Lab grown diamonds are sometimes called “fake diamonds” but, chemically, they do have the same composition as real diamonds. Today, scientists can grow diamonds that are, at a molecular level, the same as the diamonds that come from the earth. So why not get a lab grown diamond?
Well, everyone can make their own individual choice about whether they prefer natural or lab grown diamonds. But at Diamond Studs, we only offer authentic diamonds, diamonds that were formed in the earth’s crust over many millions of years. There are a number of reasons why we prefer real diamonds and do not sell lab-grown diamonds. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at real diamonds vs. lab grown diamonds to explain why we only offer authentic diamonds.
Real Diamonds vs. Lab Grown Diamonds: How They’re Made
People like diamonds because they’re beautiful. But another major part of the appeal is how a diamond is formed. Real diamonds are formed deep in the earth’s crust over more than a billion years, which is a wonder of nature. Diamonds are associated with eternity because each of the world’s diamonds has been around since before the advent of the human race.
On the other hand, it takes around six to ten weeks to create a lab grown diamond. In a lab, scientists mimic the conditions that produce diamonds in the earth’s crust. This produces a diamond with the same chemical composition as a real diamond, yet this type of diamond does not carry the same history and meaning as a real diamond.
Real Diamonds vs. Lab Grown Diamonds: The 4Cs
Are lab grown diamonds higher quality than real diamonds? No. Just like real diamonds, lab grown diamonds are all different, so there are lab grown diamonds of many different qualities. However, the qualities of lab grown diamonds are not assessed in the same way a real diamond’s would be.
Before every diamond is sold, a grading organization (such as the GIA or EGL USA) assesses its quality and issues a grading report. The 4Cs of a real diamond (color, clarity, carat, and cut) are noted on this report. But lab grown diamonds are not evaluated in the same way as real diamonds, so what you’ll see on their grading reports will be different.
After the GIA inspects lab grown diamonds, they issue a Synthetic Diamond Grading Report. Lab grown diamonds will have things that real diamonds do not have, like metallic inclusions, weak strain patterns, certain colors of ultraviolet fluorescence, and certain types of color zoning. The GIA will note these things when determining whether or not a diamond they’re grading is natural or lab grown, then provide a Synthetic Diamond Grading Report, which has a simplistic evaluation of the lab grown diamond. This type of report puts qualities into categories (for example, “near colorless” rather than a letter grade of G, H, I, or J for color), giving you a less precise understanding of its qualities.
Real Diamonds vs. Lab Grown Diamonds: Pricing and Value
You might think that lab grown diamonds would be much cheaper than real diamonds but that’s not the case. Many retailers who sell lab grown diamonds say that they cost 30% less than real diamonds. Yet, if you actually price compare lab grown diamonds and real diamonds (taking a look at diamonds with similar qualities), they’re often much closer in price. And, still, even if lab grown diamonds always cost 30% less than real diamonds, whether or not a lab grown diamond should have a price near that of a real diamond is debatable.
Real diamonds have resale value. As has been shown over thousands of years, people desire real diamonds and are willing to pay high prices for them, especially if they are particularly high quality or rare. The same cannot be said for lab grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds do not hold their value the same way real diamonds do. One reason is that creating lab grown diamonds is like printing money— the more you print, the less its worth. And, generally, lab grown diamonds are just not considered as desirable as real diamonds by most people, which means that they simply don’t have a good resale value.
A Note on Other Diamond Simulants
Diamond vs. Moissanite
In addition to lab grown diamonds, there are also a number of lab created simulants that can pose as real diamonds. Some common examples include cubic zirconium, clear quartz, glass, and moissanite. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with diamond simulants, so long as they are clearly marked. Diamond alternatives can be a perfectly fine choice for your jewelry as long as you’re aware of, and happy with, what you’ll be getting.