In recent years more companies have started offering lab grown diamonds but what exactly is the difference between lab grown and mined diamonds? In essence, they’re exactly the same but are created in two very different ways.
Mined diamonds naturally occur in the earth’s mantle and take billions of years to form. Lab diamonds are created in a lab in a matter of weeks. Both are made from carbon with the only difference being that mined diamonds contain slight traces of nitrogen and lab do not. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the two unless you test them with specialist scientific equipment.
The first lab-grown diamonds were produced in the 1950s, but it took around 60 years to perfect production to produce a diamond you’d actually want to wear. In recent years lab diamonds have become a popular choice, especially when shopping for engagement rings. With such a large variety of stones, shapes, and styles available it’s hard to know where to start.
Things to consider...
Mined diamonds are pricey due to their rarity. Other costs include the labour and energy it takes to mine. Lab diamonds are relatively simple and quick to produce in comparison meaning the same quality diamond can be purchased up to 50% less. Although there is a huge difference in cost price, there is also a difference in resale price. Mined diamonds will retain around 50% of their initial value, lab diamonds will not. You will lose a massive percentage of the value the moment you make the purchase. While diamonds generally should not be seen as an investment, there is also sense in purchasing a piece of jewellery that is likely to retain its value over the years.
As previously mentioned, they are made from almost the exact same composition and remain the hardest material on earth. They’re graded on the same scale and are essentially the same.
4 C’s: Clarity, cut, colour, carat (More on this in the next few weeks…)
Ethical & Environmental factors
This is not to say that mined diamonds are necessarily unethical, but as it stands lab diamonds are more sustainable and environmentally friendly to produce.
Still confused as to which should you buy? Like shopping for all jewellery, you need to consider budget and lifestyle. If long term value is important to you then mined are your best option. However, lab diamonds may enable you to purchase a beautiful piece that would otherwise be far out of your price range.
If you have any questions, please contact us!