As you search for certified diamonds for marriage proposals, wedding engagements or anniversaries, you may have seen information about labgrown diamonds and natural diamonds. We will include a few key facts that you need to know about the differences between Natural diamonds, Labgrown Diamonds, Simulants, and Gemstones.
What is Labgrown diamonds?
Labgrown diamonds are sometimes referred to as simulants, imitations, or even “fake diamonds”, or vice versa, this is wrong.
The genuine Lab-created, Lab-made, or Synthetic diamonds are certified by world recognized diamond grading labs like IGI and GIA, it is graded using the same grading chart (GIA announced in April 2020 that the grading system will be the same, read link). It is also laser inscribed with a unique report number, starting with LG, or Labgrown, or both.
Labgrown diamonds has remarkably similar chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond.
How is Natural Diamonds formed?
Natural diamonds are formed 90-120km below the earth, through natural geological processes, undergoing extreme high heat and temperature, in the presence of pure carbon undergoes over billions of years. This happens within Earth’s mantle. Then, over violent volcanic eruptions or human’s created mines, diamonds get digged or brought to surface embedded in large chunks of rock. The grading or quality of naturally formed diamonds varies greatly too, some are only used for industrial purposes. For those that fit commercial requirement, there are also varying carat, color, cut, and clarity. Presence of gases during formation also caused diamonds to be colored. For examples, Boron cause blue diamonds, aggregate cause black diamonds, Nitrogen cause yellow diamonds, and Distortion in crystal lattice caused pink diamonds, Presence of radiation residue cause fluorescence and Presence of Crystal included affects clarity grading.
How is Labgrown Diamonds Created?
Lab-created diamonds are created in sophisticated laboratory conditions that are highly controlled. It attempts to replicate the natural growing environment within the Earth Mantle that has high pressure and high temperature. Therefore, these man-made diamonds have fundamentally the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical and physical properties of mined diamonds.
Depending on the method of their production, Lab-grown diamonds are categorized as either HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) or CVD (chemical vapor deposition)
High pressure, high temperature (HPHT) diamonds are produced in a laboratory by recreating the high pressure, high temperature conditions. It is the similar condition that form natural diamonds in the Earth. This process produces a uniquely shaped laboratory-grown diamond crystal.
The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method breaks down the molecules of a carbon-rich gas, for example methane, into carbon and hydrogen atoms, which are then deposited on diamond seeds to produce a square-shaped, tabular diamond crystal.
Can you tell the Difference between Natural and Labgrown?
However, due to the vastly different conditions of natural and labgrown creation, there are several features of labgrown diamonds, like its Growth Morphology, which allow advanced gemologists with professional equipment to distinguish them from natural diamonds.
Lab created diamonds are grown in a molten metal solution, whereas Organic diamonds, which are grown in deep inside the earth and erupted through volcanic eruption, as a result, the presence of certain inclusions identified under 10 times magnification can also suggest the possibility of the growth condition.
The presence of colors, fluorescence, though not determining and diagnostic, are sometimes used to give a direction of possibility between natural, labgrown through CVD, labgrown through HPHT methods.
How About Simulants/ Fake Stones?
On the other hand, cubic zirconia, YAG, GGG, moissanite, plastic or glass —which can look like diamonds—have hugely different chemical and physical properties and are known as simulant diamonds.
Are Labgrown Diamonds a Better Value?
“Lab diamonds cost about 30%-50% less than natural diamonds of similar carat size, cut and clarity grading,” said Chris Quizon, Business Development Manager of BA.sg
BA.SG General Manager Joyce Chua further explained, “Currently, inventories of lab-created diamonds can be limited compared to mined diamond inventories, we suggest you send in your request for your desired carat sizes and preferred budget, which will allow you to really compare and appreciate the difference in the prices, varying with the 4Cs and the growth methods of the diamonds.”
There are more and more people who opt for labgrown diamonds, not just because of its potentially better value, but also because it is environmentally responsible, eco-friendly, it is about sustainability, whereas the traditional diamond shoppers prefer natural diamonds for its organicity.
If you are shopping for a diamond, it will be good to make an informed and educated decision based on your beliefs, and academic facts.
We will include this table to present an analogy of comparison between Natural diamonds, Labgrown/Synthetic diamonds, Simulant diamonds (like Cubic Zirconia), and Gemstones (like colourless topaz).
We hope after reading this and analysing the table, you’ll have the confidence that your choice of stone for your engagement or proposal ring will last a lifetime of happily-ever-after.
Protect our earth for our children. Labgrown diamonds are precious, they are ecologically responsible. Check out BA.SG diamonds at www.ba.sg, register for webinars by Gemologist ba.sg/register-for-webinars, or schedule for an appointment (65) 9233-7218