Man-made diamonds, also known as engineered, cultured or lab-grown diamonds, are created in laboratory settings that emulate the natural process of a diamond’s growth. They are typically created within 4-6 weeks – that’s a big contrast to the naturally mined diamond that is formed over some 3 billion years!
But, a rise in demand comes hand in hand with the potential to be caught out, so here’s what you need to know before making your purchase for a lab-grown diamond engagement ring.
The science bit…
American physical chemist, Tracy Hall and his team created the first synthetically manufactured diamond in 1954. Thanks to his invention, today, we can produce gem-quality stones out of machines.
There are two ways to grow a diamond in a lab; using high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) diamond growth recreates the conditions in which carbon crystallizes into a diamond. In contrast, the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method uses hydrocarbon gases that are injected into a growth chamber. Microwave plasma energy is used to break apart the bond of
the hydrocarbon, allowing free carbon atoms to shower down on a plate of diamonds. Atom by atom, this grows a diamond vertically and the result – the high purity and high-quality diamonds.
A diamond is a diamond regardless of how or where it is made – whether it comes from the earth, or whether it is created scientifically in a lab. And, since lab-grown diamonds are made of the same material as natural diamonds, they exhibit the same optical and chemical properties.
There can be a lot of variation in quality between CVD and HPHT diamond manufacturers so it’s best to consult a trusted lab-grown jeweller before making your purchase.
Diamonds for modern consumers
Regardless of whether you choose a lab-grown diamond or a natural stone, what’s clear is that the lasting connection between diamonds and love; a concept that was initially introduced in the marketing of diamonds; remains valuable to our relationships and will continue to be a standard that we have set worldwide.
But when it comes to love, it’s what is on the inside that matters. A diamond that is legitimately created in laboratories with proper rights for their workers, is the ethical and sustainable choice for a modern and democratic world.
Lab-grown diamonds are created and sold for what they are; real quality diamonds simply produced in a laboratory. They don’t need big industries to mine them from the ground up. This is reflected in their pricing, making them up to 40% cheaper than natural diamonds. Some also view them as superior to the ‘dirt’ diamonds or mined diamonds that have come out of the earth, sometimes with an environmentally and politically damaging story behind them.
Lab-grown diamonds are innovative, ethical, environmentally friendly and most importantly, conflict-free. It’s one of the reasons they are fast becoming a mainstream trend with celebrities, influencers and consumers readily getting behind their creation.
After starring in the 2006 blockbuster ‘Blood Diamond’ – a fictional thriller highlighting the dangers of the diamond mining industry, Leonardo DiCaprio has ironically become one of the most vocal advocates for ethically sourced diamonds; and one of the biggest investors in the synthetic jewellery industry.
Other stars such as Penelope Cruz, Megan Markle, Emma Watson and Lady Gaga have also come out to voice their support of these ethical stones. Yet despite this, lab-grown diamonds are still to gain real traction in India. But with the economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19, natural diamonds have become unaffordable for most global consumers, so their synthetic alternative is likely to be welcomed by many.
Exponential growth globally
Over the waters, demand for lab-grown diamonds has grown exponentially with an upsurge in the number of consumers making more conscious decisions to buy a sustainable lab-grown diamond engagement ring. Consumers do not want to compromise on the best quality and prestige, but it’s important for them to buy ethically and still save money.
Based in London’s famous jewellery quarter, Flawless Fine Jewelry in Hatton Garden has seen this rise over the past year. With lab-grown diamonds now readily available in a variety of colourless ranges, their cultured diamonds are selling at a faster pace than the naturally mined counterparts.
Rupa Aranya Liechti, the owner of Flawless Fine Jewellery, said: “Whilst the number of people looking for a more ethical and sustainable alternative with a lab-grown diamond engagement ring is welcomed, it’s important that people remain aware that this can also increase the number of people that could get caught out by frauders.”
He added: “Consumers should still only buy from a certified and trusted jeweller and ensure that your lab-grown diamond comes with a legitimate certification and verification from a leading grading organisation.”
In May, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) witnessed a spike in submissions of lab grown diamonds with counterfeit inscriptions that make the stones appear natural. “This unfortunate situation demonstrates why it is important, especially in any transaction where the buyer does not have a trusted relationship with the seller, to have the diamond-grading report updated before completing a purchase,” said Tom Moses, the GIA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer.
Speak to the experts
Whether you’re shopping for a lab-grown diamond engagement ring or a natural stone, Flawless Fine Jewellery has a selection of stunning and bespoke designs that are certified and graded by leading organisations including the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the GIA. Buy online the diamond you love, or get in touch for your no-obligation consultation at: www.flawlessfinejewelry.com.
(Disclaimer: This is a featured content)