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Lab grown diamonds are gaining momentum in the jewelry world. They have been used to highlight many of the jewelry trends recently seen on the runways. They have graced the hands, wrists, and ears of many beloved celebrities. Why is the lab grown diamond so popular? Are they just a trend? Or, will this be a new approach to diamond jewelry such as engagement rings, pendants, and earrings? Let us help you to decide if this is the right investment for you.

round brilliant cut lab grown diamonds

Are They Even Real?

Yes. Lab grown diamonds are real, unlike diamond simulants, such as moissanite or cubic zirconium. They are created by exposing carbon to the same geological conditions that are needed to create a diamond beneath the earth’s surface in a fraction of the time. These lab grown diamonds are grown in a pristine, controlled environment over a matter of months.

 

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Created?

They are made using one of two processes: High Pressure- High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Disposition (CVD)

HPHT:

  • HPHT diamonds are made using one of three manufacturing processes: a belt press, a cubic press, or the split-sphere (BARS) press.
  • They begin as a small diamond seed that is placed into carbon.
  • This seed is exposed to temperatures of around 1500℃ and is pressurized to about 1.5 million pounds per square inch.
  • The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed.
  • Afterwards, it is carefully cooled to form a pure diamond.

CVD:

  • CVD diamonds begin as a thin slice of diamond seed.
  • This diamond seed is placed in a sealed chamber and heated around 800℃.
  • Then, the chamber is filled with a carbon rich gas along with various other gases. 
  • These gases are ionized into plasma using technology that is similar to microwaves or lasers.
  • During this ionization, the molecular bonds in the gases break down and the pure carbon adheres to the diamond seed and slowly crystalize to create a larger diamond.

upclose view of round brilliant cut lab grown diamond

Can You Tell the Difference Between a Lab Grown Diamond and a Mined Diamond?

To the untrained eye, there’s no visual difference between a lab grown diamond and a mined diamond. These diamonds are even graded for the 4 C’s (cut,clarity, color, and carat) with the same standards that a mined diamond is. A lab grown diamond even looks so much like a mined diamond that jewelers and diamond specialists have to use special tools to tell them apart. These diamonds carry the same brilliance and scintillation as it’s mined counterparts. 

 

What Shape and Sizes Are They Available In?

Lab grown diamonds can be purchased in whatever traditional or fancy shaped you desire to fit into the center of your engagement ring or fashion ring. There are several jewelry designers that are even beginning to use these lab grown diamonds as accent stones in fashion jewelry and engagement rings!

fancy shaped lab grown diamonds

What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Lab Grown Diamond?

Since these diamonds don’t require mining, they have less of an environmental implication. Mined diamonds require massive amounts of land to be mined to get to diamond deposits. Many of them require thousands of gallons of water to sift the diamonds from the soil and ores around them. This way of mining also requires a lot of workers that are often working long hours in dangerous conditions. With a lab grown diamond, these conditions are eliminated. This also eliminates the astronomical costs needed to mine these diamonds. Without these huge expenses, the lab grown diamond can then be sold to a consumer for a fraction of the cost of a mined diamond. This gives the buyer the opportunity to get a larger or better quality diamond to fit their budget without having to seek a diamond simulant. 

 

What are the Cons of Choosing a Lab Grown Diamond?

The amount of energy required to help grow these diamonds is immense. Even though many of the laboratories where lab grown diamonds are cultivated use alternative energy as much as possible, there is still energy being used from the grid. Even though these diamonds are helping us to create a less negative impact by eliminating the need to mine them, they still have their fair share of environmental implications.

When you purchase a lab grown diamond, you are purchasing a newly cultivated diamond. By doing so, recycled diamonds aren’t being recirculated. The mining efforts that were used for these diamonds have even more of an impact since these diamonds have only been in circulation only one or two times. The environmental impact of this is increased due to its lack of recirculation. 

Since these lab grown diamonds are fairly new to the jewelry industry and are rapidly gaining momentum, there is no guarantee that they will retain their resale value. While with a great quality mined diamond, there is an assurance that you have a chance to see a return on your investment, a lab grown diamond doesn’t offer the same peace of mind. Once these diamonds gain traction in the jewelry world, there will be a better understanding of their resale value. 

rough uncut lab grown diamonds

Lab grown diamonds will be here to stay. In fact, they are rapidly gaining traction with many popular jewelry designers. Even though they do have a slight impact on the environment, these are minimal in comparison to those of mined diamonds. These very real diamonds are grown in a controlled laboratory, meaning the quality of these diamonds is also controlled to ensure a better quality diamond. They are then held to the same standards of a  mined diamond. When deciding to purchase a newly grown diamond, have the peace of mind in knowing that these diamonds will carry the same beauty of a mined diamond for a small percentage of the cost. 

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