Natural Diamonds vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds
Looking for diamonds in Boca Raton?
Now more than ever there is a lot of confusion about the difference between natural diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds. The quality of lab-grown diamonds has increased, and a new trend has grown. So when some think of a diamond, they may question the authenticity, value, and quality. While it’s true that a diamond can be a significant financial investment, it is also one of the most important purchases you will ever make.
When searching for the right diamond for you or your fiancé, you have the option of choosing between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. Choosing which diamond is for you is really just a personal decision, but we want you to be able to make the best decision based on ALL the facts.
The Creation of Natural Diamonds vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds
A lot of people have the misconception that lab-grown diamonds are not real diamonds, but they ARE real diamonds. The only main difference between natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond though and it is simply the way they are created.
A natural diamond or a 'mined diamond' is formed from carbon that is subjected to intense heat and pressure deep underneath the earth’s crust. To get these diamonds close enough to the surface for them to be mined, they are carried upwards in a special (and rare) form of volcanic eruption, called kimberlite eruptions. Natural diamonds are a billion or more years old.
A lab-grown diamond has the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as an earth-mined diamond, except instead of growing in the Earth, it has been grown in a highly-controlled laboratory environment.The process of creating a lab-grown diamond is rather quick and can be made in as little as under a month. They are categorized as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamonds, depending on the method of their production. Both processes produce a diamond that appears identical to a natural diamond when examined by the naked eye.
The difference between the two methods of production for lab-grown diamonds:
High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) works by applying high temperature and high pressure to simulate the force of the earth. This dissolves the carbon into a diamond seed.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is similar to working with a 3D printer. While inside a vacuum chamber, pieces of carbon are layered on top of a diamond seed.
WHICH IS MORE UNIQUE? A NATURAL DIAMOND OR A LAB-GROWN?
Natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds both come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and with various internal characteristics. Only one is actually unique though.
So lab-grown diamonds are actually not unique at all. These diamonds are mass produced in factories, primarily in Asia in potentially unlimited quantities.
While natural diamonds, on the other hand, are completely unique, each one is different, like a snowflake or fingerprint.
CAN PEOPLE TELL IF I HAVE LAB-GROWN DIAMOND INSTEAD OF A NATURAL DIAMOND?
Not unless you tell them, that is. There is no visual difference between lab diamonds and natural diamonds to the naked eye. They sparkle the same, have the same types of color and clarity, and can come in the same sizes and shapes. So there is no way for someone to tell whether your diamond is lab-grown.
HOW CAN NATURAL & LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS BE DISTINGUISHED FROM ONE ANOTHER?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires lab-grown diamond manufacturers to use a qualifier that clearly distinguish lab-grown diamonds as man-made and not of natural origin. It is essential that laboratory-grown diamonds can be identified because consumers need to know what they are buying, and because there are often significant price differences between them and natural gemstones.
Because laboratory-grown diamonds are essentially chemically and optically the same as their natural counterparts, traditional gemological observations and old-style “diamond detectors” are not able to tell them apart. Identification at a professional gemological laboratory or using sophisticated devices developed by GIA and other organizations are the only reliable methods to separate them from natural diamonds.
Carbon is the main element in both natural and lab-grown diamonds. The only chemical difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds is that most natural diamonds contain tiny amounts of nitrogen, and lab-grown diamonds do not. This lack of nitrogen is one way gemologists can identify lab created diamonds vs natural diamonds. Laser inscription and unique fluorescence are other identifying features of lab grown diamonds.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN VALUE PROPOSITION BETWEEN NATURAL DIAMONDS & LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Natural diamonds obtain their value from their uniqueness and rarity as billion-year-old precious gems older than life itself. Lab-grown diamonds are currently sold at a reduced price compared to natural diamonds, but the cost continues to decline due to mass production. Therefore, they have little to no resale value.
WHY CHOOSE A NATURAL DIAMOND?
Couples have different reasons for choosing natural diamonds over lab-grown. For some, it is a family tradition. For others, they really enjoy wearing something that is so rare. For many, it is the mystique that the Earth produced this clear, sparkly gemstone. These couples enjoy learning about the nuances of their specific stone, and how it could have formed that way. Finally, some couples feel it is a matter of value, and the consistency in natural diamond pricing is a comfort.
WHY CHOOSE A LAB-GROWN DIAMOND?
Of course, diamond jewelry is always going to come with a price tag, but with lab-created diamonds that price tag is much lower. Cost is very important to many newly engaged couples. So for couples that are on a budget might opt for a lab-grown diamond because it is a bigger look with better quality for less money. Lab-grown diamonds are often 20-30% less expensive than natural diamonds. That is because the supply chain is much shorter and the process is renewable. Since lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are indistinguishable, many couples feel there is just no reason to pay more money for a natural, mined stone. Other couples like knowing that their lab-grown diamond did not need to be mined from the Earth. This can be due to their preference that the Earth be left in its natural state, or because they want diamonds free from conflict.
Are you looking for a diamond in Boca Raton and still can't decide whether you want to go with a natural diamond or a lab-grown diamond? Whatever type of diamond you decide to purchase, we recommend seeing it in person before you buy it. Stop by our jewelry store in Boca Raton and our family of fourth-generation jewelers will discuss with you the benefits of the two and help you pick the perfect stone!