engagement rings lab grown

Laboratory grown diamond rings

What are lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic, cultured, or created diamonds, are diamonds grown inside a laboratory using advanced technological processes that simulate the natural diamond creation process. Essentially, lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as mined diamonds. The difference lies in the origin of their formation. While mined diamonds require billion-year-old geological processes occurring deep within the earth's crust, lab-grown diamonds are carefully formed in just weeks or months under meticulously controlled lab environments.

When conditions of extreme heat and pressure are precisely replicated, carbon atoms arrange themselves into the iconic diamond crystal lattice structure. Advanced techniques like chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) enable diamond seed crystals to grow layer-by-layer into glittering finished diamonds. The resultant gems exhibit exceptional clarity, colorlessness, and brilliance like top quality natural diamonds sourced from mines. As technology continuously improves, lab-grown diamonds are rapidly gaining recognition as legitimate diamond alternatives.

Are lab-grown diamonds real?

Yes, lab-grown diamonds are absolutely 100% real diamonds. They possess the same physical, chemical, and optical attributes as mined diamonds. When scrutinized by standard gemological instrumentation, trained gemologists cannot distinguish lab-grown diamonds from their mined counterparts. Like mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are composed of pure crystallized carbon and exhibit the same level of hardness, brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Both are genuine diamonds with identical visual appearances and durability. The singular difference lies in whether the diamond formed below earth’s surface or inside an advanced technological system.

loose diamond

So in essence, lab-grown diamonds are as real as mined diamonds. They sparkle with the same intensity, cut and polish the same way, get graded by the same standards, and stun with resplendent beauty equally. The misconception they are fakes or imitations stems from traditional notions that geological processes were the only means to create real diamonds. But state-of-the-art lab production validates that diamonds themselves are inherently real regardless of different origination pathways. When choosing lab-grown, buyers get glittering gems with identical grading certificates at more affordable prices.


How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Lab-grown diamonds are produced through advanced technological simulation of the natural diamond creation process occurring below earth's surface over billions of years. Two principal methods used are:

HPHT - High Pressure, High Temperature

First pioneered by GE in 1955, this process mimics the immense heat and pressure diamonds experience naturally deep within the earth’s mantle. A diamond seed crystal is exposed to temperatures exceeding 2500°C while under pressures over 1.5 million psi inside specialized supercomputers. This enables carbon atoms to concentrate and crystallize atop the seed.

CVD - Chemical Vapor Deposition

lab grown diamonds

This breakthrough process developed in the 1980s occurs inside microwave plasma reactors. A hydrocarbon gas mixture activated by microwaves breaks down and releases carbon atoms that settle onto diamond seed plates in carbon-rich layers epitaxially. Continual deposition results in diamond crystals expanding into rough lab-grown diamonds.

Both HPHT and CVD rely on human-engineered technological expertise to duplicate natural conditions that create glittering diamonds underground through complex interplay between carbon, heat, and pressure over eons.


What's the difference between lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds?

While essentially equivalent on a molecular level, lab-grown and mined diamonds have several key differences:

Origin: Mined diamonds result from compression of carbon deep inside the earth's mantle over billions of years. Lab-grown diamonds have identical compositions but originate from advanced technologies simulating natural diamond creation above ground.

Age: Mined diamonds are over 1-3 billion years old. Lab-created diamonds are grown in weeks to months.

Source: Mined diamonds are extracted from remote diamond mines across the globe requiring intensive resources. Lab diamonds are manufactured sustainably in monitored facilities.

Cost: Due to rarity, mined diamond prices are 50-75% higher across all color/clarity combinations. Lab diamonds deliver tremendous value at 30-40% savings.

Ethics: Mined diamond supply chains have historically lacked transparency and oversight with concerns like conflict sourcing, unsafe working conditions, and environmental damage. Lab diamond producers emphasize social responsibility with 100% traceability.

In essence, lab vs. mined diamonds offer consumers an ethical choice without compromising beauty, quality, or longevity. Savings from lab origins pass directly onto buyers as well.


Are lab-grown diamonds ethical and Eco-friendly?

Yes, lab-grown diamonds rate exceptionally highly for environmental sustainability and ethical production compared to mined diamonds. Mined diamond extraction requires immense energy expenditures and heavy machinery operation leading to soil erosion, deforestation, sinkholes, waterway harm, and displaced ecosystems. Dangerous and exploitative working conditions for miners also persist in some areas.

rose gold lab grown diamond engagement ring

Conversely, lab diamond manufacturing has minimal environmental impact since cutting-edge production takes place securely inside high-tech indoor facilities. State-of-the-art technology powered by renewable energy sources emits virtually zero waste while efficiently growing gems layer-by-layer. Lab diamond producers proudly emphasize eco-conscious and socially responsible business practices promoting transparency, non-discrimination, livable wages, and safe working conditions along 100% traceable supply chains.

When customers select lab grown diamond rings like engagement rings, they can feel assured they are making an ethical choice aligned with modern values, not supporting outdated mining practices that exploit people and habitats for diamond extraction from endangered ecological regions. Ultimately, lab diamonds are the future offering consumers conflict-free, eco-friendly, economical, stunning heirlooms.

What are the pros and cons of lab-grown diamond engagement rings?

Pros

  • Significant cost savings of 30-40% off comparable mined diamonds enables choosing larger, higher quality center stones
  • Graded by same standards as mined so guaranteed exceptional cut, color and clarity
  • Eco-friendly and conflict-free for guiltless purchasing and wearing
  • Identical optical properties mean dazzling brilliance and fire
  • Can customize shape with torn-free roughs instead of relying on nature

Cons

  • Historically held less resale value, but projections indicate price parity with mined gems approaching
  • Small risk of detectable post-growth treatments like coating/filling if improperly disclosed (buyer must vet supplier)
  • Rare chance of identifiable spectroscopic differences to highly trained eyes
  • Misconception they are artificial or imitation gems instead of real diamonds

Ultimately, lab diamonds make engagement ring shopping radically transparent, affordable and sustainable. Eliminating middlemen and multi-step distribution chains means savings get directed into crafting dream designs. And innovative technological origins provide peace of mind the precious symbol of lifetime commitment causes no harm to the planet or vulnerable communities.


How much do custom lab-grown engagement rings cost?

Pricing for bespoke engagement rings with customized lab-grown diamond center stones plus handcrafted precious metal bands depends chiefly on:

Diamond characteristics – Carat weight, cut grade, color grade, and clarity grade establish baseline diamond material expenses from suppliers. Expect to pay $800+ for an elaborate 1 carat lab diamond. Add 15-30% premiums for each higher color/clarity combination.

Band metal - 14k or 18k gold and platinum pricing fluctuates daily based on stock indices. Allow $500+ for the precious metal alone.

Accent features - Smaller diamond halos/side stones, engraving, intricate detailing raise costs further.

Vendor markups – Brick-and-mortar stores have bigger overhead, so their custom piece quotes involve 2-4X profit margins factored atop base costs. Online vendors and custom designers offer more reasonable 10-20% net profit margins.

diamond eangagemet lab grown ring

Total expense range: $2000-$15000+

While custom lab diamond rings appear ultra-luxurious, their price-transparency ensures budget optimization without sacrificing sparkle. Eliminating distribution inefficiencies and legacy diamond industry profit tactics makes attaining breathtaking bespoke designs strikingly accessible.

As lab diamonds gain mainstream traction, an assortment of retailers now provide custom engagement ring design services showcasing ethical precision-crafted gems with tremendous brilliance at discounted prices. Excellent places to shop for one-of-a-kind pieces include:

Online-only vendors like Ada Diamonds, Lightbox, Clean Origin, and Cuor offer intuitive virtual design studios to envision and purchase dream rings online. State-of-the-art inventory tools filter eligible lab diamonds


How long does it take to have a custom lab-grown ring made?

The brilliant sparkle of a customized lab diamond ring makes tantalizingly unique engagement proposals achievable. But how long must the proposer wait to present their dazzling bespoke band after pulling the virtual design triggers?

Production timelines for crafted pieces hinge chiefly on:

Band complexity - Basic solitaires and single diamond accents require 2-4 weeks production time including procuring, sizing, and setting the stone. Intricate halo settings, engraving, specialty metals extend projects to 6-8 weeks.

Center stone specifications – On-demand inventory for standard shapes and grades enables immediate ring commencement. But rare carat weights, fancy customized cuts, or high clarity/color grades necessitate sourcing unavailable lab diamonds externally then importing. Extra 2-4 weeks minimum.

diamond engagement ring

Vendor type - Major online-only retailers like Clean Origin work exclusively with networks of manufacturing partners stateside and overseas to deliver 3-5 week average turnarounds. Small proprietors and private jewelers lacking expansive production pipelines report 6-10 weeks average.

Holiday rush - Christmas, Valentine’s Day spikes mean slotting custom orders into packed production schedules. Build in extra 20-40% duration during peak engagement seasons or special order well in advance.

Once completed, retailers overnight ship completed rings direct-to-consumer. So the anxious beloved can rest assured their sustainable precision sparkler arrives promptly for proposals right on time.

 

How do you tell a lab-grown diamond from a natural diamond?

With lab-grown diamonds poised to become the ethical, economical choice for modern fine jewelry, proper identification guides diamond buyers and professionals. Trained gemologists employ these high-tech distinguishing techniques:

Inscription - Reputable lab diamond suppliers permanently laser inscribe girdles with identifying text like "Lab Grown". Optical microscopes reveal markings.

UV Light - Natural diamonds glow blue fluorescent under UV, while most lab-grown diamonds give off faint yellow or none.

Spectral Composition - Lab and mined diamond molecular structures differ slightly. Advanced spectrometer devices detecting these atomic subtleties are 99% definitive.

Identification Reports – All grading reports clearly state laboratory origins ensuring transparency. Reports not disclosing origins should rouse suspicion.

Supplier Vetting – Established retailers provide 100% disclosure of lab-sourced inventory for client assurance. Seeking respectable merchants ensures ethical, compliant handling.

While the minutiae fascinates industry experts, lab diamonds deliver identical beauty, durability, and luxurious appeal as natural diamonds to everyday buyers seeking conflict-free, eco-friendly choices for less.

Back to blog