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Lab Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds: What’s the Difference?


In the dazzling world of jewelry, diamonds have long held a position of unrivaled allure. But with the advent of technology, a new contender has emerged—lab diamonds, also known as lab created, lab grown, or synthetic diamonds.

As their prominence rises, so does the question: how do these man-made gemstones measure up against their ethically sourced counterparts?

In this informative post, we’ll delve into the fascinating contrasts between lab diamonds and natural diamonds, exploring their composition, cost, and value.

Are Lab Diamonds Real?

Diamonds are renowned for their superlative physical qualities, most notably their hard and transparent crystal structure. Let’s explore the overall composition off lab diamonds vs. natural diamonds:

Lab Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds do share a similar composition to natural diamonds, as both are made from pure carbon.

From hardness to refractive index, it’s difficult to tell the difference with the naked eye. Both lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds are identical in all aspects that define a diamond. However, there is one very large difference between the two—their origin.

Man-made diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop in the Earth’s mantle.

These processes either involve High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Both methods result in diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically the same as natural diamonds.

Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds, which are also known as mined or earth-made diamonds, are formed over billions of years about 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. By comparison, diamonds created in a lab are created in a matter of weeks.

The formation process of natural diamonds involves the transformation of carbon into a diamond under extreme heat and pressure conditions deep within the Earth’s mantle. It is composed almost entirely of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal structure known as a diamond cubic.

Over time, these diamonds are brought closer to the Earth’s surface through volcanic activity. Because of the extensive time, depth, and specific conditions required for their formation, natural diamonds are much rarer, and therefore more valuable, than diamonds that were created in a lab.

How Much Do Lab Diamonds Cost Compared to Natural Diamonds?

Due to the way Lab diamonds are produced, they are often more affordable than their natural counterparts.

Since natural diamonds require mining operations, factors such as time, labor, and resources must be considered in the overall cost, making them more expensive.

Conversely, lab diamonds are made in a controlled environment using technological processes. The costs associated with these processes are considerably lower, enabling manufacturers to produce lab diamonds at a lower cost.

Do Lab Diamonds Hold Their Value?

When it comes to value and appreciation, natural diamonds have traditionally held their value over time. This is due to their rarity and the high demand in the market, especially for high-quality stones. Conversely, lab grown diamonds, although they share the same physical and chemical properties, do not hold their value as well.

The primary reason for this discrepancy lies in the supply. Natural diamonds are finite and take millions of years to form, adding to their allure and appreciation. Lab diamonds, on the other hand, can be produced in large quantities in a relatively short period. This abundant supply impacts their resale value, making them depreciate faster than their natural counterparts.

Though Lab diamonds do offer an affordable alternative, natural diamonds carry a rich history and intrinsic value that cannot be replicated.

It’s crucial to consider all of these factors, alongside your personal style, preferences and budget, when making a diamond purchase.

Are Lab Diamonds Sustainable?

Many believe that laboratory grown diamonds are considered the more eco-friendly choice since no mining is required. 

The production of lab-grown diamonds involves an energy-intensive process that requires generating temperatures nearly 20% of the temperature of the Sun’s surface. This manufacturing primarily takes place in China and India, where a significant portion of grid electricity comes from coal. As a result, it is not accurate or simplistic to make a straightforward claim about the green sustainability of lab-grown diamonds.

Brinker's Jewelers—Your Trusted Source for Natural Diamonds

Choosing a diamond should be based on accurate, expert information. In a world of mass-produced jewelry and man-made gemstones, Brinker’s Jewelers prides itself on providing personalized and professional guidance to customers navigating this significant decision.

All of our diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberley Process. We have access to rough diamonds mined in the Northwest Territories, as well as exceptional diamond cutting software through our partnership with Diamonds de Canada.

By maintaining involvement through the entire process, we ensure every diamond is to Brinker’s standards, as well as, the 4C’s of Diamonds guidelines set by the Gemological Institute of America.

Our team is thoroughly trained and knowledgeable about all aspects of diamonds, from their formation and composition to their long-term value. We take the time to explain these facets to our customers, ensuring they understand what they’re buying and why.

At Brinker’s Jewelers, you’ll find an extensive selection of natural diamonds—each carefully selected by an owner of the company that meets the Brinker’s beauty and quality standards.

We also offer a range of services to enhance your buying experience, including custom jewelry design, jewelry repair and professional cleaning.

By choosing Brinker’s Jewelers, you’re choosing a partner in your diamond buying and ongoing jewelry maintenance journey.

Brinker's showroom panaroma

If you are weighing the decision of a lab diamond vs. a natural one, our expert jewelers are on hand to help you understand the the quality and integrity of diamonds with consideration to your style, values, and budget.

Brinker’s Jewelers also backs all of the items sold with industry-leading guarantees and warranties without the need for customers to purchase an extended warranty or service agreement, maintain paperwork or schedule onerous checkups.

Our commitment to quality, transparency, and customer service sets us apart in the jewelry industry.

With our diverse range of high-quality products and personalized services, we are here to help you understand the nuances of diamond purchasing.

So, whether you’re looking for an engagement ring, a special gift, or simply want to treat yourself, let Brinker’s Jewelers be your trusted partner in finding a quality diamond and the perfect piece of jewelry. Stop by our showroom or get help from our online personal shopping assistant service today.

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