I recently asked my social media followers to play a diamond game with me.
I showed a video of three gemstones next to each other and asked them to guess which one of the three stones was a lab grown diamond.
Two of the three stones are natural diamonds and one is lab grown.
Lab grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in terms of hardness, chemical composition, crystalline structure, refractive index, dispersion and density so to the naked eye there is absolutely no difference between a lab grown diamond and a natural diamond. A lab grown diamond is essentially a diamond that hasn’t been mined and with growing awareness of the impact of mining on the environment lab grown diamonds are growing in popularity.
There are scientific ways to determine whether a gemstone is lab grown or natural such as examining the graining patterns or the emission of luminescence when the stone is examined under ultraviolet light and while these tests are useful for ensuring natural diamonds are not confused with lab grown stones, these factors are not visible to the naked eye.
So what does this mean to the consumer?
It means there is a now an alternative to a natural diamond that in terms of looks and wear is identical. Lab grown diamonds are now more affordable and better quality than they have ever been.
The stone in the video in the middle is the most expensive but it is three colour grades lower than the stone on the left. The stone on the right is the lowest in price. Can you guess yet which stone is lab grown?
The answer is the stone on the left is lab grown. The diamond on the right appears whiter but with less sparkle because of its cut and it has more natural inclusions in the stone. A common misconception is that the whiter the diamond looks the better but it depends on the lighting conditions and the angle that you view the stone. When diamonds are graded they are viewed side on through the widest part of the stone which is called the girdle.
The colour is checked next to a set of master stones which have been graded from D colour to Z. The colour is not checked by looking down on the top of the diamond. When diamonds have a lot of inclusions, which are natural birthmarks, they can appear whiter. I think of this like water in a river that when it hits rapids, the water becomes white. With a pure high quality diamond you want it to look like peering into a deep pool of crystal clear water. It will have lots of bright sparkle with darker areas which are thrown into contrast, especially in led lighting or natural sunlight. This is why diamonds are examined in daylight but not bright sunlight as a cloudy day will show less sparkle and allow you to see different aspects of the stone clearer.
Lab grown diamonds offer consumers a way to obtain bigger and better quality gemstones for their budget with the knowledge that they are choosing the environmentally friendly option but if your heart is set on a natural diamond you can lower the quality of the stone to fit your budget. Of the three stones the natural diamond on the right costs the least, then the higher quality lab grown diamond and finally the natural diamond in the middle is the most expensive.
We are so impressed by the quality of this lab grown diamond that we are going to offer our engagement ring designs with your choice of natural or lab grown diamonds.