Lab grown diamonds are increasing in popularity, and if you are in the market for diamond jewellery, you might just have a question or two regarding them. We went straight to custom jewellery designer, Sonja Deklerk, to explain some of the benefits and misconceptions surrounding these stones.
Before I do so, let’s flash back to the early 1950’s. That was when the first lab grown diamonds were created and their primary purpose was for industrial use…admittedly, not very romantic. Fast forward to present day and we have gem quality lab grown diamonds that have the same fire, scintillation and sparkle as earth mined diamonds. So what does all of this mean?
This means that technological advancement in lab grown diamond has resulted in more options for you the consumer, and that without question is of great benefit. As a society, we are waking up to the recognition of the need for transparency regarding ethical and sustainable sourcing and production practices of the products we purchase. The jewellery industry is no exception, and recycled precious metals, conflict-free diamonds and ethically sourced gemstones are more readily available to you the consumer. With so many choices, it is ultimately up to you to decide what materials best capture your values, aesthetics, budget and lifestyle.
So how are lab grown diamonds produced you might ask, and are they real diamonds?
Basically, there are two methods in which lab grown diamonds are formed: High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). Regardless of the process used, the result is chemically, physically and optically identical to that of earth mined diamond. One word of caution however! It requires a significant amount of energy to produce lab grown diamond so it is important to ensure that your diamond is grown using renewable energy sources like solar or hydro power as opposed to fossil fuels. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do some research…the more you know, the better equipped you will be to make a confident purchase.
What about diamond grading? Are lab grown diamonds graded differently than earth mined diamonds? The 4 C’s of diamonds (cut, color, clarity and carat) is a grading system that is applicable to both earth mined and lab grown diamonds, and diamond grading reports are available for both options.
Let’s talk diamond pricing…this is perhaps one of lab grown diamond’s greatest benefits. Currently, lab grown diamonds retail at approximately 30 – 50% less than natural diamonds. That’s great news for your budget, and allows you to decide in what way your money is best spent. Perhaps this means an increase in carat weight, clarity, color, cut or all of the above!
In summary, more options are available today than ever before in choosing the diamond jewellery of your dreams. While there is something incredibly romantic about wearing a sparkly piece of earth’s history formed billions of years ago in the earth’s mantle, there is a new romance in pioneering the future through sustainable sourcing practices. Whatever your vision of romance may look like, there is a perfect stone to be loved and cherished waiting out there for you!
For more information on custom jewellery or lab grown diamonds visit: https://sonjadeklerk.com