What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Is a diamond produced in a lab still really a diamond? The answer to that question, luckily, is very straightforward: yes. Diamonds are essentially just the proper combination of carbon, heat, and pressure. Regardless of whether they were formed underground over a billion years ago or created less than a week ago, lab grown diamonds are identical to their naturally occurring counterparts. If you look under a microscope at a diamond, you’ll be unable to distinguish whether or not it originated in a lab. And because the process is highly regulated in a lab setting, lab diamonds contain fewer flaws overall.
Sourcing Lab Grown Diamonds
There's a reason engineered diamonds are called "lab grown," and it's only partly due to marketing. Lab diamonds are started from tiny diamond seeds - actual slivers of diamond that contain the chemical structure laboratories are trying to replicate. The same way that cultured pearls are formed in a controlled environment and made by inoculating mollusks with tissue grafts, diamonds are inoculated inside a highly pressurized and heated chamber. Unlike pearls, which come from and are formed by living organisms, diamonds are not subject to the same genetic variation. Although lab diamonds are not without flaws, the result of years of scientific research is a quality product with replicable results.
Know Your Market
There are several reasons lab grown diamonds appeal to Millennials and Gen Z, making these two generations the most likely to purchase lab diamonds. For one, they're up to one-third less expensive than natural diamonds — and sometimes even less — making lab diamonds much more affordable. With the recent trend towards large diamonds, buyers don't have to compromise on quality for size and vice versa. Younger buyers are also more likely to be concerned with the environment and favor sustainably sourced diamonds. Created diamonds aren't the only sustainable option, but it is much easier to guarantee their low environmental impact and find them in a variety of styles.
A Rainbow of Colors
Not only are created diamonds available in brilliant crystal clear, they're also much easier to find in a variety of colors, ranging from a soft powder blue to a millennial pink and even shades of bright yellow. Colored diamonds are much rarer in nature, making them difficult to come by and therefore far more expensive. In the past, sapphires frequently substituted for the elusive and pricey pink and yellow diamonds, but now there's no need to choose between the color you desire and the durability of your jewelry. Lab grown diamonds in yellows, pinks, blues, and even occasionally oranges can light up your jewelry collection like never before.