Lab Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds have become popular over the last few years, gaining traction with engagement ring buyers. Many people who find themselves looking for a ring may not understand the difference between lab diamonds and natural diamonds, making uninformed decisions that don’t align with their values.
Buyers may think lab grown diamonds are fake due to their cheaper price points. But actually, lab diamonds — that are professionally grown in laboratories — are just the same as natural diamonds. Both stones are identical-looking to the naked eye, as they’re made of the same chemicals, seeming impossible to tell the two apart.
So, what’s the difference and why does it matter? There are plenty of differences between lab diamond vs natural diamond rings that you need to know before making an informed decision on the type of diamond you and your partner want to purchase. Below, we’ll map out the key differences: lab diamond vs natural diamond style.
Diamond Formation Differences
Natural diamonds have been mined by professionals for centuries. They’re created under the heat and pressure of the earth’s upper mantle, where carbon is naturally crystallised into diamonds before being cut, polished, and embedded in jewellery. However, before they make their way onto the fingers of the newly-engaged, they go through an extremely long process.
Each natural diamond has a different experience, with some forming within days, weeks, or months while others can take up to millions of years. These timelines differ due to interruptions in the mantle with changes in the temperature and pressure, meaning your natural diamond could be one to three billion years old!
But how does a diamond travel 150 kilometres to the surface? Due to a kimberlite volcanic eruption that occurred over 100 million years ago. The eruption brought material from the depths where diamonds are formed to the surface through kimberlite pipes (vertical looking structures in the crust). Think of an elevator bringing diamonds from the depths of the mantle directly to the surface.
There are three methods professionals use to mine diamonds from the kimberlite eruption: alluvial, pipe, and marine diamond mining. The latter involves drills and pipes pulling diamonds from the seabed, while pipe mining involves miners tunnelling through the earth’s crust to access the kimberlite pipes and diamonds within. Alluvial mining, on the other hand, is the process of extracting diamonds from beaches and riverbeds once they’ve naturally shifted from the kimberlite pipes, after thousands of years of erosion.
While lab grown diamonds are also made from extreme pressure and heat, they’re created within a machine, rather than mined from the earth. There are two ways lab diamonds are grown, with both methods using a slither of a natural diamond known as the diamond “seed” to create these lab diamonds.
It is placed with pure graphite carbon and put under 1,500 degrees celsius and pressurised using a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) system. The other alternative uses Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). This process involves placing the seed in a sealed chamber with carbon-rich gases of methane and hydrogen and temperatures of 800 degrees celsius.
Many people debate lab diamond vs natural diamond, with more opting for laboratory grown diamonds due to their cheaper price point. Because it takes natural diamonds billions of years to form, this limits their supply and makes them more expensive to purchase, diverting some buyers to opt for lab diamonds. People who were once resolute on buying a natural diamond for their engagement ring are now opting for lab diamonds because of the steep price difference.
Lab created diamonds have risen in popularity during the last few years, because they’re typically 40% less expensive than natural diamonds. Because the pricing of a lab diamond is significantly lower, this allows customers the opportunity to purchase a bigger carat with the perfect cut, colour, and clarity — all for a cheaper price. Find your perfect fit with our range of stunning lab grown diamonds from Argyle Jewellers.
It gives customers the chance to choose their dream ring without having to spend a fortune. With lab diamonds, customers don’t need to make any sacrifices, which makes these stones a much more reachable, achievable, and affordable option for newly engaged couples.
If you’re struggling to make a decision between lab diamond vs natural diamond, consider the environmental impact. Natural diamonds are known to come from conflict regions, with this type of diamond linked to issues including child labour, violence, abuse, human rights violations, and poor working conditions.
To find a 1-carat diamond, around 40,000 kilograms of dirt must be shifted, which causes a huge environmental impact. So, if you’re an environmental activist, you might want to consider a lab grown diamond. Lab diamonds aren’t mined from the earth’s crust, nor do they put anyone at risk.
Lab diamond buyers can rest assured knowing exactly where their lab diamond originated from. However, it’s important to keep in mind that lab diamonds formed with the HTHP and CVD methods require constant energy to create stones.
If you consider the value of your diamond to be an important factor, you might be more suited to a natural diamond. When considering lab diamond vs natural diamond, buyers must take into account that a natural diamond will hold its value better than a lab diamond, due to the limited supply. If you want to purchase a natural diamond, look through our Argyle Diamond Collection.
It’s best to remember that the value of a lab grown diamond may continue to depreciate over time if these continue to increase in popularity. It’s likely these will decrease, because they aren’t as rare as a natural diamond that is mined from the earth’s mantle.
Lab Diamonds From Argyle Jewellers
If you’re searching for a beautiful lab grown diamond, look no further than Argyle Jewellers. Our team of experienced jewellers will be more than happy to discuss your diamond options with you at either of our Brisbane locations. Visit us instore or online today!