The real versus lab-created debate is contentious when it comes to diamonds. While diamonds grown in a lab are perfectly chemically identical to natural ones, they do not undergo the same intense pressure and heat. Both types of diamonds are manufactured through two different chemical processes. Both start with a flat slither of another diamond. Once these are created, they have the same properties as natural diamonds, including strength, color, and durability.
The physical properties of a natural diamond and its lab-created counterpart are nearly identical. However, a trained geologist cannot tell the difference between the two. These two gemstones have similar optical and chemical properties, and they are both a good choice for engagement rings. The only way to tell which one is genuine is to examine it. This can be done by inspecting the back of the gemstone. A close look can reveal the difference between the two types.
What Is The Difference Between A Lab-Grown Diamond And A Natural Diamond?
Once cut, there are no physical variations between lab and natural diamonds. However, there are price and origin discrepancies. Natural diamonds originate in the Earth’s mantle over billions of years when high heat and pressure cause carbon to crystallize into a beautiful gem. CVD and HPHT – methods that utilize extreme pressure, heat, and carbon-rich gas to generate diamonds in mere weeks – are used to duplicate this process in the lab to create lab diamonds.
Natural, CVD, and HPHT diamonds have rough appearances (see the image below, CVD left, HPHT center, natural right). Only specialized technology that checks for nitrogen within the stone can determine the difference between lab and natural diamonds once they’ve been cut. Natural diamonds pick up trace amounts of nitrogen as they form, whereas lab diamonds contain none.
Due to the efficiency of lab diamond manufacture, they can cost anywhere from 40% to 60% less than natural diamonds, which take billions of years to create and require costly mining operations. Lab diamonds utilize far less land than mined diamonds, and choosing a lab diamond reduces the chances of finding a blood diamond – which is highly uncommon but not impossible.
Are Lab-Created Diamonds Genuine Gems?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds are entirely genuine diamonds with the same qualities as natural diamonds. Natural diamonds and lab diamonds have no physical distinctions, and it is difficult to tell them apart without specialized laboratory equipment. Price and ethicality are the only two variations between lab diamonds and natural diamonds.
The popularity of lab diamonds has skyrocketed. Lab diamonds were first developed over 70 years ago. Still, it wasn’t until recent advances in the efficiency of their manufacture that secured high-quality diamonds that they made their way into the jewelry industry.
For most individuals, the decision between a lab diamond and a natural diamond is obvious: lab diamonds are less expensive, guaranteed to be ethical, and have more sustainable origins. Others are apprehensive since little is known about their future value or whether anything created in a lab can be as romantic as something grown in nature.
As a result, the issue is more minor about lab vs. natural diamonds because both mined and artificial diamonds are genuine diamonds. Which do you prefer: price and ethics vs. romance?
Will I Be Able To Find Lab-Created Diamonds That Are Certified?
Absolutely; in fact, our gemmologists strongly advise that you only consider lab diamonds that have been certified by the IGI or GIA. Due to their global reputation as the most significant, most thorough, and accurate graders, Queensmith only sources IGI and GIA-certified lab diamonds for our clients.
GIA lab diamonds undergo the same rigorous grading process as genuine GIA diamonds. Since 2007, GIA has evaluated lab diamonds using GIA color, clarity, and cut standards and information on whether the diamond was created using CVD or HPHT. On the other hand, GIA chose to characterize color and clarity with descriptive terminology rather than utilizing phrases like ‘VS2’ to precisely grade clarity or ‘D’ to designate color. As a result, some people prefer to look at IGI certified lab diamonds, which employ global color and clarity grading standards.
Both GIA and IGI laser engrave a unique number on the diamond’s girdle (visible under 50x magnification), corresponding to the certificate’s unique number, which contains the stone’s grading information. Along with this laser writing, IGI adds the phrase ‘lab-grown.’
To browse IGI and GIA certified lab diamonds, start by choosing your favorite design from our engagement rings collection. Alternatively, please schedule an appointment to talk about a custom design and have one of our experts find a selection of lab diamonds, particularly for you.
What Is The Cost Of Lab Diamonds Vs.? Real Diamonds?
Lab diamonds are significantly less expensive than natural diamonds; typically, a lab diamond will cost between 40% and 60% less than a natural diamond of the same carat weight and grade.
Why Are Lab Diamonds Less Expensive If They Are Actual Diamonds?
The answer lies in their manufacturing efficiency. Creating a lab diamond is far less than the time and cost of discovering and mining a natural diamond. Natural diamonds take billions of years to develop, and mining them necessitates much land and necessary infrastructure and labor. On the other hand, a lab diamond can be created in just a few weeks by a single laboratory with a tiny (but highly skilled) team. This laboratory can continue to produce lab diamonds after an initial, significant investment in all necessary technology. In contrast, a natural diamond mine will ultimately run out of diamonds, and the miner will need to acquire more area to explore.
Diamond mining is, in essence, far more expensive than creating diamonds in a lab. However, it’s crucial to consider how many jobs ethically-run diamond mines may provide in mining-dependent communities. Considering that a natural diamond is a rare natural rarity that took a lot of investment, time, and effort to find, the price is well worth it. As a result, lab diamonds do not affect the value of natural diamonds, which are effectively priced as a separate entity.
So, If Lab Diamonds Are Less Expensive, How Much Will They Be Worth In The Future?
The value of lab diamonds in the future is unknown. No one knows if lab diamonds will hold their value, increase in value, or decline as a disruptive gem to the jewelry business with no clear precedent to make market predictions. The truth is that a diamond’s resale value (lab or natural) will never be as high as the price you paid for it. Some experts believe that the value of lab diamonds will catch up to that of natural diamonds in the following years.
Are Lab-Created Diamonds Long-Lasting?
Lab diamond creation necessitates a lot of energy, but lab diamond creators continually attempt to reduce the time and resources required to create each diamond. It was previously thought that a lab diamond would cost 250 kWh to generate; however, some manufacturers are now claiming that a diamond can be made with as low as 20 kWh.
A lab diamond is significantly more environmentally friendly than a mined diamond in land use. Diamond mining necessitates the exploration of enormous swaths of land, whereas a diamond laboratory can be pretty small and does not necessitate any excavation or mining.
Renewable energy is being used to manufacture many lab diamonds on the market. Queensmith is happy to partner with lab diamond suppliers such as Diamond Foundry, a carbon-neutral laboratory that creates diamonds using solar power, and Green Rocks, which offsets their carbon emissions by producing solar energy.
Overall, lab diamonds are significantly more environmentally friendly than mined diamonds. As technologies improve and become more efficient and less wasteful, the extent of their sustainability is expected to grow.
Should I Have A Lab-Grown Diamond Ring Or A Natural Diamond Band?
Whether you choose a lab-created or natural diamond is a very personal decision, and we’re not here to influence your decision. So, here are some statistics to help you decide – and if that isn’t enough, meet with one of our experts to see natural vs. lab diamonds in person.
Natural and lab diamonds can be found with the same top-notch cut, color, and clarity ratings.
Lab diamonds are genuine diamonds that are identical to those found in nature.
Lab diamonds are priced between 40% and 60% less than natural diamonds.
A lab diamond will yield a significantly higher carat weight than a genuine diamond for the same budget.
The value of lab diamonds is unpredictable in the future, but natural diamonds tend to hold their worth throughout time.
Natural diamonds require significantly more land than lab diamonds.
A lab diamond requires a lot of energy, but technology is improving, and many lab diamonds are being made sustainably with solar power.
Unlike natural diamonds, which take billions of years to produce, lab diamonds are created in weeks.
Without specialized technology, distinguishing between a lab and a mined diamond is impossible.
A lab diamond is neither a replica nor a clone of a natural diamond; it is a genuine diamond.
According to the UN’s Kimberley Process, natural diamonds are not unethical unless you buy a blood diamond, which is nearly hard to find.
The majority of natural diamond mines are run responsibly, and they can be a valuable source of revenue for mining-dependent communities in underdeveloped countries. Meanwhile, the majority of diamond laboratories are located in wealthy countries.
Kobelli Moissanite and Lab Grown Diamond Bridal Rings Set 2 1/3 CTW 14k White Gold (GH/VS, DEF/VS)
- With Side Diamonds and a Floating Center.
- Genuine Moissanite and Lab-Grown Diamonds Set of two.
- Built in the United States of America. Conflict-free materials that are 100 percent eco-friendly. Kobelli of Los Angeles, California, designed and produced this item.
- natural materials.
- Included is a ring box ready to be used as a proposal box.
Amazon Collection Platinum or Gold Plated Sterling Silver Round Ring Set made with Infinite Elements Zirconia.
- Engagement ring with the round brilliant cut is part of a two-piece bridal set. Cubic Zirconia centerpiece with half-length inlaid Zirconia and full eternity wedding ring with pave-set Zirconia rounds from Infinite Elements
- A ring in size 5
- This piece of jewelry was made to the highest quality standards. Every attempt is being made to employ environmentally friendly resources and socially responsible vendors.
- Cubic Zirconia has diamond-like properties in terms of brightness and clarity, making it a cost-effective alternative often used in jewelry.
- These silver pieces are made to last a lifetime. This component has a metal plating or flashing or electrocoating; however, it can wear off with long-term or hard use. To keep your plated jewelry in good condition, keep it in a dark, cold, dry area like a pouch or an airtight box, and avoid touching plated things together. Also, keep your items away from cleaning products and perfume, which can harm them. If you ever need your jewelry replated, your local jeweler can advise you on where to send it.
A real diamond is a natural stone, but lab-grown diamonds are not. Cubic zirconia is a white sapphire that doesn’t contain carbon and is not a genuine diamond. But lab-grown stones are made in a lab and have the same physical properties as natural diamonds. It’s hard to tell which is more valuable, but there is no need to decide.
A natural diamond retains about half its initial value. In contrast, lab-grown diamonds are worthless and can’t be sold again. They also tend to lose massive value over time, making them more expensive than a natural diamond. If you’re thinking about purchasing a diamond for sentimental reasons, the real thing is the same: a beautiful stone, but a lab-grown diamond doesn’t look as great as a natural one.