Lab grown diamonds or natural?
Why do we work with them?
When you ask around, the response from jewellers is so vastly different, some love them and some will not work with them.
Our answer is simple, because our customers keep asking for them, we work them.
Like anything you are purchasing, we believe that if you understand the pros and cons, we are more than happy to create a beautiful ring using lab diamond for you.
In this blog we will dive deeper into the pros and cons so you can make a sound decision if these diamonds are for you.
– who set the trend
– ethical and environmentally friendly ideologies
– two types of lab grown diamonds
– price point
– our conclusion
Who set the trend?
We have seen a dramatic increase in couples asking for lab grown diamonds, since Bindi Irwin received lab diamond in her engagement ring.
Lab grown diamonds have essentially identical physical, chemical & optical characteristics as natural diamonds and have boomed as the ideal alternative to natural diamonds, but what exactly is the difference between them?
Ethical & environmentally friendly ideologies are the leading factor steering people away from natural diamonds, when in fact, unless a laboratory is running off renewable sources of energy, producing these stones requires a lot of power.
Of course, we can never overlook the environmental impacts of diamond mining along with the existence of conflict diamonds. However there are many procedures & rules in place for countries to follow – such as The Kimberley Process – that make diamond sourcing more ethical and the existence of conflict diamonds dwindling.
What do we mean by that? If you propose with a lab grown diamond, it is important that your fiancé is aware of that. We have heard of instances where the proposed ring was taken to a jeweller for cleaning and the recipient was told it is a lab grown diamond (as per laser inscription on the diamond’s girdle) and as you can imagine the girl was quite shocked!
So when we mean transparency, we mean honesty 🙂
Two types of lab grown diamonds
High pressure high temperature (HPHT)
A small diamond seed is placed into a piece of carbon. Then using either a belt press, cubic press or a split-sphere (BARS) press, the carbon is pressurized to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch, also exposed to temperatures over 1,480 degrees.
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
A small diamond seed (often an HPHT diamond) is placed inside a sealed chamber that is heated to over 760 degrees and filled with carbon-rich gases (typically methane and hydrogen). These gases are then ionized into plasma using a technology similar to lasers or microwaves. Whilst natural diamonds were created under high pressure and temperature billions of years ago deep inside the Earth’s core.
The biggest factor that has many people looking towards lab grown diamond is the price point. This alone gives our customers the ability to choose a diamond of amazing properties, where natural diamond would be quite often out of their budget.
Another favourite is the size for money, as the larger lab grown diamonds give you the best return on your investment compared to naturals.
Ballpark difference is about double (lab to natural), but as natural diamonds are harder to get in exceptional quality, the price will always remain much higher.
So what if you want to resell your diamond? (most commonly asked question).
Firstly I would challenge the idea of why would you be selling, as the only time you may consider such decision, would be if you broke up or if you want to upgrade.
In our opinion jewellery should never be purchased as an investment, unless you are acquiring unique rare collectable piece. Even selling natural diamond can prove quite challenging as selling second hand is never simple.
Our biggest point we make is the fact that lab grown diamonds have dropped in price since they first hit the market and no one knows if they will keep dropping or not.
Even though most customers who come to us looking for lab grown diamonds have already done the research and understand the pros and cons, we always go over the important factors.
If you are happy to purchase a man made diamond understanding the pros and cons, than lab grown diamond is the perfect choice for you.
Every engagement ring is an emotional purchase, as lets face it, you are asking some to marry you, so do your homework, ask a lot of questions and if unsure, involve your partner in this forever decision.
Most importantly find a jeweller you are comfortable with, who has your best interest in mind.