All the criticism and ethical concerns that have been levied against natural diamonds for the greater part of the century have now been resolved. It has become possible with the advancement of technology through the creation of diamonds in a lab. Buying a piece of diamond jewellery now is not a morally and financially draining experience that it used to be. In fact, a lab-grown diamond is cheaper and often of much higher quality than mined diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They have the same physical properties as mined diamonds, and even professionals aren’t able to tell the difference. They are certainly not cubic zirconia or other diamond simulants. While these may look similar to diamonds, they are fundamentally different and are not as durable and long-lasting as real diamonds. A professional test can easily expose their chemical makeup.
Lab-grown diamonds, as the name suggests, are grown in labs from carefully arranged small diamonds called seeds that are placed into carbon. Advanced technology subjects the seeds to extremely high pressure and temperature that mimics the natural method of diamond formation but at an exponentially accelerated pace.
The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed. It is then carefully cooled to form a pure carbon diamond, which is then cut and polished. Mined diamonds often have impurities due to the environment in which they were formed. Diamonds created in a lab with strictly controlled processes result in brighter and whiter diamonds but with much fewer defects than mined ones.
Besides, colored diamonds produced in labs are much more vibrant and uniform than their mined counterparts. The feat is achieved by the very precise dosing of trace chemicals. For example, yellow diamonds get their colour from nitrogen while blue diamonds get their colour from boron.
One would be forgiven to assume that such high-quality diamonds must have sky-high price tags to match; however, buying a piece of lab-grown diamond jewellery can net saving of up to 40% over a similar mined one. Thus, with the same budget, one can easily buy a larger diamond with a more elaborated design and intricate metalwork.
Last but not least, the ethical concerns associated with buying mined diamonds are substantial - from the environmental costs to the child labor used to mine the diamonds. When purchasing a diamond, it is imperative to consider its past and how it got to you as to a customer.
Lab-grown diamonds have none of the concerns as they are both environmentally friendly and child labor free. Mining causes massive damage to the environment and is very energy-intensive using a large number of fossil fuels. An area once mined is often and toxic and very slow to recover, if at all. Since synthetic diamonds are created in labs with no child or slave labor, unlike most natural diamonds that are mined in conflict regions in Africa in brutal conditions earning the nickname "Blood Diamonds."
Lab-grown diamonds have very little to no environmental damage and are more affordable as well. Thus, they present a compelling choice for everyone involved, including the buyer, the manufacturer, the supplier, and most importantly, the earth, and its inhabitants.