While the phrase ‘lab grown diamonds’ may conjure up images of futuristic laboratories and far-fetched experiments, the reality is much more recognisable.
Many of you may already wear lab grown diamonds on your favourite jewellery pieces — the iconic sparkle and shine we love on the natural gemstones are identical to diamonds produced in a lab.
Explore everything you need to know about lab grown diamonds, including what they are, how they are produced, and how to pick the best ones for your next jewellery purchase.
What are lab grown diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are crystals created in a controlled laboratory setting. Here, advanced technological processes mimic the conditions under which natural diamonds form.
Despite not being created in the bowels of the Earth, lab grown diamonds contain the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds. The only difference is the creation process, which allows lab grown diamonds to be produced quickly and at a lower cost.
How are lab grown diamonds made?
Manufacturers use two primary methods to produce lab grown diamonds — High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These processes create the same carbon structure as naturally occurring gems, giving the diamonds an identical feel and appearance.
HPHT simulates the earth’s mantle, where diamonds are naturally formed, using high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. First, a tiny diamond seed is placed in a carbon mixture with a metal catalyst. Intense pressure and heat are applied to the mixture, causing the carbon to condense and crystalise around the seed. The result is a dazzling diamond that rivals the best natural gemstones.
CVD produces lab grown diamonds by combing gases in a vacuum chamber. A substrate is placed in the chamber, causing the gases to react and deposit a thin carbon layer, which crystalises into a diamond. This process is repeated several times, depending on the desired size of the gem.
Both processes efficiently create authentic-looking and high-quality diamonds, identical to their natural counterparts.
Lab grown diamonds vs. real diamonds
The main difference between lab grown and natural diamonds is the manufacturing process.
When using the previously mentioned methods, lab grown diamonds take under a month to produce. In contrast, natural diamonds can take billions of years to form and enter the Earth’s surface.
Chemically, physically and optically, lab grown diamonds are identical to gems formed by the Earth, meaning your lab grown diamond jewellery will sparkle just as much as the real thing.
Why are lab grown diamonds cheaper?
Just as the origins of lab grown and natural diamonds differ, so does their price. Lab grown diamonds are often more affordable than natural stones — great news for those seeking budget-friendly jewellery.
Natural diamonds come with a premium price due to their rarity and limited supply. Lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, pass through fewer hands during the manufacturing process compared to traditional mining. The smaller production process keeps costs low for both jewellery creators and everyday customers.
The future of lab grown diamonds
As production expands and the quality of the gemstones continues to improve, the lab grown diamond industry is expected to grow considerably.
In recent years, major manufacturers of traditionally mined diamonds have shifted their focus to the lab grown diamond industry, responding to increased interest from customers worldwide.
Due to their more affordable price tag and shorter creation period, the demand for lab grown diamonds continues to rise. Some people, who may not have previously considered real diamond jewellery, have taken the opportunity to expand their collection or purchase budget-friendly gifts for family and friends.
With continued technological advancements, lab grown diamonds now have fewer inclusions and greater clarity than ever before, surging the gemstone’s popularity.
How to choose a lab grown diamond
Choosing a lab grown diamond comes with the same considerations as picking a natural diamond.
Here are some things to look for when buying lab grown diamond jewellery.
Clarity and colour grade
The clarity of a diamond indicates how flawless it is, considering the blemishes or inclusions on the stone. Opting for a lab grown diamond with a higher clarity ensures you’re getting a purer and better quality gemstone.
The absence of colour measures diamond colour — a colourless diamond is the most valuable, while a light yellow diamond is worth the least. The diamond you choose, therefore, depends on your budget and personal preference.
Just like natural diamonds, the cut of a lab grown diamond is significant. The diamond cut looks at the stone’s proportions, determining how well it reflects and interacts with light. A well-cut diamond will have exceptional brilliance and sparkle.
It goes without saying to only purchase your lab grown diamond from a reputable seller who can provide you with certifications and grading reports. A grading report contains information on the diamond’s quality, dimensions, and weight and the technologies used to create it.
Remember, lab grown diamonds are graded the same way as mined diamonds, so there is no excuse for a seller not to have these details.
Where to buy lab grown diamonds
Robert Gatward Jewellers’ lab grown diamond selection is all cut to the highest specifications, allowing for an excellent gemstone that sparkles and shines.
Our lab grown diamond engagement rings are particularly popular. Choose from several ring styles and cuts, including three-stone and solitaire designs. We also have dazzling lab grown diamond earrings and necklaces for purchase.
Lab grown diamonds cost up to 70% less than their natural counterparts, making them an affordable choice for a gift to a loved one or yourself.
Each lab grown diamond from Robert Gatward Jewellers is certified by the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the global leader in diamond grading, so you can rest assured your gem is of the best possible quality.
Our diamond specialists can also create a specular, bespoke jewel that showcases your personality or fits your special occasion.
Choose the diamond of your dreams without breaking the bank, and browse our collection of lab grown diamonds today.