What's The Difference Between Lab Diamonds And Real Diamonds?

Diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend; they’re for everyone. And when it comes to selecting the perfect diamond it can be tricky navigating styles, cuts and whether to go for a “real” or lab grown diamond. In fact, what's the difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds? And why choose lab grown diamonds over mined ones anyway? We break down the differences between traditional and lab grown diamonds below to make your decision making just that little bit easier.


What's The Difference Between Real Diamonds And Lab Made Diamonds?

You’ve most likely heard the quote “a diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure,” by US politician Henry Alfred Kissinger. While the latter is definitely true, the former isn’t quite.

Diamonds and coal share some similarities being both composed of carbon and made at high temperatures and pressures over millions of years in the Earth’s crust. However, from this point, diamonds differ as they are a pure form of carbon whereas coal consists of both carbon and some plant matter.

Lab grown diamonds on the other hand, as the name suggests, are formed in a laboratory most commonly using two methods: chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and high-pressure high temperature (HPHT).

The CVD method, which is how Luminesce lab grown diamonds are made, creates a diamond by planting a small diamond seed in a chamber and exposing it to chemical gases such as methane to essentially grow a diamond. This method encourages the seed to form layers of carbon crystals eventually turning it into a diamond. This process is often compared to the way in which snowflakes gather during a snowfall.

The HPHT method aims to mimic the way natural diamonds are created. This is done by compressing a piece of graphite under extreme pressures and temperature, eventually transforming it from graphite into a diamond.

Learn more: how are man made diamonds formed

Pros Of Lab Grown Diamonds

Apart from being significantly less expensive than natural diamonds, in some cases 50% less, lab grown diamonds are also said to be more ethically sound, through the avoidance of mining processes and practices associated with “blood diamonds”.

Due to being less expensive they also allow you to opt for higher carat diamonds in comparison to if you bought a natural diamond. They also offer other benefits including a higher purity due to being man made as well as being easy to care for.

We can’t stress this enough: lab grown diamonds are not synthetic diamonds!

Learn more:

Cons Of Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds due to not being as rare as natural diamonds depreciate in value when compared to natural diamonds. There are also environmental concerns surrounding its manufacturing processes due to the high heat and pressure required to create them.

Is A Lab Created Diamond A Real Diamond?

Yes, lab grown diamonds are real diamonds. The difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds are minimal. They may not be naturally created but they do share identical properties, chemically and optically, to that of their natural counterparts. 

The two even match up the same on the Mohs Hardness Scale - the metric used to measure the hardness of a substance. Both lab created diamonds and natural diamonds rank as a 10 because diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth. This means they are extremely durable and you can take comfort in knowing that they will stand the test of time.

Learn more: are lab grown diamonds as strong as real diamonds?

Do Man Made Diamonds Look Real?

Man made diamonds cannot be distinguished by the naked eye from natural diamonds. Often, the defining factor between the two is the presence of nitrogen: natural diamonds consist of a small amount of nitrogen while lab grown diamonds exhibit none. However, with that being said, a gemologist using a fine microscope would most likely be the only person able to tell the difference between the two visually: natural diamonds include pinpoint inclusions, feathering and cloud inclusions whereas man made do not.

Learn more: do lab grown diamonds have inclusions?

Which Diamond Is Better: Natural Or Lab Diamonds?

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. If you’re not concerned about rarity and you’ve got a fixed budget, lab grown diamonds can offer an elegant piece of jewellery almost identical to natural diamonds at a significantly lower price. 

However, if you are after jewellery with high appreciation value, then natural diamonds may be for you. 

So now you know, what’s the difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds. With the Luminesce range of lab grown diamond jewellery, we’re confident you’ll find the right diamond for you or that special someone. Still not too sure what you’re looking for? Get in touch with us via our socials for some one-on-one trusted advice.

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