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What's the Deal with Diamonds?

What's the Deal with Diamonds?

We don't work with diamonds in our daily business, as we specialize in 18k gold jewelry for children and adults. However, like in any industry, what affects one part often ends up affecting us all. So, what’s the deal with these "lab-grown" diamonds, and why is it changing the jewelry industry—for better or for worse?

  

What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?

Let's start at the beginning. A lab-grown diamond is a diamond created in a laboratory setting rather than mined from the earth. Just like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are made from carbon atoms arranged in a crystal structure. They share the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds, meaning they are essentially the same material.

To create a lab-grown diamond, scientists start with a small diamond seed and expose it to conditions that mimic the natural diamond-forming process. This involves high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) or a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, where carbon atoms attach to the seed, layer by layer, eventually forming a full diamond crystal. The result is a diamond that is virtually indistinguishable from a natural diamond to the naked eye. Special equipment, such as spectroscopy or luminescence testing, is required to tell them apart.


 So They Are Real!

Now you understand that a lab-grown diamond is still a diamond—not a fake stone like cubic zirconia (CZ). The key difference lies in the origin: lab-grown diamonds do not take ages to create, nor do they require extensive and often environmentally damaging mining processes. This efficiency results in a much lower price for lab-grown diamonds, allowing them to compete with the traditionally expensive natural diamonds.


Now What?

This shift in the diamond market is reminiscent of what happened in the pearl industry with the discovery and popularization of cultured pearls. Before cultured pearls, natural pearls were extremely rare and expensive, accessible only to the wealthy. The ability to cultivate pearls in controlled environments revolutionized the industry, making pearls more affordable and widely available without compromising on beauty or quality. Similarly, lab-grown diamonds are democratizing access to diamonds, offering consumers a high-quality, sustainable, and cost-effective alternative to mined diamonds.

As the jewelry industry continues to evolve, it's clear that lab-grown diamonds are here to stay, offering both challenges and opportunities for jewelers and consumers alike.


Which One Should I Buy?

Choosing between a natural and a lab-grown diamond depends on your personal values, budget, and preferences. If you value the traditional allure and long-term investment potential of natural diamonds, you might prefer a mined diamond. Natural diamonds have a historical and emotional appeal that some buyers find irreplaceable.

However, lab-grown diamonds offer excellent value for money, allowing you to get a larger or higher-quality stone within your budget. They are also appealing if you prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing. Lab-grown diamonds have a lower environmental impact and do not involve the social issues sometimes associated with diamond mining.


So My Diamonds Are Now Worth Less?

The rise of lab-grown diamonds has influenced the market, but it's important to note that natural diamonds still hold value, particularly for their rarity and historical significance. While lab-grown diamonds provide an affordable and ethical alternative, natural diamonds continue to be valued for their uniqueness and tradition.

If you own natural diamonds, their value will be affected by lab-grown options, but the market for natural diamonds remains strong. High-quality stones with excellent clarity, cut, and carat weight may see their value fluctuate for a couple of years until the diamond market stabilizes again. Over time, the coexistence of both types of diamonds will likely stabilize, with each catering to different consumer preferences.

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