You might have heard by now that there’s more than one option when it comes to buying a diamond and the biggest question I’m asked is “what are lab diamonds” and are they better than natural? There’s definitely a lot to consider, but some of the main reasons we are pro lab grown are due to cost, with lab diamonds being significantly lower priced than their natural counterparts, ethics due to the sustainability of lab diamonds and beauty.
Let me start with an interesting point… if you placed a lab diamond next to a natural diamond and had to choose which one was which, well you couldn’t. Lab diamonds and natural diamonds look exactly the same! In fact, only a trained gemologist using special equipment would be able to tell them apart. So if it’s aesthetics you’re going for you are definitely going to get a bigger and higher graded diamond for your money if you’re choosing lab grown.
What are lab grown diamonds?
As the name suggests, lab grown diamonds are simply real diamonds which have been created in a laboratory. Also known as man-made or engineered diamonds, they are grown using technologically advanced processes in a highly controlled lab environment which mimics the conditions in which diamonds naturally develop underneath the earth’s crust.
Lab grown diamonds are just as sparkly, just as strong and just as special as natural diamonds - perfect for your beautiful jewellery. They also remove the need for the mining aspect of diamond production and sale; mining, for diamonds and other materials, can be disastrous for the environment. With climate change as big of a deal as it is, we think you’ll agree that it is great to have this alternative option when it comes to buying diamonds and diamond jewellery.
How is a lab grown diamond actually made?
Believe us when we say that the process is a modern scientific marvel - and there are actually two ways of creating them. The two methods are known in the industry as CVD and HPHT.
Method one: CVD
Using what is known as the CVD (chemical vapour deposition) method, each lab grown diamond starts off as a miniscule spec of natural diamond. This almost-imperceptible (we’re talking teeny tiny) slice of diamond is then exposed to carbon-rich gas and very high temperatures which helps to simulate the environment in which natural diamonds are created. Over time in the lab, the ‘seed’ turns into a fully formed diamond. Clever or what?!
Method two: HPHT
HPHT stands for high pressure high temperature, and this process starts with pure carbon. The carbon is pressed within a metal cube, being exposed to an immense amount of pressure as well as high temperatures which are delivered through small electric pulses. After a while, the carbon breaks down and crystallises - leaving a diamond in its place.
Do people really want lab grown diamonds?
Absolutely yes, there is a demand for lab grown diamonds, with a growing popularity amongst many celebrities and more availability than ever lab diamonds are fast becoming the stone of choice for many. We are becoming more and more environmentally conscious and considerate of the impact of commercial mining on our planet and ethically aware of natural diamond trade. Even more reason to consider lab grown.
All of our lab diamonds are certified by IGI, GCAL or AIG to validate their qualities so you can be sure you are buying a quality stone.
Are lab grown diamonds right for you?
Buying diamond jewellery is such a special occasion - now we’ve discovered what a lab diamond is, you might be wondering whether it’s the right option for you when looking for an engagement ring, wedding band or special gift for somebody. Here are three reasons why buying jewellery made with lab grown diamonds are a great choice…
They are more cost-effective
To make the most of your budget lab grown diamonds are a great choice. Given their shorter and less invasive supply chain, lab grown diamonds are available for around 40% less than natural diamonds - although this difference in price fluctuates as markets change, they almost always end up being the more affordable option when it comes to diamonds and diamond jewellery. This means you can treat somebody (or yourself) without breaking the bank.
Lab grown diamonds are more eco-friendly
Mining natural diamonds is an environmental challenge in many ways. The process requires heavy machinery, the use of explosives and a lot of man power; all of which can be disturbing for the land and habitats in the area. The diamond mining operation is lengthy, high in carbon emissions, and often the land is left unusable. I’ll be writing about natural diamonds on a future blog if you want to learn more about that so be sure to visit the blog again soon! Lab grown diamonds are created in a much safer way using a lot less energy and no commercial mining is required. A great way to add some sparkle to your finger knowing your stone has been sourced as eco-friendly as possible.
They are a more ethical choice
Lab grown diamonds can sometimes be a more ethical choice of stone. They’re traceable back to the lab they were grown in and a guaranteed conflict free. We do source our natural diamonds following the Kimberley Process and will talk about this more soon, but choosing a lab grown diamond removes any doubt and uncertainty that you are buying a beautiful, ethical and eco friendly diamond.
So what do you think? Are you set on natural or completely converted to lab grown diamonds? Leave us a comment to discuss.
We have a beautiful range of lab diamond engagement rings for you to choose from and would be only too happy to discuss your bespoke jewellery option. Contact us to get started and we can create something magical.