Curious about whether or not you should invest in lab-grown diamonds? Look no further!
In this informative Twirl Weddings guide, I’ll present you with six compelling reasons why purchasing a lab-grown diamond engagement ring is a wise choice. Additionally, I’ll address some common queries, such as:
- Are lab diamonds identical to diamond simulants?
- Do all lab-created diamonds possess equal quality?
- How much more affordable are lab-grown diamonds compared to their natural counterparts?
What Is a Lab Diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are essentially genuine diamonds in nearly every aspect. They possess identical chemical composition, physical characteristics, and optical properties as diamonds mined from the Earth.
However, there are certain distinctive details that set lab-grown diamonds apart from their natural counterparts. These include variations in the types of inclusions, effects resulting from different manufacturing processes, and dissimilar grading reports.
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When it comes to the captivating sparkle and brilliance, man-made diamonds shine just as brightly as naturally formed diamonds. They also exhibit the same level of durability and resistance to dust, ensuring long-lasting beauty.
Now, let’s delve into six compelling reasons why purchasing lab-grown diamonds is a smart choice.
Lab Grown Diamonds are Conflict Free
One of the main worries for millennial and Gen Z individuals who are looking to buy engagement rings is the diamond mining industry.
Ever since the release of the movie “Blood Diamond,” buyers have become more aware of the issue of conflict diamonds.
Conflict diamonds make up only a small percentage, around 1-2%, of the world’s diamond supply. Contrary to popular belief, not all natural diamonds are involved in conflicts, as the diamond industry has implemented the Kimberley Process to address this concern.
In a world where younger generations are skeptical of corporations and conduct thorough investigations of clothing brands, beauty influencers, and the like, the diamond industry has also come under scrutiny. This heightened concern and scrutiny have led to the rise in popularity of lab-grown diamonds.
Even though conflict diamonds are rare, some people still have reservations and distrust. Others find that lab-grown diamonds offer more advantages than mined diamonds, influencing their decision.
For many, purchasing lab-grown diamonds brings a sense of peace of mind. Since these diamonds are created in a controlled lab environment, there are no harsh and dangerous mining conditions involved, ensuring the safety of workers.
Lab-grown diamonds lack the same intrinsic value as natural diamonds, making them less attractive for civil wars and the exploitation of people. The real profits lie in mined diamonds.
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Lab Grown Diamonds are Authentic Diamonds
I previously mentioned that lab-grown diamonds possess the same characteristics as natural diamonds, but let’s explore this in more detail.
When you’re purchasing a gemstone for an engagement ring or any fine jewelry, it’s crucial to ensure its durability while being worn.
One factor we consider when determining if a gemstone is suitable for an engagement ring is its hardness. Hardness is measured on the Mohs scale, which ranges from 1 to 10.
Both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds have a hardness rating of 10, which is the highest level on the scale. No other mineral matches or surpasses the hardness of a diamond.
The closest gemstones in hardness to diamonds are moissanite (9.5) and sapphire/ruby (9). These stones make excellent alternatives for diamond engagement rings.
However, this is where people often get confused.
Most ring buyers don’t have extensive knowledge about diamonds when they start looking for an engagement ring. And that’s alright, even many salespeople at jewelry stores like Zales and Kay Jewelers may not have in-depth knowledge either. I personally didn’t even know what rose gold was when I started working in the industry.
It’s important to note that a gemstone’s hardness does not solely determine its durability. Hardness refers to the mineral’s resistance to scratching.
We’re not talking about minor scratches caused by accidentally bumping your stone against a door frame or similar objects.
Throughout the day, we often bump our hands against various things without even realizing it. Some of us (myself included) more frequently than others.
Like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are highly resistant to everyday dust. However, they can still break or chip due to their perfect cleavage, which is also the case with many other gemstones.
Lab-grown diamonds undergo the same grading process as natural diamonds, based on the 4Cs: Diamond Cut, Diamond Color, Diamond Clarity, and Diamond Carat Weight.
This grading system was established by the Gemological Institute of America, ensuring that all lab-grown diamonds are evaluated according to these factors.
Lab Grown Diamonds are Environment-Friendly
I mentioned earlier that lab-grown diamonds are more environmentally friendly. However, it’s important to clarify a common misconception: not all lab-grown diamonds are sustainable.
Extracting diamonds from mines involves a significant amount of machinery and, at times, explosives. The process of drilling into the earth and breaking rocks consumes a considerable amount of energy and fuel.
On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds do not require such extensive measures, but they still utilize some energy. The HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) process, for instance, uses extreme temperatures and heat to replicate the conditions necessary for diamond formation in the earth.
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While the energy consumption is reduced compared to mining, it’s worth noting that lab-grown diamonds still rely on fossil fuels. CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) diamonds, being smaller and requiring less energy, are a more sustainable option compared to the HPHT method.
The key point here is not to blindly accept all claims about lab-grown diamonds being entirely sustainable. If a company asserts that their diamonds are 100% sustainable, they should be able to provide precise details about how their lab-grown diamonds are produced sustainably. Otherwise, it may be wise to be cautious about purchasing lab-grown diamonds from them.
Choose a Larger Lab-Grown Diamond for a More Impressive Look
For new buyers entering the world of diamond rings, they might not be familiar with all the technical terms related to diamond quality, but they have likely heard about carat weight.
Carat weight is often associated with the size of a diamond rather than its actual weight. You may have come across a round diamond size chart that shows different sizes for reference.
However, it’s important to note that the size of a lab-grown diamond can vary depending on its shape. Round diamonds are the most popular shape because they can be cut to achieve optimal proportions for exceptional light performance. To achieve this, round diamonds are cut deeper, which means more of their weight is concentrated at the bottom of the diamond.
On the other hand, a shallow shape like an emerald cut lab-grown diamond distributes more of its weight on the crown or top surface, rather than its depth like a round diamond.
As a result, an emerald cut lab-grown diamond will appear larger compared to a round cut lab-grown diamond. This principle applies to other shapes like ovals, marquise, and radiant cuts as well.
The advantage of lab-grown diamonds over natural diamonds is that they offer a wider range of carat weight options. Natural diamonds require specific characteristics over billions of years to become gem-quality diamonds. In contrast, lab-grown diamonds can be grown and cut in a matter of weeks.
A lab-grown diamond weighing 1 carat can be grown within 7 to 10 business days. A 3-carat lab-grown diamond may take around a month, and a 5-carat diamond even longer.
In contrast to the challenges of finding and cutting a 3-carat natural diamond, lab-grown diamond companies can easily grow larger diamonds by extending the growth process. This availability of larger carat weights is why more companies offer lab-grown diamonds.
Furthermore, a lab-grown 3-carat diamond is significantly more affordable compared to a natural 3-carat diamond.
If you opt for a mined diamond, your budget might only allow for a 1-carat diamond ring. However, with a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, you can spend less and still get a bigger diamond if that’s what you desire.
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Lab-Grown Diamonds Are More Clear and Flawless
A diamond’s clarity refers to how clear and flawless it appears to the naked eye. When a gem is considered “eye-clean,” it means there are no visible flaws to an untrained observer, although there might be minor imperfections when examined under magnification.
The term “flaws” in diamonds is categorized into two types: inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions refer to internal flaws, while blemishes are external flaws.
External flaws can occur during the diamond’s growth process or while it is being cut and shaped by a jeweler. Some external flaws can affect the stone’s durability if it is struck in the area where the flaw is located.
Most diamonds have internal inclusions, which can affect their appearance but not their durability. These inclusions happen when other minerals and impurities mix with the diamond during its growth.
Lab-grown diamonds typically have fewer inclusions compared to natural diamonds. This is because diamonds formed underground come into contact with various minerals. In a controlled lab environment, the growing diamond is isolated, and only the elements used in the creation process come into contact with it.
However, lab-grown diamonds still have inclusions, although they are generally less noticeable than those found in natural diamonds. The most common types of inclusions in lab-grown diamonds are metallic or graphite inclusions. While some lab-grown diamonds may have black inclusions, most included ones are needle-point inclusions.
You may have noticed that there aren’t many lab-grown diamonds with “I” clarity (referring to the clarity scale). That’s because it is easier to grow diamonds with better clarity in a lab than it is for them to naturally occur with such clarity.
Lab Grown Rings Are Cheaper Than Natural Diamonds
Let’s be real here.
The main reason why many people prefer lab-grown diamonds over natural ones is that they are much more affordable.
Some places may claim that lab-grown diamonds are only 20% cheaper than mined diamonds with similar grades. However, in my experience, I’ve seen them being closer to 40-60% less expensive.
When you choose a lab-grown diamond, you have the opportunity to save more money. Alternatively, you can use that saved money to buy higher-quality grades or a larger stone than you initially thought you could afford with a natural diamond.
With lab-grown diamonds, you have the freedom and control to decide what suits you best. The choice is entirely yours.
In simple terms, there are many good reasons why you should consider buying lab-grown diamonds. Let’s take a moment to recap, shall we?
Lab diamonds are conflict-free, meaning they are not associated with any unethical practices. They possess the same qualities as diamonds formed naturally in the earth.
Moreover, lab diamonds are more environmentally friendly compared to natural diamonds, which require extensive mining processes.
When it comes to value for money, buying a lab diamond allows you to get a larger diamond without breaking the bank. There is a wide availability of lab-grown diamonds that are free from visible flaws, providing you with more options to choose from.
Lab-grown diamond rings are generally cheaper (between 20% to 70% lower) than mined diamonds of similar grades, making them a more affordable choice.
These reasons make lab diamonds an excellent option to consider. However, it’s important to acknowledge that natural diamonds also possess their own unique charm and appeal.
Ultimately, you should choose an engagement ring that fits your budget and suits your specific circumstances, regardless of whether it is a lab-grown or natural diamond.