Lab-created diamonds have drawn a lot of attention in recent years because they are visually identical to natural diamonds while costing significantly less. The price discrepancy without a quality discrepancy has understandably led to many people having questions about the differences between lab diamonds and natural diamonds. Here is a look at the differences and similarities between lab and natural diamonds to help answer any questions you may have:
Differences Between Lab and Natural Diamonds
The biggest difference between a lab diamond and a natural diamond is how and where it is created. Natural diamonds are formed deep in the Earth through pressure and heat. Natural diamonds can take millions of years to form, and they are sourced through mining. Lab diamonds, on the other hand, are created in a lab through scientific advancements such as High Pressure-High Temperature or Chemical Vapor Deposition processes. A lab diamond can be created in weeks, instead of millions of years.
Another important difference is the price. The price discrepancy varies slightly over time, but in general, lab-grown diamonds are 20-40% less expensive than natural diamonds. Considering that lab and natural diamonds look the same, this price difference is staggering. The price cut for lab diamonds can allow you to purchase a bigger diamond than you originally expected to if you choose a lab-created diamond.
Unlike natural diamonds, lab diamonds are created without the ethical conflict or harmful environmental impact of mining. The best labs, like Diamond Foundry, also create their diamonds in a carbon-neutral setting that prioritizes sustainability and protecting the environment. You can buy a lab diamond without the worry of potential ethical and environmental issues because it is created in a lab.
Similarities Between Lab and Natural Diamonds
The most important similarity between lab and natural diamonds is their appearance. They are visually identical. Even jewelers would have a hard time verifying if a diamond is lab-created or natural without highly specialized equipment. To the naked eye, lab and natural diamonds are the same. Lab diamonds shine just as beautifully as natural diamonds. The fact that they look the same makes it even more surprising that they are priced differently. You can have a stunning, high-quality diamond for a lesser cost if it is made in a lab.
Even though they are created in different places and under different circumstances, lab and natural diamonds have the same chemical composition and crystal structure. Lab diamonds are not “fake diamonds.” They have the same physical characteristics, including strength and quality as naturally occurring diamonds. The same cannot be said for diamond imitations like cubic zirconia or moissanite; these diamond simulants lack carbon in their chemical structure, making them much lower in quality than lab and natural diamonds.
Jewelers grade lab diamonds the same way as natural diamonds. They both receive certifications to prove that they meet exceptional quality standards. The buying process is also nearly identical. You and your jeweler will discuss the same characteristics (color, clarity, cut, and carat) that are graded on the same scale whether you are buying a natural or lab diamond.
Lab and natural diamonds look the same and are even compositionally the same. However, lab diamonds come with a lower price tag and are more environmentally and ethically conscious. Some people simply prefer the idea of a natural diamond, but hopefully, after this guide, you can better understand the similarities and differences between the two so you can make the decision that is right for you. You can schedule an appointment to discuss finding the right lab diamond for you.