Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Diamonds have been treasured for their sparkle, durability, and value for centuries, but buying one can be challenging for the budget-conscious shopper. Fortunately, there is a new option for those who love diamonds but want a more affordable alternative: lab-grown diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds have been a popular topic in the jewelry world and diamond industry in recent years. Explore the differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds, including how they are made, how long they last, and which option may be best for you.
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds — also known as man-made, lab-created, engineered, or cultured diamonds — are real diamonds that share the same chemical makeup as natural diamonds. They’re grown in a lab setting in highly controlled conditions and are created using the same materials as natural options. Through pretty advanced technological procedures that mimic the natural diamond-growing process, these stunning alternatives are born.
While lab-created diamonds are not naturally formed, they still possess the same physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. In fact, the only real difference between the two is that one is made in a laboratory while the other is formed deep within the Earth’s crust.
What Are Natural Diamonds?
Formed over millions (or even billions!) of years, natural diamonds, or mined diamonds, are one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.
Natural diamonds are created deep within the Earth’s mantle under immense pressure and heat. They then slowly move toward the Earth’s surface, where they cool and solidify. The technological process used to make lab-created diamonds mimics this natural occurrence.
How Do Cubic Zirconia and Other Diamond Simulants Compare?
Unlike lab and natural diamonds, cubic zirconia stones and other diamond simulants are not diamonds at all, though they can mimic their look and feel. When comparing natural and lab-grown diamonds vs. cubic zirconia, there isn’t much similarity aside from the fact they can all be worn as jewelry.
Although cubic zirconia and cultured diamonds are lab-made jewelry, they are not as durable. Additionally, the materials and processes used to make them are vastly different.
Pros and Cons of Lab-Created Diamonds
While natural diamonds have been around for centuries, technological advancements have now made it possible to produce diamonds in a lab. But is this a good thing or a bad thing? Explore the pros and cons of lab-grown diamonds so you can make an informed decision when purchasing your next piece of jewelry.
Pros of Lab-Grown Diamonds
1. They’re more affordable than mined diamonds.
If you’re wondering, “Are lab diamonds cheaper than natural diamonds?” the answer is usually, yes. One of the main advantages of lab-grown diamonds is that they are significantly more affordable than natural options. Lab-grown diamonds of the same size and quality can cost 40-60% less than mined options.
2. Lab-grown diamonds last just as long as natural diamonds.
So, just how long do lab-grown diamonds last? Lab-grown diamonds are as durable and long-lasting as natural diamonds. They are resistant to scratches and can withstand high temperatures and pressures. These laboratory-created options are also rated 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them one of the hardest substances known to man.
With proper care, they can last for centuries.
3. They are considered more ethical and sustainable than natural mined diamonds.
Natural diamonds have to be mined from the Earth, which can significantly impact the environment and working conditions where these activities occur. Lab-grown diamonds do not need to be mined. Therefore, they have a smaller carbon footprint than the alternative, making them more sustainable, ethical, and environmentally friendly.
4. They maintain their genuine quality.
Man-made diamonds are created under controlled conditions, ensuring they have fewer inclusions and flaws than natural diamonds. They are also more consistent in color and clarity, making them an excellent choice for those who want a high-quality diamond at a lower cost.
5. They are more readily accessible.
Lab-grown diamonds are more readily available than natural diamonds since they can be created on demand. This means you can easily find the exact size, shape, and quality of diamond you want.
Natural diamonds are formed over billions of years, making them incredibly rare and valuable. However, the rarity of mined diamonds can also lead to issues with supply and demand, resulting in extreme price fluctuations.
Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds
1. Societal perception is adjusting to lab-grown diamonds and their value.
Although lab-created diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds, some still view them as less valuable. This perception may affect their resale value.
2. They are more readily available.
Using advanced technology, lab-created diamonds are made by replicating the same conditions that occur deep within the Earth. They can be created in a matter of weeks, rather than millions of years.
However, since lab-grown diamonds can be created on demand, they are more common than natural diamonds. This can affect their perceived value.
3. The manufacturing process for lab-created diamonds can affect the environment.
The manufacturing process of lab-grown diamonds requires a certain amount of energy and resources. This can impact the environment, albeit less than mining natural diamonds.
Lab Diamond vs. Natural Diamond: Which One is Right for You?
When comparing a lab diamond vs. natural diamond, it can be hard to decide between the two. Lab-grown diamonds are considered more environmentally friendly, they’re as durable and long-lasting as natural diamonds, and cost quite a bit less. Ultimately, the choice between natural and lab-grown diamonds comes down to budget, personal preference, needs, and values.
Check out the chart below for more insight into which option may be best for you.
Lab Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds Comparison Chart
|Lab diamonds can cost half the price of natural diamonds||Natural diamonds are often more expensive|
|Lab diamonds are rated 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale||Natural diamonds are rated 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale|
|Lab diamonds are considered more environmentally friendly||Natural diamonds can have significant environmental impact|
|Lab diamonds last just as long as natural diamonds||Natural diamonds can last for centuries|
|Lab diamonds are more readily available||Natural diamonds are inherently rarer than lab-grown diamonds|
|Lab-created diamonds are not as rare as natural diamonds and may not hold the same investment value||Due to their rarity, natural diamonds hold their value and often appreciate over time|
Shop Lab-Created Diamonds at Rent-A-Center
Ready to surprise your loved one with a more ethical and sustainable jewelry option? Whether you’re shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for the best parent in the world or offering your significant other a token of affection for Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to find affordably flawless lab diamonds for existing Rent-A-Center customers. Shop online or at a Rent-A-Center near you today.