Diamonds are formed between 120-200 kilometres beneath the earth’s crust. It takes very specific conditions of pressure, chemistry and temperature to form a diamond, which are essentially a crystalline form of elemental carbon.  Once the crystal structure has been formed and hardened, it takes thousands of years for the circulation of the earth’s mantle to bring the stones to the surface where they can be mined.

Most diamonds are formed by the earth’s crust melting - the rocks submerge into the mantle, where the carbon atoms are liquefied. Over time, the temperature decreases and the crystal structure of diamonds forms. When earthquakes, volcanoes and other geologic events occur, it forces the rocks to the surface where they can be mined. 

Once mined, the stones are cut well to reflect light, which gives a beautiful sparkle and shine. There are multiple factors that affect the value of a diamond, such as cut, carat, clarity, colour, beauty and most importantly, demand. For many centuries, diamonds have symbolised wealth, status and achievement and are a known item that carry value. Due to people continuously having a desire to wear diamonds, the prices have been rising steadily over time.

Until recently, the only affordable alternative to wearing a mined, or natural, diamond,  was buying a cubic zirconia or moissanite, which are “fake” diamonds and are far less expensive but definitely not the real thing. 

Since humans have figured out how to grow a diamond in a lab, this has now changed. Lab grown diamonds, also known as lab created diamonds, man made diamonds, engineered diamonds, ethical diamonds and cultured diamonds, are grown in a highly controlled laboratory environment using advanced technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop when they formed beneath the earth’s crust. These lab-created diamonds consist of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. Since they are made of the same material as natural diamonds, they exhibit the same optical and chemical properties. 

Lab created diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds, even by a professional using a jewellery loupe. Lab created diamonds may exhibit different trace elements than natural diamonds that do not affect the appearance of the diamond. Lab created diamonds can be distinguished from natural diamonds only with tests using specialised equipment worth thousands of dollars. Lab created diamonds available for purchase should always come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory grown.

So which is better?

Well that’s a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual. Lab grown diamonds are much less expensive than earth-mined diamonds, making them a great choice for engagement rings and jewellery, especially if size is what is important to you. Additionally, lab grown diamonds are not mined or dredged, making them the environmentally conscious choice. 

In conclusion, lab grown diamonds are affordable, free of mining concerns, conflict-free, durable, brilliant and luxurious. What’s not to love? Expert gemologists can’t differentiate between natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Which means neither will anyone else! Side-by-side, they’re one in the same. The only difference between mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds, aside from the cost, is their origin. After comparing lab diamonds vs. mined diamonds, it’s easy to see why lab grown diamonds are becoming the more superior choice. The team at Morgan & Co can help educate you and answer your questions in relation to what the best choice for you and your partner is. You can contact them here for a free, no obligation consultation - either in their Buderim studio or via virtual means. 

April 29, 2022 — Morgan Gaskin