What are lab-created diamonds?

lab-created diamonds

You’ve probably noticed the rising popularity and demand for lab-created diamonds. But what are they? Should you expect something similar to their natural counterparts? Here’s everything you need to know.

What are lab-created diamonds?

A lab-created diamond is a real diamond just one that was created in a lab. There’s no difference between these diamonds and natural diamonds, which is why they have the exact same color and clarity grade as mined diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are not to be confused with “synthetic” diamonds, which are artificially assembled stones that don’t mimic nature exactly.

Most lab-created diamonds are made by scientists using something called chemical vapor deposition, or CVD. This growing technique involves heating up methane gas to extreme temperatures until carbon starts condensing on a “seed” that has the same shape as your finished diamond. After four to six weeks of growth, this carbon hardens into an actual diamond one that is physically, chemically, and optically identical to a mined stone.

What are lab-created diamonds types?

There are two types of lab-created diamonds:

  • Lab-grown diamonds: also called cultivated or cultured diamonds; are formed when a small diamond crystal is placed into a machine that recreates the natural geological conditions required to grow a larger diamond crystal. This process can take up to three months, depending on the size of the crystal.
  • Lab-made diamonds: are grown using one of two methods: High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). The HPHT process uses high pressure and high temperature to mimic the natural growing conditions under which existing mines produce diamonds. The CVD process uses carbon-rich gases and plasma to create lab-made diamonds from scratch. The CVD process also takes around three months, but it can also be used to cut down existing mining times by 50%.

What is the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-created diamond?

natural diamond vs lab-created diamond

Natural diamonds form on the earth over millions of years. A process involving carbon and intense heat and pressure creates them. They are mined in more than two dozen countries around the world.

On the other hand, lab-created diamonds are grown inside of a lab using elements such as carbon and a few others that help create the same properties one would find in natural diamonds (color, clarity, carat size).

But how do you know which diamond is right for you? Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between natural and lab-created diamonds:

  • Price – You can get a larger carat size found in natural or lab-created diamonds for much less with a lab-created diamond.
  • The environment – Since no mining is involved in the creation of lab diamonds, there is no environmental impact that comes with their creation when compared to natural diamonds.
  • Labor practices – Lab-created diamonds involve only highly skilled professionals who work inside of labs. No labor from workers who have been exploited by large diamond corporations to mine these precious stones.

is the lab-created diamond a real diamond?

Many people are surprised to learn that a Lab-Created Diamond is actually a real diamond. It has the same chemical composition and physical properties as a natural diamond and is visually indistinguishable in every way.

They both have the same crystal structure, hardness, refractive index, and luster as mined diamonds. They display similar fire, scintillation, and sparkle when cut into brilliant rounds or fancy shapes. Both types of diamonds can be produced in essentially any color (white, yellow, pink, blue) when subjected to high pressure and heat during their formation process. They are also identical in their ability to conduct heat.”

Can a jeweler tell if a diamond is lab-created?

It’s important to note that most jewelers are not gemologists. Only a gemologist will have the ability to accurately identify whether a diamond is lab-created or not. There are several tools that can be used by a gemologist to help them tell the difference between a natural and lab-created diamond.

Can lab-created diamonds be certified?

Diamond Grading Certificate

Yes, lab-created diamonds can be certified. A lab-created diamond is graded the same way as a mined diamond—by a gemologist, usually through a member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), who analyzes and assesses the stone’s characteristics. The 4 Cs are used to assess:

  • Color
  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Carat weight

Why choose a lab-created diamond?

  • Lab-created diamonds are a great choice if you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring that is both beautiful and affordable. Because they aren’t mined, lab-created diamonds cost significantly less than natural diamonds. You can get a bigger diamond for the same budget—or the same size diamond for less money.
  • They are 100% conflict-free and ethically sourced so you can feel good about the purchase of your lab-created diamond jewelry.
  • Lab-created diamonds have the exact same chemical composition as naturally mined diamonds, and with today’s technology, even gemologists can’t tell them apart!

Are lab-created diamonds more ecologically friendly?

When it comes to eco-friendliness, lab-grown diamonds are an easy pick. They’re not mined (so no mining equipment or workers are required) and they take less energy to produce than mined diamonds. What’s more, they don’t involve the harsh chemical treatments that natural diamonds sometimes require to make them look their best. And as mentioned earlier, in some cases they can be recycled and regrown into new diamonds, a process that mined diamonds don’t lend themselves to well.

Another major benefit of lab-created diamonds is there’s no risk of child labor or worker exploitation because there’s no need for extensive mining operations and dangerous working conditions.

Also See: What Does Diamonds Represent?

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