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Understanding The Difference Between Natural Diamonds VS Lab-Grown Diamonds

18 Nov 2022
Understanding The Difference Between Natural Diamonds VS Lab-Grown Diamonds - Dracakis Jewellers

Lab-grown vs natural diamonds—both are beautiful, but there are fundamental differences between each that drive all the comparisons. At Dracakis, we understand the appeal of both, and so we place a high emphasis on customer education to ensure that you’re happy with whatever type of diamond you choose.

An interesting fact is, according to sources, General Electric (GE) actually created the first batch of lab-grown diamonds in 1954. However, the concept of gem-quality lab stones wasn’t widely accepted until the 1970s.

Fast-forward to the present. Due to the considerable advancement of technology—plus the rise in awareness of ethical mining practices—lab-grown diamonds are no longer a controversial concept and concerns about whether they can be considered ‘true’ diamonds or not have long since been put to rest.

Gemologically speaking, these manufactured stones are as beautiful and as authentic as their natural counterparts.

So, what’s the difference? If they’re so alike, why do some people still prefer natural diamonds over their lab-grown versions?

Here’s why.

Creation

As the name suggests, lab-grown diamonds are artificially-manufactured diamonds. They’re grown in a controlled environment using different methods to recreate the chemical composition of natural precious stones, such as the Vapour Deposition (CVD) method or the High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method.

If done correctly, these artificial diamonds are virtually identical to natural diamonds.

Natural diamonds, on the other hand, are the result of billions of years of intense heat and pressure. Carbon buried deep beneath the surface is transformed at the atomical level, taking on the solid form of a classic diamond. It’s then mined and sent for cutting and polishing.

Many people, especially couples, opt for natural diamonds for the romantic symbolism that naturally forged diamonds represent.

Durability

As far as hardness and durability go, both lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds score a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Natural diamonds are formed through intense pressure and are, therefore, quite difficult to chip. And since lab-grown diamonds are also made of carbon and subjected to similar growing pains (high heat, high pressure), they can be equally as tough as their naturally-formed counterparts.

Price

One of the most notable differences between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds is the price, and their price all boils down to supply and demand.

When lab-grown diamonds were a new manufacturing concept, the synthetic versions were actually slightly more expensive than their natural counterparts. They were sold for about 23-25% more than mined diamonds.

Now, however, with the improvement of technology and techniques, lab-grown diamonds are much easier to manufacture. So given how limited natural diamonds are and how difficult they are to acquire (especially when compared to the process of “growing” diamonds in a lab), lab-manufactured diamonds are definitely more affordable.

Mined diamonds can be 50-60% more expensive than a lab-grown diamond of the same cut, colour, clarity, and carat.

Rarity

As far as shape, size, colour, clarity, and chemical composition go, both diamonds are virtually identical. To the naked eye, they’re impossible to tell apart. Lab-grown diamonds can even receive GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and IGI (International Gemological Institute) certifications.

The only real physical difference is the presence of nitrogen. Natural diamonds, even after being cut and polished, contain trace amounts of nitrogen. Lab-grown diamonds do not.

Another thing natural diamonds have that lab-grown diamonds do not (and probably never will) have is a rarity factor. Since there’s a finite supply of natural diamonds, certain colours are rarer than others. And this rarity factor is always taken into consideration when evaluating the worth of a diamond. Therefore, another notable difference between natural and synthetic diamonds is …

Value/Investment

The overall value of a lab-grown diamond is affected by three things: its demand, supply, and original market price.

When you consider the fact that lab-manufactured diamonds have a lower purchase price than natural diamonds and a near-infinite supply, it follows that their value may decrease over time. It is for this reason, that some of Dracakis' policies that apply to upgrading your diamond do not apply to Lab Grown Diamonds purchased at Dracakis Jewellers.

While natural diamonds can retain a substantial amount their initial value, regardless of market conditions, the value of a synthetic diamond can rapidly depreciate–especially once the market is flooded.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for ethical, sustainable, and budget-friendly pieces that are simply symbolic of the event or occasion that they’re meant to commemorate, lab-grown diamonds are an ideal choice.

They’re low-cost, low-maintenance options that are virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds.

However, if you prioritise value, longevity, authenticity, and exclusivity, nothing compares to natural diamonds. They’re used in heirloom pieces, precious inheritance, and fine vintage glamour. They’re royal, they’re regal, and they shine like no other.

After all, these natural, precious stones have long been considered symbols of strength, tenacity, and the beauty that comes from intense pressure and trial-by-fire. 

You can browse our collection of Natural Diamond Engagement Rings here.
Want to learn more about diamonds?


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