How long does it take to create lab grown diamonds?
Typically, lab grown diamonds take up to a week to form. Compared to the natural process, which takes billions of years for diamonds to form and enter the Earth’s surface, it is an incredibly quick process!
What else are lab grown diamonds known as?
Lab grown diamonds are referred to as synthetic diamonds, man made, lab created, engineered, cultivated and cultured diamonds
Can I insure my lab grown diamond engagement ring?
Absolutely. Just like any high value purchase you make, it is important to insure your lab grown diamond ring. Make sure to choose a policy to cover you for a like-for-like replacement in the event of damage or loss.
Could lab diamonds test as moissanite or as a diamond simulant?
Lab diamonds will almost always test as diamonds - because they are physically and chemically identical. There is a chance that due to the impurities (invisible to the naked eye) caused by HPHT, one of the processes in which lab diamonds are created, they could test as moissanite. While machine testing can get it wrong, it’s super unlikely the human eye would.
The trained eye can usually tell the difference between a real diamond (whether mined or lab grown) and a moissanite, or other diamond simulants. Whilst diamond simulants are created to look like a diamond, they have different refractive properties, resulting in noticeably different opticals.
Key factors to look out for when telling a lab grown diamond and moissanite apart include:
Colour - A moissanite will usually appear yellow or green in tone under certain lights. Whilst not graded in the same way, an untreated moissanite would typically not grade higher than ‘K’ on the GIA colour scale (the ideal, colourless diamond is considered to grade between D-F)
Sparkle - A diamond’s sparkle is far superior and noticeable than a moissanite. Moissanites are noted for their internal ‘rainbow like’ sparkle, while a diamond’s internal reflection will be bright, white light.
The Facets - the facets of a well cut diamond will appear crisper than those of a moissanite. Moissanites can appear ‘milky’ with less definable facets.
Do lab created diamonds get cloudy?
No, a real diamond, whether lab created or mined, will not appear cloudy over time. While this can happen to diamond simulants, lab diamonds are 100% real and identical to mined diamonds - and neither will lose clarity over time. If you notice your diamond looks cloudy, it probably just needs a good clean (ideally with washing up liquid!) to remove dirt or oil from the surface.
How easy is it to find the perfect lab grown diamond for my engagement ring?
It is not as easy to source the perfect lab grown diamond as you might think. Lab grown diamonds are less readily available than mined diamonds, which the global market has been honing the process of mining and trading for centuries. Relatively new to the jewellery industry, lab grown diamonds are far and few between in comparison, and finding the perfect shape diamond with the ideal grades can be tricky. You can usually be far more specific with your search for a mined diamond, and still have a bigger pool of diamonds to choose from, whereas your search for the perfect lab grown diamond could take a little longer, or incur more compromises.
Should I choose a lab-grown diamond or a natural diamond?
Deciding whether a lab grown diamond or more traditional, mined diamond is the right choice for you and your engagement ring is a deeply personal decision. Consider these three values with regards to your decision: economic cost and future value, ethical and sustainable value, and finally, sentimental value.
Economic - Lab grown diamonds are significantly more affordable than mined diamonds - lab diamonds are typically around 30% to 40% cheaper than mined diamonds. Essentially, this means you’ll afford a larger lab diamond than you would a natural diamond. On the flip side, lab diamonds are relatively new to the market, and their future value is uncertain. Whilst a mined diamond will largely retain its market value, mined diamonds may continue to decrease in costs with improvements to engineering efficiency and volume. This would directly impact the value of your lab diamond, with some industry experts suggesting the value to lab diamonds will fall with time. That said, does the value of your diamond really matter too much? It’s unlikely you’ll ever sell the stone - this is usually a one-off purchase to treasure for a lifetime!
Ethical and Sustainable - Whilst mined, natural diamonds in the UK’s and global trade are nearly entirely conflict free, there is scope for uncertainties. You can read more about the ethics of natural diamonds above, with reference to the Kimberley Process - which outlaws the trade of diamonds from conflict zones. That said, a lab grown diamond is guaranteed conflict-free. Similarly, the process of creating a lab diamond does not require land use in the same way a mine does - yet it does take a significant amount of energy to fuel the technologies.
Sentimental Value - This is where preferences become pretty personal. Does a lab grown diamond mean as much to you, or your partner, as a natural diamond might? No humans can tell lab grown or mined diamonds apart, so there’s little logical reason to not sentimentally invest in a lab diamond; yet the romance of something that has been created by the power of nature can mean a lot, to a lot of people.