamond manufacturers and suppliers that share our values and business practices. We are currently offering lab-grown diamonds sourced through these suppliers for customers who wish to purchase a man-made diamond engagement ring, producing these diamonds in both the US and India.
We have a database of thousands of lab-grown diamonds to select from–simply contact us and we’ll help you find the perfect one.
Earth-grown mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds have their advantages and disadvantages. We believe the best way to approach this topic is through research and complete transparency to leave you to make the right decision, equipped with sufficient knowledge on both.
Should I choose a lab-grown diamond or an earth-grown diamond?
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a lab-grown diamond, as mentioned above, is that they’re more affordable–often 30-40% cheaper than their earth-grown counterparts. This will take your budget further and presents an opportunity for customers to get a larger diamond at a lower price point.
Future forecasts in the diamond industry estimate that lab-grown diamonds will one day cost just 10% of naturally occurring earth-mined diamonds, while still replicating their inherent structure and aesthetic.
Right now, they don’t cost that and a lab-created diamond may not increase in value in the future in the same way as an earth-mined diamond. We mention this because it’s important to understand that with a lab-grown diamond, you may get access to a larger diamond at a lower price, but we suggest you do not consider the lab-grown diamond to be valuable in the same way as an earth-mined one.
While the price is better, it’s also important to note that the range of lab-grown diamond options are more limited. Being a relatively new process, synthetic diamonds are not as readily available as earth-mined, meaning you’ll have fewer options to choose from,
Lab-grown diamonds are a really wonderful way to take your budget that bit further and the industry does work to reduce the ecological impact of large scale mining.
What to look out for when purchasing a lab-grown diamond
Before buying, consumers should be aware of a few important aspects of lab-grown, man-made diamonds, that not all retailers are discussing as openly as we are in this article:
- In many cases, synthetic stones are being presented as mined, giving these companies a huge profit because they’re selling it at the cost of a mined diamond, but only paying the small cost of producing the man-made, lab created stone. It’s important that companies are honest.
- Are the lab-grown diamonds certified? As consumers, we should expect and demand of the jewellers and suppliers we do buy from, that a created diamond should have the same certification standards as a mined stone. These certificates will communicate the quality of the diamond – like colour, clarity, carat weight. It should also indicate that the diamond is lab-grown, not mined. This will educate consumers to be able to make informed quality comparisons between a mined and a lab created diamond.
- Like a mined diamond, a lab diamond is made from carbon, but just like flat-pack plywood furniture, there simply isn’t as much emotional and financial value in something made in a lab or factory, as there is in its rare and traditionally sourced and mined counterpart. While they’re made of the same thing, a man-made diamond doesn’t hold that same level of romanticism as a diamond formed over millions of years, in the heart of the earth.
Doesn’t the diamond mining industry damage communities?
Negative media rarely mentions this, but earth-mined diamonds are actually a source for good in most countries that make up the supply chain. Take a look at our ethical engagement rings page to read more about how the diamond mining industry supports countless communities, who depend on the trade to earn a living.
Are lab-grown diamonds more ethical?
Earth-mined diamonds certainly have a negative impact to local ecosystems, something that the industry is making a conscious effort to reduce by implementing responsible mining initiatives. While the lab-grown diamond industry reduces the ecological impact of large scale mining, it does still require an immense amount of energy. This means that laboratories growing diamonds must offset their carbon footprint by using other methods like renewable energy in order to be truly sustainable.
In summary, diamonds that are lab created are a superb alternative to their mined counterparts, offering an identical aesthetic and inherent structure. Both earth-mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds have convoluted narratives around them, and we believe it’s best for the customer to be aware of the misconceptions surrounding both, in order to make a well-informed decision. As always, it’s up to the individual to discover the best option for their jewellery.