You may have heard the terms lab-grown and real diamonds thrown around and wondered what exactly sets these two kinds of stones apart. While both diamonds are valuable and beautiful, there are some key differences in how they're produced and how their value is determined and measured.
At Fuller's Jewelry, we want to give you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your purchases. Read on to learn more about how lab-grown and real diamonds differ so that you can make the best choice when shopping for jewelry pieces of your own!
What Are Lab Diamonds?
Lab diamonds are also known as man-made or synthetic diamonds. They are created in a laboratory using advanced technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally form in the earth's crust. The result is a diamond that is chemically, physically, and optically identical to a mined diamond.
The first lab-grown diamond was successfully produced more than 40 years ago by scientists at General Electric Company's research lab in New York City. Although GE was the first company to create a lab-grown diamond, it has never been able to commercialize them due to high production costs and other issues.
A second attempt at commercializing lab-grown diamonds came from scientists at NMT Technologies of New Jersey, who were able to produce white lab-grown diamonds for industrial use only. By 2008, they had perfected their process and began selling lab-grown diamonds commercially to retailers.
Since then, several companies have entered the market, including Lightbox Jewelry (formerly Stuller), Apollo Gem International, Karatbars International (a German company), Polyera Corporation, Synthetic GEM LLC, World Jewels USA LLC, Earthdance Gems (both U.S. based)
What Are Real Diamonds?
Real diamonds are those that are mined from the earth. They are created over a long period of time, deep within the earth's mantle. The conditions have to be just right for diamonds to form, and they are very rare. That's why natural diamonds are so valuable. The most precious stones come from the deepest mines on Earth, in areas like Africa and Canada.
The Similarities & Differences Of Lab Grown Diamonds And Natural Diamonds
Both lab diamonds and real diamonds are made of carbon. They also have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties. In fact, lab diamonds are so similar to real diamonds that even experts can't tell them apart without special equipment.
The obvious difference is that lab diamonds are created using cutting-edge science, while real diamonds form over time due to natural processes. However, gemologists consider both types of diamonds equally beautiful and valuable.
Another difference is that lab-grown gems are more affordable because they aren't as rare as their natural counterparts. In addition, it takes less effort to make lab diamonds compared to real ones that rely on heavy investment in mining equipment.
The most important distinction, however, may be the ethical implications of each type of diamond. Lab-grown diamonds offer a more ethical way of acquiring gemstones because they do not rely on mining methods that can have negative environmental impacts. Additionally, lab-grown diamonds are made from recycled materials and require much less energy than traditional mining methods for natural stones.
Lab diamonds require more care when wearing because the stones can shatter if exposed to extreme temperatures or pressure. They also have shorter lifespans than natural diamonds (3-5 years vs. 50 years), which makes them unsuitable for engagement rings or other jewelry that will see constant wear and tear.
Finally, a major difference is that lab-grown diamonds have fewer flaws than natural ones and also come in various colors, which are not found in real diamonds.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Or Real Diamonds Better?
The answer to this question depends on what you're looking for in a diamond. For example, some people prefer the clarity of a lab diamond or the color of a natural diamond, while others may want to go with a less expensive option to suit their budget. If you are unsure about which type of diamond is best for you, it's always wise to talk to an expert who can help guide your decision.
Regardless of which type of diamond you choose, it is always important to do research to know exactly what the different diamonds look like before making a purchase.
While lab-grown diamonds are a great alternative to real diamonds, they are nowhere close to being a replacement. However, when shopping for jewelry, it's up to you to decide which type of diamond is right for you.
If you're looking for a less expensive and eco-friendly diamond, then a lab-grown diamond may be the right choice. However, if you're looking for a diamond with more sentimental value, then a real diamond is probably the way to go.