Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Rings on the Rise

Picking an engagement ring is a daunting task for anyone. There are so many variables involved, such as: What kind of gemstone does your partner like? Though a diamond center stone is the most common choice, some people sometimes choose ruby, emerald, or like Princess Diana, sapphire. What kind of metal should you choose? Yellow, white, or rose gold, or maybe platinum. Should you go big and bold, or subtle and minimalistic? Usually all these questions can be answered by a talk with your partner, but if you don’t want to let on that you’re gearing up to pop the big question, this blog might be a good tool to help you out.

There are plenty of options, so many that it can be overwhelming, but there are ways to get beautiful rings at less cost than you’d expect. Diamonds mined from the Earth are the traditional gem of choice for engagement rings, but modern technology has now brought us the choice of a Laboratory Grown Diamond.

White gold lab-grown diamond link bracelet on a wooden tray.
Rose gold three-leaf clover twist stud earrings set with lab-grown diamonds.

How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Created?

We’re glad you asked. Lab-grown diamonds are one of the newest and most exciting things in the jewelry world right now. A lab-grown diamond is a diamond created in a laboratory by simulating conditions similar to that of a mined diamond. Scientists start with a diamond “seed” (pure carbon) and, using modern tech, can reproduce the natural situation that grew diamonds, from carbon, in our Earth’s crust nearly 1 billion years ago.

And just like they grew, crystal by crystal in the Earth, they are grown in laboratories but in a much shorter time. As a result, growing is not only less expensive but is ecologically sound and conflict free. To break it down easily, the conditions diamonds are grown in can be simulated in a lab, and thus lab-grown diamonds are made at a fraction of the cost of mined.

Lab-grown diamonds are just as stunning as the mined versions. They have identical chemical, physical, and optical properties as a mined diamond because they are a diamond. Lab-grown stones retain the same brilliant shine and sparkle as a mined diamond but at a much lower cost. What this simply means is that while you are scouring stores for the perfect diamond ring, you might be missing a perfect opportunity to get her the ring of her dreams, all while maintaining your budget.

Picking a Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring

Her ideal diamond is usually one on the bigger size, but that often means significant cost increases. This new option means that she can have a larger diamond which is now comfortably within your budget goal.

For the ladies reading this blog, you might want to show your partner the price difference when it comes to lab-grown versus mined. You just might get the ring (size and quality) you’ve always wanted, and your partner wont’ be upset about the dent it puts in their wallet! That sounds like a win-win situation to us. A lab-grown diamond simply means that beautiful rings are attainable and available to everyone.

If you’re already purchased your diamond ring, but are thinking about getting something bigger, we at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers will trade up your mined diamond for lab-grown, right here in our store! Show your partner just how important they are, and everything they mean to you, with a beautiful lab-grown diamond! They are the perfect gift for any occasion, not just engagement rings. Call us today at 619-299-1500, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding lab-grown diamonds and any other jewelry and accessory-related topics you may want to discuss.

Interested in seeing what lab-grown looks like for yourself? Come on down to our showroom, and we will happily discuss your options with you.

A Diamond’s Journey to Fine Jewelry

Have you ever wondered how diamonds are formed and what the mining process looks like? Diamonds have a long way to go, starting with their formation in the Earth, mining, and cutting to reaching diamond wholesale brokers and jewelry stores in San Diego or elsewhere. Read on to find out how diamonds travel from beneath the ground to your jewelry box.

How Diamonds Are Formed

For a diamond to form in the ground, extreme temperatures and pressure are necessary. More specifically, the temperature has to be between 1700 and 2400 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pressure has to be between 650k and 870k pounds per square inch. This critical environment is necessary not only for diamond formation but also diamond stability. According to geologists, commercial diamond deposits contain diamonds that are formed in the Earth’s mantle, 90-120 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Once formed, these diamonds are believed to be brought to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. Diamond prospectors are on the lookout for kimberlite and lamproite pipes formed during these eruptions.

Main Diamond Miners and Producers

Originally, the majority of the world’s diamonds came from South Africa, India, Brazil, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Congo. Nowadays, the majority of mines are located in Russia and Botswana. The biggest diamond miners of today are De Beers, ALROSA, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Debswana Diamond Company Ltd., and Dominion Diamond Corporation. Around 50% of all diamonds are mined either directly from the ground, the mines or kimberlite and lamproite pipes, while around 48% is mined from riverbanks and other marine environments. Miners have to sift 200-250 tons of Earth on average to mine 1 carat of diamonds.

Rough uncut diamond on black rocks.

Sorting the Diamonds

When they are mined, diamonds are far from polished jewelry-grade gemstones; instead, they are still in their crystal form. Before they are sold, they have to be sorted. The majority of diamonds are sorted by DeBeers (around 45%), whereas the rest are sorted in Mumbai, Antwerp, and Johannesburg. There are three categories into which a rough diamond can be sorted.

Gem-Quality Diamonds

Around 20% of mined diamonds are sorted into the gem-quality category. These are composed of at least 99.95% carbon. As the name suggests, they are used for jewelry making. They are valued for their color and clarity, whereas shape is not so relevant at this point.

Industrial-Quality Diamonds

Around 80% of the world’s mined diamonds fall under this category. They are mostly yellow in color as yellow diamonds are the hardest diamonds. Industrial diamonds can be classified either according to their carat weight or the number of points. They are used in the automotive, aviation, and marine industries for making tools for drilling or as abrasives.

Other Diamonds

Diamonds that are not sorted into the gem or industrial categories appear in very small percentages. They are typically crushed and later used as diamond dust for diamonds polishing.

Tweezers holding loose round cut diamond.

Diamond Cutting and Grading

After they are sorted, gem-quality diamonds are cut into the desired shape. Cut is the most important feature of a diamond, so this process is extremely important. Most diamonds are cut in Belgium, Israel, India, South Africa, Russia, and Canada. The cutting process can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, with some large diamonds event taking years to cut. For example, the Pink Star diamond, the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid pink diamond ever graded by GIA, took two years of cutting and polishing to be honed into the desired oval shape.

Reaching the Consumer

Once the diamonds are cut and polished, they are ready to be sold to the manufacturers, dealers, retailers, or collectors. At this stage, gem-quality diamonds are ready to be set into jewelry. On average, it takes around 5 months for a diamond to reach the consumer after it has been sorted.

Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers offers premier-quality diamond jewelry, most notably exquisite new and vintage diamond engagement rings. Stop by our luxurious showroom on San Diego Avenue and check out our collection of dazzling diamond jewelry!