Lab grown diamonds have been around for over 50 years, but only in the last few have they become a real contender to natural mined diamonds in terms of quality and cost effectiveness. As an independent jewelry store, we’re excited that these stones are becoming more widely available to the public. Here are the four greatest advantages these diamonds have to their mined cousins.
- They’re practically indistinguishable. Simply put, lab grown diamonds are diamonds, they just come from a different source. All diamonds are made of carbon, arranged in a tightly packed atomic lattice which gives it characteristic hardness and brilliance. Lab grown diamonds are precisely this, they were created in environments engineered to mimic the intense heat and pressure that forges natural diamonds. Unlike Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, or Rhinestones, all of which are considered diamond simulants, because they use different materials to replicate the properties of a diamond, a lab grown diamond is the real thing.
- They’re Conflict Free. It would disheartening to think that your engagement ring, the symbol of your eternal love and commitment to your spouse, funded civil unrest or human rights abuses in another country. While its normally impossible to know if this is the case for your diamond, with a lab grown stone there’s no need to worry. Apart from certified Canadian diamonds, which we also carry, this is the only way to ensure that your purchase does not fund conflict.
3. They’re More Environmentally Friendly. Without the need to excavate enormous amounts of dirt in search of diamonds in the ground, lab grown diamonds are orders of magnitude less impact on the environment. Pictured above is the Mir Mine in Russia, which throughout the span of its active excavation produced 10,000,000 carats of diamond, or two metric tons. This seems like an extraordinary amount, but is dwarfed by the 29,700,000,000 metric tons of dirt removed to obtain it. Now closed, the enormous hole in the ground will remain indefinitely.
Most lab grown diamonds are produced by a method called Chemical Vapor Deposition. In this process, carbon atoms are heated to incredible temperatures until they form a plasma gas, which then condenses on a seed crystal to grow the resulting diamond. While this process requires a great deal of energy, it still comes up to half of the energy expended burning fossil fuels in a traditional mine.
It’s been over a decade since major diamond mine has been excavated, yet the global demand for diamonds continues to grow, fueled by a rapidly expanding middle class in India and China. Lab grown diamonds are the only feasible way to keep up with demand while avoiding large scale environmental damage digging larger and larger holes for fewer and fewer stones.
4. They’re Less Expensive. If all the altruistic reasons don’t sway you, there’s always the bonus that lab grown diamonds are less expensive, due to the fact that they’re more efficient to produce. And while physically indistinguishable from natural diamonds, there’s still a slight market preference for mined diamonds. However the end result is that you get to wear a bigger, higher quality diamond for less.
There you have it! Although lab grown diamonds are relatively new to the market, and haven’t caught to many consumers; this perceptions is bound to change over time. At Oceanside Jewelers we’ve decided that the most forward thinking thing to do would be to offer these stones now to those that are ready for them! As professional jewelers and gemologists we can personally attest to the quality of these stones, they are in fact diamonds. Don’t just take our work for it.