WHAT ARE LAB GROWN DIAMONDS?
Lab-grown diamonds are exactly what they sound like: diamonds that were manufactured in a lab, rather than mined from the earth. These aren't knockoffs; they're not cubic zirconia; they're not Swarovski crystals. They're bona fide diamonds—chemically identical to their earthen counterparts, except they cost about 30% less than mined diamonds.
While companies have been using this process since the mid-1900s, the original created diamonds were a pumpkinish color. Only in the last few years have scientists figured out how to produce the white diamonds with which we're most familiar. There are two approaches to creating them: One utilizes extreme pressure and temperature, mimicking the organic process, to dissolve carbon into a diamond "seed," and another that resembles 3D-printing, where carbon is layered on top of the seed. Then, the seeds are placed in a fancy diamond-cooking microwave, where carbon gas is injected and sticks to the seed, slowing growing it.
Up close, there are relatively few differences between natural and created diamonds. To the naked eye, created diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from mined diamonds, but with special equipment, naturally-occurring imperfections called inclusions are visible in most organic diamonds. Like snowflakes, no two diamonds are exactly alike; the degree to which these inclusions are present determine a diamond's clarity. Lab-grown diamonds lack inclusions, however, making them appear more brilliant (read: sparkly)—ideal for shoppers looking for the biggest, blingiest diamond they can afford.
PRO’S OF LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
Lab grown diamonds are more affordable than mined diamonds are. That doesn’t necessarily make them ‘cheap’ or that much more ‘affordable’ but they are definitely less expensive than their mined diamond siblings.
So, why are lab-created diamonds more affordable? To keep it simple, the lab-created diamond supply chain is much shorter than it is for mined diamonds since well, it skips the whole mining process. So because less people are involved in their production, it can ultimately be cheaper by the time it gets to the consumer’s hands.
Secondly, in general lab grown diamonds are more eco-friendly than mined diamonds. Similar to the earthly harm that occurs when mining any kind of natural resource from our planet, diamond mining has a significant impact on the environment. That said, because it takes considerably less energy to grow a diamond in a lab than it does to dig it out of the ground, lab-created diamonds are more environmentally friendly to us all.