These Are The Most Asked Questions About Lab Created Diamond Rings
Modern jewelry talks often include “lab-created diamond” topics, whether their goal is to point out a special occasion or a plain beauty strategy for a voguish look. The revolutionary, life-changing technology offered us a brand new way to wear the jewelry we like, by respecting the code of ethics regarding nature and her limited treasures. Thanks to the huge interest in ethically-sourced diamonds, today we are going to unveil the most frequently asked questions about lab created diamond rings.
1. ARE LAB-CREATED DIAMOND RINGS MADE WITH FAKE DIAMONDS?
No, they are absolutely not. Diamonds grown in a laboratory environment are legit and they are identical to their mined counterparts. In other words, lab-created diamonds have the same optical, physical and chemical structure as diamonds sourced from nature. By using cutting-edge technology and highly developed techniques, scientists have found the way to produce crystallized carbon – the main compound of diamond. It is indeed an exciting process that takes some time and a lot of detailed work, but the outcome is definitely worth it. Therefore, fake diamonds have nothing to do with lab-created diamonds and fortunately, their poor quality can be easily identified.
2. HOW LAB DIAMONDS ARE GROWN?
The process starts with “the seed” – a tiny piece of carbon that is cut and placed in a low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (CVD) chamber. The chamber is rich in gasses, hydrogen and methane, in particular. They are combined with electrical energy in order to create a plasma ball. This way, a cloud is formed and the carbon molecules start to “rain down” on what we have previously called “the seed”. In a time frame of 6-12 weeks, a rough diamond specimen with standard size is formed. Then, it is cut and polished to get ready to become a part of a particular jewelry design.
3. DOES “SYNTHETIC” MEAN THE SAME AS “LAB-CREATED”?
The term “lab-created” has multiple synonyms and “synthetic” is one of them. However, diamond retailers prefer not to use it, due to the fact that fake diamonds, such as cubic zirconia are also being called “synthetic”. If we delve deeper into the subject, there is a scientific counterstatement denoting that lab-created diamonds cannot be described as “synthetic”, because no synthesis occurs during the growing process. The detailed explanation is: “Diamonds are not composed of complex molecules. Accordingly, growing them does not require multiple chemical precursors as with synthesis.” On the flip side, another alternative argument recalls the term’s origin (“sunthetikos” – a Greek word that means “expert in putting together”), claiming that lab-created diamonds are synthetic, because they are a result of an artificial chemical reaction.
At the end of the day, consumers should be aware that “synthetic” is both regarded as legit and scientifically inaccurate term, but the truth is, no reputable retailer sells their lab-created jewelry under this label. Other terms that are properly related to this diamond category are: “lab-grown”, “man-made”, “cultured” and “cultivated”.
4. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE OF LAB CREATED DIAMOND RINGS?
It is no secret that lab-created diamonds are far more affordable than earth-mined diamonds. Hence, the price of the jewelry they make. According to the statistics, in March 2018, the average price of 1 CTW lab-created diamonds was $4,350, which is around 30% less than their mined counterparts. Today, the most popular diamond purchase in the United States is the 1 CTW round brilliant diamond for engagement rings. However, diamond pricing is not based on carat weight only, but other important quality factors too, including cut, color and clarity.
5. WHO EVALUATES THE AUTHENTICITY, QUALITY AND VALUE OF LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS?
Diamonds coming right out of the laboratory are graded and certified by third-party organizations, such as IGI, GIA, EGL and AGS. They are non-profit gemological laboratories with global reputation, meaning that lab created diamonds verified by any of them are safe to buy. For instance, Kobelli’s entire collection of lab created diamond rings is IGI-certified and our consumers enjoy the same, unique specifications of their diamond as given on the report.
6. ARE LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS ALWAYS INTERNALLY FLAWLESS (IF)?
The real answer is no. Lab-created diamonds also have the same variations of clarity and color as mined diamonds, so they do appear with inclusions. Since they are formed by recreating the conditions of their natural habitat, lab-created diamonds can be graded from “slightly included” to “flawless” (in terms of clarity) and from "fancy colored” to “colorless” (in terms of color).
7. ARE LAB CREATED DIAMOND RINGS ECO-FRIENDLY?
Yes, they are. Lab created diamond rings promote ethical jewelry manufacture, as they are not sourced from nature, but from laboratories that produce them with renewable sources of energy. It takes around 750 kWh of electricity to grow a 1 CTW diamond, which is indeed energy consuming and far more expensive than mining. However, preserving nature’s limited and already scarce diamond sources comes first, along with ceasing the exploited labor in “blood diamond” mining. Therefore, consumers that want to shop with consciousness finally have a solution - lab created diamond rings.
8. CAN A JEWELER IDENTIFY A LAB-CREATED DIAMOND?
Traditional tools, such as loupes and microscopes are not really reliable when it comes to distinguishing natural from lab-created diamonds. Neither is the low-cost testing equipment that most jewelers use to recognize cubic zirconia, diamond and moissanite. One of the most accurate ways to identify a diamond is the Photoluminescence Spectroscopy method, which requires a more than $10,000 – worth equipment. To get the results from this method, the diamond(s) is frozen at an extreme temperature of −320°F, thus telling a lot about the complexity and the cost of the whole process.
9. CAN LAB CREATED DIAMOND RINGS BE INSURED OR SOLD?
Just like any other type of fine jewelry, lab created diamond rings can be appraised, insured and sold. Kobelli’s customers get them with full appraisal and a lifetime manufacture warranty, but those who want to take a step further in protecting their investment, can always turn to a jewelry insurance provider. Second-hand lab created diamond rings end up on the re-sale market at significantly lower prices. There are also online diamond brokers that allow sales of lab-created diamonds on their network, which has actually been a huge trend lately.
10. WHERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LAB CREATED DIAMONDS AND THE JEWELRY THEY MAKE?
To educate yourself on this matter and get prepared for a well-informed purchase, be invited to read this Kobelli article. Do not hesitate to contact our team if you need an extra advice or want to hear a professional opinion to ease your selection.
Written by: Liljana Tomova