10 Must-Know Facts About Lab Created Diamonds
With more people concerned about climate change and the impact of the products they buy, lab created diamonds are becoming a more popular choice for fine jewelry like solitaire necklaces and stud earrings. More couples are choosing lab grown diamond engagement rings too. If you are considering lab-grown diamonds for you next jewelry purchase, you might be doing research to make sure that you know all the important facts about lab created diamonds so you can make an informed buying decision. We’re here to help. Here are the 10 must-know lab grown diamond facts with links to where you can learn even more about these fascinating gems.
1 – Lab Grown Diamonds are Diamonds
One of the most important facts about lab created diamonds to learn first is that these sparkling gems are actually diamonds. Both are pure crystallized carbon. The only difference between lab grown diamonds vs natural diamonds is where they form. Natural diamonds formed deep in the earth about a billion years ago. Lab created diamonds form in a high-tech laboratory under extremely high heat and pressure, growing on a diamond seed. That makes lab created diamonds totally different than imitations like cubic zirconia or moissanite that just look somewhat similar to diamond but have an entirely different composition and gemological properties. Lab created diamonds have identical physical, chemical and optical characteristics to mined diamonds because they are both diamonds.
2 – No One Can See Any Difference
Because lab grown diamonds are diamonds, they have all the gemological properties of diamonds. That means they look identical. No one can see the difference. Even jewelers and gemologists can’t tell the difference by looking at them. It takes advanced testing in a laboratory or special testing machines to separate lab-grown from mined diamonds. In-store machines can only rule out that most diamonds are lab-grown because they contain too much nitrogen to be lab-grown. All the other diamonds must be sent for more sophisticated testing in a gem lab.
3 – Lab Created Diamonds Save You Money
One of everyone’s favorite facts about lab created diamonds is that they cost less than mined diamonds. In fact, lab grown diamonds cost about half of what mined diamonds cost. You can afford a lab diamond that’s more carats and better quality for the same budget. Like mined diamonds, the price is calculated per carat and depends on quality factors like color, cut and clarity. Because lab-diamonds are often very fine quality, better quality lab created diamonds are much more available and affordable than top quality mined diamonds.
4 – Our Lab Diamonds Are Sustainably Grown
At Carbon Atelier, all our lab diamonds are created by a producer of Certified Sustainability Rated Diamonds from SCS Global Services, the prestigious creators of the USDA Organic standard. SCS standards include origin traceability, ethical stewardship, verified climate neutrality, sustainable production practices, and sustainability investments, establishing unprecedented benchmarks of performance and transparency. You can be confident that our sustainably grown diamonds were created with a net zero carbon footprint. Not all lab-diamonds are created equal: make sure you ask for the details behind any environmental claims retailers make.
5 – Lab Grown Are Certified by the Same Labs as Mined Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds are certified for the 4Cs of diamond quality by the same gemological laboratories as mined diamonds, including the Gemological Institute of America and the International Gemological Institute, the two most important grading labs. This means that one of the facts about lab created diamonds that you can count on is that you know the quality you are getting and can easily compare between vendors. Certified lab grown diamonds make it easy to comparison shop and get a good deal. Be sure that you are judging cut quality: it may not cost much more to buy a well-cut lab diamond but it will make it much more brilliant and beautiful.
6 – More People Choose Lab-Grown Diamonds Every Year
When lab created diamonds first started appearing on the market in gem qualities about seven years ago, most people didn’t know much about them. Now that more people are aware of the facts about lab created diamonds and the similarities and differences between lab diamonds vs natural diamonds, they are becoming very popular. A decade ago, less than 10% of jewelry consumers surveyed by MVI Marketing had even heard of lab-grown diamonds. Today, 72% of survey respondents have heard about LGDs. When asked what they would choose after the lab grown diamond facts were explained to them, 44% of consumers said they would purchase a lab grown diamond, 32% said a mined diamond, and 22% said “not sure.” While lab grown diamonds are still less common than mined diamonds today, as more people learn the facts about lab created diamonds, the balance is slowly shifting in their favor.
7 – Lab Diamonds Are Available in the Same Cuts and Shapes
Just like mined diamonds, lab grown diamond rough must be cut and polished by skilled diamond cutters before it sparkles. Lab grown diamonds are cut to the same proportions and level of finish as mined diamonds. You can choose round lab created diamonds or fancy shapes like emerald cut lab diamonds, oval lab created diamonds, or princess cut lab diamonds. In fact, lab diamonds are more available in fancy shapes because growers can tailor the shape of their production to suit these shapes instead of hoping to find rough that’s suitable.
8 – The Same Cutters Craft Lab Diamonds and Natural Diamonds
The natural diamond business employs millions of people around the world. But most of those employees are in diamond cutting factories. And many factories cut both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds or can easily switch from one to the other. That’s because the same equipment and expertise is used for both natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds. So although the natural diamond industry employs more than a million people, many of those people can (and will) easily transition to cutting lab diamonds.
9 – Lab Created Diamonds Are Remarkably Pure
Lab diamonds are Type IIa diamonds, renowned for their excellent color and clarity. Among all diamonds, those that are type IIa are chemically the most pure. In contrast, 95% of natural diamonds are Type Ia. These diamonds contain nitrogen atoms in clusters. They normally vary from near-colorless to light yellow. These so-called “cape” diamonds derived their name from diamonds that were initially mined in or near Cape Province, South Africa. Only 2% of natural diamonds are Type IIa. Many famous diamonds, such as the Cullinan Diamond in the British Crown Jewels, are Type IIa.
10 – All Lab-Grown Diamonds Aren’t the Same
Just like mined diamonds, not all lab-created diamonds are the same. Even with the best technology, diamonds are difficult to grow in the lab. Tiny fluctuations in conditions can result in inclusions and slight tints of color. Not all producers are the same either: some use renewable energy and carbon offsets to become climate neutral and some don’t. Finally, not all cutters are the same: some cut to ideal proportions to maximize brilliance and beauty and some maximize weight instead. To make sure that your lab grown diamonds are fine color and clarity, sustainably grown and cut to maximize beauty, choose a retailer like Carbon Atelier that offers certified lab grown diamonds that are sustainably grown.