You have probably never heard of lab diamonds, which is why you may confuse them with fake or synthetic stones. But this does not mean that lab diamonds are of inferior quality. They carry similar chemical properties as naturally mined diamonds—the only difference being that they are made in a laboratory under the same circumstances that their natural counterparts require to grow deep down the earth.
However, before buying one for your engagement or wedding ring, educating yourself on lab-grown diamonds is essential. This article discusses how lab-grown diamonds are created and contains suggestions about what you need to consider before buying them.
The Process Explained
A single carbon “seed” in the form of a tiny splinter or diamond piece undergoes a procedure like the earth’s natural process for producing diamonds. The carbon undergoes severely high heat and pressure to help it develop into a crystalline structure. We get a carbon copy diamond in terms of a natural diamond’s visual and chemical properties.
As for mined diamonds, pure carbon is subjected to extreme pressure and heat for billions of years beneath the earth’s surface, crystallizing it into natural diamonds. Due to centuries of ground movement, they can take millennia to reach the earth’s surface if embedded in large rocks. Then, after being extracted from the rocks, these stones are gathered and offered for sale to the general public.
Buying Lab Diamonds
Buying a lab-grown diamond entails a thorough understanding of its nature. Notably, these diamonds are less harsh on the environment and are frequently more noticeable. Their quality is also better while being more affordable than mined diamonds, which have long been pricey and out of reach of most people.
Moreover, since lab-grown diamonds are made in laboratories under expert observation and do not require to be mined, they do not put people in hazardous or unclean situations. This also makes them ethically sourced and conflict-free. They are also popular among people conscious of the environment, the origin of their diamonds, and the conditions that enable their production.
As an informed buyer, one must keep the following points in mind before entering the market:
- Certification and Grading
As naturally mined gems, lab-grown diamonds are delivered to an independent gem lab, where a professional certifies them after systematically assessing their qualities. Emphasis is put on their cut, clarity, carat, and color—widely known as the 4Cs.
The diamond’s brilliance largely depends on its cut, which is undoubtedly the most crucial element. On the other hand, clarity—defined as the appearance and absence of flaws and imperfections—is directly proportional to the market value of a stone, be it natural or lab-made. Diamonds that appear clear and colorless to the naked eye are graded higher.
- Better Quality, Greater Purity
Unlike naturally mined stones, whose appearance can be affected by dirt and other impurities embedded inside, lab-grown diamonds are purer because they are produced under strictly regulated circumstances. Therefore, they exhibit fewer flaws and less crystallographic strain.
A diamond with higher purity will likely be better, more brilliant, and appealing to the eye. Interestingly, a sizable portion of laboratory-grown diamonds typically has higher purity ratings than natural ones.
- More Color Options
Given that lab-grown diamonds are grown in laboratories, they allow for various color choices, which can be produced consistently. Thanks to science, where colorful mined diamonds typically sell for exorbitant rates due to their rarity, lab-grown diamonds offer a more affordable and versatile alternative. Better, colored lab diamonds are pure and can be easily found.
- Virtually Indistinguishable from the Naked Eye
Natural and lab-created diamonds are essentially indistinguishable from one another, especially to the untrained sight. A skilled jeweler may succeed in separating the two by examining the inclusions and any distinctive marks in the diamond. However, they may need to use intricate tools to observe the differences.