Lab Grown Diamonds

The development of Lab Grown Diamonds has been a great game changer in recent years for the jewellery industry and for those of us who love diamonds!

Lab Grown Diamonds have been around for many years now. When they were initially developed, the quality wasn’t that great and they were very costly to produce. So they didn’t come close to challenging the market dominance of natural diamonds.

In recent years, production methods have improved significantly and now the quality of these diamonds can be very, very good. Before they were only suitable for industrial applications as manufacturers were unable to produce diamonds of sufficient size in high colour grades. Now the technology has progressed so much that large Lab Grown Diamonds can be made in gemstone quality grades. These diamonds are suitable for use in fine jewellery.

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

There are two ways to make a diamond in a lab or a factory. One method is by CVD, or Chemical Vapour Deposition and the other is by High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT).

CVD diamonds are formed from a small sliver of diamond, which can be natural or synthetic. This sliver is placed in a chamber that is filled with gases (usually methane and hydrogen). Through a process of ionization, layer upon layer of carbon attaches onto the seed, forming the diamond crystal.

Like the name suggests, High Pressure High Temperature diamonds are formed in giant presses that apply enormous pressure and high temperatures to a diamond seed to stimulate the growth process.

The GIA Now Certifies Lab Grown Diamonds

Along with its certification of natural diamonds, the GIA now certifies Lab Grown Diamonds.  Although it must be said that the vast majority of lab diamonds have certification from the International Gemological Institute (IGI).

Any seller of these diamonds should provide full disclosure that the diamond is laboratory grown.

Ethics and Environmental Considerations

Many sellers of Lab Grown Diamonds make strong claims surrounding the ethics and environmental sustainability of laboratory grown stones. However, these claims should be viewed with a degree of caution by consumers. We are concerned that there may be quite an amount of greenwashing in the way these stones are being promoted.

There are many, many factories in places like China and India producing Lab Grown Diamonds in ever increasing quantities. An enormous amount of energy is required to create a lab grown diamond, so vast amounts of power are used. As these countries are heavily reliant on coal for their power, it cannot be said with any certainty that the diamonds produced in these countries are any more “green” than mined natural diamonds. Additionally, we do not know what the working conditions are like in these factories.

Even if these factories generate their own power and have treat their staff well, perhaps a question we should be asking  whether is it a good thing to be producing so many diamonds?

The mining of natural diamonds can cause environmental degradation in and around the mine site, but mining can also bring many benefits to the communities in which the they operate. A lot depends on the mine operator and the country in which the mining takes place.

As with so many things, there is no black and white answer as to what is the most ethical course to take if you would like to purchase a diamond ring.

What Do Lab Grown Diamonds Cost?

Because Lab Grown Diamonds are man made, and are being produced in ever increasing quantities, their cost is significantly lower than natural, mined diamonds. For those looking for the biggest and best diamond for their budget, a lab diamond can be a great choice for an engagement ring.

Of course natural diamonds are still the first preference for many people too. There is something pretty special about a diamond that was created by nature billions of years ago.

We are more than happy to advise you on the merits of both lab grown and natural, mined diamonds. Whatever choice you make, it has to be right for you.