The Different Types of Diamonds Used in Jewelry

Over the past few years, lab diamonds have become a common choice for wedding rings and other precious jewelry. Despite this increase in popularity, some people are still skeptical…

So, what is a lab diamond? And how does that differ from a natural diamond?

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about lab vs natural diamonds and which you should choose for your next piece of jewelry.

What Is a Lab Diamond?

Scientists developed methods of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) to create diamonds in controlled laboratory environments. Using these methods, they can make diamonds that look like natural diamonds and have the same chemical properties as natural diamonds.

Just like natural diamonds, laboratory diamonds have shape, size, color, and clarity grades. They can be made using two processes.

1. Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamonds 

For this process, scientists place a “seed crystal” into a chamber filled with gases. When the gases are heated to a certain temperature, layers of carbon start coating the seed crystal. After enough time, this results in a square-shaped lab diamond.

2. High-Pressure High-Temperature Diamonds 

This method is a replicate of the earth’s diamond-forming process. Scientists place natural graphite in a large machine. The machine exerts immense pressure and temperature on the graphite, turning it into a diamond.

Differences Between Lab and Natural Diamonds

Without specialized equipment, lab diamonds are indistinguishable from natural diamonds. To tell them apart, gemologists look for traces of nitrogen. Natural diamonds contain nitrogen, while lab diamonds do not.

Natural diamonds are created under the immense pressure of the earth’s crust. It takes millions of years for them to develop. Lab grown diamonds are made under the same conditions, but in a laboratory. This decreases the grow time to several months.

Pros of Lab Diamonds 

Both types of diamonds are indistinguishable to the naked eye. Whatever you choose, your jewelry is going to sparkle and shine for years to come.

The benefit of choosing a lab diamond is that, on average, lab diamonds are 30-50% less expensive than natural diamonds. This means you can purchase much larger gems for your engagement ring or any other piece of precious jewelry.

Cons of Lab Diamonds 

On the other hand, natural diamonds are rarer than lab diamonds. Their higher price point means you have incredible resale value. This value isn’t likely to fluctuate over time since there is a finite supply of natural diamonds.

As more lab diamonds are produced, their resale prices may depreciate.

Lab vs Natural Diamonds: Which Will You Choose?

When choosing between lab diamonds and natural diamonds, there is no right or wrong choice. Both options have unique pros and cons which you and your partner can weigh upon together before you pick the perfect wedding ring.

So, in the lab vs natural diamonds debate, which is it going to be?

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