Today, there are three main ways to produce diamonds: mining, plasma-enhanced CVD (chemical vapor deposition), and HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature). In this article, we’ll explore how lab diamonds differ from mined diamonds, including the material quality of lab diamonds and how lab diamonds prices compare to those of natural diamonds.
What Are The Differences Between These Two Diamond Options?
Diamonds grown in a laboratory—known as lab diamonds or cultured diamonds—are now widely available and easier to purchase than ever before. While many consumers find that they are very attractive, cost less and avoid some of the controversy surrounding mined stones, there are very few differences between these two diamond options. There is no such thing as a better diamond: It all comes down to individual taste. Whether you choose a cultured stone or one extracted from an underground mine depends on what works best for you. However, both can be used to create gorgeous jewelry pieces.
For example, when shopping for engagement rings, remember that it’s not about whether a stone was produced naturally or synthetically; it’s about whether it’s perfect for your partner. Many people like choosing lab diamonds because it can help them stay within their budget while still getting something beautiful. But others simply prefer CVD diamonds over mined ones because they want something more eco-friendly or ethically sourced. And many love how affordable lab diamonds are: The price of both types of gems has fallen by more than half since 2014, meaning anyone can afford one today!
The Cutting Process.
Diamonds come in many colours, but in order to produce a white color, man-made and natural diamonds must be heated at high temperatures. This takes time and costs money. Naturally formed and synthetic white diamonds are both grown by chemical vapour deposition (CVD), an expensive process involving three basic stages: initial heating of gas-based carbon to create a thick vapour layer, introducing hydrogen gas into that layer, and then exposing that layer to a diamond seed crystal. The gases react with each other at very high temperatures—1,500 degrees Celsius or higher—to form thin diamond crystals; those layers stack up until they produce something resembling a full diamond. Natural diamonds tend to have more imperfections because they’re created through a geological process, so man-made diamonds can sometimes look better than their naturally occurring counterparts. Both types have their pros and cons. For example, while lab-created diamonds are often preferred for its ability to grow larger gemstones, it’s not always possible to control which colors will appear in them. It’s also important to note that these processes don’t affect how a diamond will sparkle or shine; all stones need proper care regardless of whether they’re natural or lab created.
Color, Clarity, And Cut Grade
The three Cs of diamond grading are color, clarity, and cut. Color is graded on a scale from D to Z; D-color is virtually colourless. Clarity determines if a diamond is clear or contains flaws. Diamonds that have imperfections are given a letter grade (FL) ranging from FL-3 for very slightly included stones to FL-15 for extremely included stones. The GIA grades cut quality on a numeric scale: Excellent cut (0), Very good cut (1/2), Good cut (3/4), Fair/Poor Cut (5).
Flawless diamonds are considered rare; even top-quality manufactured diamonds often contain minute flaws. Most jewellers will not sell you a flawless stone unless it was mined because they cannot achieve such high quality in their labs. However, some companies can produce them with perfection—it just costs more money! All in all, when comparing an equivalent diamond (same size and weight), a lab diamonds will be less expensive than its mined counterpart because it lacks impurities such as lead, boron, nitrogen and other natural minerals found in earth-mined diamonds. Lab diamonds are also clearer than most earth-mined diamonds because they’re grown under controlled conditions without exposure to natural elements such as water or wind erosion.
When it comes to CVD diamonds, you might hear that they aren’t as real as mined diamonds. This is only partially true. While these stones are made in a laboratory, they’re virtually identical to their natural counterparts. The company that makes them also certifies them with an independent gemological organization like GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or HRD (Haggerty Diamonds). These certificates make it possible for consumers to determine if a CVD diamond is worth buying—and ensure that any piece you buy is truly real. When you invest in a real stone, you want to be sure that others know it. Lab diamonds can help you do just that.
All US-based labs certified by The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or AGTA, must disclose whether their diamonds are laboratory-grown or natural. This way, you can choose to buy certified CVD diamonds manufacturer based on your preference and budget. For example, GIA certification will cost more than AGTA certification. Keep in mind that some non-US labs sell their products in the U.S., but they may not be as transparent about disclosing whether their product is a CVD diamond versus a natural diamond. GIA and AGTA also require disclosure about all treatments, such as color and clarity enhancements (e.g., irradiation). However, it’s best to find out from your jeweler which treatments are applied to any stone you’re buying.