Lab-Created Diamond vs. Real Diamond

There has been a lot of talks recently about lab-grown diamonds.

Many people are trying to discover the difference between a lab-created stone vs. a real diamond, which is more expensive, but may not hold its value over time.

What is a lab-created diamond?

Also referred to as lab-grown diamonds, these are man-made diamonds grown under and controlled laboratory conditions. However, unlike other types of man-made diamonds, lab created diamonds have the same crystal structure, chemical composition, physical and optical properties as natural diamonds. However, since they are man-made, they are not rare. Natural diamonds, on the other hand, are scarce and becoming more so. Natural diamonds take 1-3 billion years to develop are extremely difficult to find, and once found, very expensive to mine. There has not been a discovery of a significantly productive diamond mine in about twenty years.

Lab-created diamond vs. organic diamond

No two diamonds look alike. This fact also applies to both natural and lab-developed diamonds.

When looking at the similarities and differences between the two, you will not find anything noticeable to the naked eye. It takes a particular machine to differentiate a real and lab-grown diamond.

However, here are some notable differences:

1. The size and presence of inclusions

All diamonds, either lab developed or natural diamonds, have inclusions which impact their clarity. All certified diamonds receive a clarity grade in a lab. These grades will tell you the size and notability of the addition.

Diamonds created in a lab contain metallic inclusions due to the use of molten metal during the creation process. Metallic inclusions are not available in natural diamonds.

According to one gemologist we spoke with, organic diamonds have crystals, clouds, feathers, and pinpoint inclusions caused by violent volcanic actions deep in the earth when pushed towards the earth’s surface. There are also rare diamonds that emerge from the ground in a perfect state without any inclusions.

2. The color of the diamond

Diamonds created in a lab come in yellow, white, green, blue, and pink and range from D-K grades.

According to the Editor-in-Chief of National Jeweler Michelle Graff, numerous man-made diamonds come in a brown shade even. A decolorizing treatment process makes them near colorless or completely colorless.

Natural diamonds come in all conceivable colors with an endless number of tonalities, hues, and saturation levels. The color in these diamonds come from impurities embedded in them when they were growing. These impurities include nitrogen or sulfur molecules. The most famous diamonds are the white variety, while the rarest type consists of yellow, pink, blue, and the most extraordinary, red.

3. The grading of lab-created diamond vs. real diamond

As a consumer, you might know how diamonds get graded. The grading system for lab-created stone vs. real diamond is different.

The GIA system grades diamonds. For lab-developed diamonds, the GIA uses the Synthetic Diamond Grading Report, which is noticeable from the usual grading report.

Lab-grown diamonds are rated using their visual characteristics such as metallic inclusions, color zoning ultraviolet fluorescence colors, and weak strain patterns. The Synthetic Diamond Grading Report also offers insightful descriptions about the clarity and color of the diamond.

The standard GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report gets issued for natural diamonds. It also puts into consideration the color, strain patterns, and inclusions. When buying a stone, it’s essential to consider how they perform with light and reflection before deciding which one to buy.

Which among the two is the more expensive diamond?

Diamonds that are grown in a lab cost significantly less than the organic ones. While the high-quality laboratory-created stone is objectively new, their prices have been changing in the past few years.

Although numerous retailers claim that lab created diamonds are 30- 50% cheaper than real diamonds, their inventory is minimal. Organic diamonds are more readily available in the market today.

However, as production methods improve, and it becomes cheaper to produce lab-grown stones, there is a significant danger that there will be a surplus of lab-grown diamonds. The value of lab created diamonds will go down.