Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds – The Engagement Ring Buying Guide


Written by James


The Quick And Dirty - There are two types of Diamonds: natural and lab-grown. Lab-grown diamonds are rising in popularity because they are less expensive have a smaller environmental footprint. There is no visual or chemical distinction between natural and lab-grown diamonds.

Diamonds have always been the conventional choice for engagement rings. Until recently, diamonds were only mined from the earth. We now have lab-grown available in the market. Natural diamonds are produced when carbon is buried under the earth for thousands of years and exposed to extreme pressure and heat. Lab-grown diamonds on the other hand, are made in a laboratory and can be made in as little as a few weeks. Lab-grown diamonds offer an excellent alternative to natural diamonds for an engagement ring, and there are now many reputable companies to buy lab grown diamond rings online.

Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

Lab-grown and natural diamonds are chemically the same – and are identical. The only difference between the two is that natural diamonds frequently contain a trace quantity of nitrogen, whereas synthetic diamonds do not. As these stones have a carbon-based chemical makeup, this is the sole inherent distinction.

Lab-grown diamonds have the same fire, scintillation, and shimmer as biological diamonds, meaning they can also be considered ‘real diamonds.’ There is no visual distinction between the two. To distinguish which is which, even a skilled gemologist must use specialized technology. A specialist can see minor differences in the inclusions of lab-grown vs. natural diamonds under magnification tracing to microscopic quantities of nitrogen. So unless your fiance is a gemologist, she won’t even be able to tell the difference.

For the normal (non-lab coat-wearing inspector) guy, checking the diamond certification is the guaranteed way to detect the difference. Jewelers are required to disclose whether a diamond was made synthetically, or it was obtained from nature (i.e. mines in Africa), so if you purchase from a reputable company, you will always have access to this information. Pay close attention because the diamond certificate will affect the price and resale value of the diamond.

Pros of Natural Diamonds

Purchasing an engagement ring that has a natural diamond has a lot of advantages.

The value of a natural diamond will generally increase with inflation over time. The bigger a diamond is, the rarer it. This would be the same for acquiring a diamond with excellent color and clarity. 

Natural diamonds have also been bought and sold for a much longer period of time compared to lab-grown diamonds, resulting in more consistent prices through time. Furthermore, fancy colors on natural diamonds like yellow natural diamonds rise in value more quickly. These kinds of diamonds have been regarded as investment grade. The rarest natural diamonds are red diamonds, making them excellent investments because their value is well known and valued.

Cons of Natural Diamonds 

Diamond mining has a number of negative environmental consequences, including deforestation, soil erosion, ecosystem devastation, and the use of low-wage or forced labor. Conflict diamonds are a major negative political effect of the diamond commodities chain, particularly at the mining stage. These are diamonds mined in conflict zones to fund civil conflicts.

The stage of mining natural diamonds has the most detrimental social consequences. The majority of countries where diamonds are mined have appalling labor conditions. Africa is recognized for having the harshest working conditions and the lowest earnings in the world from diamond mining. In Africa, children are frequently pushed into labor. While being compelled to mine the diamonds, they are subjected to physical torture. This is one major disadvantage of these diamonds. 

What are conflict diamonds and how to avoid them

Diamonds that are mined in a combat zone and sold to fund an active revolt or uprising, the invasion of an army’s war efforts, or warlord activities, are known as conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds are also referred to as blood diamonds. The word is used to emphasize the negative effects of the diamond trade in specific places, or to identify a specific diamond as having been obtained from one of these locations. Conflict diamonds are mainly from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Ivory Coast.

Natural rough diamonds extracted from rebel-controlled areas were either sold directly to diamond merchants or sneaked into neighboring countries, where they would be mixed with lawfully mined diamonds and then sold to the public. Profits from diamond sales were used to purchase weaponry and military equipment for rebel organizations, some of which carried out heinous actions that resulted in widespread suffering among civilians.

You can avoid purchasing conflict diamonds by buying diamond rings from companies that have a Kimberley Process certification. Retailers that have the certification follow the Kimberly process in getting their diamonds. The Kimberley Process (KP) is a multi-stakeholder worldwide project designed to promote transparency and control in the diamond business in order to prevent trading in conflict diamonds. Ask your retailer where their diamonds are from. A responsible jeweler would know the path a diamond has followed, from the mine to the market to your fiancé’s finger. 

Pros of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Purchasing a lab-grown diamond has a number of advantages. It takes millions of years for natural diamonds to be produced by the earth. The lab conditions used to produce lab-grown diamonds are similar to the conditions that create diamonds in nature. As a result, the diamond’s chemical and visual properties are identical to those of a natural diamond, over a much shorter production time. 

Lab-grown diamonds come from conflict-free areas and completely clean sources. Many natural diamonds are mined in war zones, and natural diamond purchases may help fuel violent conflict, insurgency, child labor, and other human rights violations. This is not the case for lab-grown diamonds. 

Since no mining is necessary, lab-grown diamonds are far more environment-friendly than diamonds that occur naturally. Natural diamond mining can cause significant environmental impact by using large amounts of fossil fuel and producing massive trenches in the earth’s core.

Lab-grown diamonds are made in laboratories, by scientists, replicating the chemical pressures and processes that make carbon atoms into crystal formations.

Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Because lab-grown diamonds have no supply limits, their value depreciates over time, lowering the resale value and making future upgrades more expensive. Diamond labs are operated by enterprises that are well-funded in rich countries, while buying a natural diamond helps people who rely on mining for a living, providing income for the workers and a positive economic impact to their communities.

Although lab grown diamonds avoid the environmental challenges associated with mining, they do so at the expense of their own long-term viability. Huge quantities of energy are required to generate a lab produced diamond due to the high temperatures and pressure required.

How do women feel about Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs. Natural Diamonds?

Opinions among women vary when it comes to buying a lab-grown diamond over a natural diamond and vice versa. Some feel that it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money on a natural diamond, when you can simply get a lab-grown diamond that looks the same. However, there are those who prefer a natural diamond because they think that it is more “real”. At the end of the day, what counts is your fiancé’s opinion on lab-grown diamond vs. a natural mined diamond. She is the one who will wear the ring for the rest of her life. Look for a way to find out what she feels about both options before you decide which diamond ring to buy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lab grown diamonds real diamonds?

The short answer is yes. Lab grown diamonds are indeed real diamonds with the same color and clarity as an earth mined diamond.

Why are lab diamonds so cheap?

Lab diamonds take far less financial resources to make than their earth mined diamond counterparts. For example, they are made all over the US, so they don’t require having to pay miners or overseas shipping costs. Additionally, there is less demand for lab-grown diamonds which keeps the price down.

Should I buy a lab diamond?

There are many benefits to a lab diamond. They are exactly the same as naturally mined diamonds, they are less expensive, and they have a smaller environmental impact

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