What is the Difference Between Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds?
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds? Is a Lab-Grown Diamond a Real Diamond?
What is a lab-grown diamond? The short answer, a lab-grown diamond is indeed a real diamond. To the naked eye, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond. Additionally, lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optical features as natural diamonds.
Even though lab-grown diamonds abide by the same clarity grades, diamond certification regulations, and are graded by their cut, carat, color, and clarity as their natural-mined diamond cousins, they are not 100% identical. Lab-grown diamonds slightly differ from natural, earth-mined diamonds that we commonly associate with fine jewelry in that they are not formed underground over millions and millions of years.
Lab-grown diamonds are typically referred to by a few different names; man-made diamonds, lab diamonds, lab-created diamonds, lab-made diamonds, and synthetic diamonds. All of these terms can be used interchangeably to refer to a diamond that was not formed naturally, but rather in a laboratory.
When it comes to their history in the jewelry industry, lab-grown diamonds are not “new” by any means, however, in the last two decades, their prominence and sales numbers have steadily grown.
At Maharaja’s Fine Jewelry, we want to ensure that you have the best information when it comes to selecting the type of diamond for your diamond jewelry. Follow our guide and you will have the perfect diamond in no time!
How Diamonds Are Formed
The Formation of Natural Diamonds
Natural diamonds are formed deep underground. It takes billions of pure carbon atoms put under intense heat and pressure over long periods of time to form a natural diamond. The carbon stacking on top of itself is often used as a metaphor for the bond of love between two people. As the relationship goes on year after year, the memories and tough moments combine to create something both beautiful and strong.
Diamonds are one of the rarest materials found on earth. Diamonds are thought to have formed over a billion years ago. This means that when you hold a diamond you are quite literally holding a piece of history. In the past many consumers have become critical of the mining industry and mining practices.
Since the year 2000, the mining industry has become increasingly more environmentally conscious. Natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds can be compared as both have similar environmentally conscious practices.
Diamond mining also saw changes in safety protocols for miners. The mining industry now has two large overseeing groups to ensure that mining practices are safer. The first is The Mining Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, and the second is the Diamond Development Initiative, or the DDI. Both groups look to help prevent injuries and better the lives of everyone who is working at or in mines around the world.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
As it says in the name, lab-created diamonds are made in a lab with specialized machines. These machines replicate the intense heat and pressure that a natural diamond experiences. Lab-grown diamonds share the same chemical properties as natural diamonds.
Lab-created diamonds are able to be produced at a much faster rate and are not limited to the time constraints that a natural diamond takes to produce. On average it takes anywhere from 6-10 weeks to create a man-made diamond.
Lab-grown diamonds take tremendous amounts of energy to create. The natural diamond formation process is thought to take a billion years. To replicate this process in roughly 6 - 10 weeks requires a lot of energy. It takes up to 250 kWh (kWh is a Kilowatt Hour) to produce a diamond. That is enough energy to keep one, 1000 watt appliance, such as a microwave, toaster, or lightbulb, running continuously for 250 hours.
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds
Both natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical makeup. The physical makeup is also the same. Carbon is condensed and arranged in the same pattern for both types of diamonds. Man-made diamonds go through the same certification process that natural diamonds go through and are oftentimes inspected in the same GIA-certified facilities.
The biggest difference between lab-created diamonds and natural diamonds is the price. Due to the rarity of natural diamonds, the cost is often much higher than those of lab-grown diamonds.
On average, lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than their natural counterparts. This means that you are able to get a bigger diamond for your budget with a man-made diamond. However, natural diamonds have traditionally held their value over time, while lab-grown diamonds do not.
Lab-Grown Diamonds offer our clients a choice. If you want a bigger center stone or accent stone without breaking your budget, the lab-grown diamonds would be a great choice for you. A lab-grown diamond is still a diamond, don’t let the title of lab-created deter you from buying lab-grown.
Natural Diamonds are perfect for anyone who wants to wear a piece of history. If you are looking for the perfect way to say “I love you” to that special someone, then a natural diamond would be perfect for you. Natural diamonds will hold their value over time, and in most cases, have the ability to be upgraded. The rarity of natural diamonds is also a major draw for many consumers, as there are very limited numbers of gem-quality diamonds mined each year, hence adding to their value. When you buy a natural diamond center stone or studs at Maharaja’s, we promise to give you 100% of your purchase price to use toward an upgraded diamond if you decide you want to trade them in later!
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds… The Choice Is Yours!
There is no right or wrong answer to which diamond you should purchase. Both natural and lab-grown diamonds offer brilliant beauty and durability. Additionally, both make great center stones or accent stones for the next piece of jewelry you’d like to add to your collection.
Before making a diamond purchase, be sure to take these three most relevant facts into consideration:
The cost for ‘Lab-Grown’ or ‘Man-Made’ diamonds is much less than for natural diamonds. You can purchase a ‘Lab-Grown’ diamond twice the size of a ‘Natural Diamond’ for the same cost.
Is your fiancé okay with not having a nature-made diamond?
Realize your purchase will not offer a return of value if your future desire is to sell or to trade in. Actually, the unlimited supply and technological advancements will continue to cause prices to decrease.
When it Comes To Shopping For That Perfect Diamond, Make it Maharaja’s!
Are you looking to buy a lab-grown diamond? Maybe it is a natural, earth-mined diamond you’re on the search for? No matter the case, we look forward to working with you and walking you through our wide selection of both natural diamond and lab-grown diamonds and diamond jewelry designs, as well as answering any questions you may have.
Buy your Natural Certified Diamonds from Maharaja’s, and if you decide you want to upgrade, we’ll give you 100% trade-in value toward any upgraded natural diamond purchase!
Feel free to give us a call at (850) 763-4224 or schedule an appointment with one of our experienced jewelry professionals here at Maharaja’s Fine Jewelry so we can give you the personal time and attention that you deserve!