Our Perspective: Natural & Lab-Grown Diamonds
Natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds exhibit indistinguishable physical and chemical characteristics. However, their origins set them vastly apart. Natural diamonds form over millions, even billions, of years, resulting in each one being utterly unique and rare. The process of discovering, mining, and bringing natural diamonds to market demands substantial time and investment.
Conversely, lab-grown diamonds are artificial replicas, manufactured in large quantities using rapidly evolving technology. As the production of lab-grown diamonds continues to rise, the market becomes saturated with these diamonds, leading to a consistent decline in their prices. Consequently, lab-grown diamonds become increasingly accessible and affordable for consumers.
Understanding the Difference
To grasp the contrast between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds, let's employ an analogy. Consider the ice that forms in your freezer's ice machine and the ice that develops atop mountains and frozen lakes. Both originate from water, undergoing a transformation into ice.
Natural diamonds are akin to the ice forming on mountaintops and lakes. Their creation demands time, specific conditions, and results in unique and non-uniform structures. However, they are unquestionably diamonds.
On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds resemble the ice produced by your freezer. Instead of relying on waiting for ideal conditions, your refrigerator creates a controlled environment, enabling the production of consistent, uniform ice cubes as needed.
Ultimately, both natural and lab-grown diamonds share the identity of diamonds. The key distinction lies in their origin and the process by which they come into existence.
Lab-Grown & Natural Diamond FAQ’s
How are Diamonds Created?Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle under intense heat and pressure. The process begins with carbon atoms that slowly crystallize over millions of years, creating the unique structure of a diamond. These diamonds are then brought to the Earth's surface through volcanic eruptions, where they can be mined. Lab-grown diamonds are created in controlled laboratory environments. Scientists replicate the natural diamond-growing process by exposing a carbon source to high pressure and temperature. Over time, the carbon atoms arrange themselves into diamond crystals. This process allows for the production of diamonds to be mass produced.
Are Lab-Grown diamonds as Durable as Natural Diamonds?Yes! Natural diamonds are renowned for their exceptional durability. They are the hardest known substance on Earth, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Their hardness and strength make them highly resistant to scratching and damage, ensuring their long-lasting beauty. Lab-grown diamonds exhibit the same durability as natural diamonds. They share the same crystal structure and hardness, making them equally resistant to scratching and wear.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Flawless?In short, no. The clarity of a diamond, whether natural or lab-grown, revolves around the presence or absence of imperfections, namely inclusions and blemishes. In natural diamonds, these imperfections form during the diamond's gradual growth process and are evaluated using a clarity grading scale that spans from internally flawless (IF) to included (I3), encompassing several categories in between. Interestingly, lab-grown diamonds can also display varying levels of clarity, with inclusions and blemishes present in some instances. This means that, despite their synthetic origin, lab-grown diamonds can still have many inclusions, making them not as flawless as one may think.
Are all Lab-Grown Diamonds Colorless?
The answer is no. Natural diamonds come in a wide range of colors, from colorless to fancy vivid hues. Lab-grown diamonds can exhibit a similar range of colors as natural diamonds. Despite being produced in controlled environments, lab-grown diamonds are not immune to certain characteristics found in natural diamonds, such as exhibiting yellow tones. Just like their mined counterparts, lab-grown diamonds can possess varying degrees of color. The presence of color in lab-grown diamonds highlights that they may not be as "perfect" as one might assume. While the yellow or brown tones do not necessarily affect the quality or brilliance of the diamond, they do underscore the fact that lab-grown diamonds, like natural diamonds, can still possess individual characteristics that may influence their desirability to buyers. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades natural & lab-grown diamonds on a color scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
Understanding the differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds in terms of their creation process, durability, clarity, and color allows individuals to make informed decisions based on their preferences and needs. Both types of diamonds offer their own unique qualities, ensuring a wide range of options for those seeking the perfect diamond for them.
What Makes Lab-Grown Diamonds Less Expensive than Natural Diamonds?
The rarity factor is a significant distinction between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. Many clients harbor uncertainties about lab-grown diamonds, primarily due to concerns regarding their resale value when compared to natural diamonds. It's accurate to say that lab-grown diamonds do not retain any noteworthy resale value. Lab grown diamond supply, regardless of the diamond's size, becomes more abundant by the day.
Additionally lab created diamonds lack the true combination of unique characteristics natural diamonds possess, This is a key distinction. Natural diamonds become exponentially more rare as their size increases. For example a 2ct natural diamond is approximately four times as rare as a 1ct natural diamond. With lab made diamonds, the grower simply makes whatever size they wish. Lab grown diamonds possess no genuine rarity.
As of July 2023, a 5-carat E color, VVS2 clarity round lab-grown diamond would be priced around $30,000, making it an attractive option for those seeking a large look at a more affordable pricepoint., If we compare this to a natural diamond with the same characteristics, the cost would surpass $225,000. This price discrepancy arises from the rarity and unique formation process of natural diamonds, making them highly coveted and valuable.
What is the Primary Benefit of Choosing Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Overall, lab grown diamonds offer a significant upfront savings at the time of purchase. You can buy a larger stone at a much smaller price.
Lab-grown diamonds can act as a stepping stone for couples who want the stunning look of a large diamond but may not have the financial means at this stage in their lives. These diamonds offer an affordable and beautiful option to fill that void and make their dream ring a reality without the significant price tag of natural diamonds. As time goes on, certain couples might decide to transition from a lab-grown diamond to a natural diamond once they have established themselves in their careers and entered a new chapter of their lives.
Disadvantages of Lab-Grown Diamonds at Buchroeders
Diamond Upgrade Privilege : At Buchroeders, we offer a unique opportunity to our customers. When you purchase a natural diamond from us and decide to upgrade it to a more valuable natural diamond in the future, we will apply the full amount you originally paid as credit towards your new selection. This way, you can continue to invest in higher-quality diamonds as your preferences evolve.
Please note that this exclusive trade-in privilege is applicable only to natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds, while stunning and affordable, do not hold the same value retention due to their mass production, and thus, this offer is not extended to them.
Making an Informed Choice
In the world of diamonds, there are two options to consider: natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. Both types possess the same chemical composition and indistinguishable optical characteristics. However, their origins and values differ greatly. While lab-grown diamonds offer accessibility and affordability, they lack the genuine uniqueness and value associated with natural diamonds. Natural diamonds hold their worth due to their scarcity and the natural processes involved in their creation. Lab-grown diamonds, being produced through modern technology, do not possess the same rarity because they are being mass produced, therefore do not retain their value in the same way.
In the end, the choice between natural and lab-grown diamonds depends on your individual preferences, values, and budget considerations. Natural diamonds provide a sense of uniqueness and a connection to the Earth's natural processes, while lab-grown diamonds offer affordability. Each option has its own advantages and limitations, and it is important for consumers to weigh these factors when making their decision. At Buchroeders, we prioritize educating our clients and potential clients about the realities of both natural and lab-grown diamonds, and we openly express our company's stance. Whether you opt for a rare natural diamond, or a mass produced lab-grown diamond, we are here to serve you.