The man-made diamond industry is growing at a fast pace, which means that mining diamonds is slowly, but surely becoming unnecessary and out of fashion. And that is some great news! We will protect the environment on one hand, while ensuring indefinite quantities of sparkling diamond beauty on the other. That is why lab grown diamonds were so quickly accepted and started a whole new chapter in the jewelry industry. Consumers love their startling beauty which comes easy on the pocket, but is that all we need to know about them? Read on to find out the most important facts about lab grown diamonds to become not only aware, but also educated on their existence.
Fact No. 1
SYNTHETIC DOES NOT MEAN FAKE
Not surprisingly, buyers in the unknown are more likely to associate “synthetic” with a negative connotation, due to the fact that this qualifier, besides “artificial” can also represent something “fake”, “copied” or “imitated”. True it is. However, when it comes to objects as valuable as diamonds, reputable jewelry houses cannot even think of taking the meaning of “synthetic” for granted, without firmly assuring customer satisfaction from the quality and authenticity of their stones. In the fine jewelry world, diamonds created above the ground, not below it, are often described as “man-made”, “lab-grown”, “cultivated” and “simulated”, including the term “synthetic”. Therefore, it is beyond clear that lab grown diamonds are 100% original products that have the same physical and chemical composition as their mined counterparts; the only difference between them is their origin. First-time buyers should bear in mind that fake diamonds and diamonds grown under highly supervised conditions have nothing in common. The most relevant proof of the stone’s authenticity is the diamond certificate issued by any of the internationally recognized gemological labs, like GIA, IGI, AGS and EGL. Do not proceed with the purchase if not being previously provided by your retailer with this type of document.
Fact No. 2
MINED OR LAB GROWN, THEY ARE ALL GRADED THE SAME WAY
The lab grown diamond was developed with the idea to create a diamond that features not just the same look, but also the same level of hardness, fire and brilliance as the mined diamond, while being way more affordable and of course, eco-friendly. Therefore, if the diamond that comes from the depths of Earth’s mantle has a hardness of 10 Mohs, the one created in a laboratory has it too. This can mean only one thing; both mined and lab grown diamonds use the same grading standards for color, clarity, cut and carat size, popularly known as the 4Cs.
Fact No. 3
HPHT & CVD ARE THE TWO PREVALENT DIAMOND-GROWING METHODS
It is quite normal to wonder how is it possible to bring into existence a stone that looks as precious and startling as the mined diamond, by using the same formula which nature developed thousands of years ago. You might hear many versions of the “How lab grown diamonds are made?” story, but the truth is, there are only a few methods, out of which HPHT and CVD are the most effective ones. HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) is a process in which the stone grows out of a diamond seed under extreme conditions. These conditions refer to the levels of pressure and temperature which are necessary for a mined diamond to grow; the same are applied to the growing process of the diamond with a lab origin. The second process, CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) is a relatively new one and it is carried out in a chamber filled with carbon-rich vapor. We all know that carbon is the main “ingredient” in the diamond’s composition, so thanks to the carbon atoms that are extracted from the gas, the stone slowly builds its crystal structure, layer by layer, until it grows into a beautiful crystal rock that is ready to hit the market.
Fact No. 4
MOISSANITE AND LAB GROWN DIAMONDS ARE NOT THE SAME
Another huge misconception that is running wild among the jewelry audience and even worse, it is confusing it, is the one that moissanite and the lab grown diamond are actually the same thing. Well, they are not. These two gems might look identical, but they have lots of differences related to their crystal and chemical structure. The simple fact that both moissanite and lab grown diamonds come right out of the laboratory makes people put them easily into the same category, which is completely incorrect. For instance, there is a whole range of other precious gems that can be simulated in a laboratory, such as the synthetic sapphire or the synthetic ruby, for example. Logically, the synthetic sapphire would feature the same characteristics of its mined counterpart and not the characteristics of the synthetic diamond or moissanite. So, it is time to stop feeling confused about the real meaning and representation of these two crystal-white stones. Here is an easy difference to remember – the hardness of lab grown diamonds scores 10 on the Mohs scale, while the hardness of moissanite gems is estimated at 9.5 Mohs.
The second diamond-like stone that creates a lot of confusion is cubic zirconia. This is the cheapest version of a diamond simulant, but also the one with the purest quality. Basically, the base of the stone is cubic zirconia coated with an extremely thin layer of synthetic diamond material. The final outcome is a stone, which at first glance, looks like a real diamond, but in a very short time, its originality and quality come to light. Pay attention to what you are buying or you are being presented to, because there are many unscrupulous retailers out there who will take advantage of your lack of informedness and will recklessly sell you a stone that is not worth the money you are ready to pay for it.
Fact No. 5
LAB-GROWN STANDS FOR ECO-FRIENDLY
To all those who want to set themselves in a “environmentally conscious” shopping mode, lab grown diamonds are the one-way direction to head to. They are created with minimal environmental impact, this promoting the protection of the nature’s resources and treasures. “GO GREEN, GO ECO-FRIENDLY” has become the ultimate motto of millennial shoppers in all aspects of the industry, including fine jewelry craftsmanship itself. What started as a trend, has become a real revolution that changed the entire shopping practice in a positive way, fortunately. Hence, the reason why lab grown diamonds are so popular and sought-after today. Some experts even predict that they will pose a serious threat to the future of the mining diamond industry. Will it be really like that? Only the time will tell.
Fact No. 6
THEY WILL LAST FOR AN ETERNITY
Stop looking for a “best before” date on a lab grown diamond, you won’t find it. Why? Because there is not one. Both mined and man-made diamonds possess extraordinary characteristics that will last forever. Even if it might sound incredible, the sparkle of the lab grown diamond will never fade away, no matter the weather, no matter the season. If not, this revolutionary precious stone could not be able to build a reputation of “best-selling gem of the decade”. Experts in the field put their utmost knowledge in a combination with state-of-the-art equipment to create a truly unique dazzling diamond that will keep its fresh and substantial look for many, many generations to come.
Written by: Liljana Tomova