Say yes to the tech! Are you wondering what the difference is between lab diamonds and mined diamonds? We’ve put together a key to understanding the top differences between the two (and trust us, there are many differences). Find out the benefits of lab diamonds and why they’ve begun to take over the engagement and fine jewelry market.
ABOUT LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
Many consumers wonder what a lab created diamond is. In the simplest sense, lab grown diamonds are diamonds that are grown in a lab instead of being mined from the earth. They are identical to natural diamonds and are graded using the same 4Cs scale. But the real difference is where the come from. We’ve reached the point where there is no positive reason to buy a mined diamond. Mining’s environmental and human impact are now widely known.
To fully understand what lab diamonds are, it’s helpful to know their composition and how they’re made. Like diamonds formed in the earth, lab grown diamonds are carbon. In nature, diamonds form under extreme heat and pressure over millions of years in the earth’s mantle. In a lab, diamonds form under those same conditions only with the help of innovative technology. The result, both mined and lab, is a crystallized carbon structure. They're both equally captivating, though one is much more cost effective than the other.
Similar to mined diamonds, lab diamonds form differently and no two are exactly alike. They're grown like flowers in a greenhouse. Each one will look different and have a different overall quality grade. Every diamond is graded on the 4Cs of Diamond Quality: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. The price of a diamond will vary depending on how well it performs in each of these categories.
Though their origin may be different, lab diamonds and natural diamonds are chemically and optically the same. Although, with lab diamonds there is no mining of the earth or dredging of the oceans. Their benefits far exceed those of mined diamonds.
THE BENEFITS OF LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
One of the most significant advantages of lab grown diamonds is their ethical and environmental benefits. Unlike diamonds that are mined from the earth, lab diamonds don't destroy the ecosystem around them due to acid rock drainage. They also don't contribute to the absurd amount of earth that is displaced in order to tear diamonds from the ground. A one-carat mined diamond costs the planet between 88,000 and 176,000 pounds of displaced earth*. Add that up and that's a whole lot of earth that is uprooted each year. Not to mention the habitats that are uprooted with it.
Lab diamonds are also produced in a much more ethical environment than the blood diamond trade. Mining conditions can be horrendous for workers and are sometimes akin to slave labor. So when you purchase a lab diamond you can be sure that you aren’t supporting child labor or conflict diamonds.
Another major benefit of lab created diamonds is that they cost significantly less than their mined counterparts. Although the cost of lab diamonds fluctuates, the average lab diamond is around 30-50% less than a mined diamond. That means you can choose a stunning diamond for your engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry without it costing an outrageous amount of money.
Now that you know the benefits of lab diamonds, you know why they are such a popular commodity. Lab diamonds are less expensive and environmentally and ethically superior because they are not mined. With these advantages, there really is no need to buy a mined diamond, ever.
Begin your search for the perfect lab diamond engagement ring today.
*Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our sister blog.