Lab Grown Diamonds
Diamonds! When you hear the word, chances are you think of rare and beautiful colourless stones found in nature that do great at enhancing the attractiveness of engagement rings or necklaces. You may know people who are good at crafting those into unforgettable pieces of jewellery. When you think of diamond production, you conjure the image of giant factories that dig into mines or mountains for the precious stones and thus they pose a threat to the local environment.
What if we told you that it is possible to actually grow diamonds in a lab without resorting to toiling human labour and machines that dig the earth? It is probably not something you even thought possible, or maybe you think the result would not be satisfactory. Lab grown diamonds are indistinguishable siblings of mined diamonds and just as charming on any piece of jewellery.
Lab Grown Diamonds – What are They?
Lab grown diamonds are created in specialised laboratories that aim to replicate the natural conditions for the forming of a diamond. As you probably know, it takes a specific temperature and circumstances for naturally-made diamonds, and these laboratories do their best in providing these so as to create beautiful and very real products.
The technology that creates the lab grown diamonds focuses on high temperature and pressure that produces a stone barely indistinguishable from the one you find in a mine. In fact, for the untrained eye, they appear the same. Additionally, laboratories have the tools to also dye the diamonds into various colours of the customer’s choosing.
Caring for the Environment
In recent years, the whole world has started paying much more attention to how we care for the planet we live on and trying to reduce the impact of human industrial activity on the climate. Many industries have gone too far in destroying the environment and this led to many debates on how to contain climate change before it is too late. It is no secret that the diamond industry is often suspiciously secretive on its carbon footprint and the negative implications of the technology and drilling it uses.
Lab grown diamonds use significantly less electricity for their production and do not rely on questionable labour. This holds true not only for electricity but also for water usage and the process’ carbon footprint. It is reported that such laboratories cut the usage of these resources up to three times.
Expectedly, sceptics tend to bring up a number of things that they believe make lab grown diamonds inferior to natural diamonds. One of the main arguments they use is aesthetics.
These man-made diamonds are allegedly just not as shiny and pretty as their mined counterparts. This could not be further from the truth. Lab grown diamonds have essentially the same physical properties as “real” diamonds, and thus their beauty is not impeded in any way. In fact, such a diamond, if enough was put into it, could become as alluring as any natural precious stone.
One of the most important factors when choosing jewellery for a partner or a loved one is surely the price. Everyone knows how costly it can be to purchase the perfect ring, necklace, bracelet or earrings, especially if they include a precious stone such as a diamond. This often leads to anxiety and tedious budget planning just so we can afford to buy the piece.
The good news is, lab grown diamonds are two to three times cheaper than mined diamonds.
This is mainly because the former does not rely on hard labour, giant mining gear and other costs. The truth is, you can find an amazing lab grown diamond for your partner’s engagement ring at a shockingly lower price.
It is always worth exploring your options when choosing jewellery and if you have the time – definitely consider buying a lab grown diamond. Your wallet may thank you for it.
What about Physical Properties?
If lab grown diamonds are cheaper than mined diamonds, surely they do not contain the same elements, right?
Wrong. As far as chemistry is concerned, a lab grown diamond is exactly the same as a natural diamond. They exhibit the same characteristics, the same shine, light refraction and size, and can be subject to the same classification criteria.
Diamonds are hard and they have a degree of cutting potential. Any lab grown diamond has these properties and if done right – is absolutely indistinguishable from mined diamonds.
What are the Differences?
It is virtually impossible for the naked eye to distinguish between a lab grown diamond and a mined diamond. Since they have the same properties and chemical structure, the task of differentiating between them becomes extremely hard.
The only way to do this is to use magnifying tools and observe the diamonds’ inclusion – the imperfections in their structure. Still, only a professional would be able to pull this off. It takes millenia for a natural diamond to form under the surface of the earth and for special conditions, such as high temperature and pressure, to be met. A laboratory can artificially create these conditions and produce a perfect copy of a diamond that has every right to be called such.
Lab Grown vs. Mined
At the end of the day, choosing between a lab grown diamond and a mined diamond is a personal preference. A choice that would eventually be based on principles rather than on real, tangible differences between the two diamonds.
There is nothing in a mined diamond that makes it better, more beautiful, or shinier; it all comes down to preference.
A lab grown diamond would save you not only money, but also potentially time – if nature takes thousands of years to form a diamond, a lab can do the same job within a month’s time.