What are the points to consider when investigating the Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond options available on the market today? As Lab Grown Diamonds become more prevalent, many consumers are asking what the similarities and differences are between Mined Natural Diamonds and Lab Diamond equivalents.
Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Question 1:
Is A Lab Grown Diamond A Real Diamond or a Fake Diamond?
Lab grown diamonds are 100% real diamonds. Lab diamonds are physically, chemically, and visually the same as naturally occurring diamonds. They look the same, feel the same and sparkle the same.
Natural diamonds are created by natural processes under the surface of the earth.
They are made of carbon atoms that have been subjected to high levels of heat and pressure. In nature, this process takes billions of years to achieve and is very irregular which is why we have such a wide variation in size, colour, and quality of natural diamonds.
Lab grown diamonds have the same components as natural diamonds, carbon, heat, and pressure but the process is completed in a matter of weeks in a controlled lab environment.
Both stones have the same qualities, such as being the hardest stone known to man, and offer the same brilliance, cut options, clarity options, etc.
Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Question 2:
Are Lab Diamonds Certified Like Natural Diamonds Are?
Yes, they are. They are currently certified by IGI and GIA. These two companies both operate differently as they work for different sides of the market. IGI works for the supplier side more so, and the GIA works for the consumer side. This means that they will often offer different gradings for the same stone, where natural diamonds are concerned anyway.
At the time of writing it is actually not very common to see GIA certified lab diamonds and it is more probable that you will find IGI certified ones for sale.
Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Question 3:
How Can You Tell A Lab Diamond from A Natural Diamond?
The reality is that you really cannot. Not unless you have a super powerful magnifier and training or experience in diamonds. As they are chemically and visually the same to the naked eye, there will be no way of being able to tell them apart.
This is further true if you consider that the diamonds are usually in a setting that highlights the beauty of a single stone, or in a setting to add extra flamboyance to a central stone.
As they are the same stone, distinguishing lab diamonds from Natural diamonds is not like noting the difference between other kinds of diamond substitutes like cubic zirconia or moissanite which are non-carbon stones.
Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Question 4:
What About the Resale Value of a Lab Diamond Vs a Natural Diamond?
The argument here is usually that as a mined diamond is limited in supply, which in turn should mean that it will retain its value better, making it a better investment overall.
However, this fails to take into consideration that the end consumer in the retail market is usually lucky to get 50% back of what they paid for a natural diamond.
Lab Diamonds, however, are infinite in supply so they typically do not hold value well.
That being said, they are also significantly cheaper to purchase in the first place, costing somewhere between 35-75% of a natural diamond for the same size, clarity, cut and colour.
Many also argue that the intention with purchasing diamonds, particularly diamond engagement rings, is that it is a one-off purchase that is not intended to be an investment item but a lifelong heirloom. So, this is a moot point in many peoples’ opinion.
Even resale value is important to you, let’s also be honest, if return on investment is what you are after, there are many more profitable areas to invest into (such as art) if you are looking for bragging rights as well as return on investment. Why not propose with a big bit of chiselled off Banksy street art instead?
Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Question 5:
Should I Buy A Lab Grown or A Natural Diamond?
This will always be a personal preference that no one but you can answer but here are some things to consider. The older generation place more importance on buying a natural gem as they believe it will hold its value better, while the younger generation who are more ethically aware prefer to buy a lab grown diamond. This is due to two reasons:
- Price. Lab grown diamonds much less expensive that natural diamonds which is very important to consumers, especially at the moment. There is also essentially an endless supply of lab grown diamonds which means that the prices are kept low, and you can find exactly the stone that you want in terms of the 4Cs. For this reason, Lab Diamonds are perfect for consumers who still want to have the real deal in terms of the gemstone, but are also paying off student debt, saving for a house down payment, or just trying to live a nice life without having to sacrifice the look of the item itself.
- Sustainability. Lab grown diamonds are preferred by more eco-conscious consumers, which is basically everyone these days. There is no escaping form the information that we have available to us via social media and endless online news sources, so many can no longer turn a blind eye to the degradation of the planet for unnecessary purposes, such as a bit of bling. There is a whole movement of consumers and jewellers who are using Lab only gems who pride themselves on supporting a renewable and sustainable version of the old guard approach to Diamonds.
So, who wins the Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown Diamond Debate?
As we mentioned, in the end this is always going to be a personal preference. What we can say is that the reasons for opting to pay more for a natural mined diamond vs a Lab Grown equivalent just don’t stack up.
Unless you are a diamond merchant working in a wholesale environment, or if you have an extremely rare stone that is a one of a kind, the argument that natural diamonds are a better investment does not hold water. It’s a bit like saying to someone, you should buy gold bullion and not bitcoin. There is logic there, but it is not comparing apples with apples.
The question that people usually ask themselves in the end is, do I care about price for size and quality of the item? If you have no limit to your cash supply, then you don’t really need to take this one into consideration as you can buy whatever you like. But for those who are trying to buy the very best stone on a set budget, Lab Diamond options need to be seriously considered.
In addition, even if you are the lucky person who has endless cash, you may still want to opt for a Lab Diamond simply because it is a more environmentally friendly option. The Lab Diamond industry pride themselves on being able to say with 100% assurance that all the gems that they produce are definitely conflict free and are carbon neutral.
Before you decide, take a closer look at some Lab Grown Diamonds. We have collated the widest range of Lab Diamonds available on the web today from designers and manufacturers all over the world.
If you have any questions on Lab Diamonds, please feel free to drop us a message or leave us a comment in the box below and we will get back to you with our reply. Happy Shopping!