Answered: Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real?
Lab-grown diamonds are exactly as they sound: diamonds created in a laboratory rather than being mined from the earth. They’re not cubic zirconia or Swarovski crystals; they are as real as any diamond on the planet. In fact, they’re often better.
Firstly, lab-grown diamonds and earth-mined diamonds are chemically and visually identical. In fact, traditional observation techniques used by expert jewellers cannot, in most cases, highlight one from the other. Only in a professional laboratory using advanced technology can a lab-grown diamond be separated from an earth-mined diamond.
The fact that lab-grown diamonds and earth-mined diamonds are so incredibly similar comes down to the way they are created. One of the most popular methods for creating lab-grown diamonds re-creates the natural process that occurs under the Earth’s crust – putting carbon under the same extreme pressure and temperature conditions which creates them underground. Alternatively, ‘carbon seeds’ are layered on top of one another and pumped with carbon gas in a controlled environment – resulting in a brand new lab-grown diamond.
The above methods create diamonds which are identical to those that are mined from the earth. However, despite the amazing advancements in this area, we are still unable to create diamonds that are identical each time. Just like earth-mined diamonds, each one is completely unique and different. We like to see this quirk as beautiful proof in itself.
In order to verify every diamond that is made in a laboratory, a rigorous test via gemology grading institutions must be passed before being marketed as a real, genuine gemstone. Amazingly, despite the fact that each lab-grown diamond is a one-of-a-kind original, near-enough 100% of lab-grown diamonds get approved for jewellery creation. When you compare this with the fact that around 20% of earth-mined diamonds are of this standard, the differences between earth-mined and lab-grown diamonds start to become clear.
Lab-grown diamonds need to start being seen as equals to their earth-mined counterparts. Not just because that is a fact, but also because they hold numerous benefits for the consumer and the planet. What are these?
- Lab-grown diamonds are up to 40% cheaper than earth-mined diamonds.
- Lab-grown diamonds are sustainable (per carat lab-grown diamonds produce 0.5 kilograms of mineral waste, 0.028 grams of carbon emissions and 82 litres of water; earth-mined diamonds produce 2386 kilograms of mineral waste, 57,000 grams of carbon emissions and 577 litres of water usage).
- Lab-grown diamonds don’t take advantage of communities which mine earth diamonds across the globe.
When you take all this into account, the real differences between lab-grown diamonds and earth-mined diamonds can’t be ignored.