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Lab Grown Diamonds

When you are looking for an engagement ring in Baltimore, MD, you have a lot of choices to make. One of the most important is what type of diamond you want. Here, you’ll be able to learn how lab grown diamonds compare to Earth mined diamonds. 

Many people choose lab grown diamonds because they are less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and 100% conflict free.

What is a lab grown diamond?

Simply put, a lab grown diamond is a diamond produced in a laboratory over several weeks. The two most common ways to grow diamonds are high-pressure, high-heat (HPHT), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). While the end product is nearly identical to a natural diamond chemically, optically, and physically the crystal formation of the techniques is vastly different. 

When cut and polished, laboratory grown diamonds cannot be distinguished from natural diamonds by the naked eye. It takes gemological techniques and a wide range of analytical tests to verify lab grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds even have inclusions that appear similar to natural diamonds!

Are lab grown diamonds real?

The scientific definition of a diamond is pure carbon crystallized in an isometric system. Both laboratory grown diamonds and natural diamonds meet this standard. Lab grown diamonds are created through chemical synthesis; if you’re reading scientific journals or research papers, you may see them referred to as synthetic diamonds. We refer to them as lab grown or lab created diamonds within the diamond and jewelry industry because they are real diamonds.

rough natural and lab grown diamond crystals

How are lab grown diamonds made?

HPHT

The HPHT (high-pressure, high-heat) process attempts to mimic the pressure and heat that naturally form diamond crystals. In this process, a pure carbon powder (such as graphite) is pressed into a growth capsule and placed in a growth chamber. Extreme heat (up to 1600 degrees C) and high pressure (870,000+ pounds per inch) are applied, and a diamond crystal begins to form atom by atom. HPHT diamond crystals form a cubo-octahedron crystal rather than the octahedron crystal of a natural diamond. This gives them dramatically different internal growth patterns than mined diamonds. Through this process, large diamonds, up to 10 carat rough crystals, can be formed in under two weeks. 

CVD

The other common process is CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). CVD works similarly to 3D printing, where the diamond is grown layer by layer. This process begins with a diamond wafer placed in a vacuum chamber. The inside of the chamber is heated to 2192 degrees F by either a microwave or laser, which vaporizes the plasma cloud of carbon-rich gasses (hydrogen and methane). The carbon atoms rain down on the diamond wafer and form a uniform coating of diamond. This process takes nearly one month to grow a diamond crystal that can be cut and polished into a 1 carat loose diamond. The CVD process forms a diamond crystal with a cubic and vertical growth.

Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Lab Grown Diamond Natural Diamond
Is a real diamond Yes Yes
Most contain clarity characteristics Yes Yes
Can be certified by GIA Yes Yes
Certified using the 4 Cs Yes Yes
Can be Certified Sustainability Rated Yes, have qualifying manufacturers Yes, but no currently qualify
Take billions of years to form No Yes
Can be grown in weeks or months Yes No
Can be used in jewelry Yes Yes
Can be grown in fancy colors Yes Yes
Can fluoresce Yes Yes
lab grown diamond engagement ring

Why buy a lab created diamond?

There are many reasons people choose to buy a lab created diamond over a natural diamond. Lab created diamonds are conflict-free, less expensive, and can be more environmentally friendly than their mined counterparts. Unlike mined diamonds, you have the option to purchase a created loose diamond that has been Certified Sustainability Rated. This diamond manufacturer has met the five pillars of sustainability, is carbon neutral, and is actively funding programs that are removing black carbon from the atmosphere. 

Diamonds were first successfully grown in a lab in the mid-1950s. These diamonds didn’t meet gem-quality standards and were used for manufacturing. By the mid-1990s, gem-quality diamonds were able to be grown. This road to jewelry-quality laboratory diamonds was paved with scientific breakthroughs and accomplishments. 

A Lab created diamond is not a lesser diamond than a naturally formed diamond. The availability of these diamonds is genuinely remarkable, and it has been a journey of technological marvels to get to this point. While creating these diamonds requires no open-pit mining or dredging, the energy needed to produce them is immense. 

loose lab grown diamonds

Do lab created diamonds look real?

Yes, lab created diamonds look real because they are real. They are optically identical to naturally created diamonds. Lab created diamonds are not imitation diamonds like cubic zirconia or synthetic moissanite. They are as beautiful, sparkly, and durable as natural diamonds. Gemologists spot the differences between these two diamonds using gemological testing and equipment.

wedding band with lab created diamonds

Are lab grown diamonds worth it? YES!

When you purchase a lab grown diamond, you get a diamond that is more affordable than a mined diamond. Your diamond will be conflict-free, does not require mining, and can be Certified Sustainability Rated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Suppose you are looking for a stone identical to a diamond with the same durability. In that case, a lab grown diamond is the better choice. But if you like the look of moissanite and how it refracts light, then your best option is to purchase moissanite.

Like most industries, pricing within the jewelry and diamond industry is based on rarity. As lab grown diamonds become more common, their pricing will become lower. Unless you purchase exceptionally rare colored diamonds for millions of dollars, all diamonds will lose some of their value when they are purchased. You can compare buying a loose diamond to buying a new car. When purchasing a natural diamond, it’s comparable to buying a luxury vehicle. It will depreciate but at an expected amount. Purchasing a lab grown diamond is similar to buying a Toyota Camry. It’s a great car, but it won’t retain a high resale value. 

Yes, lab diamonds are graded with the same 4 Cs that mined diamonds are graded by.

Not at all. Lab diamonds are optically identical to natural diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to a mined diamond, depending on the testing method they can test as real diamonds.

Lab grown diamond means the diamond was grown in a lab.

There is no set pricing for lab grown diamonds. Just like natural diamonds, pricing depends on availability, rarity, and consumer demand.

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