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Should I Buy a Natural or Lab-Grown Diamond?

Should I Buy a Natural or Lab-Grown Diamond?

October 09 2023

Like many things, there is an ongoing debate about whether Natural or Lab-Grown Diamonds are better; below we talk about the pros for both and hopefully you’ll come to your own conclusions.

What are Natural Diamonds?

Natural Diamonds were formed over billions of years. To form, they need immense pressure, combined with temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees and are created around 90 miles beneath the surface, within the Earth’s Mantle. They consist of pure carbon and every carbon atom of a diamond is bounded by another four carbon atoms: making it one of the most durable and hardest substances known to man.

What are Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Over the past 50 years, a method has been created to grow diamonds in a lab under the same conditions that they are formed naturally: this includes extreme heat and pressure. They began making them for commercial tools, but over time, the size and quality have reached a level where they can be used for jewellery.

Lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from natural diamonds and can only be identified in laboratory tests as they consist of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond structure, meaning they’re real diamonds as they exhibit the same optical and chemical properties.

How are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?

Lab-Grown diamonds are formed with two different methods.

The first is HPHT - High-Pressure High Temperature: 

This method applies HPHT to premature diamonds when released from erupting volcanoes. It is a carefully controlled scientific procedure that is essentially used to finish what nature initially started - by applying 70,000 atmospheres (the pressure a natural diamond would get) and temperatures up to 2000 degrees Celsius. These conditions help fully mature diamonds.

The second is CVD - Chemical Vapour Deposition:

This method uses diamond seeds placed in a Diamond Growth Chamber, where the temperature is increased to 900-1200 degrees celsius. The chamber is then filled with Methane and Hydrogen gases which stick to the seeds, allowing the diamond to grow carbon atom by atom for 3-4 weeks. This seed growth is monitored and is therefore removed at a precise moment to maximise the gem’s characteristics.

What are the Pros of Natural Diamonds?

Natural Diamonds are formed below the Earth’s Crust over billions of years, consequently making them unique: knowing this makes them so special to wear. As well as this, they are 100% organic - your diamond will be one of a kind.

Following this, there are only a limited number of diamonds formed naturally - though this may be upsetting it’s actually a good thing - this means the diamond value will increase over time, whereas the future value for Lab-Grown Diamonds is unknown.

In addition to this, the Earth has already used the energy needed to create these diamonds: due to pressure and temperature in the Earth’s Crust, meaning less energy is used going forward.

What are the Pros of Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Lab-Grown Diamonds don't require mining, this may be an environmental issue that puts you off from buying a natural diamond. In addition, they are more likely to have traceable origins - though controversial issues around natural diamonds aren’t as common now you still may feel some sort of concern or worry not knowing where your diamond has come from, making these a good alternative.

Potentially, they are more sustainable if the energy to make them comes from a sustainable source.

They exhibit the same characteristics as Natural Diamonds (chemical, physical and optical) along with fire, scintillation and sparkle. 

Above all, they cost 60-70% less even though they have the same chemical composition. This means you can get the quality of the stone you’re looking for in a Natural Diamond for much less when it comes to Lab-Grown.

Here at Quality Diamonds, we encourage you to choose what’s best for you based on your beliefs. We have both Lab-Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds available on our website.


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