Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: The Affordable Alternative

Lab-grown diamonds are a more affordable alternative to natural diamonds–but is a lab-grown diamond right for you? To help you decide, we’re going over everything you need to know about how lab-grown and natural diamonds compare. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Composition 

Lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds have the exact same chemical composition and carbon crystal structure. This means that both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are real diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are not diamond simulants. They’re real diamonds that are made by scientists in a lab. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Creation 

The main difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds is how they’re created. 

Natural diamonds form through natural processes. Almost all of the natural diamonds we have on Earth formed when carbon atoms were exposed to extreme pressure and heat deep in the earth. Diamonds can also form near the Earth’s surface due to tectonic plate movement or asteroid impact, but this is very rare. 

Lab-grown diamonds are created by scientists in a lab. One method of creating lab-grown diamonds is the high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) method, which mimics how diamonds usually form naturally. Scientists put a diamond seed, a tiny piece of diamond, into pure carbon and expose it to extreme heat and pressure to create a larger diamond. Another method is chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which involves heating carbon-rich gas to make a diamond crystal grow around a diamond seed. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Appearance 

Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical makeup as natural diamonds, so they look identical to natural diamonds. You cannot tell the difference between lab-created and natural diamonds with the naked eye. Even highly trained jewelers and gemologists need to use equipment to tell the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Durability 

Since lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds have the same impressively strong carbon crystal structure, they’re equally tough. Both lab-grown and natural diamonds earn a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This makes both gemstones an excellent choice for frequently worn jewelry, including engagement rings

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Diamond Price 

Another major difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds is their price. Lab-grown diamonds can cost up to 50% less than natural diamonds. If you choose a lab-grown diamond over a natural diamond, you can save quite a bit of money. Or, you can use this price difference to your advantage and get a higher quality, higher carat weight diamond while staying within your budget. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Diamond Mining 

Unlike natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds do not need to be mined from the earth. For some people, this is the most important difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds. If you don’t want a diamond that has been mined, a lab-grown diamond is a clear choice. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Quality 

Lab-grown diamonds are higher quality on average than natural diamonds, but that doesn’t mean they’re always higher quality. Scientists can control laboratory conditions, but they can’t control the exact way a diamond forms. There is still an element of nature involved in the process. As a result, lab-grown diamonds can still have inclusions or a bit of color. 

Additionally, like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds need to be cut and polished before they’re set in jewelry. And just like with natural diamonds, the skill and judgment of the person cutting and polishing a lab-grown diamond have a major impact on the quality of the diamond’s cut. 

Because lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds can both vary in quality, we recommend that you judge the quality of a diamond individually, regardless of how it was formed. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Certification 

Both lab-created diamonds and mined diamonds can be graded by grading laboratories like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). The diamond grading report for a lab-grown diamond will include a note saying that the diamond has been lab-created. 

 

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Which Should You Choose?

Ultimately, whether you should get a lab-grown diamond or a natural diamond comes down to personal preference. At JustDesi, we think that both lab-grown, like our Chemistry Collection, and ethically-mined diamonds can be a beautiful choice for diamond jewelry. That’s why we offer both, allowing you to choose the diamond that’s right for you. 

Still wondering which diamond you should choose? Visit our jewelry showroom in Beverly Hills. Our jewelry experts can show you different types of diamonds in person and answer any questions you may have about lab-grown or natural diamonds.

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