back to What is Lab-Grown?

FTC Rules Lab Diamonds are Real Diamonds

by Haley Anhut
Last updated on January 14, 2022

Diamonds. Just say the word, and it conjures up images of dancing, refracted light, and flawless, glass-like clarity. And diamonds are not only beautiful; their unique structure allows for a natural strength that is not only useful but also highly symbolic. Diamonds have become closely associated with human relationships, representing unbreakable bonds and eternal commitment. As such, It’s not hard to see why diamonds are among the most valuable gemstones in the world.

 But what about synthetic diamonds?

What Are Synthetic Diamonds?

The natural processes that produce diamonds (carbon atoms deep within the earth are forced together under extreme heat and pressure, to the point where they begin to form crystalline structures) require potentially millions of years. Additionally, locating and retrieving natural diamonds is expensive, difficult, and dangerous. However, with advanced modern technology, the same processes that create diamonds in the earth can be replicated in the lab. 

The end result? Synthetic diamonds — created in a fraction of the time and without the need for mining.

It sounds like a good alternative, doesn’t it? After all, why send workers down into dangerous mine shafts when we can create our own diamonds in the safety of a controlled environment? But these new man-made diamonds bring with them certain questions — namely, how do lab diamonds stack up when compared to the real deal?

Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Real Diamonds?  

As stated above, lab diamonds are created using the same basic processes as mined diamonds: extreme heat and pressure forcing carbon atoms together. And although these processes are occurring in a lab (instead of in the bowels of the earth), the end result is the same. And when we say “same,” we mean the same. 

Man-made diamonds are chemically and structurally identical to natural diamonds. There really is no difference. 

Still, one of the most common questions that we receive from potential customers is, “What’s the difference between a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond?” And, although the answer has always been the same — the only difference is their origin — a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruling from July 2018 has recently substantiated this fact.

FTC Sets the Record Straight

After seeking public opinion on necessary revisions to the FTC Jewelry Guidelines, some necessary changes were made to, “…below-threshold alloys, precious metal content of products containing more than one precious metal, surface application of precious metals, lead-glass filled stones, “cultured” diamonds, treated pearls, varietals, and misuse of the word “gem.”

Amongst these changes, the FTC expanded its definition of “diamond.”

The definition previously stated: “A diamond is a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system.” However, in their ruling, the FTC agreed that the word ‘natural’ is no longer necessary.

“When the commission first used this definition in 1956, there was only one type of diamond product on the market — natural stones mined from the earth,” the FTC said. “Since then, technological advances have made it possible to create diamonds in a laboratory. These stones have essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as mined diamonds. Thus, they are diamonds.”

Essentially, the commission agreed that a diamond’s origin — whether it be from the earth or from a lab — was not a necessary characteristic to validate it as a true diamond.

Clean Origin

So, what does this announcement mean for lab-grown diamonds, like Clean Origin?

“When the FTC made their announcement earlier this year, it was a huge win for Clean Origin,” says Tony Walsh, COO of Clean Origin. “Our goal is to offer truly conflict-free diamonds for a broader market.  We hope that this ruling will encourage more couples to consider the benefits of lab-grown diamonds.”

Lab-grown diamonds offer so many benefits that mined diamonds cannot — they’re environmentally friendly, ethically sourced, and more affordable. The diamond experts in this field have understood the difference between lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds — or lack thereof — from the beginning. However, this FTC ruling now gives an easy answer to our most popular question. Yes, lab-grown diamonds ARE real diamonds. The government now says so.

But What About the Price?

There’s no doubt that so-called synthetic diamonds are just as beautiful and strong as natural ones. Lab diamonds can also be created in a range of color and clarity options, and may even exhibit inclusions (such as fractures, tubes, etc.) just like mined diamonds. But aside from how they’re created and where they come from, there is still one important factor to consider when it comes to choosing between lab-created diamonds vs. real diamonds: price. And that’s a good thing.

On average, lab-grown diamonds are 20%–30% less expensive than mined diamonds. What does that mean for diamond buyers? It means that for the same amount that you’d invest in a mined diamond, you can afford a stone that is 20%–30% larger. And because there’s more to price than just money, it’s also worth noting that lab diamonds are 100% ethical and conflict-free. Bigger diamonds with lower negative impact? That sounds like something everyone can afford to enjoy.

Once You Go Lab, You’ll Never Go Back 

Why pay more for unethical, environmentally unfriendly diamonds, when you can get identical gems, straight from the lab to you? Check out our selection of Clean Origin diamonds, and see for yourself just how natural “synthetic” can be. You’ll never want to go back to mined diamonds ever again.