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What are Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask HOLDEN, our blog where we seek to answer your most frequently asked questions, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.

One of the most common questions we get each day is, “What are lab diamonds?”

In this post, we’ll break down lab created vs natural diamonds, how diamonds are made in a lab, and why we choose to only use lab-grown diamonds here at HOLDEN.

In case you’re in a rush, the quick answer is lab-grown diamonds (sometimes referred to as man-made diamonds) are 100% real diamonds, chemically and physically identical to natural (or mined) diamonds. The only difference is the origin of the diamond. Our lab-grown diamonds are cultivated inside a lab using cutting-edge technology that duplicates the same growing conditions as within the earth’s mantle, where diamonds naturally form.

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Each lab created diamond starts as a diamond “seed.” Our partner lab selects only the highest quality seeds that are free of any imperfections.

Over a period of two months, the seeds undergo a series of processes that expose them to a perfect storm of gases, pressure, and high temperature. Layer-by-layer, carbon atoms form upon the seed and eventually crystallize into a rough diamond.

Each rough diamond is then cut and polished by master cutters and high-tech lasers. The result is a diamond that is physically, chemically, and optically identical to a natural diamond.

Lab-grown versus mined diamonds

Even under the magnification of a jewelry loupe, lab-grown diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from mined diamonds. According to Stephen Morrisseau, a spokesperson for the Gemological Institue of America (GIA), “[Man-made diamonds] are not fakes. They’re not cubic zirconias. They have all the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond.”

While the differences between a lab-grown and natural diamond can only be spotted with specialized tests using high-tech equipment, the advantages of lab-grown diamonds are readily apparent.

Why choose lab-grown diamonds?

1. They’re ethical - Because each man-made diamond can be completely traced in origin, there’s no risk of purchasing a blood or conflict diamond.

2. They’re the eco-conscious choice - According to research done by Stanford Magazine, it can take “143 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per carat mined—five-and-a-half times what it takes to make synthetic diamonds.” Not to mention, diamond mining also requires clearing land, which produces waste that can destroy habitats and ecosystems.

3. They're less expensive - Due to the shorter and more efficient supply chain, lab created diamonds are typically 20-30% less expensive than their mined counterparts. For example, our 1.5mm Eternity Profile retails for $849, compared to an industry average of $1,400.

Any questions? Shoot us an email at hello@hiholden.com or give us a ring at 917.719.3634.