If you’re looking for engagement rings or any high-end jewellery piece, you might have come across the term “lab grown diamonds”. You might feel lost if you’re new to the term or even the high-value jewellery market. Lab-grown diamonds are quickly gaining popularity as a more ethical and eco-friendly alternative to natural diamonds, and you can get a lot more rock for the money.
So, what are they, and should you get one? In this blog, we’ll take you through all of the key questions around lab grown diamonds so you’ll feel confident in choosing between them and natural diamonds on your next jewellery purchase.
If you’re looking for a quick summary of lab grown diamonds vs natural diamonds, take a look at our handy infographic below!
If you want to take a deep dive into understanding what lab grown diamonds are ,then read on!
Are lab grown diamonds real?
Ok, so let’s jump straight in with the big question. Lab grown diamonds are 100% diamonds, and the only difference between lab grown and natural diamonds is the environment in which they are made. The molecular composition of a Lab Formed Diamond is identical to that of a naturally formed diamond – the hardest substance on earth. To compare the two would be like comparing ice from a freezer with ice from a glacier – both atomically identical but made in different environments.
How are lab grown diamonds made?
Lab grown diamonds are, of course, made in a lab, and take roughly up to 10 weeks to create, whereas naturally formed ‘mined’ diamonds take millions of years to make. They occur when carbon deposits in the upper mantle, deep below the earth’s surface, are subject to immense pressure. Through volcanic eruptions and tectonic activity, most Diamonds can be found in the earth’s crust in the volcanic rock Kimberlite. It’s a common misconception that diamonds come from coal. In fact, some diamonds have been dated to be older than the Earth’s first land plants, the coal material.
Lab formed diamonds, on the other hand, can be grown with one of two methods, both using a diamond seed and a lot of science!
Chemical Vapour Deposition method (CVD) is the most popular method for making lab grown diamonds. CVD involves a diamond seed and high temperatures, but a low-pressure chamber, gases, microwaves and even more science. This method is still developing and is capable of growing beautiful, colourless, high-grade diamonds.
Are lab grown diamonds better for the environment?
Lab grown diamonds can be significantly better for the environment. The process of creating a natural diamond typically uses 126 gallons of water and 538.5 million joules of energy per Carat. Whereas lab grown diamonds do not need to displace land, disrupt wildlife or local communities, pollute ground water or fund any conflicts or cartels. In fact, if the energy used to create the lab grown diamond is green energy, lab grown diamonds can be completely carbon neutral.
The Diamond Foundry is a company that is dedicated to creating lab grown diamonds using crystallised greenhouse gases, meaning their lab grown diamonds are completely zero emission. The company has made groundbreaking moves in the diamond market and has some big star investors, such as Leonardo Dicaprio.
How much do lab-grown diamonds cost?
Lab grown diamonds can be an extremely affordable option for those shopping for engagement rings on a budget. Some lab grown diamonds can be up to 50% less in value compared to a natural mined diamond, making them a budget-friendly option when it comes to engagement ring shopping!
It is also often the case that inclusions are lower on lab grown diamonds, meaning that you are likely to get a better quality diamond for a lower cost when purchasing a lab grown diamond.
However, the value of the diamond may come from different aspects for you. One of the reasons that natural diamonds hold such a value is because of their rarity, meaning they are not likely to decrease in value even with the rise of the lab grown diamond.
Should I buy a lab grown diamond?
This is a completely personal decision and depends on what matters to you. If you like the idea of having a rare and unusual diamond and budget isn’t an issue, then opt for a naturally mined diamond. But if you’d prefer a diamond that is better for the environment and can be more affordable, then the lab grown diamond is for you!
Other than there is no real difference between lab grown and natural diamonds, as they are both ‘real’ diamonds!
If you’re feeling inspired to shop for some diamond jewellery, then why not head over to our range of diamond necklaces, earrings and rings at Joshua James? If you want complete control over the diamond that ends up in your engagement ring, book a bespoke engagement ring appointment with one of our experts!