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The Truth About Lab-Grown Diamonds

At Polished Diamonds Jewellery Design, we have proven our reputation for being honest and upfront about our pricing, quality, and overall sales practices. Now we feel the need to assist with all the information about Lab-Grown diamonds. If you are planning on saying those important Four Words – “Will You Marry Me”, you need to know a lot is being said about these recent man-made marvels of the jewellery industry. Hopefully, after reading this blog, you’ll be much more informed about Lab Grown Diamonds and your decision which is our primary goal when purchasing a diamond.

We will cover the confusion about the “realness” of lab-grown diamonds. Unravel the rumours being said about them by other jewellers. And guide you through whether a lab-grown or natural diamond is the right decision.

Always the first question – are Lab-Grown “real”?

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. There is no difference between the two, whether they are grown in a lab or made in the ground – the material is diamond. Now, here lies some of the confusion. Since using diamonds for engagements, there have been imitation (aka synthetic) diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are not imitation diamonds and have been designated “real” (non-synthetic) by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FDC) because they are diamonds. Think of ice in your freezer; that is man-made ice. Think of ice in the mountains; that is natural ice. Both items are ice; one is man-made, and the other is naturally made, but they are both ice. Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds are similar because the material is 100% diamond. The differentiation is the Lab-grown diamonds must be laser engraved and disclosed as being laboratory grown.

Imitation diamonds are gems like Moissanite, White Sapphires, and Cubic Zirconia (CZs). Although they can make beautiful jewellery, these are known to be replacements for actual diamonds.

When choosing a lab-grown diamond, once out on the street, in your beautiful custom-made ring from us, and on your hand, there is no difference in the actual gem, even to the trained eye. Lab-grown diamonds will not tarnish in time or look different from naturally made diamonds. There are some other things to be considered, which we are about to discuss further.

“Lab-Grown diamonds are better for the environment/more ethical” – FALSE

Not The “Greener” Choice

First, “better for the environment”. It takes a lot of energy to replicate the conditions required to make a diamond. When we say a lot, we mean A LOT, and diamonds grown in a lab require a similar amount of heat and pressure to be made.

This one we get a lot. The jewellery industry has marketed lab-grown diamonds as “better for the environment and/or more ethically sourced”. We at Polished Diamonds would like to dispel this sales tactic here and now.

There are two processes for creating Lab-Grown Diamonds, HPHT and CVD. At a minimum, these lab diamonds need to be heated to over 760 Celsius (in other ways, up to 1,500 Celsius) for over 2-4 weeks to make an average 1.00ct white diamond.  

We won’t go into this politics, but the countries making lab-grown diamonds may not have the best practices regarding “clean” energy. Therefore, saying a lab-grown diamond is “better” for the environment is not necessarily true.

The diamond mining process is very different from mining ore (metal). Diamonds run through veins in the earth; when mined, we follow these veins called lamproite or kimberlite pipes. Once a diamond mine is depleted, it is usually filled with water to create a small lake. Therefore, its impact on the earth is minimal compared to the large craters made by metal mining. Which is probably what you were picturing in your head right now.

Conflict-Free Diamonds

Secondly, it is said that lab-grown diamond is “more ethical” or “conflict-free”. This is arguable when all diamonds are ethically sourced now. After the Kimberly Treaty, all diamonds are ethically sourced, whether natural or created in a lab. More can be read about this in our blog, Ethical Diamonds

Value of a Lab-Grown Diamond

After processing the information above, this is where the real decision takes place. We at Polished Diamonds Jewellery Design will give you a straight answer. Honestly, the jury is still out on whether your Lab-Grown diamond will hold its value in the future. As with anything new, technology must take time to catch up. Currently, the tools to determine whether a Lab-Grown diamond is lab-grown are expensive and only owned by the top jewellery valuers. This is important but different when considering purchasing a diamond from Polished Diamonds. Our natural or lab-grown diamonds are internationally certified through companies like GIA or IGI.

IGI Certification of a Lab-Grown Diamond, always provided by Polished Diamonds

When purchasing a lab-grown diamond from us, it will be certified “lab-grown” for absolute honesty and clarity. This may not be the case with other jewellery stores. Insist on full certification on all diamond purchases. Look at the cut grade, symmetry and polish to ensure the light return and high performance.

Value: Up, Down, or Stay the Same

We cannot tell whether a lab-grown diamond will hold its value, increase or decrease. The immense energy and specialised machinery required to create lab-grown diamonds and the labour to manually cut and polish the diamond will hold value. Natural diamonds have consistently increased in value and will continue to, but we cannot say whether a lab-grown diamond’s value will increase, decrease, or stay the same. Although, if you’re thinking what most of our lab-grown diamond customers say, “I don’t plan on selling it” then to you, we say – “That’s a valid point, and you will get a diamond with an incredible sparkle for a lifetime of happiness and satisfaction.”

We’re here for you – Come see us.

As you’ll experience in any of our showrooms in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch, we don’t need to “sell” you any of our jewellery. Our quality, passion and personal service do this for us. But we very much do believe in honesty and trustworthiness when it comes to our customers. So hopefully, this blog has helped you with the decision-making for choosing whether going for a lab-grown diamond is right for you and knowing that Polished Diamonds Jewellery Design is the right decision for your jewellery needs.

All our diamonds are hand-selected and personally inspected for each client’s approval before being set into our jewellery.