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Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Grown diamonds are identical to Natural Grown diamonds and have the same chemical properties. The difference comes from their origin.

Lab Grown diamonds are often referred to as engineered diamonds, cultured diamonds, man-made diamonds or synthetic diamonds also.

Whereas Natural diamonds are created over millions of years beneath the Earth's crust, Lab Grown diamonds, as their name suggest, are created in labs. They are created using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop.

Lab Grown diamonds start life as tiny carbon seeds, which come from pre-existing diamonds. Using extreme heat and pressure the diamonds are grown.

Lab created diamonds are real diamonds and are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds. Only a gemmologist using specialist equipment can distinguish them, they will be able to see the minor difference in trace elements and crystal growth which differentiate the two.

When side by side, a Lab Grown diamond will look identical to a Natural diamond of similar specifications.

Since Lab Grown diamonds are identical and made of the same material as Natural diamonds, they exhibit the same sparkle and dazzle as their natural counterparts. Lab Grown diamonds are not flawless; they adhere to the 4Cs of Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat just like Natural diamonds.

Lab Grown diamonds offer excellent value for money and are often seen as an ethical choice as they do not require any diamond mining.

Depending on the specifications, Lab Grown diamonds can be around 30 to 60% less expensive than Natural diamonds.

For example, a 1 carat Natural diamond, set into one of our most popular side stone rings with the following recommended specifications would be around £5,500.

Platinum, VS2, F, Very Good, SDC.

For the same ring and selections but with Lab Grown diamonds the price is around £2,700.

When Natural or Lab Grown is selected with ourselves all of the diamonds in the ring will be of that origin.

For example if you select Lab Grown for a Halo ring with shoulders too, there will be a Lab Grown diamond in the centre and Lab Grown melee diamonds will be used in the Halo and down the shoulders of the ring also.

Lab Grown diamonds should not be confused with Cubic Zirconia or Moissanite which are simulants. These are not true carbon crystals and therefore do not possess the same physical or chemical properties as diamonds.

Simulants can be distinguished from Lab Grown and Natural diamonds to the naked eye, you can see this on the image below.

Moissanite vs Diamond

Moissanite stones are double refractive meaning when a ray of light passes through it is slowed, bent and split into two affecting its light return and therefore sparkle. Diamonds are single refractive meaning that light travels in a straight line rather than splitting in two making it brighter, clearer and more sparkly.

  Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond

How are lab grown diamonds made?

There are two main ways laboratory grown diamonds are made, these are under High Pressure High Temperature which is known as HPHT and Chemical Vapour Deposition which is known as CVD.

Both methods start with taking a tiny carbon seed from a pre-existing diamond, just like taking a seed from a plant. The process then mimics the natural method of diamond formation.

You will not be able to tell the difference between a HPHT and a CVD diamond with the naked eye, in the same way you will not be able to tell either of these types of Lab Grown diamonds from a Natural, Mined diamond with the naked eye either.

Both methods can create amazing, sparkling diamonds but CVD is the most popular nowadays and most Lab Grown diamonds we source are CVD.

CVD places a diamond seed or plate into a vacuum chamber containing carbon material and various gasses such as methane. This is then heated to extreme temperatures, around 700 to 900°. This separates atoms allowing crystals to form bit by bit on the initial seed diamond until a rough diamond is created.

HPHT is a similar process in which tiny diamond seeds are placed into the bottom of a growth cell. The cell is placed into the centre of a cubic press and heated. Temperatures reach 1,500° and the process applies 1 million PSI of pressure too. At this temperature and pressure carbon is formed in the way of a diamond crystal.

After both processes, completed rough stones must then be cut and polished. Sometimes, there’s not much difference between natural and lab grown when you are looking at half eternity rings or cluster earrings for example. This is because each individual diamond needs to be cut, polished and set so the price begins to level out. With engagement rings or pendants though this is where you can really start and see the price difference between natural and lab grown stones, especially as you start and move up the carat sizes and other selections.
 

Are Lab Grown Diamonds seen as more ethical?

In general, Lab Grown diamonds are seen as they more ethical choice.

Lab Grown diamonds do not require mining which can cause harm the environment and has been historically known to have poor working conditions.

With Lab Grown, it is also easy to get full clarity on the supply chain, in regards to human rights and working conditions, and to know exactly where they have come from.

Lab Grown diamonds do still have to be cut and polished by a human though and humans will always have to be involved at some stages so the human element cannot be disregarded altogether. Lab Grown diamonds also require significant energy to produce and it is crucial that both Lab Grown and Natural diamond industries work towards more sustainable practices.

Diamond mining companies have made significant advances in becoming more socially and environmentally conscious in recent years and all of our Natural diamonds are sourced from legitimate sources that adhere to the Kimberly Process rules. This ensures we know the legitimacy of all the diamonds we buy to make sure they have not been involved in any conflict funding. You can see more on our ethical diamond buying here.

Natural diamonds do have their benefits in regards to this point also. Natural diamonds support employment and economic growth in diamond producing countries. Countries such as Russia, Botswana, Angola and South Africa have greatly benefitted from the diamond industry and we source diamonds from all over the world.

If every diamond was to be lab grown it would affect many countries, towns and people who rely on this industry.

It does come down to balancing out the pros and cons of each method. Both Lab Grown and Natural diamonds have pros and cons and you can see some of the main pros of each to follow.

Pros of choosing Lab Grown Diamonds

  • Lab Grown diamonds command a lower price than Natural, they are cheaper and in general more affordable
  • Lab Grown diamonds command a lower price than Natural, they are cheaper and in general more affordable
  • They are also conflict free for the same reason as above
  • It is easier to get full clarity on the supply chain with Lab Grown diamonds

Pros of choosing Natural Diamonds

  • Natural diamonds are often seen as more romantic as they are a part of history and have been grown for billions of years within the earth
  • Similarly to above, another pro of a Natural diamond is that each one is well and truly unique and can never be replicated naturally. They are rare and there will only ever be a certain amount of Natural diamonds in the world
  • Natural diamonds will retain more value over time due to their rarity
  • They also use less energy than lab grown diamonds

FAQ’s

What is a lab grown diamond?

A Lab Grown diamond is a diamond that has been created in a controlled environment, a lab.

Lab Grown diamonds are created in labs using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop.

Lab Grown diamonds are often referred to as engineered diamonds, cultured diamonds, man-made diamonds or synthetic diamonds also.
 

What is the difference between a natural diamond and a lab grown diamond?

Whereas Natural diamonds are created over millions of years beneath the Earth's crust, Lab Grown diamonds are created in laboratories using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop.

Lab Grown diamonds are identical to Natural Grown diamonds and have the same chemical properties.
 

Are lab grown diamonds real?

They are yes. Lab Grown diamonds are made from Natural diamonds seeds which are then grown to create a real and genuine stone, just in a controlled environment.
 

How are lab grown diamonds graded?

Lab Grown diamonds are graded the exact same as Natural diamonds using the same scales and taking into account the 4 C’s. At Angelic Diamonds we provide individual diamond certificates for Lab Grown and Natural diamonds over a certain carat weight. You can see more on our diamond certification here.
 

Which origin should I chose?

As always, it is completely up to you. A Lab Grown diamond may be right for one person and not right for another, there is no right or wrong answer. A Lab Grown diamond may be good for someone who is looking to optimise their budget as you can get higher selections for equivalent Natural prices. A Natural diamond may be good for someone who is looking for an investment diamond as Natural diamonds will retain more value over time due to rarity.
 

How long does it take to grow a diamond?

It takes around 28 days to grow a Lab Grown diamond. The rough diamond then needs to be cut and polished.
 

Are lab grown diamonds cheaper than natural diamonds?

Lab Grown diamonds are cheaper than Natural diamonds of the same specifications. Depending on those specifications, Lab Grown diamonds can be around 30 to 60%less expensive than natural diamonds. Lab Grown gems are becoming increasingly mass produced which is one reason for their lower price.
 

Do lab grown diamonds still have the 4 C’s?

They do, yes. Carat, Clarity, Cut and Colour still apply to Lab Grown diamonds.
 

Are lab grown diamonds flawless?

Lab Grown diamonds are not flawless even though they are manmade. They can have inclusions and presence of Colour. The 4 C’s still apply and should be considered just as much as for a Natural stone.
 

Do you sell loose lab grown diamonds?

We do not currently sell any loose diamonds, Natural or Lab Grown. We only sell full, complete rings and you can see our amazing designs here.
 

Are lab grown diamonds more ethical?

In general, Lab Grown diamonds are seen as the more ethical choice.

Lab Grown diamonds do not require mining which can cause harm the environment and has been historically known to have poor working conditions. However, all of our Natural diamonds are sourced from legitimate sources that adhere to the Kimberly Process rules.

It does come down to balancing out the pros and cons of each method.
 

Lab Grown diamonds treated?

All of our diamonds, Lab Grown and Natural, are untreated. This means they have not received any treatments to remove any inclusions for example or been enhanced in any way.
 

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