The diamond engagement ring is a long-standing tradition. We often associate diamonds with love, commitment and the ultimate expression of partnership. Our parents and grandparents used to propose with brilliant solitaire rings that glittered beside the glow of candlelight. But today’s generations are looking for alternatives to the traditional diamonds of previous generations. Lab-grown diamonds are seeing an unprecedented rise in popularity. The demand for lab-grown diamonds has been steadily increasing in the last few years as a more eco-friendly and human rights focused option for engagement rings and other jewelry. So, how do they really compare to mined diamonds?
What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are made through a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which is when carbon atoms are deposited on a diamond seed crystal to create a new diamond. The process of creating a lab-grown diamond starts with the same initial idea that went into the creation of the first natural diamond: carbon. Carbon atoms free from any other substances are then heated to extreme temperatures until they form into a crystallized shape. Next, this crystal is compressed under intense pressure and heat until it becomes super hard and reflective. The final product is then cut, polished, and sold just like any other gemstone or diamond. When they’re created this way, they’re essentially identical to mined diamonds, but they come with some added benefits.
Lab-grown diamonds cost less than mined diamonds—and they’re not just cheap knockoffs. They’re chemically identical to mined diamonds and have the same physical properties as well: hardness, clarity, and sparkle. On top of it all, because there’s no mining involved, there’s no need to destroy landscapes and habitats when creating these gems. Lab-grown diamonds also have a smaller carbon footprint than natural ones—most of their carbon comes from the air around us rather than fossil fuels or other resources used to extract them from the earth. And while greener alternatives used to only be available at high prices, lab-grown diamonds are available at prices comparable (and often more affordable) to their mined counterparts.
Why Do People Want Them?
The main reason people choose lab-grown diamonds over mined diamonds is that they are more environmentally friendly and ethically sound. Growing a diamond requires only 1/5th of the carbon emissions necessary to mine a diamond, as well as less water usage, energy use and waste production. Many consumers also prefer lab-grown diamonds because of their consistent quality and value compared to mined diamonds, which can vary due to factors like the quality of the mine from which it’s extracted or its history of ownership.
Lab grown diamonds are almost identical to natural diamonds in appearance—the only difference is that they can be even more perfect than nature’s best work! It’s possible to grow a perfect diamond in the lab that looks exactly like the one you already own. It’s also possible to grow a diamond with a special color only found in nature. Lab-grown diamonds give consumers more choice and help lower the price of diamonds.
Not all jewelers sell lab-grown diamonds just yet so be sure to look for companies that specialize in lab-grown diamonds. You’ll find these diamonds are available in a number of shapes and sizes without the significant price tag that comes with traditional diamonds. The variety of shapes available is made possible by the lab growing process as these diamonds don’t require the same polishing and refining techniques as other diamonds, making them easier to shape.
Why Are They More Affordable?
Not only do lab-grown diamonds generally cost less, but they contain a much higher level of carbon compared to natural diamonds, resulting in a brilliant white hue that is incredibly rare in nature. This means that instead of relying on the forces of nature to provide you with a sparkling stone of stunning brilliance – which can be cut with high levels of lasers and normal, day-to-day activity will cause them to chip or shatter into a million pieces – you could have the same dazzle any time you please.
Choosing jewelry that aligns with your values and morals is made easier by lab grown diamonds. Companies that utilize lab-grown diamonds are changing the way that jewelry is made and bought. By opting for more ethically sourced pieces, you can rest assured that your sparkle is not dulled by the environmental impact created by traditional mining techniques. The knowledge that lab-grown diamonds are chemically the same as traditional diamonds without the ethical impact should help make this purchase an easy one.