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A brief guide to Natural Vs Lab Grown Diamond
Jan 15, 2021

Are lab grown diamonds real? Are they worth anything at all? Have you even considered choosing them over real diamonds? Or are you just skeptical about their originality?

Well, a millions questions surround the very concept of “Lab Grown Diamonds”, also known as
“Synthetic Diamonds”.

Before we jump into the specifics, let us start by saying that YES, lab grown diamonds are indeed very similar to real diamonds, right down to their chemical and optical properties. It is very difficult to even identify real from lab grown diamonds because of their strikingly similar characteristics.

Let us first compare the two:

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  • The physical and chemical composition is the same in both kinds of diamonds.
  • There is no visual difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds. They have similar sparkle, colour types, size and shapes.
  • Lab-grown diamonds are as hard as the natural diamonds.
  • High-quality lab-grown diamonds look exactly like the natural diamond. However, low to medium quality may look some different (this difference is visible to the naked eye).
  • Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are nearly or completely colourless.
  • Natural and lab-grown diamonds come in a variety of shapes and size.
  • The lustre and texture of both kinds of diamonds are the same.
  • Depending on the size, the price of a lab-grown diamond is 30-50% lower than the natural diamond.

The presence of nitrogen in the natural diamond help gemologists to spot the difference in between lab-grown V natural diamond.

With the innovation of lab-grown diamond, the demand for the natural diamond is considerably decreasing among millennials. Moreover, with further innovation and technology, the prices of lab-grown diamonds may decrease. However, that’s not the case with natural diamonds.

Why a lab-grown diamond?
They are slightly cheaper than the natural diamond. The difference between the lab-grown diamond and natural diamond is unspotable; Hence, opting for lab-grown diamond becomes more feasible.

Moreover, the lab-grown diamonds are not mined from the Earth’s womb. So, they carry no guilty footprint or conflict at heart.

Why a natural diamond?
Natural diamonds are traditional, rare and enigmatic. Besides, it brings you value and consistency.

About grading and certification
Always choose GIA for natural diamond certification. As for law diamond, choose GCAL or IGI certification.

A few facts about certification:
➔ GIA does not grade lab diamonds on the same strict scales as natural diamonds.
➔ AGS does not grade lab-grown diamonds at all.
➔ Both GCAL and IGI use the same D-Z colour scale and FL-I3 clarity scale for both Natural and Lab Diamonds.
➔ GCAL has a “zero tolerance” grading policy and is a fairly strict grading lab.
➔ For strictly graded diamond, opt for GCAL certificate. Whereas for broad recognition, consider IGI certification.

FAQs about lab-grown and natural diamonds:

Q: Are lab-grown diamonds fake?
➔ No. A Lab Diamond is a real diamond . Because Lab-Grown Diamonds have the same chemical and visual properties as Natural Diamonds, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) even recognized Lab Diamonds as real in 2018.

Q: Why is lab-grown diamond more sustainable than natural diamonds?
➔ In order to acquire natural diamonds, around 100,000 tons of rock is dug up and searched through to find a single crystal which could yield a 1.00ct D/Flawless diamond.
➔ Moving that much Earth on a regular basis to mine Natural Diamonds is not a very sustainable practice.
➔ Besides, the mining practice is injurious to miners’ health.
➔ Besides, the diamond mine is a reason for conflict among many regions.
➔ On the other hand, growing diamonds in a lab is very sustainable.
➔ Lab Diamonds take between a week and a few months to grow, depending upon size and method.

Q: What is the procedure to grow diamonds in a lab?
➔ To this date, there are two methods to grow diamonds in a lab.
Method One: Natural graphite (like the carbon in your pencil tip) is crushed in a large machine in extreme pressure and temperature. Much like, the Earth does when it forms Natural Diamonds. This high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) process causes the graphite to turn into a diamond.
Method two: In this method, scientists place a diamond “seed crystal” in a small chamber filled with common gases. When the gases are heated, they begin to form layer upon layer of carbon onto the seed crystal, making it grow.
– This process is called CVD and is the most commonly used technique to grow diamond in the lab.

Q: Are lab-grown diamonds flawless?
➔ Not usually. Just like natural diamonds the lab-grown diamonds have internal marks. These are the birthmarks of diamonds and gemologists call them ‘inclusions’. These inclusions are further named as feathers, clouds and pinpoint based on the shapes.
➔ Sometimes, you can spot the difference between lab diamonds v natural diamonds by looking at inclusions. As during the procedure, lab-grown diamonds get flux like inclusions. These inclusions are not seen in natural diamonds. Moreover, sometimes the lab-grown diamonds are laser engraved with their inscription. Hence, some lab diamonds may show the reflection of their black certification number.

Note: If you want flawless diamonds, go for Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite.

Q: Upon looking, can a lab-grown diamond be easily identified?
➔ No. No one can identify if the diamond is lab-grown or natural unless you mention. However, an educated gemologist can recognise the diamond upon experimenting in the diamond lab.

Q: What is Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite?
➔ Cubic Zirconia (CZ) and Moissanite are diamond simulants. Even though they are clear in colour like a diamond, they are not the same chemical substance as a diamond.

  • Facts about CZ
    – Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a lab gem that was first made in 1976.
    – There is no such thing as natural CZ.
    – CZ can be completely colourless or come in a variety of colours.
    – Unlike diamond, it is flawless.
    – CZ produces more coloured light (or “fire”) than diamond does, however it reflects less light in general.
    – Importantly, CZ is not as hard as diamond. So, over time, CZ often develops unsightly scratches and wear.
  • Facts about Moissanite
    – Moissanite sparkles more than Diamond. It has firework-like sparkle Moissanite can be natural, but it is rare.
    – The hardness of moissanite is 9.25/10, which is much harder than CZ, yet, softer than 10/10 of Diamond.
    – Moissanite can be colourless and near colourless.
    – If you’re looking for an alternative to a Natural Diamond, Moissanite’s hardness and sparkle makes it a good alternative.

Q: How to choose the right diamond for you?
➔ Know why do you want to have a daimond and accordinly determine your budget. According to your budget, decide on the type of diamond you want to have. After which, look for the colour, shape and size which suits you the best.
➔ If you need detailed assistance, you can get in touch with our team.