Chemically, physically, and optically, lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural ones. They’re just as durable as natural diamonds, but they’re a bit easier on your pocketbook. Beautiful sparkle as natural diamonds. They’re real diamonds with the same crystal structure.
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Lab-made diamonds can go by a few different names. Lab-made, lab-grown, lab-created, synthetic, cultured, and created can all describe diamonds made in a laboratory.
At first glance, there’s no way to tell the difference between a lab-made diamond and a natural one. However, there are two small details you could look for.
With a magnifying glass, Diamonds To Buy Online (mouse click the next page) – Suggested Resource site – try to find a tiny laser inscription on the girdle – the widest part of the diamond that forms its outline when you look at it from the top. Many lab-made diamonds have an inscription that identifies them as lab-made. See if you can read it.
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Diamonds can also have a lab report number inscribed on the girdle. If you go to the laboratory website, you can enter this number to get the report, which will tell you whether the stone is mined or lab-grown, along with plenty of other information.
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If there’s nothing on the girdle, only a major gemological laboratory can tell you whether the diamond is mined or created.
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Lab-made diamonds have the same thermal. Electrical conductivity as mined diamonds. So, they will pass a diamond tester exam.
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Since a lab-grown diamond appears identical to a mined diamond, most jewelers won’t be able to tell the difference. Still, the only way to be certain is to send it to a gemological laboratory. (Assuming, of course, that the diamond has no girdle inscriptions). However, jewelers who are also trained gemologists may be able to tell whether a diamond is lab-grown with the aid of a powerful microscope.
This process mimics the way that diamonds grow in nature, subjecting carbon to high temperatures and pressing it together. This costly method requires a lot of energy. Typically, microwave power heats the chamber to a high temperature, which excites the gas. The diamond grows on the seed crystal. In this process, a mixture of hydrogen and methane gas is placed in a chamber with a seed crystal.
Some people feel that lab-made diamonds are inappropriate for an engagement ring because they’re “cheap. Still others prefer lab-made diamonds over mined diamonds for ethical and environmental reasons.
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Not too long ago, a majority of consumers considered lab-made diamonds “cheap. About ⅔ of people aged 21-40 who are shopping for an engagement ring are now willing to consider lab-grown diamonds. Due to natural diamond sticker shock, that’s not too surprising. Lab-grown diamonds average about 30-40% of the price of comparable natural ones. Plus, they look the same. With lower prices and guaranteed ethical sourcing, a lab-grown diamond is a practical and guilt-free alternative.
Lab-created diamonds have none of those issues.
Lab-grown diamonds are a far cry from fake diamonds. Historically, fake diamonds were typically glass. Sparkly as any natural diamond. Has a lot less sparkle than a well-cut diamond. Glass is much less durable. Lab-created diamonds have none of those issues. They’re just as durable. Other diamond imitations, like synthetic cubic zirconia and natural zircon or topaz gems, are likely to chip with wear.
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Still, there’s nothing wrong with opting for a diamond lookalike. For example, moissanites are a durable and affordable alternative to diamonds with a huge fan base. They look very similar to diamonds, too. Only an expert could tell the difference!
Lab-created diamonds are less valuable than natural diamonds. But, unless you’re dropping some serious cash on a large, high-color white diamond – or a rare fancy colored diamond, like a blue diamond – a natural diamond isn’t going to appreciate much in value.
In reality, all diamonds dramatically drop in value the second you buy them. After that, a mined diamond will slowly regain value, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sell your natural diamond and break even within your lifetime. (That is, unless you spent millions on a world famous diamond with an exciting provenance).
So, whether lab-grown or mined, diamonds aren’t a good investment. If you’re shopping for an engagement ring stone, what would you prefer: a mined diamond or some extra cash for the honeymoon? That’s why you should always choose what will make you happiest.
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Even as heirlooms, lab-made diamonds aren’t bad options. Where the stone came from will just be an afterthought. Odds are, your children and grandchildren will want your jewelry because it was yours.
Whether lab-made or mined, your diamond will certainly last long enough for your heir to enjoy it.
Lab-made diamonds typically have good clarity. Like a high-quality natural diamond, lab-made diamonds won’t get cloudy.
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Ethical diamond mining has become a hot topic, and the easiest way to avoid unethically mined diamonds is to choose a lab-made one. Diamonds grown in a lab are never “blood diamonds”. Have a smaller environmental footprint than mined diamonds. That makes lab-made diamonds a more environmentally sustainable option, too.
Still, there are ways to purchase ethically mined diamonds. You can also shop for a “recycled,” secondhand diamond.
If you’re concerned about ethical diamonds, check out our guide to ethical engagement rings.
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The colored diamond option is a major “plus” for lab-grown diamonds. Fancy colored diamonds can be some of the most expensive gemstones – but also some of the most remarkable. Pink diamonds, in particular, are always in demand, but getting one in a nice size for an engagement ring just isn’t an option for most budgets.
If you’re interested in a fancy colored diamond for your engagement ring, a lab-grown stone might be your best option for a nice color, cut, and size at an affordable price.
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As long as they have a nice cut, lab-grown diamonds will sparkle!
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