Shopping for an engagement ring today can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to decide on a design with so many options. If you are interested in the classic Lab-grown diamonds there is one more thing to consider. This is whether you will choose a natural or mined diamond or a lab-grown diamond.
Good news: There is very little difference in the prices of the two. Brandon Cook, Clean Origin’s spokesperson, says that lab-grown, mined, and optically identical diamonds are chemically, optically and gemologically.
The main difference between the two is the way they are made and the ethical and ecological ramifications that they have on the rest of the world. Learn more about lab-grown flawed diamonds and natural diamonds, including how they may differ in price, durability, clarity, and cost.
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds
How they are made
The majority of diamonds that are naturally occurring today were formed deep below the Earth’s surface in the planet’s core layer. The intense heat and pressure over billions of years caused carbon to change its structure at an atomic level and take on the solid form as a diamond. Deep-source volcanic eruptions brought the stones closer to the surface in areas where temperatures and conditions are ideal for creating diamonds. These huge, deep-reaching craters can then be mined for precious stones.
On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds are exactly that, they are diamonds grown in a laboratory. Cook explains that chemical vapor deposition is the most popular method. You start with a small slice of a diamond. This is where the crystal structure for the diamond is formed. This is commonly called the diamond seed. It is made of pure carbon, either existing or natural. The diamond seed is placed in a vacuum to allow carbon molecules to absorb it. It is almost like 3-D printing World Diamonds . After the diamond has been ‘grown’ in the chamber, it can be cut and polished just like a natural one. A lab-created diamond is pure carbon and is chemically identical to a natural one.
Cook says that the first lab-grown diamonds was produced in 1950. However, it took sixty years to create gem-quality diamonds. That is, a sufficient amount of color and clarity to be comfortable on the finger.
Natural diamonds are rare and expensive. The stone is only found in a limited amount on the planet. Because each gemstone is unique due to its unique natural conditions, the characteristics it is graded on is also unique. Their cost is also affected by the energy and labor required to mine and polish the stones. And, of course the dubious origins and marketing behind the diamond market.
Because lab diamonds don’t have the same supply chains, they will be more expensive than natural diamonds. Sometimes even up to 50% less than natural rocks and stones of similar grades. Cook says that technology has made it possible to create lab-created diamonds more efficiently.