Lab grown diamonds are sustainable and totally conflict free. They have been used for industrial purposes since the 1950s and gradually made their way to the jewellery market. Nowadays, natural and lab grown diamonds coexist, accepted by both consumers and the trade.
Lab grown diamonds have been seeing an increase as the centre stone of choice in contemporary engagement rings. With identical looks, hardness and durability to the natural diamond, lab grown diamonds represent better value for money (costing on average 30-40% less than a natural diamond), with couples being able to afford a bigger, better quality stone to set into their engagement ring.
Lab grown diamond (also referred to as synthetic diamonds, man-made diamonds, laboratory-created diamond, or cultured diamonds) is a gemstone made of the same material as its natural counterpart: pure carbon, crystallised in an isotropic 3D form. Lab grown diamonds are not imitation diamonds, which are made of non-diamond material.
Man has attempted to synthesize diamonds since the late 19th century, however, the first reproducible synthesis of a diamond took place in 1950s in the Soviet Union, United States and Sweden, via the CVD (chemical vapour deposition) and HPHT (high-pressure high-temperature) methods. These two processes still dominate the production of lab grown diamonds today.
The only chemical difference between lab diamonds and natural diamonds is that
most natural diamonds contain tiny amounts of nitrogen, and lab diamonds do not. Of course there is more to a diamond than just its chemical structure. According to professionals with over 50 years of experience in diamond sales, there is energy that sort of speaks to you and can be felt the moment you hold a natural diamond in your hand. However, both lab grown and mined diamonds look identical, and only sophisticated technology can help tell the difference between a natural diamond and its synthetic counterpart.