Although there is some confusion on whether natural diamonds are the same as lab grown diamonds, we’re here to inform you that lab diamonds are in fact authentic diamond stones. The two are in every way the same—right down to their chemical and optical properties. It may shock you to know that even trained geologists can’t tell the difference between the two with the naked eye alone. Why is that, you may ask? Because lab created diamonds are as real as they come.
If you still have questions, don’t fret! This blog explains the differences between not only lab created diamonds and natural diamonds, but also between different simulant diamonds such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. For decades, the choice center stone for engagement rings has been mined diamonds. Yet with rising social and environmental issues, a new normal is becoming: lab grown diamonds.
This remarkable laboratory grown diamond (also known as a synthetic diamond) has the same sparkle, clarity, and aesthetic of an earth mined diamond. In fact, lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds are the same except for a few crucial details:
- Lab grown diamonds are much less expensive than earth-mined diamonds, making them a great choice for engagement rings and jewelry.
- Lab grown diamonds are not mined or dredged, making them the environmentally conscious choice.
Still, you might be on the fence about wearing a man made diamond. You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Read on as we compare lab grown diamonds to mined diamonds, and debunk the myth that lab grown diamonds are inferior to mined diamonds.
What Is a Lab Grown Diamond?
Lab grown diamonds or cultured diamonds have been around for some time now, but only recently have they become widely known. We’ve been working in the man made diamond industry since 2005, long before it became popular. In that time, we’ve been able to perfect our processes and build relationships with the best vendors and jewelers around. Now, we are able to offer the highest quality lab diamond jewelry at lower prices than our competitors.
So, let’s get down to the brass tacks: What exactly are diamonds? How does lab grown vs natural diamonds differ? Lab grown diamonds or cultured diamonds are identical to their natural counterparts in every way, except they are grown in a lab from a diamond seed instead of pulled from the earth. Diamonds are made up almost entirely of pure carbon. That’s why both lab diamonds and mined diamonds have the exact same physical properties. They replicate the exact natural process that forms earth grown diamonds, but cost up to 75% less. Let’s compare the process of growing diamonds in a lab vs. how diamonds form in the earth.
Mined diamonds form deep in the earth’s crust over billions of years. The consequence of mining diamonds is significant. Mined diamonds—also known as blood diamonds—destroy local habitats and wildlife and compromise the wellbeing of laborers.
How do lab grown diamonds compare?
Mined diamonds have a crystal structure and so do lab grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds replicate the crystal lattice-like structure of mined diamonds. Despite their similarities, lab grown diamonds don’t destroy wildlife or harm workers.
Lab diamonds grow in a controlled environment environment of extreme pressure and heat, known as High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Thanks to extensive research and practice, lab grown diamonds grow in the same way mined diamonds do.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds the Same as Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia?
Moissanite is not the same thing as a lab created diamond. Moissanite has grown popular in recent years, but it differs from diamonds in a lot of ways. While mined diamonds come from the earth and lab grown diamonds are grown in a lab, moissanite originates from meteors. Moissanite is not a diamond, nor is it attempting to be one. While a diamond—whether lab or earth grown—is singly refractive, moissanite is doubly refractive. This results in a disco ball of light, meaning you can see all the colors of the rainbow. So although some may prefer the fiery sparkle of moissanite, it doesn’t look like a real diamond.
Likewise, cubic zirconia (CZ) is not the same thing as a lab grown diamond. While lab made diamonds are made of pure carbon, CZ is made of zirconium dioxide. This makes CZ much more porous resulting in a yellowing over time. Additionally, since lab diamonds are much higher in price because of their superb quality, they have a much higher resale value, especially when set in a stunning engagement ring.
Lab Diamonds vs. Mined Diamonds for Engagement Rings
Are lab diamonds as good as mined diamonds? It’s no secret that for the last century mined diamonds have adorned most engagement rings. Does this mean they’re superior to lab grown diamonds? Not at all. Lab grown diamonds are equal in quality, durability and appearance!
While mined diamonds are a traditional choice, that doesn’t make them better. In fact, as more consumers look for a more environmentally and socially conscious option, lab diamonds are being chosen much more frequently while mined diamonds are becoming less and less popular.
Many people wonder if you can tell the difference between a laboratory grown diamond and a mined diamond. Let’s compare the physical similarities and differences between lab grown and mined diamonds to see how they stack up.
You’re constantly inundated with the declaration that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Who can deny that sparkle? Well, you’re in luck, because lab grown diamonds sparkle just as bright as mined diamonds. The best part? They cost a fraction of the price. It might be time to reword it to “diamonds are a man’s best friend,” because he is going to save a considerable amount of money on a lab created diamond. Considering mined diamonds cost $2,500-$16,000 per carat, that’s hundreds—or thousands—of dollars saved.
That’s money you can use on a dream honeymoon, down payment on a house, or spend on other, more important things—like your wedding. It’s easy to see that your ring budget will go further with a lab grown diamond than a mined diamond.
It’s impossible to tell the difference between a lab grown diamond and mined diamond in a side-by-side comparison. You need special tools to be able to differentiate one from the other. That’s because they’re identical in all ways.
If you want to verify that your diamond is lab grown, check its grading report. Along with specifying that it was grown in a lab, it will also indicate the diamond’s grade on all 4Cs, including carat weight, color, clarity and cut. A grading report gives you peace of mind knowing your diamond is the quality you expect.
While some may think that lab grown diamonds can’t sparkle as bright as mined diamonds, that’s just not true. Let’s take a closer look at these sparkling beauties.
Lab Grown Diamond Brilliance
Do lab grown diamonds shine like mined diamonds? Of course! How is this possible? Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as mined diamonds. This means that your lab grown diamond is going to shine as bright as a mined diamond. Goodbye costly gemstones, hello sparkle!
Let’s breakdown these physical characteristics in more detail:
- Do lab grown diamonds get cloudy? Diamonds do not cloud over time—whether they’re grown in a lab or pulled from the earth. This is due to their crystal structure and durable nature. While a film may buildup if they are not properly cared for, you can easily clean them with soap and warm water.
- Do lab grown diamonds test as real diamonds? Yes! Lab grown diamonds test positive on a diamond tester because they’re made of crystallized carbon, just as mined diamonds are. Although, because some HPHT diamonds may carry impurities (although unnoticeable to the naked eye), there is a chance they could test as moissanite or non-diamond.
- Are lab grown diamonds as hard as mined diamonds? Yes! Let’s take a look at the Mohs Hardness Scale, the metric used to measure the hardness of a substance. Where do mined diamonds land? Diamonds are the hardest material on earth. They rank at 10 which means they’re extremely durable. Lab grown diamonds match their mined counterparts in hardness, strength and durability! Take comfort knowing lab grown diamonds are strong enough to hand down to the next generation.
Why Lab Grown Diamonds Are the Superior Choice
Lab grown diamonds are affordable, free of mining concerns, conflict-free, durable, brilliant and luxurious. What’s not to love? Expert gemologists can’t differentiate between mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Which means neither will anyone else!
Side-by-side, they’re one in the same. When you look at lab grown diamonds, they’re made of the exact same chemical structure as mined diamonds. The only difference between mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds (aside from the cost) is their origin.
After comparing lab diamonds vs. mined diamonds, it’s easy to see why lab grown diamonds are the superior choice.