Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but the price of these shiny rocks is significant — and we’re not just talking about money. According to some, the environmental and human cost of natural diamonds is simply too high to justify, and we should rethink the way we buy them. In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about natural vs lab-grown diamonds.
The History of Lab-Grown Diamonds
The first lab-grown diamond was created in the 1950s by Dr. John C. Wells at the University of Oxford. He used pressure and temperature to create the diamond from carbon and graphite powders in an apparatus he designed himself called a “triple crucible”. However, Dr. Wells’ process was flawed because it did not produce any diamonds of a high enough quality to be used as jewelry or for other commercial purposes, so his invention never became popularized or widely used.
In the 1980s General Electric scientists developed another process for making lab-grown diamonds that involved using hydrocarbon gases under high pressure and temperature conditions to create synthetic diamond crystals that are then cut into gemstones for jewelry use.
Lab-Grown Diamonds Today: Demand & Technology
In recent years, the lab-grown diamond market has grown significantly. The growth in demand for lab-grown gems has led to new technologies and improvements in production. One of the most significant changes is the discovery of new ways to make diamonds by “laser-stimulated chemical vapor deposition”. This process involves using a femtosecond laser to trigger the formation of diamond crystals on a thin layer of silicon carbide, which is usually just one atom thick. Other sources have said that this process could be used in different semiconductors, and as a result, semiconductor production could be “more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly.”
The increase in lab-grown diamonds has led to a decrease in natural diamond demand. It is now estimated that 100 million lab-grown diamonds are produced each year and only 10 million natural diamonds. This means when it comes to selling gems, there are now more opportunities for synthetic gemstones than there are for naturally occurring diamonds.
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds: Cost & Quality
The first thing you should know is that lab-grown diamonds are chemically the same as natural diamonds, the only difference being that they are created in a lab. Synthetic diamonds can be grown faster and more cheaply than natural ones, which is why some people say that they have lower quality and value. However, others argue that this is not true because there is no difference in quality or value between lab-grown and natural diamonds.
And, let’s be honest, the idea of buying a diamond as a gift has been around for centuries. But in recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the environmental and human cost of natural diamonds. Countless innocent lives have been lost, exploited, and enslaved for the sake of the global diamond trade. And, on that note, you’ve probably heard of the terms ‘blood diamond’ and ‘conflict diamond’ which refer to diamonds mined in war zones to help finance civil wars. Awareness of these issues has led to some changes in how people buy diamonds. In response to this increased awareness, some jewelers have begun offering synthetic diamonds as an alternative to mined stones. These synthetic stones are cheaper than natural ones because they don’t require mining or cutting down rainforests for mining purposes.
If you do decide to buy a natural diamond, there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. For example, the “diamonds from conflict-free mines” program is a certification program in which over 100 suppliers of diamonds are independently audited for their human rights and environmental practices. This can be done by using a website that cross-references diamonds on the market such as diamondsfromconflictfree
Due to the similarities between lab-grown gems and natural diamonds, the prices of both have been converging. The price of a diamond has fallen by 40% in the past 5 years. Natural diamonds can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2 million, which is because the process of mining and cutting diamonds is long, expensive, and environmentally damaging. Diamonds are an example of a natural resource, which means they are finite. There is only so much diamond ore that can be found on Earth. This is another reason that some people are opting for lab-grown diamonds that are more eco-friendly and cheaper than their natural counterparts.
Synthetic diamonds can be any shape, size, or color, and they’re available in nearly every diamond design imaginable. They are typically a bit more expensive than their natural counterparts but still cheaper than the retail price of natural diamonds. A 1 ct lab-grown diamond is typically 40% to 50% cheaper than a natural diamond of the same size. If you wish to create a custom ring or if you’re looking to try your hand at designing your own ring, lab-grown diamonds are becoming more and more popular. They’re also ideal for people with sentimental preferences who love their natural diamonds but would like something that won’t break their bank or hurt the environment.
Some Concerns about Lab Grown Diamonds – And, Do They Matter?
Despite all the positive aspects of lab-grown diamonds, some are still against them. Why? The core reason they are not supported by some is their potential to depreciate in financial value. As is typical with new technologies, they become cheaper with time. This means that while lab-grown diamonds are still costly at this time, they are likely to become significantly cheaper when the technology that produces them becomes more widespread.
So, if you are looking to buy a diamond as a long-term investment, lab-grown may not be the way to go. However, for personal jewelry uses, such as engagement rings and everyday jewelry, they are a great option considering that they are more affordable, great quality, highly customizable, and don’t contribute to large-scale environmental and human suffering.
Conclusion and Summary – Which One is Better to Buy?
At KONIG Jewelry, we prefer lab-grown diamonds as we consider it the most important thing to protect our planet and the beings who inhabit it. Having said that, we also believe that everyone is entitled to make their own decision, therefore we recommend that you take our stance with a grain of salt and conduct your own research before purchasing a diamond.
A world-leading manufacturer of gold pearl jewelry, KONIG Jewelry is renowned for its innovative and elegant custom pearl clasp designs, leading to its reputation as “The Clasp Source”. KONIG is a family-owned business established in 1986 that produces all its jewelry at its headquarters in Israel, using a blend of traditional and modern techniques to deliver uncompromising quality.
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