Aug 30th 2021
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real Diamonds?
You found the person who makes your heart skip a beat. Now, you spotted the perfect engagement ring to decorate their finger. But the ring is set with lab grown diamonds. You might be asking yourself, “Are those real diamonds?” The short answer is yes, and we’re here to help you understand everything you should know about these glistening gems!
What are Lab Grown Diamonds and Why Do They Exist?
They might be known as “synthetic” or “engineered” diamonds, but lab grown diamonds are real diamonds that are created in laboratories! They’re made of carbon and possess the same qualities as natural diamonds, including look, durability and sparkle. If you can’t tell them apart, that’s okay! Only trained gemologists can do so with special tools that check for crystal patterns and stone impurities.
Although gem-quality, lab grown diamonds have been available since the early 1970s, they didn’t become popular until the past several years. This is partly due to diamond demand. Natural diamonds formed billions of years ago below the Earth’s surface, making them extremely precious and one-of-a-kind. In addition to that, only about 30% of mined natural diamonds qualify to become gems. Since there’s no limit on the supply of lab grown diamonds, gem-quality stones can be produced much quicker and sold at lower prices.
How are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?
Laboratories use two procedures to create diamonds: HPHT, which stands for “high pressure, high temperature,” and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). With the primary HPHT process, conditions that formed natural diamonds beneath the Earth’s surface are recreated with high pressure and high temperatures. As a result, lab grown diamond crystals develop. Under CVD, molecules of a carbon-rich gas, like methane, are broken down into carbon and hydrogen atoms. These carbon atoms are left to settle like snow onto a flat surface until a square-shaped diamond crystal forms.
Benefits of Growing Diamonds
Price is one of the biggest advantages of buying lab grown diamonds. They cost 30-40% less than their natural counterparts, making them ideal options for shoppers on a budget. And while debate still exists over the most eco-friendly jewelry choice, some in the industry argue that lab grown stones have an edge over natural diamonds. To support that argument, a 2015 report from the Diamond Council of America found that miners might need to move a combined 30 tons of ore and rock to create just one carat of a gem-quality natural diamond. Since lab grown diamonds are created in laboratories, they have less impact on nearby wildlife, fertile land and water supply.
Read more about the pros and cons of lab grown diamonds here.
Fun Lab Grown Diamond Facts
- Since lab grown diamonds have the same composition as natural diamonds, they’re equally durable. Both score a perfect 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, a scale that ranks the durability of diamonds, gemstones and other minerals. This makes them the strongest of all gemstones.
- Natural diamonds go through an intense grading process and so do lab grown stones! Each diamond is evaluated on the 4 C’s: color, clarity, cut and carat weight.
- Due to the intense heat and pressure conditions in the HPHT growing process, some lab grown diamonds contain slight imperfections and therefore don’t meet the qualifications for gem-quality diamonds. They instead qualify as a diamond simulant (aka other gemstones manufactured to look like diamonds).
- Lab grown diamonds in most sizes are typically produced in less than a month.
- Traditionally, these lab grown stones have weighed one carat or less, but larger gems have entered the market due to technology improvements.
- Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has been seen wearing lab grown diamonds. In 2019, a pair of her diamond earrings caught the world’s attention, as the stones were grown in a lab in just five days.
Have a question? We can help!
Gage Diamonds is Chicago's premier jewelry showroom and online retailer of engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry. We offer a selection of dazzling lab grown diamonds as well as handpicked, certified natural diamonds.
We’re committed to helping you find the ring of your dreams. Browse our selection of lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds or set up an appointment with a member of our trusted staff at our in-person showroom.
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