Shopping for an engagement ring has never been easy. With a massive variety of colors, stones, shapes, and prices available, choosing just one style is challenging. However, there is one more feature you must consider: the type of diamond. Do you prefer a natural diamond or a lab-grown one? Before deciding on one, let's have a look at their differences.
What Are Natural Diamonds?
Natural diamonds are minerals composed of carbon atoms arranged in cubic crystal structures. They are the hardest known materials used for centuries to symbolize love, with rarity and durability characteristics. Today, most diamonds used in jewelry are mined from deposits in Africa, Australia, and Russia. However, some are also found in North America and Asia.
How They Are Formed
Natural diamonds are carbon crystals created deep within the Earth's mantle under the impact of extreme heat and pressure. Over time, these crystals are brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions and deposited in sedimentary rocks. What makes diamonds unique from other gemstones is that the entire composition is carbon.
Pros and Cons
Natural diamonds are incredibly durable and will last a lifetime. The flawless white diamond is the most highly prized type of natural diamond. Flawless means that the diamond has no blemishes or inclusions visible to the naked eye. These types of diamonds are incredibly rare, making them some of the most valuable gems in the world.
Although natural diamonds are stunning, they are not without their drawbacks. One major downside is that they are costly. The cost depends on their style, carat weight, and stone size. Another disadvantage is that natural diamonds contain trace impurities that cause them to be yellow, brown, or other colors. And they are mined in a way that can harm the environment.
Natural diamonds are typically more expensive than synthetic diamonds because they are much rarer. It takes millions of years for natural diamonds to form, so they are less readily available than synthetic diamonds. As a result, their price can vary from $1,500 to $21,000, depending on the grams of a carat.
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
As their name indicates, lab-grown diamonds are made in a lab setting and not mined naturally from the Earth. While they may have the same physical properties as natural diamonds, they are typically less expensive and more environmentally friendly.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
Lab-created diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, are created in a laboratory using advanced technology. The process begins with a small piece of diamond "seed" placed in a chamber with intense heat and pressure. Over time, it grows into a full-sized diamond.
Are They Real?
A common question people make is, do lab-created diamonds test as real? Despite their different origins, lab-grown and natural diamonds share many of the same physical properties. For example, both diamonds are made of carbon atoms constructed in a cubic crystal structure. And both types of diamonds are incredibly hard, registering a ten on the Mohs scale of hardness. So, while they might not have the same history, lab-grown diamonds are just as real as natural diamonds.
Pros and Cons
Lab-grown diamonds are more environmentally friendly than natural diamonds. They don't require mining, which can be destructive to ecosystems. And because they're grown in a controlled environment, lab-grown diamonds can be manufactured to meet specific sizes, shapes, and quality standards.
On the other hand, the process of creating lab-grown diamonds is complex and energy intensive. And because they're so new, it's hard to know how long lab-grown diamonds will last and some experts believe they may not be as durable as natural diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds are often cheaper than natural diamonds because they can be produced in large quantities in a lab setting. However, the price of a diamond is determined by factors such as quality, carat weight, and rarity. As a result, they can sometimes be priced higher than natural diamonds depending on these factors.
What Are CVD and HPHT Diamonds, and What Are Their Differences?
CVD and HPHT diamonds are two different types created through different processes. CVD diamonds are created through chemical deposition and HPHT diamonds are created through a process called high-pressure high temperature, where extreme pressures and temperatures are used to turn carbon into diamonds. CVD diamonds are less transparent and have more impurities than HPHT diamonds. Also, CVD diamonds can be produced in various colors, while HPHT diamonds are typically clear or white. But, despite their differences, both are used extensively in the jewelry industry due to their beauty and durability.
Different Types of Diamonds Price Comparison
While all diamonds are quite valuable, there are significant differences in price between different types of them. The most expensive diamonds are large and flawless, with a deep blue color. These "Blue Moon" diamonds are incredibly rare and can sell for millions of dollars per carat.
On the other end of the spectrum are so-called "industrial" diamonds, which are used for cutting and polishing rather than jewelry. These diamonds are much less valuable and typically sell for just a few dollars per carat.
In between these two extremes are the diamonds used in most fine jewelry. These stones vary in size, quality, and color, but they typically sell for several thousand dollars per carat.
Which Kind of Diamonds Are Better for What Customer
For a customer to decide which type of diamond to choose, it is important to understand the unique characteristics of each one.
Round diamonds are the most popular type of diamond and are often chosen for their classic shape and symmetry.
Princess-cut diamonds are best for those who want a modern look, as their square shape is distinctive and eye-catching.
Oval diamonds are a good choice for those who want something between a round and princess cut, as they offer a unique form that is still relatively traditional.
Marquise-cut diamonds are ideal for making a statement, as their elongated shape is striking.
So, which is better - lab grown or natural diamonds? In the end, it comes down to preference. If you want a diamond that is unique and has been created by nature, then a natural diamond is for you. However, a lab grown diamond may be the way to go if you want a cheaper option with fewer ethical concerns. Whatever type of diamond you choose, remember to do your research beforehand to get the best quality product for your money.