What You Need to Know About Lab Diamonds
When it comes to diamonds, lab-created gems are gaining in popularity. But what are they exactly and how are they different from natural ones?
Lab diamonds are created in a lab using a process called Chemical Vapor Deposition. This involves placing lab diamonds guides a slim diamond “seed” in a chamber and then coating it with carbon molecules.
1. They’re Chemically the Same as Natural Diamonds
Despite what the big diamond companies would have you believe, natural diamonds are not necessarily more rare. To the contrary, mined diamonds are incredibly common. It takes a lot of mining and sifting through literal tons of dirt to find just one 1ct diamond.
In fact, lab diamonds are chemically the same as their natural counterparts. They are created through a process called chemical vapor deposition or high pressure, high temperature, where a slim diamond “seed” is placed in a chamber and carbon molecules assimilate to grow a larger diamond.
2. They’re Expensive
Sometimes, diamonds are referred to as man-made, synthetic or cultured. But these are just terms and do not imply anything about the quality or origin of a diamond.
In fact, even trained gemologists cannot tell the difference between a lab grown and mined diamond without advanced equipment. They also carry the same resale value as natural diamonds.
But just like natural diamonds, the price of a lab created diamond is determined by its shape, clarity, and carat weight. James Allen offers gorgeous lab grown diamonds at an affordable price.
3. They’re Harder
Whether you choose lab diamonds or natural, they’re both real diamonds. Unlike diamond simulants like cubic zirconia and moissanite, they contain carbon.
This is what makes them 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning they’re the hardest material a woman can wear.
However, keep in mind that lab diamonds lose resale value at an alarming rate. It’s not impossible to sell them back, but you’ll get pennies on the dollar for them. That’s not the case for natural diamonds. They retain value much longer than lab diamonds.
4. They’re More Durable
While resale value remains important to some buyers, many are drawn to lab diamonds for their lower price point. They’re a great choice for those looking to buy a large, high-quality diamond without breaking the bank.
In fact, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between a lab diamond and a natural diamond by sight alone. Only gemologists with specialized equipment can tell the two apart. Moreover, lab diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict free, which is an advantage over their mined counterparts. This is because their production process doesn’t involve destroying the earth through mining.
5. They’re Eco-Friendly
The diamond industry promotes lab-grown gems as a more ethical and environmentally conscious alternative to traditionally mined diamonds. However, the EPA has questioned some of these claims.
There are only a certain amount of natural diamonds in the Earth, and mining them at current rates will eventually deplete them. However, the ingredients for creating lab diamonds are far more abundant.
As a result, many jewelers are starting to carry lab diamonds, including WD Lab Grown Diamond’s Latitude line. Their lab diamonds are 100% third-party certified climate neutral.
6. They’re More Affordable
The popularity of lab diamonds has driven prices down. In fact, you can often find the same cut, clarity, and color of natural diamonds for less than a fraction of the price.
This is especially true for fancy cuts such as oval and emerald. In addition, lab diamonds can be cut into any shape desired. This allows jewelers to offer a wider selection of styles that would be impossible with natural diamonds. This makes them a more affordable option for couples on tighter budgets. However, don’t expect a lab-created diamond to retain its value over time like a natural one.
7. They’re More Versatile
Lab diamonds have a unique property known as fluorescence that causes them to glow when exposed to UV light. This is one of the ways they can be distinguished from natural diamonds.
Whether or not lab diamonds are more valuable than their natural counterparts depends on the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color and carat). But if you choose a well-made and high-quality diamond that meets industry grading standards, it’s hard to tell the difference. Even gemologists cannot detect the difference without specialized equipment. However, this could change as technology advances.
8. They’re More Affordable than Natural Diamonds
If you’re looking to get more bling for your money, lab diamonds are the way to go. They cost up to 70% less than natural diamonds. A properly cut, high clarity lab or HPHT diamond will look identical to a natural diamond to the naked eye. Only specialized equipment can tell them apart, like a gemological screening device that looks for nitrogen in the stone.
One downside of lab diamonds is that they don’t have the same resale value as mined diamonds. However, this is changing as major jewelry retailers like Signet (which owns the Zales and Kay Jewelers chains) begin to use lab diamonds in their pieces.
9. They’re More Versatile than Natural Diamonds
The diamond industry is facing declining demand as consumers favor lab grown alternatives. This is because unlike natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds do not have the same inherent rarity.
One advantage of lab diamonds is that they can come in a wide variety of colors. This opens up a whole new world of options for those looking for something unique and eye-catching. Lab diamonds can even be crafted into fancy shapes and cuts, such as marquises or emerald cuts. This makes them the perfect choice for anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd.
10. They’re More Affordable than Natural Diamonds
While diamond mining requires massive areas of land, lab-created diamonds require less space and touch fewer hands along the lab grown diamonds way. This helps keep the price down for consumers.
This means you can get a beautiful, high-quality diamond for a much more affordable price. This is especially true for colored diamonds, which sell at inflated rates because of their rarity.
In fact, you can purchase a beautiful lab-created diamond like this elongated 2ct cushion cut from James Allen for less than the price of many natural counterparts. And, of course, it’s more environmentally friendly.