Naturally Grown vs Lab-Grown Diamonds: Are They Different?
You might have heard about the popularity of lab-grown diamonds, which has become a contentious topic. These diamonds have drawn tons of hype, both positive and negative, recently. It’s gotten people wondering whether or not they are worth investing in compared to naturally-grown ones.
But what is the difference between the best lab created diamonds versus naturally grown ones? Is the former a ‘fake’ diamond that is less valuable, or the other way around?
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
To cut to the chase: Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds! They are just like natural diamonds, but their main difference is where they come from.
When creating lab-grown diamonds, scientists would use common elements. There are two methods to create them, either by using natural graphite with a large machine or to place diamond seed crystals in small chambers with common gases.
Rather than growing naturally from Earth, they grow in laboratories. Visually, there aren’t any differences between lab-grown and naturally-grown diamonds. They will sparkle the same, have the same kinds of color and clarity, and are offered in various shapes and sizes. The main element of both types of diamonds is carbon.
Another significant difference between lab-grown and naturally grown diamonds is its chemical composition, though a very minor one. Natural diamonds would contain very small amounts of nitrogen, while lab-grown ones do not. This is the only way gemologists would identify the difference between lab-grown and naturally-grown diamonds.
Other identifying features of lab-grown diamonds are its laser inscription and the unique fluoresce it has. Let’s delve into their differences in detail:
As mentioned, there aren’t much differences between natural diamonds and high-quality lab diamonds.
However, when purchasing lab-grown diamonds in lower clarity, they would have fewer inclusions that don’t occur in naturally-grown diamonds.
When talking about high-quality lab-grown diamonds, both lab. And natural are colorless or near-colorless, though they both are available in various colors. Furthermore, they both come in standard shapes, like round, oval, pear, princess, emerald, and more.
They share the same sparkle and brilliance, with high-quality stones being identical.
The big difference between lab-grown and naturally grown diamonds is their price and value. As expected, lab-grown diamonds would cost less than naturally grown ones. This is because naturally grown diamonds are dependent towards Mother Nature, while lab-grown diamonds are new and can be made in the lab.
Lab-grown diamonds are around 30-50% of the price of naturally grown diamonds. For instance, a naturally grown diamond that costs around $7,700, a lab-grown one would cost around $3,800.
Since lab-grown diamonds are still fairly new, the long-term value isn’t settled yet. The technology may advance and the prices would decrease, thus lowering the value of lab-grown diamonds that were sold before. Or, the demand would rise from its many benefits, increasing the value.
In fact, the demand for naturally grown diamonds has decreased, though the diamonds purchased now are of higher quality compared to before. Currently, the values of natural diamonds have remained consistent.
Natural diamonds are crystal-clear and carbon mined from kimberlite, a rock from deep in Earth. About 100,000 tons of rocks need to be dug up and searched to find crystals that yield into diamonds. This makes it not sustainable.
But when creating diamonds in the lab, this is more sustainable. Lab-grown diamonds would take weeks or months to grow, depending on the method used and its size.
- Grading and Certification
Lab-grown diamonds and naturally grown diamonds have different types of gradings and certifications. Gem labs would grade natural diamonds on D-Z colors and FL-13 clarity scales. With lab-grown diamonds, consumers should get a GCAL or IGI for their certification.
Does That Make Lab Diamonds Fake?
Since they are made from a lab, does that consider lab-grown diamonds fake?
NO, lab-grown diamonds are still real diamonds, since lab-grown diamonds don almost the exact same chemical and visual characteristics as natural diamonds. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recognizes lab-grown diamonds as real diamonds back in 2018.
Wrapping It Up
When it comes to diamonds, you’ll be surprised that there are different ways it can be made. With lab-grown diamonds, you don’t have to worry about its uniqueness, as they are the same as natural diamonds and are considered real diamonds. While their price and value are lower compared to natural diamonds, they hold many benefits and are sustainable, with the future showing a possibility of higher demand and value.
So, if you are planning to invest in diamonds, consider getting lab-grown varieties now. You can find them available in jewelry stores online and locally. If you have questions or want to share your insights on these diamonds, do share them in the comments section below.