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Lab Created
Diamonds

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  • Eco Friendly For every carat of diamond that is mined, nearly 100 sq ft of land is disturbed and almost 6000 lbs of mineral waste is created.
  • Ethically Sourced All in all, mined diamonds result in 1 injury for every 1,000 workers annually, while lab-grown diamonds result in zero.
  • Competitively Priced No diamond is free, but due to the shorter supply chain, lab-grown diamonds can be anywhere from 20-30% less expensive than mined diamonds.

LAB-CREATED VS. MINED

The number one question we get is “Are lab-created diamonds real diamonds?” (also called man-made diamonds or lab-grown diamonds)

The answer is a very simple yes.

The only thing that makes a lab-created diamond different from a natural diamond is its origin. A lab-created diamond is “grown” inside a lab using cutting-edge technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process. The result is a man-made diamond that is chemically, physically, and optically the same as those grown beneath the Earth’s surface.

“[Lab-created diamonds] are not fakes. They’re not cubic zirconias. They have all the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond.” Stephen ­Morisseau, a spokesman for the Gemological Institute of America, a nonprofit organization that oversees the international diamond grading system. Source

Sometimes, lab-created diamonds are referred to as synthetic diamonds. While not technically inaccurate, term “synthetic” may be the reason people believe lab-created diamonds are “fake.”

If we compare them to other popular diamond simulants, it’s obvious that manufactured diamonds, in fact, the real deal.

WHAT IS A LAB CREATED DIAMOND?

As lab-created diamonds continue to grow in popularity, diamond shoppers will be asking themselves this exact question. But, the only one who can answer that question is the shopper.

It all boils down to what is important to you. You may choose a mined diamond because you feel they hold a certain significance and are one of nature’s miracles with a mysterious origin.

Or, you may be attracted to a lab-created diamond because you feel they signify a modern love and the incredible progression of technology.

While some may want to debate which type of diamond is “better,” in reality, mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds aren’t in competition with one another. Diamonds represent love, and love is love.

The true significance of the diamond you choose isn’t in its origin. It’s not how much you paid. It’s not how it’s graded. It’s not its size.

The significance of the diamond you choose is the love it represents.

Properties Comparison

Lab Grown Diamonds
Mined Diamonds
Chemical Composition Cristaline Structure Refractive Index Dispersion Hardness Density
C Cubic 2.42 0.044 30 3.52
C Cubic 2.42 0.044 30 3.52

Shop By Shape

Our team of diamond experts has hand-picked the selection of diamonds available on our site. At any one moment, you’ll only be looking at stones that meet our minimum standards of quality in terms of cut, color, clarity, and carat. Although you still have plenty of options, we’ve narrowed down our selection to only include stones that are flawless to the naked eye.

HOW ARE LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS GROWN?

Before we talk about how lab-created diamonds are made, it’s important to understand how mined diamonds are formed. The processes are extremely similar - only one happens naturally while the other occurs in a lab

Mined Diamonds Geologists believe that diamonds formed deep within the Earth between 1 billion to 3 billion years ago. While they don’t know exactly how those diamonds came to be, they believe the process starts with carbon dioxide that is buried roughly 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.

The carbon dioxide is exposed to heat in excess of 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and put under extreme pressure of roughly 727,000 pounds per square inch. The diamonds are then transported from deep within the Earth’s core to the surface by way of deep volcanic explosions.

Lab-created Diamonds There are two processes labs use to grow diamonds - High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

WHAT IS A LAB CREATED DIAMOND?

HPHT diamonds are made using one of three manufacturing process: a belt press, the cubic press, and the split-sphere (BARS) press. All of these processes create an environment of extremely high pressure and temperature conducive to diamond growth.

An HPHT diamond begins as a small diamond seed that is placed into carbon. Using one of the manufacturing processes above, the seed is exposed to temperatures of about 1500 degrees Celsius and pressurized to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch.

The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed. It is then carefully cooled to form a pure carbon diamond.

A CVD diamond begins as a thin slice of diamond seed, which is often an HPHT produced diamond. The diamond seed is placed in a sealed chamber and heated to around 800 degrees Celsius.

The chamber is filled with a carbon rich-gas, like Methane, and other gases. The gases are ionized into plasma using technology similar to that of microwaves or lasers. The ionization breaks the molecular bonds in the gases, and the pure carbon adheres to the diamond seed and slowly crystallizes.

HOW ARE LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS CERTIFIED AND GRADED?

Lab-created diamonds are graded and certified using the same process as mined diamonds.

Diamonds are sent to a gem lab that specializes in grading diamonds. The majority of these labs grade using the 4c’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat — more on those later), however, a select few use their own criteria.

The most popular diamond certification labs are:
Gemological Institute of America (GIA)|Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) American Gem Society (AGS)|International Gemological Institute (IGI)
Gemological Science International (GSI)

The diamond grading process is roughly the same for all of the diamond certification labs. Each diamond is graded independently by several gemologists at the lab. The individual grades are compiled and analyzed to determine the final grade.

This process is designed to provide each diamond with an unbiased grade. However, it’s not uncommon for a diamond to get a different grade, not only from a different lab but from the same lab if sent back for a second grading.

For this reason, there are a lot of differing opinions amongst consumers and diamond retailers as to which lab is the “best.” But, it’s important to keep in mind that those opinions are completely subjective. Each lab, much like anything in life, has its pros and cons.

A diamond retailer chooses which lab they use because they trust that lab to grade diamonds fairly. If diamond certification is an important factor in your purchase, you should have a candid conversation with your jeweler about which lab they use and why.

More than anything, jewelers want you to be confident in your purchase, so don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to find the best lab-created diamonds for your engagement ring or jewelry.

A diamond is evaluated using the 4c’s - cut, clarity, color, and carat. Basically, they judge the diamond on how well it has been cut down from its raw form into a jewel, how flawless and clear it is, and its size.

Below you’ll find an explanation of each category and the different measurements used for each.

"The shopping process with Clean Origin is remarkably simple and straightforward; they make buying diamonds online about as easy as ordering a replacement filter for your fridge or a pair of shoes for your kid."

"Clean Origin is what happens when three deeply-embedded jewelry industry executives put their heads together to create a business aimed at the future of the jewelry market—Millennials and GenZ customers."

"Long story short: we trust these guys (who have been in the jewelry industry for 3 generations!) and the proof is right there in the stunning diamonds!"

"It seems the tides are changing, and Clean Origin is at the forefront of the movement away from mined diamonds. Their lab-grown diamonds are identical to real diamonds, down to the molecular level."

"Even gemologists can’t tell the difference between a mined diamond and man-made diamond of the same grade without high-tech magnification or expensive special equipment. "

BENEFITS OF LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS

Less expensive The price of a lab-created diamonds tends to be less than mined diamonds.

However, this does not mean that a lab-created diamond is “cheap.” In fact, the capital costs for lab-grown and mined diamonds are pretty similar.

So, why are lab-created diamonds less expensive? Mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds have the exact same costs when it comes to cutting, polishing, and inspection. However, up to that point, the costs and processes are very different.

Mined diamonds have a long supply chain. To get a diamond from its raw form to a retail-ready gemstone requires miners, distributors, cutters, polishers, jewelry manufacturers, and retailers.

On the flip side, the lab-created diamond supply chain is much shorter by skipping the mining process. To put it simply, a lab-created diamond touches fewer hands, making it ultimately less expensive.

Ethical Several years ago, the mined diamond industry came under scrutiny with unethical production practices were exposed. These diamonds, sometimes referred to as blood or conflict diamonds, were funding violence and exploiting miners and their families.

Thanks to the Kimberley Process, established in 2003, these unethical practices have been significantly reduced. In fact, it’s estimated that 99.9% of natural diamonds are now conflict-free.

However, if avoiding conflict or blood diamonds is important to you, lab-created diamonds provide peace a mind that a natural diamond often cannot, and you may find reassurance in knowing the exact origin of your diamond.

Environmentally Kind As with the mining of any natural resource, the diamond mining has a significant impact on the environment. To be fair, diamond mining companies are fully aware of that impact and have taken steps to try to minimize the effect they have on the ecosystems around them.

However, lab-created diamonds are inherently and significantly less detrimental to the environment as it takes considerably less energy to grow a diamond in a lab than it does to dig it out of the ground. In fact, it is actually in the interest of the growers to minimize the amount of energy they use in the process to save money and decrease their costs.

“Cultured, or lab-grwon, diamonds are exactly like mined diamonds, only they are cleaner, more sustainable, and guaranteed to be 100% conflict-free.”

LAB GROWN DIAMONDS & CLEAN ORIGIN

We’ve been in the jewelry business for over 100 years, and our passion from the beginning has always been diamonds, jewelry, and caring for you, our customer. Because of this, we have chosen to design all of our jewelry using lab-created diamonds.

Whether it’s for an engagement ring, a unique wedding band, or any other kind of jewelry, we believe lab-created diamonds offer you a choice - the opportunity to choose a diamond that you can trust to be high quality, affordable, ethical, environmentally friendly, and backed by a 100-day return policy.

You’ve likely heard differing opinions on the quality and value of lab-created diamonds, but the truth is that when it comes to lab-created diamonds and mined diamonds, there is no “better.”

They both produce beautiful, high-quality gemstones, each with an intriguing history, that represent the best feeling in the world - love.

Regardless, we understand that diamonds are a significant investment, and you want (and deserve) the knowledge you need to make an informed purchase.

We designed this guide to be a comprehensive resource to help you learn more about lab-created diamonds. We’ll cover how lab-created diamonds compare to mined diamonds in terms of quality, how they are made, and how their origin makes them different financially, ethically, and environmentally.

FAQ

Are lab created diamonds worth anything?
Lab created diamonds have only become gem quality in the past few years. For that reason, there is not a fully mature secondary market. However, at Clean Origin, we believe that a diamond should be purchased as an expression of your love, not as an investment.
Are lab created diamonds real diamonds?
Yes! Lab created diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to mined diamonds. In 2018 the FTC changed their definition of the term ‘diamond’ to remove the specification that a diamond had to be “natural.” The old definition stated that a diamond was “a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystalized in the isometric system.” This change was implemented as lab grown diamonds were gaining popularity and misinformation was being spread around their validity as real diamonds.
How much is a 1 carat lab diamond?
Like mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds range in price based on the 4 C’s — cut, color, clarity, and carat. You can find 1 carat lab diamonds available for under $1,000, but they range up to over $3,500, depending on quality. Knowing what you’re looking for in terms of the 4 C’s will help narrow down how much you’re likely to spend on your 1 carat lab grown diamond.

Lab grown diamonds, however, can be up to 40% less than mined diamonds, giving you the opportunity to get a bigger or better diamond for your budget.
Is a lab created diamond a cubic zirconia?
No. Lab created diamonds are real diamonds. They are made from carbon, have a mohs hardness level of 10, and a refractive index of 2.42 (exactly the same as natural diamonds). Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, is made from Zirconium Dioxide. It has a mohs hardness of 8.25 and a refractive index of 2.2.

Although at first glance they might appear to look similar to mined or lab diamonds, upon closer look it is easy to tell the difference. The biggest giveaway is the ‘rainbow effect’ that the CZ will give off.
Why are lab diamonds less expensive?
Lab created diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds simply because of their shorter supply chain. Since the diamonds touch fewer hands, they can be anywhere from 20-40% less expensive than their mined counterparts.
Should I buy a lab grown diamond?
That’s totally up to you! However, there are many benefits to buying a lab grown diamond that might help you decide if it’s the right choice.

For starters, lab grown diamonds can be up to 40% less expensive than mined diamonds. This can be a huge advantage to someone with a specific budget or just to get a bigger/better stone.

Lab diamonds are also 100% ethically sourced. Although measures have been put in place over the years to help with the ethical problems in the mined diamond industry, there is still no way to be 100% certain that any one mined diamond is conflict-free.

Man made diamonds are also the more eco-conscious choice. You can learn more about that, here.
Do lab created diamonds test as “real” diamonds?
Yes, because they are real diamonds! Lab created diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to mined diamonds. They share the same refractive index of 2.42 and the same hardness of 10. The only physical difference between the two is a microscopic laser inscription on the bottom of all lab diamonds indicating it is man made. You can see their comparison, below.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Mined Diamonds
Chemical Composition Cristaline Structure Refractive Index Dispersion Hardness Density
C Cubic 2.42 0.044 30 3.52
C Cubic 2.42 0.044 30 3.52
Are lab diamonds flawless?
Nope! Lab created diamonds contain the same levels of flaws, inclusions, imperfections, and color levels as mined diamonds. Contrary to popular belief, lab diamonds are not “perfect diamonds,” they are still graded the exact way that mined diamonds are, using the 4 C’s — cut, color, clarity, and carat.