Sponsor spotlight: Lab grown vs. natural diamonds — you have options!

If you keep up with news from the jewelry industry in any way, shape or form, you’ve probably heard quite a bit of buzz about lab grown diamonds as of late. Even if you don’t follow jewelry news, you have likely seen advertisements for new lab grown diamond jewelry brands popping up on your social media feeds.

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

The making of lab grown diamonds is an impressive feat of science. As you probably already know, natural diamonds are formed when carbon is subjected to intense heat and pressure over the course of millions – and even billions – of years. Growing diamonds in a lab compresses that process into just a few weeks!

Lab grown diamonds are created by one of two methods: high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD). With the HPHT method, a small diamond “seed” is placed into a piece of carbon. Using a press, the carbon is pressurized to about 1.5 million pounds per square inch. At the same time, it is heated to over 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The high pressure and extreme temperature cause the carbon to melt and form a diamond around the original diamond “seed.”

With the CVD method, a diamond “seed” is placed in a sealed chamber. The chamber is pumped full of carbon-rich gas and heated to over 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The gasses eventually crystallize onto the “seed,” building it up into a diamond.

It can take a few weeks to a few months to create a lab grown diamond, depending on the size of the diamond. Regardless, it is significantly less time than it takes to grow a natural diamond within the earth!

Lab Grown vs. Natural Diamonds

So, what are the similarities and differences between lab grown and natural diamonds?

“The key thing to remember is that both lab grown and natural diamonds are real diamonds,” says Andy Cline of Cline Jewelers. “Lab grown diamonds are visually and physically identical to natural diamonds. They have the same chemical makeup. The main differences have to do with the production processes.”

Being man-made gives lab grown diamonds some advantage in terms of consistency. Nature is imperfect, and mined diamonds can differ greatly in terms of quality. The gems that make it to your local jewelry store are the best of the best. However, lab diamonds can be engineered to a greater extent. While there is some variation between lab diamonds, it’s much easier to create jewelry-quality diamonds every time.

The relative simplicity of the lab diamond growing process and the lower labor costs means that lab grown diamonds are less expensive to produce. This is reflected in the price of lab grown diamonds. “The lower price is definitely something that draws people, and if budget is your main consideration, lab might be a great choice for you,” says Cline.

A lower price also means that larger carat sizes are more accessible. “Someone with the budget for a one carat natural diamond may come in and realize they can afford a two carat lab grown diamond,” Cline adds, “though there is a trade-off in terms of a lab diamond’s value over time.”

The primary difference between natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds is that, thanks to their rarity, natural diamonds accumulate value over time. On the other hand, lab grown diamonds can be easily created and reproduced, which decreases their value on the resale market.

“If you’re someone who really wants their diamond jewelry to become an heirloom, something you can pass down for generations, you may want to consider a natural diamond,” says Cline. “Lots of jewelers also offer diamond trade-in and upgrades, including us. A natural diamond will hold more value to put towards that future investment.”

No matter what kind of diamond you choose to buy, you can be certain that it will be a beautiful treasure you can appreciate for a lifetime.

Should I Buy a Lab Grown or Natural Diamond?

Ultimately, the choice is yours and yours alone. Now that you know the facts, you can weigh your options and make an educated decision.

Take some time to consider your priorities when buying a diamond. Is budget the most important thing to you? Are you looking to maximize carat size? Or do you like the romantic symbolism behind a rare diamond that’s been growing in the earth for a billion years?

These are all perfectly legitimate preferences and desires. The most important thing is to choose a diamond that you (and your loved ones) will always cherish.

You Have Options at Cline Jewelers in Edmonds

Lab grown diamonds can be found in fine fashion jewelry as well as, of course, engagement rings. They come in all of the same cuts and shapes as natural diamonds do, so you have plenty of variety to choose from.

Andy Cline says that no matter which type of diamond you are interested in, you can find it at Cline Jewelers: “We’re happy and proud to offer both natural and lab diamonds here at Cline Jewelers. Buying a diamond is a very personal decision, and we want to support our clients in that decision by giving them all of the information and options they deserve.”

Visit Cline Jewelers in-store or online to explore their lab grown diamond options!

  1. Thanks for the education. How does a jeweler detect whether a diamond is lab made or from nature? I assume there is some physical difference that is detectable.

  2. Thanks for the education. I was just in the store this week and wondering about the difference, but forgot to ask. Cline has done custom work for me, as well as repairs on family pieces. Their quality and customer service is top notch!

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