We’ve seen a rapid rise in the popularity of lab diamonds. People are requesting lab diamonds in lieu of natural diamonds more than ever before. What are lab diamonds? It is a common misconception that Lab Diamonds are fake as they are often called “synthetic” diamonds. Lab diamonds are in fact 100% real diamonds. Advancements in technology have given us the ability to actually replicate the conditions diamonds need to be created and do all of this inside a lab instead of under the ground. Many people are choosing lab diamonds nowadays because of their lower price tag and their lower environmental impact. Lab diamonds are often also less included so you can have a more beautiful diamond that is much more affordable. Lab diamonds seem too good to be true. Are they? We’ve done the research for you and weighed the pros and cons so you don’t have to. Here’s everything you need to know about lab diamonds.
How is a Lab Diamond made?
Like the name suggests, Lab diamonds are created in a lab. They are created by replicating the conditions that diamonds need to form within the earth. The process starts with carbon dioxide that is trapped about 100 miles under the surface of the earth. The carbon dioxide is then exposed to extreme heat and extreme pressure. The diamonds make their way to the earth’s core due to volcanic explosions and earthquakes. There are two ways to create lab diamonds: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
HPHT diamonds can be created three different ways. With a belt press, a cubic press, or a split-sphere (BARS) press. All of these methods create an environment of extremely high pressure and temperature that is conducive to the creation of diamonds.
An HPHT diamond starts off as a small diamond seed that is submerged in carbon. Using one of the three methods described previously, the seed is exposed to temperatures of about 1500 degrees celsius and pressurized to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch.
The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed. It is then carefully cooled to form a pure carbon diamond. A CVD diamond starts off as a thin slice of diamond seed. The seed is placed in a sealed chamber and heated to around 800 degrees Celsius.
The chamber is filled with a carbon rich-gas which is then ionized into plasma using technology similar to microwaves or lasers. The ionization breaks the molecular bonds in the gases, and the pure carbon sticks to the diamond seed and slowly crystallizes.
The Pro’s of a Lab Diamond
Well for starters, Lab Diamonds tend to be about 20%-30% less expensive than earth mined diamonds. This allows you to get a larger and better diamond for a lower price. They are more affordable because the supply chain is much shorter since they do not need to be mined. They still need to be polished and cut like earth mined diamonds, but since the process requires less labor and passes through less hands in the supply chain, it brings down the price. Lab diamonds are also a more eco friendly option as they require less energy and resources to create. Nearly 100 sq ft of land is disturbed and almost 6000 lbs of mineral waste is created for every carat of diamond that is mined. While creating lab diamonds still requires lots of energy, the impact and the amount of energy used is much lower. Lab diamonds are also less likely to have inclusions. You are able to get a visibly clear diamond for a much lower price.
When to Choose a Natural Diamond instead
After reading this article, Lab diamonds probably seem really great, so why choose a natural diamond? It all depends on what is important to you when buying a diamond. Mined diamonds hold a certain significance. They hold a piece of the earth’s history and are created over hundreds of years. They also have a better investment potential and tend to go up in value as time goes on whereas lab diamonds do not. If you’re buying for the purpose of investment then natural is the way to go. You will still be able to sell a lab diamond for a decent amount of money if you no longer want it, but it is unknown if their value will ever go up. Lab diamonds are also a fairly new invention and many people love the traditional aspect and the status of a natural diamond vs the scientific creation of a lab diamond.
We believe that Lab diamonds will be the future of diamond jewelry. Lab diamonds give jewelers the ability to create a stunning piece of jewelry for a significantly lower price. Who wouldn’t want that? Lab diamonds are better for the environment and the budgets of Millennials who still want an incredible engagement ring, but are not willing to dish out the money for a natural diamond. Natural diamonds will still be relevant and have their significance, but the ratio of lab to natural diamonds bought is higher than ever before. We don’t see this changing anytime soon. In fact, we see a future where lab diamonds are the mainstream choice for diamond shoppers everywhere. Their price, look, and modern edge is too hard to beat. No matter which diamond you choose, whether it be lab or natural, a diamond holds significance. A diamond represents eternal and unbreakable love. Who wouldn’t want that?