There are a lot of questions to consider when it comes to buying diamonds. Amidst the questions of size, cut, or clarity, have you ever considered choosing between a lab-grown or mined diamond?
What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Mined diamonds are formed deep inside the earth’s surface. Through the combination of extreme pressure and heat applied over billions of years, they are brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions. Until recently, this natural phenomenon was the only way that a diamond could be created. But now technology has advanced. Scientists can duplicate this process in a highly controlled laboratory environment using specialized equipment.
Like what happens 100 miles underneath the Earth, a lab diamond is created as carbon atoms bond together to form a diamond crystal, which is then cut into a sparkly diamond. And just like Earth-made diamonds, they have unique characteristics, including carat weight, color, or clarity. The only difference between the two is their origin (the Earth versus a laboratory) and how long they take to make (billions of years versus 6-10 weeks)!
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Moissanite vs. Cubic Zirconia
Not to be confused with gemstones such as the moissanite or cubic zirconia, a lab-grown diamond is a 100% genuine diamond. The cubic zirconia is a colorless synthetic gemstone often used to mimic diamond. They are easily spotted when held underneath a light. Cubic zirconia reflects light at a lower rate, so their sparkle is just not comparable to that of a diamond. They reflect a rainbow of light as opposed to white light (a.k.a. brilliance).
The same goes for Moissanite: a laboratory-created gemstone with an entirely different genetic makeup from that of a diamond. Moissanite is known for its “disco-ball” effect as it emits a rainbow as opposed to a diamond’s white light. These two diamond substitutes have their pros and cons, but they have no connection to a diamond.
This is not the case with lab-grown diamonds. A lab-grown diamond is identical to a mined diamond in every single way. They share the same chemical composition, light refractions, hardness, and density, to name a few elements. The untrained and even trained eye can’t notice a difference – because there isn’t any!
Some rather expensive equipment is being developed to distinguish lab-grown diamonds from mined by tiny internal differences caused by their growth patterns, but most jewelers will not have this to hand. A lab-grown diamond is graded for cut, color, and clarity using the same scales as a mined diamond, and many will come with certificates. Many lab-grown diamonds will also have an inscription on the girdle that identifies them as lab-grown.
Purchasing Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry
Given the efficiency of technology, these lab-grown diamonds reduce the cost, time, and equipment required to become the dazzling gemstones we love to wear. Mining the earth has a tremendously negative impact on the environment. Mining requires extensive machinery that erodes soil, ruins forests, and overall causes devastating ecological destruction. You can have peace of mind wearing a lab-grown diamond, knowing they don’t cause damage to the earth and are not involved with humanitarian or ethical concerns.
Since it requires less expense to grow diamonds rather than mine them from the Earth, they are more affordable. You can purchase a larger diamond of higher quality for the same price when investing in a lab-grown diamond.
As you narrow down what you are looking for when buying a diamond, consider adding lab-grown to your list. Lab-grown diamonds have the brilliant shine and sparkle that you want for your engagement ring or diamond jewelry. You can own an authentic diamond with less damage to the environment and your wallet.
You can find beautiful lab-grown and mined diamond jewelry here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. We offer a tremendous selection of dazzling diamond jewelry for every taste and budget. Whether you’re preparing to pop the question or simply want to spoil yourself, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at Leo Hamel’s!