Everything you've ever wanted to know about lab grown diamonds in 2023
by Sahmani Team
The Ultimate Guide to Lab Grown Diamonds
If you're in the market for a diamond engagement ring or simply want to add a stunning gemstone to your collection, you won't want to miss our guide to lab grown diamonds. From their ethical and eco-friendly production to their affordability and stunning beauty, we've got everything you need to know about these innovative gems.
So you've heard about Lab Grown Diamonds and want answers to questions like:
Are they just fake diamonds?
Are lab grown diamonds cheaper?
Do lab grown diamonds look the same as "real" diamonds?
What makes lab grown diamonds eco friendly?
Where can I find lab grown diamonds near me?
Well friends, we've go your backs...
Scroll down and dive into our definitive FAQ on all things Lab Grown Diamonds to take your knowledge from basic to brilliant starting right now. Read them all or skip to the question you care about most.
1. What is the difference between traditional (earth mined) diamonds and lab grown diamonds?
There is only one difference between traditional mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds: how they are sourced. Mined diamonds are mined from the earth, as the name suggests, while lab-grown diamonds are created above ground in a lab.
Lab-grown diamonds are not fake diamonds or substitutes for the real thing. They are genuine diamonds that are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds. In fact, because they have the exact same properties and appearance as mined diamonds, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission classified lab-grown diamonds as true diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds also have the bonus of being conflict-free and more environmentally friendly.
2.What are the similarities between Lab Grown Diamonds and Mined Diamonds?
Almost everything! Lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds are all real diamonds, with identical physical, chemical and visual characteristics. They are both measured by the 4Cs of cut, color, clarity and carat and classified as true diamonds by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The only differences are where they come from, their environmental impact and cost. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a lab, sustainable and generally cost less – so you get a bigger or higher-quality diamond for the same amount of money.
3. How are lab grown diamonds created?
Lab-grown diamonds are also called cultured or engineered diamonds. They are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments that mimic the earth’s natural diamond growing conditions using advanced technology. The labs use carbon seeds, also known as carbon atoms, to grow the diamonds, which are made of the exact same elements that comprise mined diamonds. Both mined and lab-grown diamonds are types of crystallized carbon, and each one forms in a unique way. Since the lab conditions mimic the earth’s mantle, lab-grown diamonds are not mass-produced in perfect symmetry. Rather, they will have a distinctive shape, color and characteristics, just like mined diamonds.
4. Are mined diamonds more natural because they come from the earth?
Not necessarily. Mined diamonds have a large environmental impact, especially in the communities where they are sourced, and require resources like water and energy to mine. Problems like deforestation and soil erosion can be traced back to diamond mining. Unethical practices are sometimes associated with diamond mining, too, and fair trade diamonds can be expensive. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are a sustainable alternative with minimal environmental impact – just about one-seventh of the impact of mining a diamond. The International Grown Diamond Association also states that they require 85% less water to produce.
5.Are lab grown diamonds, just fake diamonds?
Nope. Lab-grown diamonds have the same qualities as their mined counterparts – visually, chemically and physically. In fact, some lab-grown diamonds are of even greater quality. Both lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds are evaluated with the same 4 Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat. They are certified and graded using the exact same process.
6. Are lab grown diamonds lower quality than mined diamonds
Not at all. As lab-grown diamonds have the exact same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds, they are also identical in quality. Both mined and lab-grown diamonds are classified as true diamonds by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. A high-quality diamond is a high-quality diamond, whether it comes from a lab or the earth. Once they are professionally cut and polished, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference, unless you're a trained gemologist or have specific gemstone detection equipment of course.
7. Do all lab grown diamonds look the same?
Like mined diamonds, every lab-grown diamond is unique. All diamonds are types of crystallized carbon, and will form in a unique way, whether in a lab or under the earth’s crust. Each lab-grown diamond is carefully grown from a carbon seed and will have its own distinctive shape, color and characteristics.
8. What about the cost - do lab grown diamonds cost more or less?
Lab-grown diamonds are generally less expensive than their traditional mined counterparts – so you can get a higher quality diamond or a larger stone for the same price. The average lab-grown diamond costs about 30 to 40 percent less than a mined diamond. Lab-grown diamonds are true diamonds, so they are not cheap, but a shorter supply chain creates greater value for consumers.
9. What makes lab grown diamonds more sustainable (eco friendly)?
Mined diamonds must go through six production steps before reaching the jeweler, and many different industries and businesses are involved. It can be hard to trace the environmental impact and practices of all those players. Some experts even believe that diamond mining is unsustainable at its current pace and the earth’s supply is running out. Because lab-grown diamonds are created above-ground in a controlled environment, they don’t require nearly as much energy, manpower or steps in the supply chain. Mining a diamond uses 85% more water and creates a carbon footprint 7x larger than growing one in a lab.
The Lake at Legon Botanical Gardens in Accra, Ghana
10. Can lab grown diamonds be certified?
All lab-grown jewelry can be certified. For example, International Gemological Laboratories – the same lab that certifies mined diamonds. The International Gemological Laboratories, or IGl, certifies all types of loose diamonds and provides reliable, accurate grading and identification. Certificate numbers are laser inscribed onto the girdle of the diamond (the thin perimeter that divides the crown from the pavilion or the bottom of the diamond). These inscriptions are so small they require magnification to view and cannot be seen with the naked eye. IGl Laboratory Grown diamond reports provide the same information as IGl mined diamond reports. The reports are colored yellow in order to ensure full transparency with consumers.
11. Do lab diamonds test as real diamonds?
Lab created diamonds display the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as natural diamonds, along with the same fire, scintillation, and sparkle. They are real diamonds. Lab created diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds with the naked eye. Lab grown diamonds can be distinguished from natural diamonds if specialized equipment is used to test them.
12.Are all lab grown diamonds flawless?
Like natural diamonds, lab created diamonds will vary in color, clarity, and cut. Each one is unique. Lab created diamonds may contain minor internal or surface inclusions, comparable to high quality natural diamonds. Lab diamonds are evaluated and graded by independent gemological labs that certify natural diamonds, using the same strict standards. 13. Do lab created diamonds get cloudy? Since they are physically and chemically the same as naturally mined diamonds, lab created diamonds do not have a lower durability and will not get cloudy over time.
14. Are lab grown diamonds a good investment?
Customers looking for a mining-free alternative or a larger stone within their budget may prefer lab diamonds as they are generally at a lower price point compared to naturally mined options. As with any gemstone, the resale value can vary over time. Since lab diamonds are a more recent introduction to the market, there is more uncertainty on future pricing, when compared to natural diamonds.
15. Can you insure lab created diamonds?
Yes, just like a mined diamond, lab created diamonds can be insured.
16. What is phosphoresce?
Phosphoresce refers to a phenomenon of a glow in the dark effect that some diamonds will exhibit after being exposed to shortwave UV light. This effect exists in some lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds as a result of an interaction between the UV light and some of the trace elements in the diamond. This effect particularly occurs in some natural, fancy-colored blue diamonds due to the interaction between the UV light, boron, and nitrogen in the gems.
17. Could lab diamonds test as moissanite?
A diamond may be mistakenly identified as a moissanite when using some diamond testers due to their similarity in thermal conductivity. Professionals can easily distinguish between the two gems due to their differing refractive properties, with moissanites being double refractive and diamonds being single refractive.
18. What does it mean if my lab diamond is treated?
This is a standard part of the growing process. Some lab grown diamonds receive an extra dose of high temperature and high pressure after growing, just as naturally growing diamonds would be under extreme heat and pressure in the earth as it grows. Please note, only a selection of our diamonds include treatment on the certificate. Some diamonds may be treated but this will not be declared on the certificate.19. How are lab grown diamonds made?
There are two different methods used for lab-created diamonds; High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). HPHT places intense heat (around 1,500 degrees Celsius, or 2,700 Fahrenheit) and pressure (1.5 million pounds per square inch) on the diamond seed and the carbon atoms coating it. On the other hand, CVD uses less heat and pressure, instead introducing a mixture of chemical gases that break down and harden into crystallized carbon atoms.
With both methods, the result is the same; a man-made diamond, created from scratch in a matter of weeks. Natural diamonds grow through intense heat and pressure which, over millions of years, transforms carbon atoms into beautiful and captivating gemstones we know as diamonds. Lab-created diamonds grow the same way, only through a man-made process that takes several weeks, not millions of years. Man-made diamonds begin with a tiny piece of diamond, known as a diamond seed. This seed is placed sealed inside a special chamber designed to mimic conditions within the Earth’s crust. "
Lab-created diamonds are made by replicating the processes that result in the creation of natural diamonds. The seed, coated in pure carbon, will eventually transform into a synthetic diamond, chemically identical to a natural diamond.
20. How do I choose the best lab grown diamond?
When you’re shopping for a lab diamond, you want to pay attention to most of the same things as if you’re in the market for a natural diamond. Since, technically, lab diamonds are exactly the same as natural diamonds, the usual things like the 4 C’s are applied to measure the diamond’s beauty. There are a small number of things specific to lab-grown diamonds you should consider in your buying process, as well as whether you actually want to buy a lab diamond or a natural one.
21. How much do lab grown diamonds cost?
Lab-created diamonds are significantly cheaper than natural diamonds, so when you’re shopping for a lab diamond, make sure the price reflects this. Opting for a lab diamond or a natural one is a personal choice. In any case, make sure you understand that the price of a lab diamond should be much less than that of a natural one with the same grades.
As an example, here’s a beautiful 2.01 Carat Lab-Created Round Diamond from James Allen, which costs $7,320. If we were to take a natural diamond with the same grades, from the same retailer, you can expect to pay 2-3x as much for the natural diamond ($19,110).
Whether this makes lab-created diamonds a better choice economically is up for discussion. While the price is significantly lower for a lab diamond, compared to a natural diamond, they are also much less rare and have virtually no resale value.
There will likely also be a difference in price between those purchased in a brick-and-mortar store versus an online shop. However, on average, the 1 carat lab created diamond price is somewhere around $800-$1,000 per carat.
Ada Diamonds does not grow its own diamonds. Rather, we purchase the best lab diamonds from diamond growers around the world. We are discerning lab diamond experts and we reject over 85% of the lab diamond market as beneath our quality standards. Because Ada is a leading retailer of exceptional lab grown diamonds, we often have access to diamonds that other retailers do not, allowing Ada to deliver the best of the best to our clients.
On average, MiaDonna’s created diamonds are priced 20-40% less than an equivalent quality earth mined diamond. However, just like with mined diamonds, prices will vary based on the diamond’s 4C’s – cut, clarity, color, and carat.
The company was incorporated as a retailer of lab grown diamonds to the American market. It is currently a trading company that wholesales lab grown diamonds to the North American diamond and jewelry retailers
Looking for where to buy african jewellery made with lab grown diamond options? You've come to the right place. We don't produce lab grown diamonds ourselves but we can certainly help you source them through our trusted network of suppliers.
Did we answer all your burning questions? What else would you like to know? With all your newly acquired knowledge, would you buy a lab grown diamond?