If you are thinking about buying a diamond piece of jewelry either for someone special in your life or for a special someone, you have likely weighed the pros and cons of buying a natural diamond or buying a lab-grown diamond. You may feel lost and uncertain while making your decision. You might be wondering whether anyone can even tell the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond.
If you’re getting something extremely special, such as an engagement ring, you will want to make sure that whatever you buy has the clarity and sparkle to appear expensive and unique, like a natural diamond to the naked eye. So, what should you do? Buy a natural diamond for the prestige, or buy a lab-grown diamond for ethics and the budget-friendly nature?
Read on to find what the differences are, and if people would be able to tell the difference at all.
The Difference Between Lab Diamonds and “Real Diamonds”
The biggest thing you should learn when choosing your new gem is that both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are real diamonds. The difference comes down to whether the gemstone is man-made or is a mined diamond. If it is made in a lab, the lab diamond may be either a high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) diamond, or a diamond grown through chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
Both of these diamonds, it should be noted, are, chemically, of the same makeup. While lab diamonds can be of a lower carat, both types of gems can appear the same in terms of brilliance and clarity. Natural diamonds, however, may contain some naturally-occurring impurities or flaws that tip off the recipient that the stone is indeed a natural diamond from mining.
The Price Breakdown
If you’re looking to buy an engagement ring with a diamond in as the central stone, you are likely at a time in your life where you should or want to save money. Perhaps you are looking to buy a home soon, or are saving to send young children to good schools following the beginning of your marriage. For that reason, lab-grown diamonds may be the best option for your lifestyle. Diamond prices, in general, can be exorbitant. Dropping that much cash on a piece of jewelry means the type of diamond you buy becomes all-important.
Generally, lab-grown diamonds are much more budget-friendly than ones that come from diamond mining. It is much easier to create a diamond with the perfect cut and clarity in a lab than it is to find a natural diamond that fits the exact look you are seeking. In fact, diamonds that are made through the HPHT process or CVD can cost almost 50 percent of what a natural diamond costs. Fifty percent savings on a gemstone means you’ll have a bit more cash to spend on a wedding, house, or whatever life event is next for you and your family.
The Ethical Conversation
One of the biggest arguments that come up when speaking about natural versus lab-created diamonds is the ethical implications of purchasing a diamond that comes from diamond mining. Many diamond mines employ workers that are underpaid or are made to work in unsafe conditions. This can make consumers nervous about where their money is really going.
Lab-grown diamonds avoid the possibility of their being exploitative labor involved. Which makes them, for many people, more “conflict-free.” Ultimately, the choice is yours. When you are buying your diamond ring or gem earrings, you may be able to find a diamond mining company in the diamond market that ethically sources all of its stones and treats its miners well.
Featured Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay