A Tale of Two Diamonds
Lab Grown Diamonds vs Earth Mined Diamonds
Everything you need to know about choosing between laboratory grown diamonds and earth mined aka ‘real’ or ‘natural’ diamonds.
Spot The Difference
A lab grown diamond is essentially identical to a mined diamond. Made of carbon, each has the same physical and chemical properties, such as light refraction and chemical structure. A lab grown diamond IS a real diamond, not a diamond substitute such as Cubic Zirconia or Moissanite.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Generally speaking, lab grown diamonds cost approximately 20% to 30% less than mined (‘real’ or ‘natural’) diamonds. This means you can purchase a superior stone for the same price.
They do not require the same ethical considerations as natural diamonds and are environmentally friendly. Lab grown diamonds are cultivated in a controlled environment, thus incurring a smaller carbon footprint. They are conflict-free and produced with respect to human rights.
Naturally occurring diamonds are mined on almost every continent. The five major diamond mining countries are Russia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Canada and Botswana. There are plenty elsewhere, such as Brazil, Angola, South Africa and Namibia.
It is thought that Russia has the greatest reserves of diamonds.
How Are Diamonds Graded?
Lab grown and earth mined diamonds are all graded and categorised the same way by the diamond industry. The four characteristics that are considered the most important in determining the value, rarity and beauty of a diamond are known as The Four Cs:
Cut: The cut refers not only to the shape but also the amount of brilliance and sparkle in a diamond, which is how well it is proportioned. Grades range from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Poor.’
Clarity: The clarity grade measures inclusions, which are naturally occurring marks formed within the diamond. Marks can appear on laboratory grown diamonds too, as the lab process mimics how naturally earth mined diamonds are created. The scale ranges from ‘Flawless’ to ‘Included’.
Colour: In most diamonds, the term actually refers to the absence of colour. The less colour in the stone, the more desirable and valuable. The D grade, at the top of the scale, is considered ‘Colourless’, which is the rarest and most expensive. As the scale ranges from D to Z, diamonds become progressively more yellow, brown or grey.
Carat: This refers to the weight of a diamond. Generally the higher the carat, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can be very different in terms of quality and price when the other three Cs are considered.
Which shapes and cuts are most popular?
Patrick: Modern round brilliant and emerald cut.
Geoff: Whilst the round will always be the most popular shape, other less usual cuts have their day too. Cushion cuts for example are popular.
Which precious metal would you recommend for diamonds?
Platinum! It is the king of metals. Not always easy to work with but the choice for a piece of jewellery designed to last many generations. The vast majority of our clients choose platinum.
Famously worn by…
Two Elizabeths – Taylor and Queen Elizabeth II. Whoever wears diamonds is in good company.
Bespoke diamond jewellery
Whether a diamond is earth mined or laboratory grown is not actually the most important thing. A piece of jewellery represents love or commitment, more so when it is a bespoke piece. You don’t have to be a superstar or royalty to be the recipient of a piece of jewellery that has been created with love.
See our article here on how one of our clients, Ben, commissioned a bespoke engagement ring made with lab grown diamonds for his bride-to-be. Look just how beautiful the ring was, as well as being completely ethical!
If you have any further questions regarding our diamonds, lab-grown or otherwise, or would like an informal chat, then please do not hesitate to contact us in Hatton Garden, London.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Call us on +44 (0)20 7404 8111
By appointment only.