Understanding Naturally Mined And Lab-Grown Diamonds
With the internet abuzz with conflicting information about many things, the team at Karat Jewelry thought we’d take some time to weigh in with our expertise on the differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds.
As science has developed new ways of growing diamonds, lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) have been widely publicized. As a newer option, we find our customers come in with questions about them. Below, we outline the background and differences between the two types of gemstone:
Lab-Grown Diamonds And Natural Diamonds Are Sourced Differently
It's common knowledge that LGDs are manufactured in factories, (often in India and China) and natural diamonds come from the earth. But that’s only a piece of their origin story. There are interesting differences in how the two types of gemstone are formed. The process used to make LGDs uses massive amounts of energy to raise temperatures to a sweltering 14,000° (4000° hotter than the sun!), speeding up the creation process to make more diamonds, quickly. In contrast, natural diamonds were created over time under enormous pressure below the earth’s crust. Their inclusions are unique, and incredible ancient elements can be found inside.
The amount of accessible natural diamonds is found in a very limited number of remote locations: such as the Northwest Territories of Canada, Russia, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Siberia. In the past, mining of natural diamonds became an issue, as warlords and rebel forces would use the sale of diamonds to finance their violent campaigns. These became known as “blood diamonds”.
In December of 2000, the Kimberly Process for purchasing diamonds began: certifying natural diamonds that meet the requirements as “conflict free” and keeping conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade. At Karat Jewelry, we are passionate about using this process and ensuring our natural mined diamonds are sourced legitimately and, because of the few mining locations, the supply is limited.
Lab-Grown Diamonds And Natural Diamonds Have Different Values
While appearing similar to the naked eye, there are notable differences between LGDs and natural mined diamonds that are easily observable when magnified. The two are not interchangeable, and one of our trained gemologists can assist you if you need help determining the type of diamond you have.
Since natural diamonds are limited and scarce, they maintain a more significant value. As the finite supply of natural diamonds is exhausted, the value will likely only continue to grow. On the other hand, LGDs can be purchased for significantly less and will not likely grow in monetary value, as they can be manufactured in unlimited quantities.
And value is not always determined by the dollar. Some find that the emotional value of a natural diamond, millions of years old and used for centuries to represent long-term love, is greater to them than a lab-created diamond. Having a natural diamond that’s rare and valuable can be very meaningful.
At the same time, others value a more financially accessible option and celebrate the beauty a lab-grown diamond holds.
We absolutely believe that our customers should be empowered with knowledge before making a major purchase, and hope that this explanation of natural and lab-grown diamond products helps to clear up any questions you had. If you would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to a member of our team with questions. We’re happy to help you however we can.