They are full of beauty and sparkle, and a special rarity that adds to their allure. It takes the exact right environment and millions (if not billions) of years for a diamond to form. But while some say that rarity is what makes natural diamonds and diamond jewelry so special, there is an alternative that's been growing in popularity in recent years: lab-grown diamonds.
Whether you call them lab-grown diamonds, lab-created diamonds, cultured diamonds, or manmade diamonds, they are all one and the same. Lab-grown diamonds are carbon-based diamonds that have been grown in a laboratory, much like flowers grown in a greenhouse. They are as real as diamonds extracted from the earth, and they sparkle just as brilliantly.
Read on as we explore lab-grown diamonds, including how they are made, the difference between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds, and how to decide if buying a lab-created diamond is the right choice for you.
Lab-grown diamonds shine and sparkle just like natural diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds can be produced in batches in only a few weeks. This makes lab-grown diamonds considerably less expensive than Earth-mined diamonds of comparable size and quality.
As a result of the controlled growing environment, lab-grown diamonds often have higher purity, meaning fewer and smaller inclusions, than Earth-mined diamonds.
What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using advanced technology that duplicates the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop when they form in the mantle, beneath the Earth’s crust. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds; the only difference is their origin.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real?
Yes! Both Earth-mined and lab-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon molecules that are transformed into cubic crystals under intense heat and pressure. Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, optical, and chemical characteristics as natural diamonds and are just as real.
Can You Tell the Difference Between Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds?
Yes! The difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds can be detected by a diamond expert with specialized equipment. Because lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds to the naked eye, or even under magnification, lab-grown diamonds larger than 1.00 carat are laser inscribed on the diamond's girdle to label them as lab-grown and often come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory-grown.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
While natural diamonds mined from the Earth are created over millions of years under intense heat and pressure, lab-grown diamonds are cultivated rather quickly in a laboratory from a single carbon seed. Using advanced technology - either Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) - the carbon seed slowly forms into a crystalline structure. No two pieces of lab-grown diamond rough turn out exactly the same, just as no two mined diamonds are the same.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Priced Differently Than Natural Diamonds?
Yes! While their chemical foundation gives lab-grown diamonds the same optical properties as natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have no intrinsic rarity. Natural diamonds formed over millennia are created from the pressure of being compacted deep within the Earth's crust. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, can be produced limitlessly under controlled conditions. Like their natural counterparts, lab-grown diamonds are evaluated and graded using the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Is a Lab-Grown Diamond Right for You?
Buying the perfect diamond for an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or another piece of diamond jewelry for yourself or someone you love is a personal process. Some people may not have an opinion on whether their diamond is lab-grown; others may put a terrific value on the natural diamond mining process. When deciding whether you should buy a natural diamond or a lab-grown diamond, consider your own needs and preferences and consult a reputable jeweler like Stambaugh Jewelers for advice.
Ready to explore your options? Stop in or message us to browse our lab-grown diamond jewelry.