The lowdown on lab-grown diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are creating a buzz in the jewellery world. One of the first questions we get asked is: are they still real diamonds? The answer is yes, of course.
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds
They fall under the classification of a synthetic diamond, which means that chemically they are exactly the same as a natural diamond. The difference is, they are grown under very specific, controlled conditions in a laboratory, as opposed to being mined from the earth.
Think of it like the ice you put in your drink … prior to the invention of refrigeration, if you wanted ice in your G&T you would have to travel to a frozen lake or find a glacier, cut off a chunk of ice, then cart it back to your home. That was how you harvested natural ice.
These days, you fill an ice tray with water, pop it into the freezer and 60 minutes later: voila! You have ice. It is chemically exactly the same as the natural ice, but the process that would happen in nature has been replicated with a man-made (and much more convenient) process.
There are two main techniques used to create diamonds in a laboratory. One is HTHP (High Pressure High Temperature), the other is CVD (Chemical Vapor Disposition). Both methods are now producing high quality lab-grown diamonds typically at 20 to 40 per cent of the cost of a natural diamond - and to such a high standard that only a diamond expert can tell the difference.
Why choose lab-grown?
For some people, choosing lab-grown over mined diamonds is a decision based on environmental and/or ethical concerns.
Lab-grown diamonds do not require a large-scale mining operation to reach the final product. It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that creating lab-grow diamonds requires electricity and depending on where this electricity comes from, there may be a carbon footprint associated with the process. There are certainly pros and cons for both methods.
But for most people, it simply comes down to price. Lab-grown diamonds are considerably cheaper than their natural equivalent. More sparkle, less money. What’s not to love?
Duffs Jewellers is pleased to offer a limited range of lab-grown diamonds, available to view in our Westfield and Waurn Ponds stores.