Lab-grown diamonds: are they the real deal?
Lab grown diamonds
Natural diamonds are some of the oldest and rarest of nature's treasures, taking from 1 to 3.3 billion years to form in our Earth.
However mankind has found a way to create these gemstones in a matter of weeks with current synthetic diamond technology. Not only has the diamond become a more common stone as a product of lab-growing, but the quality of these synthetic stones have improved so much that they look identical to the naked eye.
To receive or to own a diamond is a dream for many girls, which has only been made more achievable with the creation of lab-grown diamonds. The synthetic versions of these stones provide a much cheaper alternative to the 'real deal', although they do come with a couple caveats.
Are lab grown diamonds or natural diamonds better?
While pros and cons can be argued for the sake of lab grown diamonds, our jewellers at 50 Henley Street strongly advocate for the natural stones for many reasons.
Although we understand the allure of the much lower prices seen with synthetic diamonds, it must be noted that these synthetic stones do not keep their value nearly as well as their natural counterparts. Afterall, mass-produced stones are neither rare nor unique and with a fall of 70% in the trade price of lab grown in the last 18 months please think before your purchase.
This leads us on to investment value. For decades, jewellery has been viewed with their potential as secure investments, as keeping a sought-after diamond in the safe is better for your finances than keeping your money within a bank. This is especially true the greater the size, quality and rarity factors of your diamond.
Lab-grown diamonds are often marketed to provide a more environmentally friendly and ethical option in jewellery, though this may not be entirely true. Every rough carat of synthesized diamond requires around 750kwh (enough energy to power a home for a month) and produces 500kg of greenhouse gases. This is triple that of the mining process of natural diamonds think about it.
Meanwhile, the Kimberly process put in place in 2003 has successfully prevented the flow of conflict diamonds and products of unethical mining practices, which can be avoided in any case by buying pre owned stones.
One of our many beautiful natural stones
Should I buy a lab-grown diamond or a natural diamond?
The goal of this blog is to support you to make your own personally informed decisions, and with the information above, we hope that you are able to do this more comfortably. The answer to this question therefore depends on what you prioritise in your jewellery, the look or the investment value.
Overall, we believe that buying second hand and vintage are by far the most ethical and sustainable way to purchase diamond jewellery.
We will always vouch for pre-loved items over new, let alone laboratory-grown. Furthermore, we find that there is an intrinsic beauty in spec old cut and European cut diamonds that will never be found in laboratory grown stones.
To read more about these antique stones, please see our previous blog post written on old cut diamonds. Naturally, these vintage and antique pieces of jewellery will only ever include diamonds that are originally from the earth.
A few of our current favourite natural stones: