LAB GROWN DIAMONDS vs. MINED
Shopping for the perfect engagement ring can be a daunting task. You have to decide on the cut – whether to buy emerald, pear, cushion, round, or marquise. Likewise, you have to select the size, weight, and whatnot. And now, thanks to the advanced technology, you have another factor added to the already never-ending list – whether to buy lab-grown diamonds or mined ones.
Lab-grown diamonds vs. mined is one of the most sensitive topics a diamond-shoppers can encounter. In the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz about lab diamonds, both positive and negative. This has made people skeptical about whether lab-grown diamonds are worth buying or not.
The market share of lab-grown diamonds in the overall diamond market has steadily increased in recent years. It is expected to reach ten percent of the global diamond market by 2030. Studies show that the industrial diamond market in the US will be worth $238.1 billion in 2025. Lab-grown industrial diamonds are estimated to account for $200 million of that total. Considering this and the fact that only half of the US population was aware of cultured diamonds in 2018, people need to learn about the various cost-effective alternatives to natural diamonds.
Since the shape and size of your diamond depend upon your personal preference and budget, you are alone in the decision. However, we can help you decide whether to go for lab-grown or natural diamonds. This post will discuss the differences between mined and lab-grown diamonds to help you decide which one to purchase. So, let’s get started!
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Mined Diamonds
A surprising fact about lab diamonds is that they look exactly like natural diamonds. The only possibility that someone can tell them apart just by looking at them is if they are born and raised in a mine – so, yeah, the chances are pretty less.
This leaves us with a few factors that make lab-grown diamonds different from mined ones. Here are some points of differences between cultured and natural diamonds:
1- Manufacturing Process
Natural diamonds are forged deep inside the Earth’s surface in the mantle layer. Carbon reconfigures itself on an atomic level over billions of years of high heat and pressure, resulting in the solid-state diamond. Volcanic eruptions bring them closer to the Earth’s surface from where these precious stones are mined.
On the other hand, a lab-manufactured diamond copies the exact manufacturing procedure of a natural diamond. It has the same chemical, physical, and visual properties as a natural stone, except it is generated in a machine rather than on the Earth. CVD (chemical vapor deposition) and HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) are the two technologies used to make lab diamonds. Both procedures produce high-quality, genuine diamonds similar to those obtained from nature.
HPHT diamonds are created in a laboratory by simulating the high-pressure, high-temperature settings that occur naturally in the formation of diamonds. This method yields a lab-grown diamond crystal with an irregular shape.
The CVD process entails splitting the molecules of a carbon-rich gas, such as methane, into carbon and hydrogen atoms. These are then coated on diamond seeds to form a square-shaped diamond crystal. After the development process, most CVD-grown diamonds require extra treatments such as heat or irradiation to intensify or change their hues.
CVD is the most popular method; diamonds manufactured under this process are expected to reach $16.5 billion by 2024. Diamonds manufactured under the HPHT process have a lower economic value as they often turn brown or yellow.
The price of a diamond, either natural or synthetic, is determined by several factors, including:
If you think the beauty and feel make diamond such a pricey metal, you, my friend, are mistaken! Their rarity is the major reason why natural diamonds are so expensive! “Natural diamonds get their worth as a natural, billion-year-old valuable jewel and have proved over decades to rise in value as they become more uncommon,” according to the Natural Diamond Council.
But do synthetic diamonds compete with mined ones in their prices? Lab diamonds were 23 to 25% more expensive than natural diamonds in 2017 when the synthetic diamond manufacturing industry was just booming. By 2020, these price differences had significantly lessened. The retail price of lab-grown diamonds is roughly 35% of natural diamonds’ selling price.
Apart from their scarcity, the degree of the price difference between natural and synthetic diamonds is also determined by their weight. Larger carat lab-grown diamond prices are also falling faster than smaller carat weights.
Prices for synthetic diamonds between 3 and 3.99 carats fell 10.6% in 2021, while prices for those over 4 carats have fallen 8.7%.
Lab-created diamonds are available in a variety of aesthetic colours. These are produced by deliberately introducing elements such as nitrogen and boron into the manufacturing process. However, natural exotic coloured diamonds are significantly more expensive per carat than lab-grown coloured diamonds.
Natural coloured diamonds, like blue and pink, are highly rare and sell for thousands of dollars per carat. However, if you buy lab-grown diamonds in the same shades, you will be able to save a considerable amount of money.
Lab-grown diamonds, like mined diamonds, are valued based on the 4Cs: colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight. When you buy something, you lose a significant portion of its worth the instant you buy it. The reselling value for synthetic diamonds is far less than for natural diamonds.
Natural diamonds maintain roughly 50% of their initial value. On the other hand, Lab-grown diamonds have little to no market value. This means that you won’t be able to recover any of your investment if you resale a synthetic diamond.
Synthetic diamonds are manufactured from the same carbon material that natural diamonds are made up of. Despite being manufactured in a controlled environment by men, laboratory-grown diamonds are still the hardest substance on the planet. They have a MOHS hardness of ten, making them impossible to chip, break, shatter or scratch as genuine diamonds.
Some diamond shoppers are concerned about the environmental consequences of natural diamond mining. Buying mined diamonds is a lawful act. However, it is reasonable to believe that man-made diamonds are more long-term sustainable than those mined from the soil.
The lab-grown diamond industry provides customers with a more environmentally friendly diamond choice. When comparing two comparable diamonds, mined vs cultured, it’s critical to convince clients that cultured offers a viable option that requires far less land, produces far fewer emissions, uses far less water, and does not threaten human lives. In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognized cultured diamonds as real and stated they have a lower carbon footprint than mined diamonds if generated under ideal conditions.
A high-quality lab-grown diamond will be classified on the same level as a genuine diamond when it comes to colour. Because there is no visible difference between a lab-grown and a natural diamond, most people look for stones graded between G and J, which are near-colourless in both forms. True colourless diamonds, graded D through F, are extremely rare and valuable.
A lab diamond will almost always have the same brightness and shine as a real diamond, so they are a cost-effective option without sacrificing quality.
The Gemological Institute of America grades lab-created diamonds using the same processes and standards of natural diamonds. Because lab-grown diamonds are grown rather than cut, they will pick up imperfections or “flaws” that impact the brightness and purity of the stone. (The more inclusions a stone has, the cloudier it becomes and the lower its clarity rating.) Clarity ratings for lab-grown diamonds range from Flawless (F1) to Included (I2), just like real diamonds (I3).
However, the terminology GIA uses to describe the colour and purity of laboratory-grown diamonds differs from those used to describe natural diamonds. They use broader classification terms (Colorless, Near-Colorless, Faint, Very Light, and Light) instead of D-to-Z colour grades. The clarity grades for cultured diamonds are also replaced with descriptive categories (Very Slightly Included, Slightly Included, etc.) compared to the abbreviations for mined diamonds (VVSI, SI2, etc.).
Pros and Cons of Buying Lab-Grown Diamonds
Synthetic diamonds have certain flaws, but they are less than their pros. If you are still confused about whether to buy lab-grown diamonds or not, take a look at this chart to make an informed decision:
Less Expensive than Natural Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds cost significantly less than natural diamonds for the same weight. So, you will get a larger cultured diamond for the same amount.
They look the same and are also chemically identical. It’s only that they are grown through a different method.
Even though lab-grown diamonds require considerable energy to manufacture, they are more environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to mined diamonds.
You can get a lab-grown diamond customized for your favorite color. You will get them cheaper than natural diamonds, which are only available in several shades and cost a fortune.
Uncertain Resale Value
If the resale value is one of your primary considerations, lab-grown diamonds aren’t the best option. Since synthetic diamonds have only been around for a few years, they haven’t established a worth comparable to natural diamonds. So, you are not guaranteed a specific resale value at purchase.
Find Your Diamond Using Rare Carat!
The one thing every diamond shopper wishes for is getting a magic key to finding the ideal diamond. It turns out the magic is not in a key but a website!
Rare Carat is well-known for assisting you in locating the ideal diamond in the industry. Founded by Ajay Anand, Rare Carat allows users to compare diamond prices effortlessly to get a decent bargain. It is one of the least expensive engagement ring and diamond marketplaces in the United States. Like most virtual stores, this platform provides customers with access to a database of diamonds sourced from suppliers all over the world.
So, is buying a diamond from Rare Carat a savvy choice? Let’s find out!
People are sometimes hesitant to make a significant transaction online. So, the platform must be transparent and easy to operate. Rare Carat ticks this box – their website is well developed and appears clean, modern, and uncomplicated.
Rare Carat’s homepage is quite attractive and does not have a lot of text or images, making it easier for clients to find the information they need. The web page is split into two sections: you can view their diamond collection in one section and personalize your diamond in the second. The website also features a blog dedicated to educating individuals about various diamond sizes, cuts, and current designs.
You will find a search box on the Rare Carat website where you can type in your questions. There is also a live chat function where a gemologist from Rare Carat will assist you and help you find the perfect diamond for your needs. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a blind buy-in Rare Carat since you choose the diamond and customize it to your liking.
High-Quality Imagery and Product Videos
Rare Carat is one of the few diamond marketplaces that ensure that its imagery matches its product perfectly. According to professionals, it is pointless to create the nicest jewelry if consumers cannot envision it.
They have a photography team that not only shoots the magnificent pieces of diamonds but also posts them in a 360-degree format to offer the full impression. They also have their own Instagram account, where they upload various intriguing photographs of their products.
Rare Carat also intends to include 60-second 3D movies under each piece, allowing customers to thoroughly glimpse the item before purchasing it.
Information on Offer
The website at Rare Carat has all of the necessary information for you to make an informed decision. When you visit their website, you’ll notice tabs for the brand, their product page, their blog page, and why you should choose them to buy lab-grown diamond rings.
The Rare Carat website also offers a review section to read some of the customer testimonials and see what others have to say about their purchases. Furthermore, they have added sufficient infographics on their web pages rather than making the site text-oriented. When you need to display a lot of information in a visually appealing way, these infographics come in handy.
In addition, Rare Carat’s blogs and guide page provide some of the most useful information, particularly for customers who are purchasing diamond rings for the first time.
They have a genuine human live chat feature and the material on their website. So, if you want to talk to them about your diamonds or learn more about a specific feature, a Rare Carat expert will be able to assist you in the best way possible. You can also email them, especially if you have a complex query, and they will respond within 24 hours with an email that answers all of your questions.
Range of Choices
One of the key characteristics that distinguish Rare Carat from other diamond sellers is its extensive inventory of the most valuable gems. Engagement rings, wedding rings, diamond jewelry, loose diamonds, and designer rings are among the five primary categories offered by Rare Carat. Each category offers a large number of items from which to choose.
Furthermore, Rare Carat offers a variety of color options from which to choose. There are also customization choices available, so if you want to personalize the diamond with your preferred design, you can do so. And it’s not like they just dump their products on the sites and leave customers to figure their way on their own. Customers will find a wide variety of options that are organized logically, making shopping much easier.
Rare Carat ensures that the packaging is stylish and appropriate for the product. They have earned some bonus points from customers because of their thoughtful packaging.
Customers also appreciate the customizable gift options that Rare Carat offers. Buyers get a diverse selection to choose from and a home delivery option. Moreover, the marketplace is also noted for providing excellent after-sales care to its consumers. Every customer who purchases from them is promised a unique experience.
Rare Carat has a history of signing exclusive deals with numerous diamond wholesalers worldwide. Each designer contributes something special to the platform, offering distinctive diamond pieces in elegance and design.
Rare Carat employs Augmented Reality (AR) to digitally envision how different diamond shapes and sizes look on customers’ hands when wearing an Engagement Ring. The customers especially like this ‘creating your ring’ feature, which allows them to customize their diamond rings by choosing the form, colour, and cut they want.
Order Your Lab Grown Diamond Now!
From their lusture to durability and quality, lab-grown diamonds are less than natural mined diamonds. In fact, they are the best option to explore if you want a cut-price diamond that appears just like the real thing.
This sums up our guide on lab-grown diamonds vs mined diamonds. What are you waiting for? Explore the Rare Carat platform now and order your favorite diamond jewelry online!