Chemically, optically and physically laboratory grown diamonds are 100% identical. They are technically both 'real' diamonds.
So if they're technically identical why would we use both natural and laboratory grown? And why do we bother to differentiate them?
The natural formation of a diamond is an undeniably romantic story. Beginning over 3 billion years ago, beneath the earth's crust and under immense pressure and heat, carbon atoms were crystalised and turned into the sparkling rocks we cut, polish and admire today.
Consumer tastes are changing. Natural diamonds in the context of 2021 are important to consumers for reasons other than just being 'natural' on paper. Refreshingly, preferences have evolved from only valuing diamonds of the colourless and inclusion free variety.
When it comes to colourless diamonds the main difference is that the diamond was created by the earth naturally, not by a man made intervention in a lab.
The main reason natural diamonds cost so much more is because they need so much more handling than their lab grown counterparts.
The mining, cutting and wholesaling of a gem (before even getting to the jeweller!) all have to be paid for. Those costs are an important part of maintaining an ethical industry where every person is fairly compensated along the way.
The cons of the natural diamond come down to two main things - cost, and the environment.
Whilst a huge amount of work has been done to ensure the safety and fair remuneration of the people in the diamond industry (and it has come a long way,) large diamond mines are typically not a great thing for the environment. Habitat loss and pollution are the main issues surrounding the environmental impact of mining for diamonds - but just like regenerative farming is to conventional monocropping, there are a small percentage of people working very hard to do the right thing in the industry.
Laboratory diamonds - what are the pros and cons?
Chemically, physically and optically identical to natural diamonds, laboratory diamonds are indeed, real diamonds.
The simplest way to explain the lab grown process is that a diamond crystal is subjected to simulated version of what the earth did over billions of years - either surrounded by carbon in its physical or gas form, and then subjected to extreme heat and pressure to "grow" the crystal. It is cutting edge technology, is incredibly sophisticated and the result is yes, exactly the same as that which we have traditionally mined - real diamonds.
Of course this process is fantastic for creating colourless diamonds, and even some 'fancy' colours. If one is looking for a beautiful colourless diamond at the best price, often clients lean toward the lab grown option, because there is no doubt it delivers the best bang for your buck.
There is simply not a natural diamond supplier that can deliver the same value for money and environmental peace of mind as a well cut lab diamond can.
The interesting part about this - is that the exciting emergence of the lab grown diamond has meant that the value of included and 'imperfect' diamonds has never been higher.
We are craving the beautifully imperfect touch of nature at the same time as mastering her most glorious creations in a lab.
If you need more information or would like to discuss the right option for you, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.