The Difference Between Natural and Lab-Grown Diamonds

Diamonds have been admired and valued for centuries for their beauty, durability, and rarity. However, recent advancements in technology have made it possible to create diamonds in a lab, leading to a growing interest in lab-grown diamonds as an alternative to natural diamonds. While both natural and lab-grown diamonds may look similar to the naked eye, there are several key differences between the two, including their environmental impact, cost, and quality. 

Let's explore the differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds in detail, so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a diamond for yourself or a loved one. Whether you're interested in the ethical and environmental implications of diamond mining or simply want to know more about the latest diamond trends, you will receive the information you need to make the best decision for your personal preferences and values.

Natural diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds 

Natural diamonds are rare and valuable because they are formed under specific conditions and are difficult to mine. While diamonds can be found in various parts of the world, only a small percentage of them are considered to be of high quality and suitable for use in jewelry. This makes natural diamonds a valuable and sought-after commodity.

There are two main methods for creating lab-grown diamonds: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT). In the CVD process, a diamond seed is placed in a vacuum chamber, and a mixture of gasses is introduced. This causes the gasses to break down and deposit carbon atoms onto the seed, which gradually grows into a diamond.

In the HPHT process, a diamond seed is placed in a press and subjected to high pressure and high temperature. This causes the carbon atoms to bond together and form a diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds do not hold their value after you purchase them 

From an aesthetic perspective, lab-grown diamonds are beautiful and emulate the look of natural diamond to the unaided eye. Generally speaking, a lab-grown diamond will be worth about 50% to 70% less than a natural diamond over time. 

Lab-grown diamonds leave a carbon footprint 

Some of the major diamond producers, such as Pandora, have studied carbon emissions from their manufacturing process. They estimate that 10.7 kg of CO2 emissions are produced for every diamond carat. Not every diamond manufacturer has an eco-friendly approach to growing diamonds, and may use energy sources derived from fossil fuels. It takes 18 gallons of water to produce one carat of diamond. While mining natural diamonds produces a carbon footprint, lab-grown diamonds also produce a carbon footprint. 

Lab-grown diamonds are not timeless or priceless

While lab-grown diamonds look brilliant to the unaided eye, they are not timeless or priceless. It only takes a matter of weeks in a lab to produce synthetic diamonds. Natural diamonds are formed over millions of years, which makes them timeless and precious. Even though a lab-grown diamond may save you some money when making a jewelry purchase, a natural diamond will leave you with a feeling of satisfaction that you have made an investment that will withstand the test of time. 

Naturally-Mined Diamonds Can Help You Make a Statement 

Synthetic diamonds are becoming popular because they are affordable and look just like a naturally-mined diamond. ​​The global market for lab-grown diamonds is also growing rapidly. According to a 2021 report by Allied Market Research, the global market for lab-grown diamonds was valued at $16.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $27.6 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8% from 2020 to 2027.

Because of the growing synthetic diamond market, purchasing a natural diamond will help you make a statement. Natural diamonds are often seen as a traditional and timeless choice for jewelry. While lab-grown diamonds are becoming more popular, natural diamonds are still seen as the classic and iconic choice for engagement rings and other special occasions.

Overall, the rarity, uniqueness, cultural significance, and timelessness of natural diamonds all contribute to their ability to make a statement and capture the imagination of people around the world.

Finding and Caring for a Naturally-Mined Diamond That Will Hold Its Value Over Time 

So, if you are ready to make a purchase of a naturally-mined diamonds for either a wedding, engagement, or other occasion, here is how you can work with King of Jewelry to find the diamond that is right for you:

  • Choose a quality diamond: When purchasing a natural diamond, it's important to choose a diamond of high quality. A diamond's value is largely determined by its cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. Diamonds that are well-cut, free of inclusions and blemishes, and have a high carat weight and color grade are generally considered to be of higher quality and value. At King of Jewelry, you can find diamond colors that are in the D through F range. These diamonds are considered extremely high quality because of their color. 
  • Obtain a diamond grading report: A diamond grading report from a reputable laboratory, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), can provide an objective evaluation of a diamond's quality and value. The report should include information on the diamond's cut, clarity, carat weight, and color, as well as an assessment of its fluorescence and other characteristics.
  • Properly care for the diamond: Proper care and maintenance can help ensure that a natural diamond retains its value over time. This includes regular cleaning, storage in a secure and dry location, and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals or activities that could damage the diamond.
  • Work with a reputable jeweler: When buying a diamond ring, it's important to work with a reputable jeweler, like King of Jewelry, who is knowledgeable about diamond grading and valuation. King of Jewelry will ensure that you are getting a fair price for your diamond and that it retains its value over time.

If you are ready to make a purchase of a naturally-mined diamond for a wedding or engagement, work with King of Jewelry to find the right ring.