The Difference Between Lab Grown Vs. Natural Diamonds
Making the right choice between a lab-grown and natural diamond can be tricky. Did you know that both types of diamonds are chemically identical? Our article is here to guide you through the nuances, helping you understand which diamond might best suit your needs and values.
Let's uncover the sparkle behind each stone!
At Menashe & Sons, we invite you to explore our exquisite collection of both real and lab-grown diamonds at our store located at 4532 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116. For those who prefer the convenience of online shopping, our entire range is also available at our online store, offering the same quality and service you've come to expect. Whether in-person or online, discover the perfect diamond with us – where exceptional quality meets timeless elegance.
What are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are created using either the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) methods. They come with certifications and have a similar appearance to natural diamonds.
Creation process (CVD and HPHT methods)
A lab grown diamond emerges from advanced scientific methods, mirroring the beauty of their natural counterparts. Scientists use two primary techniques to replicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop.
- Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD): This process starts with a small diamond seed placed in a chamber. The environment inside is heated to extreme temperatures, similar to the earth's mantle where natural diamonds form.
Gasses rich in carbon, like methane, fill the chamber to be heated until they break down. This transformation releases pure carbon atoms that gradually build up on the diamond seed.
Layer by layer, these atoms deposit onto the initial seed, allowing it to grow over time. It results in a rough diamond that can be cut and polished just like mined diamonds.
- High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) mimics the natural formation of diamonds deep within the earth. A tiny diamond seed is exposed to high pressure and temperature in a controlled setting.
Under these intense conditions, a molten metal solvent containing carbon dissolves and mixes with the seed crystal to produce a larger diamond.
After enduring this process for several weeks or months, depending on desired size, the lab created diamond is ready for expert cutting and polishing.
Continuing from the creation process, both lab grown and natural diamonds are subject to rigorous certification to assure their quality. Independent organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grade these diamonds based on a set of criteria that includes clarity, color, cut, and carat weight – the four Cs.
This ensures that whether it’s for an engagement ring or another piece of jewelry, customers know exactly what they’re purchasing.
It's vital for shoppers to check for these certifications when buying any type of diamond because they provide a reliable report on the gem's characteristics and authenticity. A certificate from reputable labs confirms that your lab diamond or natural mined diamond meets industry standards, giving you peace of mind about your investment.
Remember: regardless of origin, certified diamonds carry verified proof of their value and beauty.
Lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds share the same sparkle and brilliance, making them visually indistinguishable to the naked eye. Jewelers need specialized equipment to tell them apart because both types boast identical chemical compositions and refractive qualities.
Despite lab diamonds being crafted in controlled environments, they exhibit the same fire, scintillation, and ice-like clarity as their mined counterparts.
Choosing a diamond engagement ring often hinges on its appearance; fortunately, synthetic diamonds meet these aesthetic demands without compromise. They lack nitrogen impurities that are sometimes present in natural mined diamonds yet this does not affect their outward beauty or how they catch light with an impressive display of colors.
Shoppers can rest assured knowing that whether they opt for lab-grown or natural stones, the dazzle and elegance will be remarkably similar.
What are Natural Diamonds?
Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle over billions of years through intense heat and pressure. They are known for their unmatched durability, unique clarity, and color variations.
Moreover, natural diamonds have a high value due to their scarcity in nature.
Natural diamonds are formed over billions of years under intense heat and pressure deep within the earth's mantle. They are brought closer to the surface through volcanic eruptions where they can be mined from kimberlite pipes or alluvial deposits.
Lab-grown and natural diamonds have similar clarity and color qualities. Both types exhibit a range of colors from colorless to various shades when impurities are present, though lab-grown diamonds often display more consistency in color due to controlled creation conditions.
In terms of clarity, both types may contain inclusions, but these imperfections do not detract from the diamond's beauty or durability.
Natural diamonds can vary significantly in color and clarity based on their geological formation process, while lab grown diamonds offer consistent quality when it comes to these characteristics.
Differences Between Lab Grown and Natural Diamonds
How each option is created is where the real difference lies. Lab grown diamonds are produced in a controlled environment using either the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) methods. They are certified and have similar appearances to natural diamonds.
On the other hand, natural diamonds are formed deep within the earth's mantle over millions of years and are known for their rarity, durability, and unique clarity and color variations.
Similarities and differences in appearance
Lab-grown and natural diamonds share identical physical properties and visual appearances. Both types exhibit the same brilliance, sparkle, fire, and scintillation—traits that determine a diamond's overall beauty.
When comparing lab-grown diamonds with natural ones, certifying gemological institutes have trouble distinguishing between the two without specialized equipment. The appearance of both types is a result of their carbon structure and crystal lattice composition, making them virtually indistinguishable to the naked eye.
In terms of appearance, whether you choose lab-grown or natural diamonds for your jewelry piece should depend on personal preferences rather than visible differences. Natural diamonds may hold sentimental value due to their ancient origin from deep within the earth's crust, whereas lab-grown diamonds provide an ethical alternative that mirrors nature's masterpiece in every way imaginable.
Cost and value
Transitioning from the visual similarities, it's crucial to delve into the economics of diamonds. When comparing lab-grown and natural diamonds, cost and value are significant factors influencing consumer choices. While they may look identical, their market value and price tags differ, reflecting their origin and scarcity.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Generally 20-40% less expensive than natural diamonds
Higher due to mining processes and perceived rarity
Value Over Time
May depreciate more quickly because of increasing production technology
Often hold or increase in value over time, depending on the market
Viewed as a more sustainable choice, potentially adding to non-monetary value
Extraction can be environmentally taxing, sometimes affecting value for eco-conscious consumers
Personal opinions vary; some prefer modern, ethical origins
Traditional choice with deep historical significance for many
Though distinct in cost and long-term value, both lab-grown and natural diamonds carry their unique appeal, making the choice a personal one for each jewelry shopper. Considering these factors helps to illuminate which diamond type may be the perfect gem for an individual's needs and values.
Many jewelry shoppers are drawn to natural diamonds due to their sentimental value as a symbol of love and commitment. The idea of a diamond being formed over billions of years in the earth's mantle adds an emotional significance that cannot be replicated by lab-grown diamonds. Natural diamonds often carry family heirloom or vintage value, creating a sense of connection to previous generations.
However, for some consumers, the sentimentality associated with lab-grown diamonds lies in their eco-friendly production process and ethical considerations. Knowing that these diamonds were created without any environmental impact or human rights concerns can hold significant emotional value for those seeking sustainability in their purchase decisions.
Lab-grown diamonds generally have a lower trade value than natural diamonds. This is due to the traditional market perception that natural diamonds are more valuable because of their rarity and the long history of diamond mining.
However, as technology advances and consumer awareness grows, the demand for lab-grown diamonds is increasing, which may impact their trade value in the future. The difference in trade value also depends on individual buyers' preferences and ethical considerations.
The trade value of diamonds vs lab created diamonds may be influenced by factors such as certification, color, clarity, and cut - all crucial elements that determine a diamond's worth in the market.
While natural diamonds command higher prices due to their scarcity and emotional appeal, lab-grown diamonds offer an eco-friendly option with transparent sourcing and pricing advantages.
Lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds have similar durability, ranking at the top of the Mohs scale. Both are exceptionally hard, making them suitable for everyday wear and resistant to scratching.
This means that whether you opt for a lab-grown or natural diamond, it will withstand the rigors of daily activities without losing its luster.
The durability of both lab-grown and natural diamonds is attributed to their strong molecular structure, ensuring long-lasting beauty regardless of the origin. Whether it's a lab-grown or natural diamond adorning your jewelry piece, you can be confident in its ability to endure daily life with minimal maintenance required.
Which Type of Diamond is Better?
When deciding between lab-grown and natural diamonds, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what factors are most important to you. Consider the pros and cons of each type, as well as custom design options, before making a decision that suits your individual needs and values.
Pros and cons of each type
When considering a diamond purchase, jewelry shoppers weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both lab-grown and natural diamonds. Each type presents a unique set of benefits and drawbacks that cater to different preferences and values. Below is a summary of the pros and cons in table format for easy comparison.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Both lab grown and natural diamonds offer exceptional quality and beauty, making them both a substantial investment for those looking to acquire a piece of timeless jewelry. The choice ultimately depends on individual beliefs, budget, and preference for environmental sustainability or natural rarity.
When considering lab-grown versus natural diamonds, personal preference plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Some may value the traditional and authentic nature of natural diamonds, appreciating their rarity and historical significance.
On the other hand, others may prefer lab-grown diamonds for their ethical and eco-friendly production processes. Additionally, personal design preferences can impact the choice between these two types of diamonds.
Understanding your own values and priorities will help guide you towards making a decision that aligns with your individual tastes and beliefs.
Custom design options.
Jewelry shoppers can customize both lab-grown and natural diamonds to their preferences. Jewelers offer a range of options for customizing diamond jewelry, such as selecting the diamond shape, setting style, and metal type.
Shoppers can also choose from various design elements to create unique pieces tailored to their personal taste and style.
Designing with lab-grown diamonds allows for flexibility in creating one-of-a-kind jewelry without the constraints of rarity associated with natural diamonds. Whether it's an engagement ring, necklace, or earrings, custom design options provide the opportunity to express individuality while incorporating either lab-grown or natural diamonds into stunning pieces of jewelry that reflect personal style and values.
In conclusion, both lab-grown and natural diamonds have distinct qualities. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences and values. Understanding the differences helps make an informed decision when purchasing a diamond.
Customers should consider factors such as origin, cost, sentimentality, and eco-friendliness before choosing their preferred type of diamond.