Everything you need to know about Lab Grown Diamonds
We’re often asked about Lab Grown Diamonds at Hatton Jewels. Lab grown diamonds have been available since the late 1980’s, however it seems only recently they are creating a lot of attention. Today we’re sharing everything you need to know about exactly what they are, how they are made and what to look out for if you are looking to buy one. Read on to ensure you avoid all of the common pitfalls that can happen when you are buying a Lab Grown Diamond.
What are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are synthetically produced Diamonds. They have been produced and recognised within the jewellery industry as Synthetic Diamonds for a number of years, but more recently have been rebranded as ‘Lab Grown Diamonds’ for the purposes of the high street jewellery market.
How are Lab Grown Diamonds made?
Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamonds are made in a factory setting, this can be done in one of two ways with the most common being a small natural Diamond, known as the seed, being implanted into a specialist chamber with carbon powder, which is then heated to 2000 degrees centigrade and pressurised to 60kb pressure to mimic the same environment that produces natural Diamonds in the earth’s mantle. A molten metallic flux is introduced to act as a solvent for the Carbon and a catalyst for growth of the Synthetic ‘Lab-Grown’ Diamond.
This rough crystal Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamond can then be cut, faceted and polished in the same way as a Natural Diamond to produce a finished stone that looks almost undistinguishable to the real thing.
These sorts of processes have been used for decades to produce Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamonds, and now as technology has advanced and allowed these processes to be improved a larger number of jewellery quality stones are able to be manufactured at much cheaper costs. These stones are the ‘Lab Grown’ Diamonds we now see being marketed as a cheaper man made alternative to natural mined Diamonds in high street jewellers.
Are ‘Lab Grown’ Diamonds ethically and environmentally friendly?
It is the hope that as more advances come with manufacturing these sorts of Synthetic ’Lab Grown’ Diamonds they will, one day be able to be produced using only renewable and environmentally friendly sources of energy, like solar and hydro power, putting the current need to use fossil fuels to create the vast amount of energy to grow the stones, to an end. This will then finally make these kinds of stones a true eco and sustainable alternative to Natural mined Diamonds with the far cheaper price tag than that associated with Natural Diamonds. But as it stands the average lab grown Diamond is not environmentally friendly and are indeed not an ethical alternative. With lab grown diamonds becoming a more popular substitute; it is causing a huge amount of financial strain on small communities and families where natural Diamond mining is their only source of income; not to mention aid in development and education in those local areas from organisations such as the ‘Natural Diamond Council’. With a lack of demand, and rapid influx of ‘lab grown’ stones it will arguably mean these communities will find it harder to sustain themselves.
What to look out for when buying a Lab Grown Diamond
With the price of Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamonds continuing to fall, these sorts of stones are certainly being seen more widely available to consumers through the internet and high street jewellers. So, what should you look out for when buying a Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamond? When purchasing, keep in mind that your stone will depreciate in value over time, as with the increased production and abundance in availability of them, so ensure you are choosing your stone for the love of the finished piece, that you will wear and treasure forever, not just by its current price tag. Regularly have your ring appraised with a jewellery insurance valuation, and make sure that you are not paying increased costs each year for insuring your ring as the value lowers over time.
Ask your jewellery how your stone was produced, if the environmental impact of Diamonds is of the most importance to you? Was it made in a factory using fossil fuel energy or was it made using energy sources with a far lesser impact on the earth and environment today? As with all Diamonds sold in the UK, these stones should be traceable to the source of production so your knowledgeable jewellery will be able to tell you all about its manufacture.
Identifying your Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamond will be trickier to do without the correct equipment required, therefore GIA laser-inscribe each Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamond they see for Diamond grading reports. This inscription will contain a Lab Grown identifying logo as well as its report number, so that your stone can easily be identified and verified using a microscope in store. Ask your jeweller to show you the inscription, they are super tiny and placed on the girdle of each stone but this is a wonderful and unique identifying marker that is exciting and interesting to be able to view yourself.
With the variety of stones available in the world's current markets today there are lots of choices in Diamonds you can make. This may be a Natural mined Diamond, a Synthetic ‘Lab Grown’ Diamond or even the recycling and repurposing of an older Diamond to create your beautiful new piece of jewellery. Whether you are making the exciting purchase of vintage engagement rings, or the thoughtful gift to a loved one to celebrate a special time in their life, your jewellery should be of the upmost precious and individual creation for you. After all, we are all as unique as Diamonds themselves.
Whether you are wanting to purchase from our ready to wear collection or design your own piece of fine jewellery from our fully bespoke service, we have an abundance of natural stones to choose from. If you are looking for a stone with a bit of character and want to repurpose an older stone giving your new item a real sustainable origin, we have a wonderful range of existing natural stones we can offer to create your new jewellery piece. Older cuts of Diamonds can hold such charm and historical identity, opting for a repurposed stone can ensure you are keeping its story alive as well as provide a more ethical solution.