Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds: Your Complete Guide

Shakespeare once wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ Does that mean that a diamond not created by the earth is as beautiful?

Lab grown diamonds are growing in popularity, with surprisingly little difference in appearance to natural diamonds born from the earth.

Today, we’ll be defining lab grown diamonds, examining their creation, exploring their popularity and answering your most common, burning questions.

lab grown vs fake diamonds

Want to discover the very depths of lab grown diamonds and how they stand up against real diamonds? Find out with the Perth diamonds expert at Claremont Diamonds.

What are lab grown diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds, are chemically and physically alike to naturally mined diamonds.
Rest assured that they exhibit the same levels of fire, scintillation, and sparkle as their naturally mined (aka real diamond) counterparts.

How are lab grown diamonds made?

Lab grown diamonds are not sourced from the earth but created in laboratories across the world.

lab grown diamonds

According to Dr James Shigley of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), there are two methods of making lab grown diamonds:

  • The first method is via high pressure and high temperature (HPHT), whereby the diamonds are produced in a laboratory by mimicking the conditions that form natural diamonds in the earth. Upon completion, a distinctively shaped lab grown diamond crystal is created.
  • The second method is known as chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and it incorporates the breaking down of molecules of a carbon rich gas, like methane, into carbon and hydrogen atoms. From here, the atoms are deposited onto diamond seeks, resulting in a square, broad and flat diamond crystal.

Either method roughly requires less than a month for diamond growing. However, it’s CVD-grown diamonds that necessitate further treatments such as heat or irradiation to change or enhance colouring after the growth process.

Lab diamond vs natural: The sparkling rise

In the middle of the 20th century, man-made diamonds were first produced in a laboratory and deemed suitable for industrial use. Some 20 years later, diamonds of gem quality were first successfully produced.
It wasn’t until the mid-2010s, not all that long ago, that colourless lab grown diamonds entered and made their mark on the gem jewellery scene.

Lab grown diamonds shine as bright as real diamonds and can be customisable to meet nearly all color and look combinations.

Diamond buyers seek out lab grown diamonds because if you put one next to a natural diamond of similar colour, clarity, carat weight and cut – it would be impossible to tell the difference between them, with the untrained eye.

Do lab grown diamonds hold value as natural diamonds?

Many people believe that real diamonds equate to diamonds organically grown and naturally made within the earth. However, lab grown diamonds are still real diamonds in their composition. Make sure you know the difference between real and fake diamonds.
But what about the ability for lab grown diamonds to hold their value?

real diamonds vs lab grown

Despite the belief that lab grown diamonds hold no value whatsoever, their value will ultimately be determined by the ongoing demand. While lab grown diamonds are chemically the same as natural diamonds, unlike real diamonds, they can never be considered as investment grade.

As a man-made product, it’s unlikely that the demand for lab grown diamonds will ever outperform supply, but there is a continued retail demand for lab grown diamonds. While there may be some resale value (variable), their ultimate value will likely not appreciate.
So, time will eventually tell.

Can lab grown diamonds replace the real thing?

Diamonds formed within the earth over millions and billions of years grow differently from the diamonds designed and brought to life in a lab over mere weeks (generally 6 to 10 weeks for full development).
The two methods which were touched on up above, HPHT and CVD, provide a different growth morphology – which essentially entails how the growth conditions inevitably influence the shape of the diamond crystal.

There’s a definite place for lab grown diamonds in the market as they’re very accessible to consumers – especially for those after rare diamond colours, which is out of financial reach for most consumers.

As it stands, while nearly identical in all ways apart from formulation, consumers still prefer the superiority, unique and irreproducible value of real, natural diamonds.

Are lab grown diamonds as strong as real diamonds?

Yes! The physical and chemical makeup of real diamonds and lab grown diamonds are almost identical.
This means lab grown diamonds are essentially as strong as real diamonds.

As both diamonds will have similar physical properties if subjected to authenticity tests, they will likely both pass with flying colours.

Remember, a lab diamond is a diamond and not a diamond simulant like a cubic zirconia or moissanite – both of which lack the same chemical and physical properties of natural and lab grown diamonds.

Can you spot the difference between lab grown and natural diamonds?

Let’s delve into the depths of the growth process of the two methods of lab grown diamonds in comparison to natural diamonds.

  • Natural diamonds are typically octahedron in shape, growing in eight directions.
  • HPHT lab grown diamonds are cuboctahedron in shape, growing in 14 directions.
  • Finally, CVD lab grown diamonds are in the shape of a cube, growing in one direction.

The untrained eye will be unable to spot the difference between a lab grown diamond and a natural diamond. However, professional jewellers and gemologists can, at times, spot the difference. We pay very close attention to where and how the light enters the diamond, because in some cases, it will appear crystal-like with dominant blue refraction.

Microscopes are used to pinpoint tiny differences found the diamond’s inclusions which are indicative of how it came to be. Commonly, the synthetic status is laser-etched into the girdle they’re placed in, which is another thing a professional jeweller will look for.

With this in mind, you should always receive a certificate stating where the diamond came from, at the time of purchase.We hope this guide has shed a light on the beauty that is lab grown diamonds.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and a diamond carefully created in a lab is just as stunning as those naturally mined.

Looking for beautiful, real loose diamonds or diamond jewellery?
Look no further than the home of Perth diamonds where care, creativity and commitment meet.
Book an appointment at Claremont Diamonds today.

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