lab-grown diamonds have come with a lot of hype and continue attracting the attention of jewelers and gemstone lovers. The major question of contention is synthetic diamonds’ similarity to mined diamonds. Are they as precious as natural diamonds formed deep below the surface of the Earth in the upper mantle? Can scientists simulate in the laboratory a deep-seated volcanic eruption and create stones chemically identical to natural ones? Is it as prestigious to wear engineered gemstones as natural diamonds?
The answer to all these questions is a definite “yes.” Scientists have indeed learned to recreate natural conditions under which diamonds are formed deep below the Earth and with the help of high temperature and pressure to develop diamonds in the laboratory environment. The techniques they use are called High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Disposition (CVD). During the HPHT process, pure carbon and a starter diamond seed are placed in a high-pressure, high-temperature chamber. The heated carbon melts around the diamond seed, creating a diamond.
lab grown diamonds are thus as beautiful and durable as natural stones. They are even more ethically preferable than mined diamonds because their production is not compromised by human rights and environmental abuses that taint the mining of natural diamonds. Mining is indeed a brutal endeavor: mines churn upland, pollute water with toxic chemicals, and devastate wildlife. Worse, mining ruins people’s health and often costs them their lives. Producing diamonds in the laboratory entails no such environmental and human rights violations. No masses of the earth are hewn away for pieces of minerals buried within. No air is contaminated. And no children get physically injured and die from working in dangerous conditions. The comparative ethical superiority of lab-created diamonds should tilt the scales in their favor for those clients who want to make the right ethical choices.
And not only are synthetic diamonds guilt-free but they are also significantly less expensive than natural diamonds. Although they are chemically and physically equivalent to them, lab-grown stones cost 30% or even 60% less than their mined counterparts. The large price difference between the two types of diamonds is explained by supply. As it takes billions of years to create natural diamonds, their supply is highly limited. Synthetic diamonds are grown within weeks or even days and can be produced in large quantities. As their supply increases, their prices drop. You can thus buy a lab-made diamond for a fraction of the price paid for a natural diamond. But you will still flaunt naturally-looking diamonds even if their purchase did not break the bank.
The advantages of lab grown diamonds are indisputable. It is, therefore, the right time to stop wearing ethically compromised expensive natural stones and wholly embrace their manmade alternatives.