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Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real?

by Molly Jones
Last updated on August 10, 2023
Are lab grown diamonds real?

Sure, lab grown diamonds are just as stunning as mined diamonds, but are lab grown diamonds real diamonds?

Resoundingly, the answer is yes, lab grown diamonds are just as real as natural diamonds. Below, we break down the formation of a lab grown diamond and explain what makes it a superior choice. But before we get into that, let’s understand just how lab grown diamonds stack up against natural diamonds.

Lab Grown Diamonds Vs. Natural Diamonds

Round Lab Created Diamonds of Different Carat Weights
Round Lab Created Diamonds of Different Carat Weights

If you compare lab grown diamonds to natural diamonds, you very quickly find that the two have more in common than you might think. A lab grown diamond will shine just as much as a natural diamond. Similarly, it will have the exact same chemical composition and look just as beautiful in engagement rings as a mined diamond.

In fact, the only difference between lab diamonds and mined diamonds is how the diamonds are created. Mined diamonds are naturally created deep within Earth’s crust and take millions and millions of years to grown under intense heat and pressure. Lab grown diamonds are grown in a lab, but under the same conditions. How are they grown in a lab? Keep reading to find out!

How to Make Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Created Diamonds
Lab Created Diamonds

The creation origin is really where lab grown diamonds and earth mined diamonds differ from one another. To create diamonds, a lab has to recreate the high pressure and intense heat that occur naturally within the Earth’s crust. The two different methods of doing so are Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT).

Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamonds

Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab Grown Diamonds

To create CVD lab grown diamonds, a thin slice of diamond seed is placed within a sealed chamber that is heated to around 800 degrees Celsius. The chamber then fills with carbon-rich gas, which ionizes into plasma.

This breaks the molecular bonds in the gases and allows the pure carbon to adhere to the diamond seed crystal. After a period of time, enough carbon has adhered to the crystal structure to allow a rough diamond to be harvested and eventually cut and polished.

HPHT Diamonds

Loose Lab Grown Diamond
Loose Lab Created Diamond

HPHT creates lab grown diamonds in one of three ways: a belt press, a cubic press, or a split sphere press. In each of these processes, an environment with extreme pressure and high temperatures is created to foster the growth of a diamond. In fact, the starter diamond seed withstands about 1500 degrees Celsius and 1.5 million pounds of pressure per square inch to form a diamond, which is then cooled and harvested.

Can People Tell the Difference Between Lab Created and Real Diamonds?

Lab Grown vs. Mined Diamond Comparison
Lab Grown vs. Mined Diamond Comparison

To the naked eye, a lab grown diamond is indistinguishable from a mined diamond. Only trained jewelers using special equipment are able to tell the difference between the two.

Reputable institutions, like the International Gemological Institute, certify lab created diamonds. Such laboratories use a diamond tester that specializes in distinguishing mined diamonds from lab grown diamonds.

But once more, the determination of lab grown vs natural is not as important as the quality of the diamond itself. The diamond industry grades lab grown diamonds under the same set of specifications and requirements as natural diamonds.

Pros of Lab Created Diamonds

Luisant Ring

If the lab grown diamond is exactly the same as a natural diamond, are there any pros to choosing a lab grown diamond over a natural diamond? You bet!

Lab Created Diamonds Have the Same Sparkle

Diamond Jewelry
Diamond Wedding Jewelry

It’s true, folks– lab created diamonds sparkle just like natural ones. This means that whether you’re looking for a lab grown diamond engagement ring, necklace, or earrings, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll maintain the same beauty and sparkle as those mined from the Earth.

Lab Grown Diamonds Are More Affordable

Oval Engagement Ring
Oval Engagement Ring

Lab created diamonds are significantly cheaper than natural diamonds; on average, you can expect to save around 20-40% when you purchase lab made diamonds. And while you’re still paying more for your diamond than you would if you were to buy cubic zirconia, you won’t be sacrificing any durability or beauty.

So why do lab grown diamonds cost so much less than natural diamonds?

First, there’s the cost of mining. Earth mined diamonds are dangerous and expensive, and diamond mining has its own set of risks. These include potential cave-ins or chemical leaks that can pollute nearby water sources.

Next, there’s the cost of cutting. Cutting natural diamonds allows them to sparkle in their full glory. However, this process is also expensive because it requires both special tools and a lot of time to get it right.

Finally, lab created diamonds don’t have all the same ethical issues surrounding them as natural diamonds do—namely that some mined diamond purchases have supported unethical labor practices in Africa.

Lab Grown Diamonds Save the Earth

Yellow Gold Engagement Ring
Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

The process of mining diamonds is extremely destructive to the Earth and its inhabitants. In fact, it’s estimated that for every 1 carat of diamond purchased, 1700 tons of earth must be excavated.

So what’s the solution? Lab created diamonds.

Lab diamonds look just like mined ones. The only difference is that they’re assembled in a lab from carbon atoms instead of being mined from the Earth. This means no deforestation or habitat destruction!

Lab Grown Diamonds Are Ethical

Loose Diamonds
Loose Diamonds

While natural diamonds have undergone worldwide reform thanks to the federal trade commission and the Kimberley Accord, there are still harmful diamonds sold and enjoyed today. In fact, it’s estimated that 5-10% of all diamonds in the world are still illegally traded.

When you purchase a lab created diamond, you are able to bypass the harmful diamond industry that contributes to human rights violations. Consider it this way: with a lab created diamond, you don’t have to choose between a beautiful or ethical stone. You can have your cake and eat it too!

Lab Created Diamonds Worth vs. Mined Diamonds Worth

Loose Diamonds
Loose Diamonds

In general, lab created diamonds tend to have a lower resale value than mined diamonds. But don’t let this stop you from considering a lab grown diamond for your engagement ring.

You’ll find that diamonds don’t hold up well under the scrutiny of financial analysis. They simply don’t offer anything above average in terms of return on investment (ROI). But are you really going to purchase a big diamond engagement ring just so you can sell it in ten years?

Check Out Clean Origin’s Selection of Stunning Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Created Diamond Earrings
Lab Created Diamond Earrings

Clean Origin is a leading online retailer of lab created diamonds. Clean Origin offers a wide variety of brilliant lab created diamonds in every style available. From stunning solitaires to vintage inspired settings and unique heart shaped diamonds, Clean Origin has something for everyone.

We dedicate our practices to providing you with the best quality diamonds at an affordable price. Our diamonds are carefully crafted by skilled craftsmen, all of whom are trained to ensure that each diamond meets our high standards of quality.