Lab Grown Diamond vs. Mined Diamond
Lab grown diamonds have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few decades. For the eco-conscious consumer, lab grown diamonds are a stellar option, but it can be difficult to get an unbiased opinion about them. Are these man-made diamonds worth the investment, or should you always stick with natural mined diamonds to ensure the best bang for your buck?
Here’s what you should know about lab grown diamonds versus mined diamonds.
What is a Mined Diamond?
A mined diamond, also known as a natural diamond, is formed naturally deep beneath the Earth’s crust where temperatures and pressures are very high. They’re sometimes called “natural diamonds” because they’re formed naturally and then mined when rare volcanoes erupt and bring them close to the surface.
Unfortunately, due to poor planning and weak regulation, diamond mining has prompted environmental issues such as land degradation, soil erosion, and devastation of water resources. It has even forced local communities to relocate.
For this reason, lab grown diamonds — identical in every way to earth-mined diamonds except they are grown in a lab — have become popular.
What is a Lab Grown Diamond?
Lab grown diamonds, also known as synthetic diamonds, have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. The only difference is that these stones are grown in a machine rather than in the earth. Both are made of carbon, and they will “test” as a diamond because they have identical properties.
The Advantage of Lab Grown Diamonds
Here are some of the reasons that buyers select lab grown diamonds over mined diamonds.
- Budget: If you have a small budget, you can get a bigger lab grown diamond than you would a mined diamond. They are less expensive for the same quality.
Appearance: You’ll still get the same beautiful look from a lab grown diamond that you would a mined diamond.
- Ethics: A large reason people prefer lab grown diamonds is that they have a trackable origin. Mined diamonds are at risk of being “blood” or “conflict” diamonds — traded or mined illegally in war-torn areas. Lab grown diamonds don’t carry these ethical implications.
- Sustainability: If you want an eco-friendly option, then lab-grown diamonds are the way to go. They don’t require a mining process at all. Although, they’re still not ideal for the environment because lab grown diamonds require a lot of energy to create.
The Disadvantage of Lab Grown Diamonds
Yet, lab grown diamonds aren’t perfect for every buyer. Consider these factors before purchasing.
- Resale value: Mined diamonds have a clearcut resale value because of their established history. Lab grown diamonds have seen prices fall in the past few years because of increased supply. If you want a sustained resale value, mined diamonds are a better bet.
- Perception: Lab grown diamonds can be a personal preference. They’re ideally suited for those who don’t want to impact the environment negatively or want the largest possible diamond for the budget. However, if you haven’t talked about the details of a ring or rock with your potential fiancé, it may not be the best move to surprise them with a lab grown diamond. They’re a newer option and are sometimes seen as the ”cheaper” choice.
- Custom: The gap is starting to close between lab grown and mined diamonds. However, the large majority of people still default to mined diamonds as the customary choice.
Buying a diamond — or jewelry of any kind — is a big decision. At F.A.O. Jewelers, we believe in arming our customers with the best information available, so they can make the best decision possible. If you are looking for more information on mined & lab grown diamonds or are interested in seeing them in person, give us a call at 810.229.5335, or stop by our location in Brighton, MI to see our engagement rings firsthand. For even more information, check out our Jewelry 101 blog or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.