Why You Should Consider Lab-Grown Diamonds For Your Engagement Ring
Curious about Lab Grown Diamonds?
Have you heard the growing whispers about lab-grown diamonds, are you curious? Or maybe a little confused? We are here to help you get crystal-clear on these ‘cultured’ diamonds:
Long have we been enchanted by the unique dance of light found only in a diamond and the fine jewellery that they adorn. But these brilliant stones started out (quite literally) in a dark place, having been formed more than a billion years ago deep within the earth. But that is not the end of their complex journey. After they have been mined as ‘diamonds in the rough’ and before they can reach the skilled hands of the jewellers in our very own Hatton Garden, they wait be Graded before becoming the centrepiece of the fine jewellery that you help us design. An important part of this gemstones journey is the diamonds grading process or the 4C’s – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat…but here we arrive at a new definition of a diamond; ‘Cultured’ or lab-grown diamonds. Keep reading to find out the defining points on why we don’t want you to miss out on this glittering coming-out party.
What makes a Lab Grown Diamond, a REAL Diamond?
And yes, they are most certainly real in every sense of the word diamond, except of course, their point of origin.
Now, do not get the label ‘synthetic’ (which has been thrown around a lot when it labelling what comes out of science labs) confused with ‘simulated’ diamonds or what is commonly known as Cubic Zirconia.
For these cultured carbon babies are classified by the GIA as real diamonds and are also graded by the very same methods. This is because they are optically identical to traditionally-mined diamonds further more they are made from the exact same chemicals and are physically formed by mimicking the same conditions that naturally occurring diamonds form in: carbon atoms crystallising under extreme heat and pressure, deep within the earth then pushed closer to the surface by huge volcanic eruptions- If you think this scenario sounds impossible to re-create, we don’t blame you. but that is exactly what these innovative labs have done.
So how is a Cultured Diamond Created?
Due to the advances in technology and the sparkling rise in popularity of cultured diamonds, diamond cultivators are currently using two methods to ‘grow’ your diamonds. Originally (HPHT) High Pressure-High Temperature, or a newer method (CVD) Chemical Vapour Deposition: which is described (rather romantically) as carbon atoms falling down like snow flakes and depositing on a tiny diamond seed or slither of an earth-mined diamond. The actual process is quite technical, which just make us even more mesmerised by these scientists-or alchemists-as we like to think of them.
The possibilities seem limitless, but let us focus on what all this science means for you! Because of a shorter and more controlled supply line, lab grown diamonds give you the chance of choosing an engagement ring diamond for approximately 30% less than the cost of traditionally mined diamond without losing out on any tier of quality in your gemstone. You can even choose larger diamond in a higher quality than you may of already been looking at in a regular diamond for a price safely within your budget. There are also some exciting details when it comes to different coloured diamonds which we will discuss in our next post.
Are Lab Grown Diamond Ethical?
From an ethical standpoint you can also be absolutely sure that every person involved in the process of cultivating your diamond was paid and treated fairly and for those concerned about ecological impact of mining, the amount of resources required is massively less than that of an earth mined diamond. While many of the labs also use renewable energy, there is even a company developing the CVD technology so that it will actually suck CO2 from the air, making your diamond effectively ‘Carbon emission negative’.
Your cultured diamond purchase would not only be conflict-free but would also be supporting the industry in developing these possibilities and becoming part of a future that is both sustainable and enduring (not to mention glittery). Only adding to the magic and memories of your investment (and question) of a lifetime. What’s not to love!?
If you need any further clarification or help in you choosing your perfectly cultivated diamond to begin the process of a bespoke engagement ring creation. Any one of our Flawless Fine Jewellery team would love to assist you either in person at our Hatton Garden showroom.
Some Lab Diamond FAQ
Do lab diamonds sparkle rainbow?
Can I grow diamonds at home myself?
Yes it is possible for anyone to grow diamonds if they have in-depth knowledge of diamonds and their chemical composition as well as they required equipment to do so. But in order for them to be cost efficient you have to do this at scale.
Why not leave it to experts then?
Will lab diamonds pass diamond tests by grading institutes?
Yes, they do!
Some of the most well-known diamond grading institutes like, Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), International Gemological Institute (IGI), European Gemological Laboratory (EGL), to name a few, offer laboratory-grown diamond grading reports using the same colour and clarity boundaries as the grading system for natural diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds are subjected to the same tests to determine their chemical, physical, and optical properties as mined diamonds.
Are lab-grown diamonds seen as a threat to the diamond industry?
No, absolutely not! They are not a threat to diamond industry, but they are a disrupter. By being economical, environment friendly and ethical, lab grown diamonds have brought fresh perspective to the diamond industry and given the consumer a larger choice.
Are lab grown diamonds real?
Lab Grown Diamond are as real as a Natural diamond. By replicating the way nature creates diamonds from elements in the earth, we now have lab-created/grown diamonds that are structurally and visually identical as well as give peace of mind to conscious buyers.
Are lab grown diamonds as beautiful as earth mined?
Not only are lab-grown diamonds as stunningly beautiful as mined diamonds, they are easily available too. A typical lab-grown diamond can be available to you in a few weeks only. The added facilities like colour and size customisation is an added possibility.
So if you want 20 similar pink or blue diamonds, that can be easily fulfilled which is you are trying to find from naturally mined diamonds would be very difficult and very expensive.
Does Diamond Clarity affect sparkle?
Diamonds are nothing but shiny carbon surfaces juxtaposed together at different angles. If the inner surfaces have some impurities or imperfections (called inclusions), the diamond might not sparkle as much.
The more “included” a diamond, the less reflection it will have. Almost all diamonds have inclusions; in fact, perfectly flawless diamonds are so rare that most jewellers will never see one. Fortunately, most inclusions can only be seen under 10x magnification, so they are unnoticeable to the naked, untrained eye.
Diamonds with large inclusions, or a large number of inclusions, will have a low clarity grade.
Lab grown vs natural diamonds in an engagement ring?
A lab grown diamond is visually identical to a natural diamond and so in an engagement ring a lab grown diamond will look the same as a natural one with the added benefit that it will be significantly cheaper. So you will get a bigger bang for the same buck. Why not try a classic with a modern twist like a hidden halo engagement ring with lab grown diamonds?
What is a Cubic Zirconia? Does it look like a real diamond?
Cubic Zirconia also known as CZ is a colourless, synthetic gemstone made of the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. Cubic Zirconia is not a real diamond, though it could be difficult at times for an untrained eye to see the difference. A CZ does not have the same brilliance as a diamond. It has a much lower refractive index—between 2.15 – 2.18, compared with 2.42 for diamonds. The increased dispersion causes the CZ stone to have a “rainbow effect” meaning it reflects too much coloured light.
CZ stones are not graded by any grading institutes and they are at best a cheap imitation of diamonds.
How does a diamond become cloudy?
A diamond becomes cloudy during the formation process itself. Due to impurities or inclusions embedded while the core of diamond was getting formed, the diamonds look slightly hazy or milky when looked closely. Also multiple smaller inclusions clustered together can cause the diamond to look foggy or dull.
What are the four C’s to diamond buying?
A system was set up by the GIA that has now become the universal standard for diamond grading – the 4Cs of diamonds. A universal language understood across the globe while grading the precious diamonds. The 4 C’s stand for:
Why do diamonds sparkle even in low light?
Light ray passing through a diamond travels through scores of reflective surfaces inside the diamond, and that is the reason for the brilliance you see. The shape and cut of a diamond decide its shine.
A well-cut diamond that has passed through the skilled hands will refract even the tiniest ray of light falling on it. If a diamond is well cut, then it will reflect even the smallest amount of light falling on it. Brilliant Round Cut Diamonds are known for better sparkling abilities.
Are lab-grown diamonds available in fancy colours?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds are available in vivid/fancy colours like blue, black, red, pink, green etc. They are created by mimicking the same conditions as mined coloured natural diamonds encounter inside the earth when they are being formed.
The fancy colours that you see in these exceptional creations by humans are introduced by adding colour-causing atoms to the growth cell during the growth phase, while the diamond’s crystal lattice is still developing.
Do lab-grown diamonds have value?
Yes, most definitely
When you buy a lab-grown diamond that is certified by a reputed grading institute like the GIA, then you can rest assured that you can get similar value when you are trying to resell it. Lab grown diamonds have the same resell process as a natural diamond. Regardless of the origin, all diamonds are priced using a universal pricing system based on their grading on 4Cs.
How much do lab grown diamonds cost?
Lab-grown diamonds are between 30 to 50 per cent less than mined natural diamonds. But the lower price has no bearing on their quality. They have all the characteristics of a mined natural diamond. The process of sourcing a lab-grown diamond is relatively easier as well as faster and hence they are relatively less expensive than mined natural diamonds.