When you think about being more environmentally conscious, you can consider reducing your usage of single-use plastics and bringing your own reusable straw and coffee cup. When shopping for the ideal piece of jewelry, you may not think of choosing a diamond that is both environmentally friendly and long-lasting. However, it is undoubtedly worth taking into consideration: The use of lab-created diamonds is better for the environment, is far more ethical, and may even result in savings for the consumer.
In light of the ever-growing challenge of climate change, which is forcing us all to concentrate on being more ecologically conscious in our daily lives, lab-created diamonds are becoming an increasingly popular alternative.
What does Lab-Grown Diamond Mean?
Lab-grown diamonds are referred to by a variety of names, including lab-created, lab-made, synthetic, and even designed diamonds, among others. It should be noted that laboratory-grown diamonds are produced in a laboratory or factory rather than existing naturally and being mined from the soil.
Some lab-created diamond facilities use cutting-edge equipment to simulate the circumstances that real diamonds experience when they are formed deep under the earth’s surface. This genesis story is the most significant distinction between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds, despite the fact that lab-created diamonds have basically the same chemical, optical, and physical characteristics, as well as the same crystal structure, as naturally occurring diamonds.
Side note: Lab-created diamonds were originally generated for industrial use in 1950 utilizing the high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) process, and they are utilized in telecommunications and laser optics, as well as abrasives and other applications, among other things.
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds
The majority of naturally occurring diamonds now available on the market were produced deep under the surface of the Earth, in the planet’s mantle layer. The element carbon was forced to reorganize on an atomic level by billions of years of extreme heat and pressure, resulting in the formation of the solid form known as a diamond. Deep-source volcanic eruptions brought diamonds closer to the surface in places of the world where the circumstances and temperatures were ideal for the formation of diamonds. Kimberlite pipelines were responsible for bringing the stones closer to the surface. The valuable stones found in these vast, deep-reaching craters are subsequently extracted for profit.
On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds are exactly what they sound like: diamonds that have been created in a laboratory. states Brandon Cook(director of marketing for Clean Origin), “You start with a very slim slice of a diamond, where the crystalline structure for the diamond is already formed. This is often called the diamond ‘seed’ and is composed of pure carbon; either natural or existing lab-created diamond. The seed is placed in a vacuum where carbon molecules assimilate to the diamond seed. It’s almost like 3-D printing a diamond. Once the diamond is ‘grown’ in this chamber, it will be ready to be cut and polished, just like a natural diamond” Because a diamond made in a laboratory is still composed entirely of carbon, it is chemically identical to a natural diamond.
Natural diamonds are very rare, which contributes to their high value in the marketplace. According to popular belief, there is a limited supply of gemstones on the globe, and since the natural conditions under which each gemstone is formed are unique, the features of the gemstone that is graded will be equally unique. Other factors that influence the price of diamonds include the work and energy required for mining and polishing the stones, as well as the market’s strategic and perhaps questionable origins, control, and promotion, all of which contribute to the price of diamonds.
Because they are not regulated by the same supply chains as natural diamonds, lab-created diamonds will be less costly than natural diamonds – often up to 50% less expensive than a natural stone of the same quality – in the long run.
Which one is more durable?
The carbon in lab-grown diamonds is the same as that found in natural diamonds, making them a similar substance to natural diamonds. They maintain their position as the hardest substance on the planet (a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale), and as a result, they are just as difficult to chip as a genuine diamond.
“Many of the same grading agencies, namely the Gemological Institute of America and the International Gemological Institute, grade lab-created diamonds using the same methods and standards used for natural diamonds,” quote Brandon Cook. Because if these standard-bearing organizations are using the same scales to assess both lab-grown and natural diamonds, it indicates that the variations between the two in terms of the 4Cs—cut, clarity, color, and carat—are non-existent when it comes to the four Cs.
Because lab-created diamonds are grown rather than constructed, they will acquire the inclusions or “flaws” that impact the brilliance and clarity grade of a natural diamond. (The greater the number of inclusions in a stone, the cloudier it is likely to be and the lower the clarity grade.) The clarity grading for lab-created diamonds is the same as those for natural diamonds, ranging from Flawless (F1) to Included (I2) (I3).
When it comes to color, the same rules apply: a high-quality lab-grown diamond will be rated on the same scale as a naturally occurring diamond. There is no discernible difference between a lab-created diamond and a natural diamond, and most couples look for stones of both sorts that are graded between G and J and are almost colorless in appearance. True colorless diamonds, which are graded D through F, are very uncommon and, as a result, quite valuable.
It is possible that the most compelling argument in favor of acquiring lab-grown diamonds is based on the ethical and environmental implications of bringing natural diamonds to market. As Millennials and Generation Z’s consumer values grow, they are more concerned than prior generations with ensuring that their money is invested in firms that have values that are compatible with their own. While the production of lab-created diamonds does have a carbon footprint, the total effect is less significant.