Natural vs. Lab Grown Diamonds
We sell both!
When you’re considering a diamond purchase, it’s important to gather knowledge about the differences between a natural, Earth-mined diamond compared to a lab-grown diamond. You’re likely hearing a lot about lab-grown diamonds but may not know much about them. And making a diamond purchase can invoke anxiety. We get it!
Lab-grown diamonds are certainly appealing. They are less expensive and have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. To the naked eye, the differences between a side-by-side natural and lab-grown diamond are nearly impossible to detect. Ultimately, the perfect diamond for you will depend on what matters the most to you. There is no wrong decision.
Here are some frequently asked questions that you may be ASKING yourself!
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds “synthetic” or “fake”?
You may hear some people refer to lab-created diamonds as “fake diamonds”, imitations or synthetics, but this isn’t true. Lab-grown diamonds share the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond that was formed over millions of years in the Earth. However, lab-grown diamonds display several features which allow them to be distinguished from natural diamonds.
Q. If they share the same characteristics, what are the differences?
Let’s start with a brief synopsis of how Earth-mined, natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds are created. An organic, natural diamond forms when pure carbon is exposed to intense temperature and pressure over billions of years within the Earth’s mantle. They only form in what is referred to as the “diamond stability zone”, which is 80 to 120 miles deep, and is extremely hot (up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit), where the conditions are just right. Then, after eons of violent volcanic eruptions, diamonds get brought to the surface, embedded in large chunks of rock. True fact: A natural diamond is the oldest thing you will ever own, each one billions of years in the making. In addition, a natural diamond is rare.
Especially since there have been no new discoveries of natural diamonds in approximately 30 years.
Lab-created diamonds, conversely, are very common and easily replicated. They’re grown in highly-controlled laboratory conditions that reproduce the Earth’s natural growing environment: high pressure and high temperature. They have the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical and physical properties of diamonds found in nature. They aren’t technically “synthetic” diamonds since their chemical composition is that of naturally occurring diamonds. They even exhibit fire, scintillation and sparkle, just as organic diamonds but do. However, they include specific, internal characteristics that trained jewelers can easily identify.
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds identical to natural diamonds?
This is an easy no. They are not identical and origin is the primary difference. They are mass-produced in factories located primarily in China, India, and Singapore in industrial microwave reactors. Their factory production process occurs in just 2 weeks and there are tell-tale marks within the diamond which enable a professional to easily detect them.
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds more eco-friendly?
You’ll definitely find conflicting opinions on this one! Natural diamonds produce 3x fewer carbon emissions per carat than lab-grown diamonds. In addition, natural diamond producers recycle approximately 83% of the water used in diamond recovery. Lab-grown diamonds require an immense amount of energy to produce and replicate the process in a few short weeks. They also use a significant amount of water to cool the reactors. However, there is no Earth mining necessary to extract them.
Q. What is the value proposition for each?
Natural diamonds obtain their value because of their rarity. Their value remains consistent and is retained. And, if you purchase a natural diamond at Elebash’s, and want to trade it in toward a larger diamond, we will credit you the original price toward your new diamond. Generally, lab-grown diamonds are sold at a cost of somewhere between 20-30% less than a natural diamond. Because they are not rare, they will not hold their value. Therefore, they have little to no resale value. That distinction is important to understand. If you decide to purchase a lab-grown diamond, you will most likely not be able to trade it in at a later date and receive that value toward the purchase of another larger diamond.
In summary, a diamond purchase is a personal choice.
Find out more about lab-grown diamonds.
Find out more about natural diamonds.