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Lab-grown diamonds are prepared in laboratories, unlike naturally occurring diamonds. Both of these different categories of diamonds have almost the same properties. Methods used in lab-created diamonds tend to mimic the natural process through cutting-edge technology.
These diamonds are manufactured under excessive temperature and pressure. Initially, people were skeptical of the authenticity of natural diamonds, but it has been proved that they are just like natural diamonds. They are called synthetic diamonds also.
1. Why Are Human-Made Diamonds Known as Synthetic Diamonds?
In the book, Synthetic Diamond by Fouad Sabry, it is told that there are two methods used in the lab-grown diamond production. The first is high pressure and high temperature (HPHT), and the other is chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
1.1. Methods to Prepare Lab Diamonds
In HTPT, a seed is exposed to high temperatures, around 1500 degrees Celsius, and high pressure.
In the CVD method, a seed is heated at 800 degrees Celsius and kept in a sealed container with carbon-rich gas. This gas is then attracted to the seed. Slowly, the diamond is formed.
Both methods require synthesis in the lab. This is the reason for calling them synthetic diamonds or lab-created diamonds.
2. Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real?
In the 1940s, the General Electric Research Laboratory in New York created the world’s first lab-created diamond. This could have been created earlier, but due to World War II, the process was postponed.
Today, it is the combined effort of researchers across the globe who have contributed to making the manufacturing process efficient. Technological innovation has done wonders, and lab-grown diamonds are one of them.
Graphite is also an allotrope of carbon, which can be used to make diamonds. According to the International Gem Society, Herbert Strong and Howard Tracy Hall were awarded for the discovery.
- Initially, due to the low availability of labor with expertise in the subject, the price of these diamonds was high. Most jewelers were hesitant.
- Gradually, the revolution exploded in the market, and here, buying a diamond ring didn’t demand years of toiling and gathering money.
These magnificent beauties do not get cloudy. Lab diamonds tend to keep their appearance just like natural diamonds. Both are known for their outstanding sparkle and shine.
They cost more than 50 percent less than natural diamonds as they can be prepared in a lab and are real. Their mass availability helps in the market price decline, and this doesn’t mean that they are fake.
3. Can a Diamond Tester Detect Lab-Created Diamonds?
Be it chemical composition, carbon, hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, refractive index of 2.42, specific gravity of 3.52 (+/-0.01), Chemistry: C and the 4 Cs are similar.
They are optically identical. Cubic zirconia and moissanites are gems called diamond simulants, but they are not diamonds.
Jewelers can easily differentiate between other similar-looking stones and natural diamonds, but lab-grown diamonds need a high level of clarity to distinguish them from natural ones. That is why technological advances use machines; they are exact copies of natural diamonds.
Price and ethicality are the two things that create the difference between these gems. The rest is the same for both.
Both have a dispersion of 10, a cubic crystal structure, and a density of 3.52, and both are authentic diamonds. Only improved laboratory equipment can differentiate between the two.
4. Lab-Grown Diamonds Does Not Disturb Nature
Clearing an area for mining and then digging up the ground to remove the precious stone has an environmental impact.
They are called natural, but their extraction disturbs nature. Extracting them includes moving tons of soil and rocks from the earth.
Using renewable energy sources like solar, tidal, and wind to manufacture the lab diamonds makes them environmentally friendly.
Diamond Foundry Lab is one such example. There are minimal carbon emissions this way. They don’t require any form of excavation or mining.
Lab-grown diamonds use less water per carat when compared to natural stone than to mined ones. Environment-friendly people will not only enjoy the luxury but also the contentment that nature isn’t disturbed in the making of the jewelry they are adorned with.
5. Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Cheaper and Considered Cost-Effective?
Initially, expensive lab-created diamonds had seen a downfall in price. Production and demand are both increasing. Now, the technology has been upgraded. They can cost between thirty and forty percent less than natural diamonds.
The price of natural diamonds depends on their cut, color, and sparkle. In labs, these properties are customizable.
You can even tell the jeweler what shape you are looking for in your engagement ring, and they will start preparing it from scratch, unlike natural diamonds, which would have taken billions of years to come into existence.
6. Is It Considered Cheap for People to Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds?
South America and Africa are where most diamond deposits occur, and countries like India then play the role of polishing and cutting.
- Then, these diamonds have to travel the world separately to reach their owners.
- This increases natural diamonds’ cost. Skilled laborers have to be paid a handsome amount of money, too.
- The chain begins with the miners, then moves to the rough diamond wholesaler, and then to the diamond wholesaler, which supplies the diamonds to retailers, and finally, it reaches the customer.
The processes involved in making them happen are time-consuming, and the value of mined diamonds is thus higher. Even if they have the same quality, they are expensive.
With lab diamonds, we cut the mining part. By doing so, we can initiate from anywhere, in any part of the world. This will decrease customs duties and heavy taxes. This will reduce the final cost, making lab diamonds significantly cheaper.
7. How Long Will It Take to Make a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Not everywhere in the earth’s crust can these enchanting stones be found; you have to go to specific locations. This quality makes them a luxury people dream of for their engagement rings.
Women dream of wearing and sparkling just like them. That is why stones like cubic zirconia also play in the market. People even desire to flaunt fake diamonds.
Like all other resources on Earth, diamonds are also finite, and extensive mining only makes them more and more; mined diamonds are rare. Lab-grown diamonds are not. The average yield in most diamond mines is one diamond in 1 million subtle parts of the rock.
8. Why are Diamonds Rare and Carried More Value among People?
Nature isn’t continuously cooking diamonds for you; the volcanic activity through which they were formed ended billions of years ago.
They are older than our existence and are nature’s valuable gift. To be formed, diamonds require unique climatic and geomorphological processes at a depth of almost 125–200 km; this rare beauty breathes. Natural Diamonds undergo a rigorous selection process to reach your ring.
Traditional transparent or colorless diamonds are not the only ones to be called diamonds. Many are naturally yellow and red. They are so rare that only a few of them are believed to exist in the world.
Just like colored diamonds, large-sized diamonds are also scarce. Kohinoor, as we are all aware, is one such example. However, the most giant diamond that has ever been found now is Cullinan.
Finally, they are just carbon, which requires a great deal of temperature and pressure to form, which is why the idea of lab-grown diamonds came about. With the same idea, similar conditions are artificially made of the same carbon element, which is how we obtain lab-grown diamonds.
Lab diamonds aren’t rare. Their production has seen a significant hike in the last two decades. Their popularity is gaining ground. People are choosing them over natural ones. Affording them is a bit easier.
9. The Production Cost of Natural Diamonds Is Higher Than That of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Diamond mining involves a lot of machinery, which you will counter by saying that machines are involved in lab diamonds. The thing is, people’s inclination towards lab-grown diamonds has resulted in a hike in the production of such machines and in diamond labs, too.
Governments are even funding and allocating budgets for their production. The rapidly changing fashion bandwagon inspires subtle design that is best suited with diamonds that are easily customizable; lab-grown diamonds are the best choice for synthetic use.
A considerable capital investment is required to mine a natural diamond. Large areas are leased for mining purposes, unlike lab diamonds that can be grown in a small lab.
10. Resale Value of Synthetic Diamonds
Soaring popularity ensures their efficient production. Resale value is also an apt way for a buyer to shrug off the reluctance that restricts them from staying grounded in natural diamonds.
Instead of having everything favorable, the future value can’t be predicted simply because the industry is still expanding, and lab-grown diamonds are yet to reach those who can afford them.
Arguments say that the resale value of lab diamonds won’t be the same, but the same is true of natural diamonds. That is why both aren’t suitable investments, and you should buy what makes you complacent.
11. Enjoy the Beauty and Value of a Natural Diamond
Yes, nobody is going to criticize you for wearing lab diamonds. Famous personalities have gifted them. We have seen India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, presenting a lab-grown 7.5-carat diamond ring to America’s First Lady, Jill Biden, in Washington during one of his visits to the USA.
Don’t worry; your girlfriend or fiancé won’t complain that you got lab-created diamond jewelry for her. It is the emotion and deliberate attempt at gifting that makes them precious.
A massive chunk of people aged between 21 and 35 who go shopping to buy an engagement ring prefer a lab-grown diamond engagement ring anyway.
11.1. Various Options in Lab Diamonds
Various options in lab diamonds allow people to have a larger pool of selections. This makes them choose the best stone that will match their requirements. Lab-created diamonds are ethical and a good option for today’s generation, and there is no doubt about their authenticity and quality.
12. Understanding the Affordability of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Being the ultimate of nature’s gifts, gems have always been a matter of value, ethnicity, and grace. They represent beauty and are alliterate with pride and exquisiteness.
Our enhanced technological advancement has resulted in the creation of diamonds in laboratories that are cost-effective, making them gain ground. The middle class can now also turn their dream of buying diamonds into reality, an earlier reality for just a few.
Their low cost is due to their easy production, reduced supply chain, lower cost of labor, increased production and demand, and less capital investment.
The future market value of lab-grown diamonds can’t be precisely predicted, but their reduced cost surely makes them a popular choice for customers and jewelers. The whole diamond market now is also preferring lab-grown diamonds over natural ones.
1. Is it okay to buy lab-created diamonds?
Yes. It is okay; their authenticity is credible.
2. Are lab-created diamonds natural?
Lab diamond is as natural as a mined diamond. It is just that they are prepared in similar conditions to mined diamonds but in labs.
3. Can I get a good resale value on lab-created diamonds?
If you are buying diamonds to make a profit, sorry, diamonds are not very good investments.
4. Are lab diamonds big?
At present, manufacturing a big lab diamond is quite difficult. Maybe in the future.
5. Differentiate between natural and lab-grown diamonds?
Yes, instead of having similar optical and chemical properties, identification is possible. A professional gemological laboratory or sophisticated devices of trusted organizations can do that. But old methods can’t differentiate effectively.
6. Can we prepare a lab diamond at home?
The high pressure and temperature conditions are attained in the laboratories through various processes and highly technological machines. This makes it quite impossible to prepare a lab diamond at home.
Meenakshi Goswami is a writer. She recently came up with her third book. Known for making melodies out of world’s mesmerising waves of emotions she can be easily spotted writing under the trees. Apart from writing she like to travel, play badminton and maintains her interest in geopolitics. Being an avid reader and writer her inclination towards learning and sharing knowledge is deciphered through her words.