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Diamonds: Natural Vs. Lab-Grown

Your Guide to the Perfect Diamond, Whether Natural or Lab-Grown, From Ellis Jewelers

Diamond buying can be a tricky task. Following the 4Cs; cut, clarity, color, and carat, is a great place to start. However, most consumers overlook the importance of one major choice. Should I purchase a natural diamond or a lab-grown diamond?

Lab-grown diamonds are not “new” by any means, however, in the last two decades, their prominence and sales numbers have steadily grown. Lab-grown diamonds are typically referred to by a few different names; man-made diamonds, lab diamonds, lab created diamonds, and lab-made diamonds. Most importantly, you should know that, scientifically speaking, a lab-grown diamond is indeed a real diamond, it is just created or grown in a laboratory versus being made underground in a real-world environment.

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, but they are not natural diamonds. Confused yet? No worries, we’ll explain the subtle nuances and differences between lab-grown diamonds vs. natural diamonds in greater detail below.

Our team at Ellis Jewelers wants to make purchasing a diamond as easy as possible. The only way that you can make an informed buying decision between a lab diamond vs. natural diamond is if you have all the information about lab-made and natural diamonds made available to you. Here is what you need to know:


Lab-Grown and Natural Diamond Similarities

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real Diamonds?

The short answer… Lab-made diamonds are real diamonds in every way, shape, and form, but they are not natural diamonds. Lab-made diamonds are scientifically identical to natural diamonds and are just as durable as natural diamonds due to the creation process and the chemical makeup.

Chemical Makeup

Lab-made diamonds offer all of the same key elements and chemical makeup as natural diamonds. Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are made from carbon atoms that have been heated under intense heat and compressed under extreme levels of pressure.

The heat and extreme levels of pressure applied to these carbon atoms, in terms of lab-grown diamonds, are administered in a laboratory over about a 3-month period of time, whereas in terms of natural diamonds, these same levels of heat and pressure are applied to carbon atoms underground in a natural process that takes millions of years to complete.

Structure and Certifications

Both natural and lab-grown diamonds feature the same structure and look. The structure and look of both types of diamonds are determined by the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) 4Cs diamond grading scale. The 4Cs are Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat and are used to determine the value of a diamond.


The Difference Between Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds

There are two main differences between natural and man-made diamonds. The first is how they are formed, and the second is their price, which is heavily based on a diamond’s rarity (among other factors of quality and appearance).

How Natural and Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Formed:

Natural diamonds are formed over the course of millions and millions of years. It starts when carbon is trapped deep underground. The carbon is then condensed under tremendous pressure. The intense pressure combined with large amounts of heat results in natural diamonds, the beautiful and rare gemstones that are widely sought after today by jewelry professionals and buyers just like you!

Lab-grown diamonds are created in laboratories using specialized machines that replicate the process that is seen in natural diamonds. Scientists have cut down the time it takes to form a lab-grown diamond using this process from millions of years to around 90 days. Although not natural, these real, lab-grown diamonds, because of their fast turn-around time, are becoming more and more popular in the jewelry industry.


Differences in Cost:

The next big difference is cost. Natural diamonds are a scarce resource. There are a limited number of natural diamonds that are mined each year. Due to the rarity, natural diamonds are more expensive than lab-made diamonds.

Another factor that plays into the pricing is the time it takes to form a natural diamond. Owning a diamond is like owning a piece of history, and this also affects the price of a natural diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds are usually less expensive than natural diamonds. This means that you can often get a larger diamond while staying within your budget. The reason for the lower cost is due to the fact that lab-made diamonds can be produced infinitely quicker than the natural process.

Man-made diamonds can be continuously made, making them an abundant resource. If you are looking to maximize your diamond budget, a lab-grown diamond may be worth considering.

a pair of diamond rings

Natural vs. Lab-Grown: What Diamond Should You Choose?

There is no right or wrong answer to which diamond you should purchase. Both natural and lab-grown diamonds offer brilliant beauty and durability. Additionally, both make great center stones or accent stones for the next piece of jewelry you’d like to add to your collection.

At Ellis Jewelers, we want to make sure that you find that perfect diamond. If you have further questions, feel free to stop in and speak with one of our diamond jewelry specialists. We look forward to working with you and walking you through our wide selection of both natural diamond and lab-grown diamond jewelry designs and answering any questions you may have.

Or, feel free to give us a call at 704-782-9314 or schedule an appointment so we can give you the personal time and attention that you deserve!

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