Natural vs. Lab Created Diamond Rings (2024)

Shop for Your Lab Grown Diamond

Lab Grown Diamonds have grown in popularity over the past several years and are a viable choice when shopping for a diamond engagement ring. However, the idea might be met with some skepticism. A diamond that is considered ‘synthetic’ and professionally grown in a laboratory may not line up with your notions of romance. But take a few moments to familiarize yourself with Lab Grown Diamonds. You might find you are pleasantly surprised by this option.

Brenda Harwick, the manager of on campus and lab gemology instruction for GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, suggests, "When you're making an investment in something as precious as this, you should ask for a grading report."

The idea of a Natural Diamond is comfortable. It’s how people have been doing things for centuries and there is an attractive passion and dependability in choosing a Natural Diamond. Here’s what you should consider when deciding between lab created diamonds vs natural stones.


What is a Lab Created Diamond?

A lab grown diamond is one that has been manufactured in a controlled laboratory environment. Using the popular methods of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT), scientists can now create diamonds that optically look like earth-mined diamonds, contain the same chemical and physical attributes and even receive certification through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Are Lab Diamonds Real?

Oh yes. Lab Grown Diamonds are just as real as diamonds that are mined from the earth. They have shape, size, color and clarity grades, just like Natural Diamonds. Both Natural and Lab Grown Diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties and both come with diamond certifications.

Lab Diamonds vs. Natural - What do the Experts Say?

Visually, Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds are exactly the same with the same hardness level and durability. In 2018 the Federal Trade Commission recognized Lab Diamonds as real. But do lab created diamonds test as real? Yes. In fact,The Gemological Institute of America, (GIA) “has been grading laboratory-grown diamonds since 2007. Beginning July 1, 2019, GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Reports and identification reports no longer use the term “synthetic.” The GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report includes the standard GIA color, clarity and cut grading scales for reference purposes.”

Natural vs. Lab Created Diamond Rings (1)

Lab Diamonds vs. "Real" Diamonds - What are the Differences?

The differences between Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds cannot be seen with the naked eye. Natural Diamonds have tiny amounts of nitrogen, while Lab Grown Diamonds have no nitrogen. This is actually one of the signifiers gemologists use to identify if a diamond is lab grown or natural.

Natural diamonds are created under the pressure of earth’s crust over millions of years, then they are mined, cut and polished. A Lab Grown Diamond is placed through the same circ*mstances, only in a lab setting. In fact, the process used to create a Lab Grown Diamond cuts down the grow time significantly, from millions of years to a couple of months. Then, the Lab Diamond is also cut and polished.


How are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

Lab Grown Diamonds are sometimes referred to as man-made, synthetic, cultured or artisan. The interchangeable language can leave a consumer confused. But each phrase is denoting the same thing, a certified diamond that was ‘grown’ in a Lab. Sometimes Lab Grown Diamonds are referred to as CVD or HPHT, this simply denotes the process used to create the diamond.

Lab Made Diamonds - Two Popular Methods

There are two processes used to create Lab Grown Diamonds:

Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamonds

The first process is called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). A “seed crystal,” which is a very small diamond seed, is placed in a small chamber. The chamber is then filled with gases that are heated. Once the gases reach the right temperature, layers of carbon begin to form on the seed crystal. This causes the seed to grow and create a square-shaped diamond crystal.

High Pressure High Temperature Diamonds

The second process is called High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) . This is meant to replicate the earth’s process of forming Natural Diamonds. In this process, natural graphite is placed in a large machine that crushes it with extreme pressure and temperatures. Under these conditions, the graphite turns into a diamond.

What is the Difference Between CVD and HPHT Diamonds?

You cannot tell the difference between a CVD and HPHT diamond with the naked eye. Both methods create a real diamond that is chemically and physically similar to natural diamonds. When it comes to grading Lab Grown Diamonds, the same 4 Cs: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat are applied.

Just like the argument of Natural Diamond vs Lab Grown, the argument of which process is ‘better’ is complex. An experienced Jeweler can help you navigate these waters.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds Good?

Generally speaking, the answer is Yes. A perfectly cut, internally flawlessdiamond is quite expensive and rare whether it is a Lab Grown Diamond or a Natural Diamond.Lab Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds exhibit varying amounts of internal “inclusions” likened to fingerprints and are referenced and graded accordingly by accreditedgemological labs. Lower clarity graded Lab Grown or Natural Diamondsmay have inclusions that can be seen by the “naked eye”.The cut & color is also very important in determining whether a diamond is excellent, very good, good, or poor.

Pros of Buying a Lab Grown Diamond

Lab Grown Diamonds are approximately 30-50% less than a Natural Diamond,which means you can purchase a significantly larger diamond and truthfully say it is a diamond. The difference cannot be detected with the naked eye when comparing a Lab Grown Diamond and a Natural Diamond of equal characteristics of the 4 C’s.Lab Grown Diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as Natural Diamonds so they will be just as dazzling.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds more ethical?Some think Lab Grown Diamonds are more ethical because there is no mining involved.However, The Kimberley Process put in place in 2003, has successfully prevented the flow of conflict diamonds.

If your emphasis is not focused primarily on the resale value of the diamond, a Lab Grown Diamond is a good alternative to purchasing a more expensive Natural Diamond.To put it simply, you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Cons of Buying a Lab Grown Diamond

A Natural Diamond has a rarity factor.Generally speaking, anatural diamond will holdits value better than a lab grown diamond because there is a finite supply. The basic laws of supply and demand maintain that as demand increases, especially with limited supply, valuegoes up.Grown Diamonds can be produced, they might not hold their value over timewhich means the resale prices could continue to depreciate as the market isflooded.

A Lab Grown Diamond circumvents the environmental and ethical issues that come with mining Natural Diamonds, but there are sustainability issues withLab Grown Diamonds as well. An HPHT processed diamond needs hugeamounts of energy due to the high heat required to produce a diamond. TheCVD method requires the same amount of energy needed to power a homefor a month.

GIA Certified Lab Created Diamonds

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)is renowned worldwide for its meticulous and comprehensive certification process for diamonds. Since a Lab Grown Diamond is the same chemically as a natural Diamond, they come with this certification.GIA-certified diamonds are highly sought after in the jewelry industry, representing a commitment to excellence and accuracy in diamond grading.

The GIA certification of lab-grown diamonds begins with the submission of the stone, followed by a rigorous examination by skilled gemologists. They assess the diamond's physical attributes, including carat weight, color, clarity, and cut, utilizing specialized instruments to ensure precision.

By offering a comprehensive certification for lab-grown diamonds, GIA enables consumers to make informed choices and fosters confidence in the authenticity and quality of these sustainable and ethical alternatives to mined diamonds.

Should I Get a Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between a Lab Grown Diamond and a Natural Diamond. The choice is completely up to you. The most popular items to take into consideration when making the choice include your budget, your significant other’s preference, and whether or not you prioritize resale value. Also if you are interested in color gem stone engagement rings, then visit our page.

The professional diamond engagement ring team at Nathan Alan Jewelers are here to help you navigate these choices. Contact us today at (714) 545-8337 or email us at [emailprotected]for more information.


Lab Diamond Frequently Asked Questions

💍 What is a Lab Grown Diamond?

A Lab Grown Diamond is a real diamond that is made by scientists who recreate the same circ*mstances used by nature, only this process takes a few months instead of millions of years.

💍 Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real?

Yes. A Lab Grown Diamond has the same chemical make up as ‘Natural’ Diamonds. They also come with a diamond certification.

Natural vs. Lab Created Diamond Rings (2024)


Is a natural or lab diamond better? ›

Lab Diamonds vs. Natural - What do the Experts Say? Visually, Natural Diamonds and Lab Grown Diamonds are exactly the same with the same hardness level and durability. In 2018 the Federal Trade Commission recognized Lab Diamonds as real.

Are lab created diamonds worth it? ›

The resale value of a lab diamond ring will be around 30% to 40% less than you paid, and the same is true of a natural diamond ring - so be sure not to view this transaction as an economic investment! Instead, you're buying something beautiful that will bring endless joy, for a lifetime.

Can a jeweler tell between lab and natural diamond? ›

By relying on scientific methods and credible sources, jewelers can confidently determine whether a diamond is natural or lab grown.

Why not buy a lab grown diamond? ›

As outlined, we believe that lab-grown diamonds may not be a good financial choice because they may not retain value in the future. We also think they lack the romance and allure of natural diamonds while not necessarily providing any environmental benefits (this is still up for debate).

Does Tiffany and Co use lab-grown diamonds? ›

“Our position is lab-grown diamonds are not a luxury material. We don't see a role for them in a luxury brand. They have their use and they have their place, but I think luxury consumers will continue to desire the rarity and amazing story of natural diamonds.” — Andy Hart, SVP of Tiffany & Co.

Is it smarter to buy a lab-grown diamond? ›

In conclusion, lab-grown diamonds are the future of diamonds, as they offer the same or better quality, beauty and durability as natural diamonds, at a much lower price. Lab-grown diamonds are also a wise and profitable investment, as they can save you money, generate income, and appreciate in value.

Do lab-grown diamonds get cloudy? ›

Lab diamonds are made through a process called HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) or CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) methods. Lab-grown diamonds have all the qualities that keep them from getting faded or cloudy with age. Lab diamonds are built to last and shine bright.

Are Costco diamonds lab grown? ›

All diamonds offered by Costco are natural and untreated. Colored gemstones are often enhanced in the production process. All colored gemstones offered by Costco have been enhanced unless otherwise stated.

Can a pawn shop tell if a diamond is lab created? ›

Man made diamonds are difficult to spot because of their chemical, physical and optical properties similar to their natural counterparts. Professional jeweler services and pawn shop brokers often have the equipment needed to tell the difference.

Are lab diamonds cubic zirconia? ›

They may look a lot alike and be produced in a very similar manner but lab created diamonds and cubic zirconia stones are not the same. While lab grown diamonds are considered to be real diamonds, simulant diamonds like cubic zirconia are not.

Will lab diamonds pass a diamond tester? ›

Will Lab Diamonds Pass A Diamond Tester? Yes, lab diamonds have the same carbon composition as natural diamonds. Therefore, they have the same thermal conductivity. The test results are positive when exposed to the diamond tester, since the diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds.

Do wealthy people buy lab diamonds? ›

(IDEX Online) - Even wealthy clients, who can readily afford natural diamonds, are buying lab growns, says the founder of a luxury jewelry brand in Dubai. Fergus James says he sells high-end lab-grown diamond bracelets to wealthy socialites, influencers and Premier League footballers.

Do lab-grown diamonds look fake? ›

Lab diamonds don't look fake because they are not artificial diamonds. They offer the same brilliance and performance that mined diamonds offer. In fact, one cannot tell the difference between a lab diamond and a mined diamond by looking at it with the naked eye.

Do most people buy lab diamonds? ›

They represent just over 17% of the overall diamond market, according to diamond research firm Edahn Golan. The rate of growth is accelerating: Lab-grown sales shot up 38% from 2021 to 2022. Sales of man-made diamonds have increased from under $1 billion in 2016 to just under $12 billion in 2022.

Do natural diamonds hold value? ›

Diamonds are considered a wise investment because they generally retain a competitive market value that either remains consistent or increases over time. This is essentially due to the fact that there is a limited amount of natural diamonds on Earth.

Do lab grown diamonds get cloudy? ›

Lab diamonds are made through a process called HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) or CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) methods. Lab-grown diamonds have all the qualities that keep them from getting faded or cloudy with age. Lab diamonds are built to last and shine bright.

Do lab grown diamonds have better clarity? ›

Unlike natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds form under controlled conditions. Thus, they're much more likely to receive higher clarity grades than natural diamonds. However, they can still contain inclusions which may affect their grade. Some of these inclusions may even help identify the stones as synthetics.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 6227

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.