Pros & Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds
What are lab-grown diamonds? How do they compare to natural diamonds, and are they worth it? We’ve been hearing more questions like these lately. At Miriam’s Jewelry, we’ll always keep you in the know.
As your favorite family jeweler, we’re here to help you make the best decisions when purchasing jewelry you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Here’s the Short Answer
Lab-created diamonds are chemically the same as natural, mined diamonds. They are more affordable, but their value likely will not hold up over time. They will also never have the same rarity, uniqueness and meaning as a natural stone that was formed over billions of years deep in the earth.
That said, we’re all about choices at Miriam’s, and we always put customers first. If you’re interested in purchasing a lab-made diamond, we’ve compiled all the facts, pros and cons to consider.
What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Lab-created diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, are grown in a lab. They are identical to natural diamonds in every way, including the way they sparkle and their durability. You can’t tell the difference by looking. They have the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds found in the earth, and are considered the same gemstone under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
How Are They Made?
Lab-made diamonds are created using diamond seeds from pre-existing diamonds. The process mimics the natural formation of traditional, mined diamonds, which are formed deep in the earth’s crust, under conditions of heat and pressure. A diamond’s natural process takes billions of years to form.
On the other hand, diamonds created in a lab take only a matter of weeks to form. Just like natural diamonds, they are made from pure carbon. There are two types of processes used by diamond labs, High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
Lab-Created Diamonds Are Not Diamond Simulants
It’s important to note that lab-created diamonds are not the same as diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia or moissanite. Also known as “imitation diamonds,” diamond simulants are manufactured to look like diamonds. But they are composed of different materials, such as glass—not carbon.
Pros to Buying Lab-Grown
One of the top reasons to buy lab-created diamonds is that they are more affordable. Man made diamonds can cost up to 30 to 40 percent less than natural diamonds of the same size and quality. That’s because the process of mining natural diamonds is time-consuming, difficult, and expensive. Diamonds from a lab simply cost less to make.
Given the cost savings, you’ll also have more choices in the type of diamond you can buy. More expensive colors like blue and pink diamonds, which are naturally very rare, may be more doable for your budget. You can also get a larger stone for your money.
Remember that lab-made diamonds are valued on the same 4Cs—cut, color, clarity and carat. You will want to consider this grading before purchasing a diamond of any kind to ensure high quality.
Another benefit is that man-made diamonds are conflict free and more sustainable. There are potentially fewer environmental impacts since they are not mined from the earth, and they may be safer to make. However, lab-made diamonds still use tons of energy and take enormous factories to produce, so they may not be as environmentally-friendly as we think.
Cons to Buying Lab-Grown
Unlikely to Hold Value
You may want to trade-in or trade-up a lab-made diamond in a few years, only to find it’s worth pennies on what you paid for. That’s because more and more lab-made diamonds are being made every day. The greater the supply, the less valuable the product. You may pay less to buy your diamond now, but you likely won’t get much, if anything, back from it later.
Natural diamonds are more of an investment because they will always be a rare commodity. Since they took billions of years to form, there will only be so many natural diamonds available in our lifetime. Natural diamonds hold up their value much better and can be used to trade-in or trade-up in the future.
Diamonds became a symbol of ever-lasting love because of the incredible journey they take to form and be mined naturally from the earth. Each stone is meaningful, rare and unique.
Lab-made diamonds are mass produced, therefore they lose the rarity, the charm, and specialness that come from natural diamonds.
Whichever Diamond You Choose, Miriam’s Jewelry Is Here to Help
If you’re on a budget and want to purchase a rarer color or larger diamond now, a lab-made diamond may be the right choice for you. But if you are wanting a long-term investment, and if the meaning behind diamonds matters to you, it may be better to wait and save for that natural diamond you’ll always treasure.
No matter what you’re shopping for, we can help you choose the perfect thing, including custom engagement rings, diamond earrings and diamond bands. We don’t stock lab-grown diamond rings, but we can always help you find one. Contact Miriam’s Jewelry to schedule a personal design consultation.