Lab Grown Diamonds: What You Need To Know
Lab grown diamonds have been growing in popularity ever since Bindi Erwin was given a stunning 2.01ct lab grown diamond engagement ring by partner Chandler Powell earlier this year.
So first things first, what is a lab grown diamond? Simply put, a lab grown diamond is an artificially engineered diamond. Also known as man-made diamonds or cultured diamonds, lab grown diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory conditions using cutting-edge technology that mimics the conditions in which diamonds naturally form. The result is a man-made diamond that is chemically, physically and optically identical to natural diamonds, meaning the naked eye will never spot the difference.
It’s important to note that lab grown diamonds are not fake or synthetic diamonds, like cubic zirconia. Lab grown diamonds are in fact 100% real diamonds.
At Bill Hicks Jewellery we believe that your jewellery is part of your personal journey, and should reflect your inner values. We are happy to source any gemstone including lab grown diamonds. We also believe there is a lot of conflicting and confusing information out there on both sides, so we have decided to lay out all the facts as we see them, so you can decide for yourself.
Lab Grown vs. Mined Diamonds
Natural diamonds are treasures from the earth that formed somewhere from one to three billion years ago. Intense heat and pressure caused carbon atoms to crystallise and form diamonds deep down within the planet’s crust. Every so often a bubbly magma known as kimberlite would come soaring to the surface of the earth carrying these dazzling gems, waiting to be mined by man.
Lab grown diamonds on the other hand are created in one of two ways: high-pressure high-temperature, or chemical vapour deposition. Although they vary slightly in the specifics, both methods involve exposing tiny diamond seeds to carbon along with extreme heat and pressure, replicating the natural process of diamonds, and speeding it along. This means that lab grown diamonds have the exact same carbon structure as natural diamonds, they are both crystallised carbon
It is no secret that those mining for diamonds have caused devastating impact to the land. Many now believe that lab grown diamonds are the solution to the scars left from diamond mining.
Lab grown diamonds use less water, create less pollution, and due to their origins, no land is disturbed leading to no environmental degradation. Lab grown diamonds are often sustainably and ethically produced as well. As a result lab grown diamonds can be the more eco-friendly option when compared to mined diamonds. Not all labs are created equal, and some are more eco-friendly than others, so if this is your main concern then do your research and we can source accordingly.
However mined diamonds are not all that Blood Diamond portrayed them to be either. All of the stones at Bill Hicks are ethically mined and sourced, which creates thousands of jobs in developing nations. In fact it is estimated that 99.9% of all natural diamonds are now conflict free.
Lab grown diamonds require a large amount of electricity and power, and are often produced in developing countries such as India and China, which still heavily rely on coal power, and cheap labour.
The Four C’s
As lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, they are still graded on quality according to the Four C’s: cut, colour, clarity and carat. Because of this, it is easy to compare lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds in terms of price.
A lab grown diamond of size will come with a diamond certificate that also states it is lab grown and not natural. Natural diamonds will also come with a certificate from a Diamond testing lab such as GIA, HRD, or IGI.
These certificates list all the characteristics of the individual stone, and provide a grading for each, and laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond that matches the certificate.
Lab grown diamonds often sit at a lower-price-point than naturally occurring mined diamonds, generally about 30% – 50% less than their natural diamond counterparts. This is due to the rarity of natural diamonds compared to the potential abundance of lab grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are also a product of technology, and therefore as the technology improves and becomes more common, production will increase and the prices will inevitably drop further, whereas the prices of natural diamonds climb steadily higher, as natural reserves are exhausted.. .
As lab grown diamonds are less rare than natural diamonds the resale value is also significantly less, making natural diamonds a more suitable for investment pieces.
There is magic to knowing that glistening gem resting upon your finger has endured the most challenging and precise conditions, and while lab grown diamonds are in no way imposters, some people are drawn to the beauty and the romance of mined diamonds.
If you would like to view some diamonds either lab grown or mad made, please contact our boutique and we can arrange an appointment for you.