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Are Lab Grown Diamonds Lower Quality?

(The Truth About Lab Grown Diamonds and How They Stack Up)

Lab grown diamonds really are causing a stir in 2022, with the shiny rocks gleaning a huge global market share (8% in 2021) in the gemstone industry. The rise in popularity has seen laboratory diamonds more readily available in most jewellers around the world. There have been many ‘facts’, opinions and assumptions going around about lab grown diamonds, so let’s examine the data, dispel the myths and get a better understanding of this phenomenon that is a laboratory diamond. First, we must look at exactly what a lab grown diamond is.

Lab grown diamonds are grown in controlled environments using advanced technology and processes that match the conditions under which mined diamonds are formed in the earth’s crust. Lab grown diamonds consist of carbon atoms arranged in the same structure as mined diamonds. For this reason lab grown diamonds possess the exact same optical and chemical properties as their mined counterparts.

The process of making a lab grown diamond starts with tiny carbon seeds that are taken from pre existing diamonds. Extreme pressure and heat are applied and this imitates the method of diamond formation. Lab grown diamonds are made up almost entirely of pure carbon, just as earth mined diamonds.

Engagement Ring on hand in pocket
Person wearing Wedding Rings, an Engagement Ring, and Earrings

Is There A Difference Between Lab Grown Diamonds And Mined Diamonds?

It’s not just difficult to visually tell the difference between a lab grown and mined diamond, it’s impossible. There are no optical distinctions between the two gemstones, and to the naked eye you would be guessing every time. Even with the use of a jewellery loupe, lab grown diamonds are almost impossible to differentiate from a mined diamond. The only way to tell the difference is through the examination of trace elements. Lab grown diamonds may exhibit slightly different trace elements to mined diamonds, however these do not affect the appearance of the diamond. Furthermore, lab created diamonds can only be distinguished from mined diamonds with the use of specialised equipment. Lab grown diamonds exhibit exactly the same fire, scintillation and sparkle of mined diamonds. Lab grown diamonds really are just diamonds that were formed in a different ‘location’. Lab created diamonds available for purchase always come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory grown. In addition to this, lab grown diamonds have a small inscription on the stone to demonstrate authenticity.

Do Lab Grown Diamonds Require Certification and Grading?

All lab grown diamonds are treated the same as mined diamonds. Once they have been formed, lab grown diamonds are sent to an independent gemology lab grown to be certified by an expert. The process of grading lab grown diamonds is the same as traditional diamonds and focuses on the cut, clarity, carat, and colour of each gemstone. When you choose a lab grown diamond, you invest in a high-quality and stunning piece that is also ethical and environmentally friendly.

Rings on hand
Rings on hand

Benefits of Lab Grown Diamonds

A diamond that is created in a lab is every bit as real as an earth mined diamond. They have the same physical and chemical properties and are grown under the same temperature and pressure conditions, but without the conflict and questionable ethical practices that are common in some diamond mines. When you choose a lab grown diamond, you invest in a high-quality and stunning piece that is also ethical and environmentally friendly.

Some of the biggest upsides of a lab created diamonds are:

  • More beautiful due to better, brighter quality and higher purity
  • Fewer defects
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Greater affordability
  • Full traceability to each stone’s origins

Looking into a high quality, clear oval cut lab grown diamond you’ll fall in love with the sea of crystals that seems to be alive deep inside the stone. Even with poor light, the sparkle and scintillation of a lab grown diamond is undeniable.

Friendly Competition

Both earth mined and laboratory grown diamonds are excellent choices, and your decision should be based on what you personally feel is the right thing for you and your loved one. Lab grown diamonds are not a threat to mined diamonds, rather they are helping each other by continually raising the bar of quality and execution. Here at Cullen Jewellery we aim to inform people on the reality of the diamond industry so that they can make confident and informed decisions about something that is as important as an engagement ring. We hope you take away that lab grown diamonds aren’t lower quality or inferior to mined diamonds, instead they simply have a different origin, and offer a more affordable, more sustainable version of the already amazing diamond.

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