Learn what distinguishes lab-grown diamonds from natural diamonds so you can perform an accurate comparison before your next diamond purchase.
Lab-grown diamonds have become increasingly popular over the years and offer a viable alternative when shopping for diamond jewelry. However, before deciding if this would be a better investment than natural diamonds, it’s important to understand the characteristics of each option. Below is an overview of their differences and similarities to help you make the right purchase.
What to Know About Natural & Lab-Grown Diamonds
How They’re Created
Whereas natural diamonds form over billions of years and are mined straight from the earth, lab-grown diamonds are those that have been produced in a laboratory environment. This is done using one of two methods, known as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT).
The CVD process involves placing a small diamond seed in a chamber, which is then filled with heated gases. At a certain temperature, the seed crystal will begin to form layers of carbon, allowing it to grow into a diamond. With the HPHT process, natural graphite is put into a machine, where it’s crushed by extreme pressure and temperature and turned into a diamond.
Although lab-grown and natural diamonds are both considered real, they do differ in how much they’re worth. This is because only a limited amount of naturally sourced diamonds exists in the world. Their rarity helps create better value retention. In contrast, there’s no cap to the number of lab-grown diamonds that can be made. As technology continues to advance, the manufacturing process is likely to get easier and faster, meaning there will be an unrestricted supply available. However, when resale value isn’t a concern, choosing a lab-grown diamond is often more cost-effective.
Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as natural ones, except for a subtle amount of nitrogen found in those that are mined. Thus, to the naked eye, both types of diamonds appear identical. Telling them apart typically requires a trained gemologist and specialized tools. Using a high degree of magnification, professionals are able to detect inclusions that indicate whether a diamond was mined or man-made.
Since lab-grown diamonds contain the same chemical makeup as natural diamonds, they also come with certification. These are detailed reports that identify a diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Certifications are frequently given by the International Gemological Institute, but over the years, it has become more common for lab-grown diamonds to be GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified.
Deciding on the best type of diamond for your jewelry pieces requires careful thought and consideration. Trust the experts at Anderson’s Fine Jewelry in Redding, CA to provide helpful insight you can use to make informed choices based on your budget and personal preferences. We carry a wide selection of beautiful, high-quality gemstones that will give you maximum value for your money. Call (530) 223-3443 to schedule a consultation, or visit our website to learn more about the products we offer.