The first non-natural diamonds were made by General Electric in 1954, but the first gem-quality crystal wasn’t created until 1971. Since then, the tools used to develop lab-produced gems have become cheaper, and so have the stones, opening the market to affordable heirloom jewelry.
Why You Should Choose Lab-Grown for Your Heirloom Jewelry
While it’s true that lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds, that isn’t the only reason why consumers invest in them. Here are 5 other reasons to purchase lab diamonds.
Lab-Created Diamonds Can be Made Without Impurities
The 4 Cs (clarity, color, carat, and cut) govern a diamond’s quality. A mined diamond is almost guaranteed to have impurities visible to the naked eye. Depending on who you ask, impurities can give a diamond character, but it always means it’s worth less than a high-grade stone.
While proper gemstone maintenance can improve the look of a stone, it can’t remove impurities. You can only do this during the growth process. This is why lab-grown diamonds rarely, if ever, are made with impurities and are often graded as Flawless (F) or Internally Flawless (IF).
Lab-Created Diamonds are Just as Real as Minded Diamonds
Lab-created diamonds are often unfairly compared to cubic zirconia or synthetic crystals. This gives the consumer the impression that diamonds produced in a lab aren’t “real” diamonds.
However, lab-created diamonds and earth-made diamonds are nearly identical in both chemistry and structure. Both diamond types are formed when their pure carbon structure is subjected to high temperatures and pressure. They can be cut, polished, and graded in the exact same way.
Only the most experienced jewelers can tell them apart if they use specific scientific testing techniques. A laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond can determine its true origin.
Lab-Created Heirloom Diamonds Aren’t Made to be Sold
One criticism of lab-created diamonds is their assumed worthlessness. If you intend to invest money into diamonds, mined varieties are the better option because they’re more likely to hold on to their value and could be worth more in the future as mined diamonds become scarce.
However, heirloom diamonds aren’t made to be sold. What’s considered worthless to a collector could still be worthwhile to your family. Lab-created gems allow people to keep precious items for their families at half the cost, which makes estate planning more accessible and affordable.
Lab-Created Diamonds are More Sustainable Than Mined Gems
While there are ways to mine diamonds in eco-friendly ways, there’s no denying that mined diamonds are a finite resource. To mine diamonds, other finite resources, like natural gas, oil, coal, and stones, are used regardless, as solar and wind aren’t widely available fuel sources.
It should also be mentioned that diamond mining requires excavating and digging up inhabited land. These actions can disrupt ecosystems and destroy wildlife if the miners aren’t careful.
Lab-created diamonds have built a reputation and following because they’re ethically sourced and resource-conscious. While diamonds are forever, the resources used to excavate them aren’t, leaving many environmentally concerned consumers rejecting mined gems altogether.
Lab-Created Diamonds Give You the Option to Upgrade
Lab-grown diamonds save you money without sacrificing quality. Since you can get high-quality stones for engagement rings, diamond earrings, or other diamond jewelry without breaking the bank, you have the option to upgrade the size and cut of your lab-grown gems.
It’s estimated that lab-grown diamonds cost 50% to 70% less than mined diamonds. A 1-carat mined diamond with an excellent cut, SI1 clarity, and H color could cost you $6,500 or more. By comparison, you would only pay $2,600 for a lab-grown diamond of the same or better quality.