Top jewelry stores are increasingly offering customers jewelry with incredibly beautiful and bright artificially grown stones. Some people doubt that it is even worth comparing lab-grown vs natural diamonds and spending money on man-made stones. But this is a mistake! Unlike simulants, laboratory gems are of real value and interest — let’s try to figure out what’s what!
How Are Natural Gems Formed?
In order to compare minerals of different origins, it’s necessary to understand how they are produced. So, real natural diamonds have existed for hundreds and thousands of years, stored in the bowels of the earth, waiting to be mined and made into amazing jewelry. Shining stone is formed from organic matter under the influence of abnormal temperatures and pressure.
To rise from the lower layers of the earth’s crust, the diamond must “wait” for a volcanic eruption and be carried to the upper layers, ending up in volcanic rock formations (they are also called kimberlite pipes). The antiquity and complexity of extracting natural stone is the main reason for its value and prestige.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Produced?
The sheer effort of mining diamonds and the fact that it literally takes thousands of years to produce them has given rise to the desire to recreate the natural process of mineral formation in the laboratory. But, how are lab-grown diamonds made? Gems can be produced in two ways:
- Using the chemical vapor deposition technique;
- Using the high pressure & high-temperature technique.
Despite the fact that the second method almost completely mimics the natural conditions for creating stones, chemical vapor deposition is more often used. Most of the beautiful gems presented on the 7 Bridges Jewelry website are made using CVD technology when carbon atoms are deposited on a silicon or molybdenum substrate. Lasers or microwaves convert the carbon into a gaseous form, and then heat causes it to settle and form a diamond.
Is There a Difference?
When comparing lab-grown versus natural diamonds, it’s worth understanding what these gems actually consist of. As a rule, genuine brilliants are not pure carbon because the process of creating a stone is never ideal — various foreign inclusions and a small percentage of nitrogen can be found in them. The chemical composition of the laboratory-grown gem is similar to a natural one, with the difference that fully controlled conditions of creation eliminate the risk of inclusions that could spoil the appearance of the stone.
Thus, the naked eye will never be able to tell the difference between artificial and real diamonds — it’s almost impossible to distinguish them by their chemical composition. Physical properties (refraction and hardness) are also similar.
However, the GIA laboratory is constantly working on methods for determining the quality and origin of stones. For example, using their proprietary GIA iD100 device, it’s quite possible to determine real stones, man-made gems, and high-quality simulants (moissanite or zirconium). That’s why when buying lab-grown diamonds, always check links for a GIA certificate or other certificates issued by reliable laboratories.
What About the Price?
Assessing lab diamond vs earth diamond, it’s immediately worth noting the price difference. The price policy of genuine stones will always be quite high due to their antiquity and the labor involved in extraction. However, if you want to enjoy a clean, shining stone without overpaying, then lab-grown artificial stones are the best choice. Moreover, their physical, chemical and optical properties are equal to natural ones.
In addition, experts note that if the industry for creating artificial stones continues to develop and the process of growing minerals can be accelerated, then their price may become even lower.
Which Option Should I Choose?
It mostly depends on what exactly the client wants. If a customer is eager to buy diamonds or jewelry for investment purposes, then natural stones are the most suitable. Their price is quite stable and will definitely not fall (it’ll maybe even grow over time).
If you want to enjoy elegant jewelry with stones of various colors without spending incredible sums on it, then you should read more about what a lab diamond is and choose something from this category. As a rule, the color range of such minerals is much wider than that of real ones. Experts can give the stone literally any color due to the abundance of specific chemicals — from soft purple to deep pink, from champagne to saturated green.
If you are worried about the prestige of jewelry with artificial stones, then remember that absolutely all the properties of such gems are equal to natural ones – the naked eye will never be able to tell the difference.