Laboratory created diamonds are beautiful alternatives to natural diamonds. Also known as man-made or cultured diamonds, lab-created diamonds are grown in a laboratory with technology that simulates the conditions under which natural diamonds develop. They are formed from the same material and exposed to the same conditions, so lab diamonds are optically and chemically identical to natural diamonds. They also offer a sustainable option to natural diamonds because they eliminate the need for mining.
Why buy lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-created diamonds are much cheaper than natural diamonds. So, they are perfect if you are on a budget and want value for money. Lab-created diamonds are visually and chemically identical to natural diamonds and project the same beauty. Lab-created diamonds offer a modern alternative to natural diamonds.
How are lab-grown diamonds made?
Lab-created diamonds in NZ are, of course, made in a laboratory. They start with a tiny carbon seed, just like natural diamonds. They are then nurtured in a controlled environment. They are subjected to extreme heat and pressure in a process known as Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD), replicating the conditions in which natural diamonds are formed over millions of years. This process accelerates the growth of the diamonds, producing a remarkable transformation over a relatively short period of time. In less than three months, the seed develops into a rough diamond which is then carefully cut and polished, in the same way as natural diamonds are. The result is a lab-grown diamond that is in every way identical to a natural diamond. Lab-grown diamonds were first created in the mid C20th century, but developments in the C21st have facilitated more efficient production.
Are lab-grown diamonds real?
Without a doubt, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds and are distinguished only by the way they grow. They possess the same intrinsic qualities and characteristics as natural diamonds and are indistinguishable to the naked eye. In fact, specialised equipment is needed to tell them apart. They have the same chemical composition as natural diamonds, a structure of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice. The only difference is how they are created; lab-grown diamonds are cultivated in controlled environments instead of being extracted from the Earth.
Lab-grown diamonds or natural diamonds?
The cut of a diamond is important for determining its beauty and value. Both types of diamonds can be cut to maximise their beauty. The way a diamond is cut determines how it reflects and refracts light, and consequently how it sparkles. Natural diamonds sometimes have imperfections that can affect their value. The clearest, colourless diamonds are the most sought-after and therefore the most valuable. Lab diamonds are usually nearly colourless, so visually they compare with the more valuable natural diamonds. Bearing in mind that it is virtually impossible to distinguish between the different types of diamonds, especially with the naked eye, you should perhaps choose a diamond relative to your budget. Lab-created diamonds can cost around 30% less than natural diamonds of the same size and quality.