Lab Grown Diamonds
By Michael Trio
What is a Lab Grown Diamond?
Amid all the discussion on the difference between a Lab-Grown Diamond and a Natural Diamond, the common question we receive is “Are Lab-Grown Diamonds considered Natural Diamonds?”
Sure, they share many similar characteristics. But what is really the biggest difference between the two?
The answer lies in their origins. Lab Grown Diamonds, also known as Man Made Diamonds or Lab Created Diamonds, are cultivated in rigidly maintained laboratory environments that utilizes innovative technological processes that duplicate the conditions in which Natural Diamonds originate from beneath the Earth. This process usually takes between two weeks to two months, which directly contrasts how long it takes to create a Natural Diamond, which could take up to a million years!
One big misconception that many people have regarding Lab Grown Diamonds is that Lab Grown Diamonds are synthetic diamonds, or fake diamonds. This is not the case, as Lab Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds are both carbon crystals, and both diamonds share the same chemical and optical properties.
Benefits of Lab Grown Diamonds
For every carat of Natural Diamond that is mined, an estimated 100 sq ft of land is disturbed, and almost 6000 lbs of mineral waste is created.
Research has shown that mined Natural Diamonds result in 1 injury among every 1,000 workers annually, compared to none for Lab Grown Diamonds.
Due to the shorter supply chain as well as the shorter time taken to produce them, Lab Grown Diamonds can cost between 20-30% less than mined Natural Diamonds.
How are Lab Grown Diamonds Graded and Certified?
Lab Grown Diamonds are graded and certified via the similar methods used to grade Natural Diamonds.
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC)
- American Gem Society (AGS)
- International Gemological Institute (IGI)
- Gemological Science International (GSI)
Before grading, each diamond is sent to a gem lab that specializes in grading diamonds. Majority of these labs grade stringently using the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color, carat - more on those later), however, a select few use their own criteria.
The diamond grading process is similar for all diamond certification labs. Each diamond is graded independently by several lab gemologists, the results compiled and analyzed in order to provide the final grade.
This process is designed to grade each diamond without bias. However, it’s not uncommon for a diamond to receive different grades from not only a different lab, but even the originating lab for second viewing.
For this reason, there are differing opinions amongst both consumers and diamond retailers as to which lab is the ‘best’. However, it’s essential to note that each opinion is subjective and that each lab possesses its own pros and cons.
Each diamond retailer has its trusted lab for diamond grading. Thus, should diamond certification be an important factor in your purchase, you should have a candid conversation with your jeweler regarding which lab they use and reasons for doing so.
Above all, jewelers want you to be confident in your purchase, so don’t worry about asking questions in order to find the most suitable Lab Grown Diamond or Natural Diamond for your engagement ring or jewellery.
Each diamond, Lab Grown Diamond or Natural Diamond, is evaluated using the 4 C’s - cut, clarity, color and carat. Read more.