Should i buy lab grown diamond

Written by: Hagai Bichman

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Time to read 10 min

Should i buy lab grown diamond, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are diamonds that are created in highly controlled laboratory environments using advanced technological processes that replicate the natural diamond formation process.

Unlike natural diamonds, which are formed over billions of years deep within the Earth's mantle under extreme heat and pressure conditions, lab grown diamond are grown from a diamond seed placed in a specialized growth chamber, to create the perfect lab grown diamond jewellery

The two main methods used to grow lab-grown diamonds are


  1. High-Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT) : This process involves subjecting a small diamond seed to extremely high temperatures and pressures, similar to those found in the Earth's mantle, to facilitate the growth of a larger diamond crystal.
  2. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) : In this method, a diamond seed is placed in a vacuum chamber and exposed to a highly heated gaseous carbon-rich environment. The gases break down and allow the carbon atoms to deposit and crystallize on the seed, gradually building up the diamond layer by layer.

While the formation processes differ, lab-grown diamonds possess the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as natural diamonds. They are essentially chemically, optically, and physically identical to their natural counterparts. The primary difference lies in their origin – lab-grown diamonds are man-made, while natural diamonds are formed naturally within the Earth over billions of years.

However, there are a few subtle distinctions between the two. Lab-grown diamonds often have a more consistent color and clarity due to the controlled environment in which they are grown. Additionally, some lab-grown diamonds may exhibit slight variations in their crystal structure or contain trace elements that can be detected through advanced gemological analysis.

Despite these minor differences, lab-grown diamonds are considered real diamonds and are graded using the same standards as natural diamonds, such as the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight). They offer the same brilliance, fire, and durability as natural diamonds, making them a viable and often more affordable alternative for jewelry and industrial applications.

Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds

Yes, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They possess the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as natural diamonds mined from the Earth. The only difference lies in their origin – lab-grown diamonds are created in highly controlled laboratory environments, while natural diamonds are formed naturally over billions of years deep within the Earth's mantle under extreme heat and pressure conditions.

Chemically and optically, lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from natural diamonds. They are composed of pure crystallized carbon arranged in a cubic crystal structure, just like their natural counterparts. Lab-grown diamonds exhibit the same hardness, refractive index, and thermal conductivity as natural diamonds, making them equally durable and suitable for various applications, including jewelry and industrial uses.

Reputable gemological laboratories, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI), have established grading standards and certification processes for lab-grown diamonds, treating them as real diamonds. These diamonds are graded using the same criteria as natural diamonds, including the famous 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight), ensuring that consumers can make informed decisions based on objective quality assessments.

While lab-grown diamonds may be more affordable than their natural counterparts due to the controlled production process, they are not considered synthetic or imitation stones. They are genuine diamonds with the same chemical and physical properties, just created through advanced technological processes rather than geological processes.

Can lab-grown diamonds pass as natural diamonds

Yes, it is possible for lab-grown diamonds to pass as natural diamonds, at least to the naked eye or basic gemological testing. This is because lab-grown diamonds share the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical properties as natural diamonds, making them visually and structurally identical.

However, with advanced gemological analysis and specialized equipment, gemologists and trained professionals can identify the subtle differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Some of the techniques used to distinguish between the two include:

  1. Spectroscopy : Lab-grown diamonds may exhibit slight variations in their absorption and emission spectra due to the presence of trace elements or structural imperfections introduced during the growth process.
  2. Microscopic Analysis : Advanced microscopes can detect unique growth patterns, strain patterns, or inclusions that are characteristic of the specific growth method used for lab-grown diamonds (HPHT or CVD).
  3. Fluorescence Imaging : Natural and lab-grown diamonds may exhibit different fluorescence patterns when exposed to ultraviolet light, helping gemologists identify their origin.
  4. Laser Ablation : This technique involves vaporizing a tiny portion of the diamond and analyzing the resulting gas for specific trace elements or isotopic ratios that can indicate whether the diamond is natural or lab-grown.

Furthermore, lab-grown diamonds are often laser-inscribed with specific identification numbers or symbols to distinguish them from natural diamonds and ensure transparency in the diamond trade.

While it is possible for an untrained individual to mistake a lab-grown diamond for a natural one, reputable jewelers and gemological laboratories have the knowledge and tools necessary to accurately identify the origin of a diamond. Proper disclosure and certification are essential to maintain consumer trust and ensure ethical practices in the diamond industry.

Are lab-grown diamonds as durable and long-lasting as natural diamonds?

Yes, lab-grown diamonds are just as durable and long-lasting as natural diamonds. This is because they possess the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as their natural counterparts.

Diamonds, whether natural or lab-grown, are the hardest known naturally occurring material on Earth, ranking 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This exceptional hardness means that diamonds are highly resistant to scratching, chipping, and everyday wear and tear, making them suitable for use in jewelry and industrial applications that require durability and longevity.

Like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have a cubic crystal structure composed of tightly-bonded carbon atoms arranged in a tetrahedral arrangement. This rigid molecular structure is what gives diamonds their exceptional hardness and durability, regardless of their origin.

Furthermore, lab-grown diamonds exhibit the same thermal conductivity and chemical inertness as natural diamonds, meaning they can withstand high temperatures and resist chemical reactions, ensuring their longevity in various environments.

While natural diamonds may have formed billions of years ago under extreme heat and pressure conditions deep within the Earth's mantle, the lab-grown diamond production process replicates these conditions in a controlled environment, resulting in diamonds with identical physical and chemical properties.

Provided that lab-grown diamonds are properly cared for and maintained, they can last just as long as natural diamonds, retaining their brilliance, fire, and structural integrity for generations. Reputable jewelers and gemological laboratories grade and certify lab-grown diamonds using the same standards as natural diamonds, ensuring that consumers can make informed decisions about their quality and durability.

What are the ethical and environmental advantages of lab-grown diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds offer several ethical and environmental advantages over natural diamonds:

  1. Ethical Mining Practices : The mining of natural diamonds has been associated with human rights abuses, such as child labor, forced labor, and violence in conflict zones (known as "blood diamonds"). Lab-grown diamonds eliminate the need for unethical mining practices, providing a more ethical and socially responsible alternative.
  2. Environmental Impact : Diamond mining is an extremely resource-intensive process that can cause significant environmental damage. It requires the removal of vast amounts of earth and rock, resulting in deforestation, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, have a much smaller environmental footprint, as their production process generates minimal waste and requires less energy and water compared to mining operations.
  3. Energy Efficiency : While the initial setup of a lab-grown diamond facility requires a substantial energy investment, the ongoing production process is relatively energy-efficient. As technology continues to advance, the energy required for lab-grown diamond production is expected to decrease further, making it a more sustainable option compared to the energy-intensive mining and transportation of natural diamonds.
  4. Conflict-Free : Lab-grown diamonds are not associated with the financing of armed conflicts or civil wars, which has been a major concern in certain diamond-producing regions. By choosing lab-grown diamonds, consumers can ensure that their purchases do not inadvertently contribute to or perpetuate such conflicts.
  5. Traceability and Transparency : The controlled production process of lab-grown diamonds allows for greater traceability and transparency regarding the origin and ethical sourcing of the diamonds, providing consumers with peace of mind and the ability to make informed choices.

It is important to note that while lab-grown diamonds offer ethical and environmental advantages, the diamond industry as a whole is working to improve the sustainability and social responsibility of natural diamond mining practices as well. However, for consumers seeking a more ethical and environmentally friendly option, lab-grown diamonds present a viable and increasingly popular alternative.

Can lab-grown diamonds be certified by reputable gemological organizations?

Yes, lab-grown diamonds can be certified by reputable gemological organizations, just like natural diamonds. Major gemological laboratories, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI), have established grading and certification processes for lab-grown diamonds.

These organizations use advanced techniques and specialized equipment to analyze and grade lab-grown diamonds based on the same criteria as natural diamonds, including the famous 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. They also assess other characteristics like fluorescence, symmetry, and overall quality.

The certification process for lab-grown diamonds typically involves the following steps:

  1. Identification : Gemologists use specialized techniques, such as spectroscopy and microscopic analysis, to verify that the diamond is indeed lab-grown and not a natural or treated diamond.
  2. Grading : The diamond is evaluated and graded according to the 4Cs and other quality factors, following the same rigorous standards used for natural diamonds.
  3. Laser Inscription : Many lab-grown diamonds are laser-inscribed with a unique identification number or symbol to distinguish them from natural diamonds and ensure transparency in the diamond trade.
  4. Certification : After grading and identification, a detailed certificate is issued, providing information about the diamond's characteristics, quality, and origin (lab-grown).

These certified lab-grown diamonds come with the same level of credibility and assurance as certified natural diamonds, allowing consumers to make informed decisions based on objective quality assessments from trusted gemological organizations.

It is important to note that while certification is not mandatory, it provides valuable assurance and transparency regarding the quality and origin of the diamond, particularly for higher-value purchases.

Are there any potential risks or downsides to buying lab-grown diamonds

While lab-grown diamonds offer many advantages, there are a few potential risks or downsides to consider:

  1. Resale Value : One of the main concerns regarding lab-grown diamonds is their resale value. Natural diamonds have historically held their value better than lab-grown diamonds, as they are perceived as rarer and more valuable. However, as lab-grown diamonds become more mainstream and accepted, their resale value may improve over time.
  2. Market Perception : Although lab-grown diamonds are chemically and optically identical to natural diamonds, some consumers may still perceive them as less valuable or desirable than natural diamonds. This perception can affect their market value and acceptance, especially in certain cultural or regional markets.
  3. Undisclosed Origin : There is a risk of encountering undisclosed or misrepresented lab-grown diamonds being sold as natural diamonds, particularly in the unregulated or grey market. This can lead to consumers unknowingly paying higher prices for lab-grown diamonds under the assumption that they are natural. It is crucial to purchase from reputable and transparent retailers who provide proper certification and disclosure.
  4. Environmental Impact : While the environmental impact of lab-grown diamond production is generally lower than mining, it still requires energy and resources. The overall environmental footprint depends on factors such as the energy source used, the efficiency of the production process, and the disposal or recycling of materials.
  5. Quality Variations : As with any manufactured product, there can be variations in the quality and consistency of lab-grown diamonds, depending on the specific growth process and conditions used by different manufacturers. Proper certification and quality assurance are essential to ensure you are getting a high-quality diamond.

It is important to weigh these potential risks against the advantages of lab-grown diamonds, such as their ethical sourcing, environmental benefits, and often lower cost. Additionally, as the lab-grown diamond industry continues to evolve and gain acceptance, some of these risks or downsides may diminish over time.

How can I ensure I'm buying a high-quality lab-grown diamond


To ensure you're buying a high-quality lab-grown diamond, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase from Reputable Retailers : Buy from reputable and well-established retailers specializing in lab-grown diamonds. These retailers should be transparent about the origin of their diamonds and provide proper certification and documentation.
  2. Look for Certifications : Insist on purchasing lab-grown diamonds that are certified by reputable gemological organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). These certifications provide assurance about the diamond's quality, characteristics, and lab-grown origin.
  3. Understand the 4Cs : Educate yourself about the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and how they relate to diamond quality. A well-cut diamond with good color, clarity, and carat weight will exhibit optimal brilliance, fire, and overall beauty.
  4. Compare Certifications : When shopping for a specific diamond, compare the certifications from different gemological organizations to ensure consistency in the grading and quality assessment.
  5. Inspect the Diamond : If possible, inspect the diamond in person under proper lighting conditions. Look for any visible inclusions, color tints, or imperfections that may not be accurately represented in the certification or online listing.
  6. Ask About the Growth Method : Inquire about the specific growth method used to create the lab-grown diamond (HPHT or CVD). Different methods can result in slight variations in the diamond's characteristics and quality.
  7. Check for Laser Inscriptions : Many lab-grown diamonds are laser-inscribed with unique identification numbers or symbols to distinguish them from natural diamonds. Check for these inscriptions and ensure they match the certification documents.
  8. Request Disclosure : Always request a clear and written disclosure stating that the diamond is lab-grown, not natural. This disclosure should be provided by the retailer and included in any documentation or certification.
  9. Consider Warranties and Return Policies : Look for retailers that offer warranties or return policies specific to lab-grown diamonds, providing additional protection and peace of mind for your purchase.
  10. Trust Your Instincts : If something seems amiss or too good to be true, trust your instincts and don't hesitate to ask questions or seek a second opinion from another reputable source.

By following these steps and exercising due diligence, you can increase your chances of purchasing a high-quality, properly certified, and ethically sourced lab-grown diamond that meets your expectations and preferences.