Lab Grown Diamonds

What you need to know

We get it. Lab grown diamonds are appealing. They are less expensive, have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, and are nearly impossible to detect any difference to the eye. So you may find yourself asking, what’s not to like about lab grown diamonds and are they worth the purchase? Buying a diamond is a very personal choice, and ultimately the perfect diamond for you will depend on what matters the most to you. There is no wrong decision.

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You Have Questions. We Have The Answers.

Beyond the value, there are many questions we receive about lab grown diamonds, so we thought we would share some of those with you. Of course, if you have others, we are ready to answer any and all of them. Just drop us an email at to start the conversation. Or, stop by! We are excited to talk to you about those differences and show you both natural and lab grown side by side.

Q. Are lab grown diamonds more eco-friendly?

This is the question we are asked over and over again. The long and the short of it is probably not. Natural diamonds produce 3x fewer carbon emissions per carat than lab grown diamonds. And, natural diamond producers recycle on average 83% of the water used in diamond recovery. Lab grown diamonds portray themselves as far more socially responsible and "eco-friendly", but they require an immense amount of energy to produce in order to replicate the process in a few short weeks, along with significant water usage to cool the reactors. Lab grown diamond eco-friendly claims are somewhat unsubstantiated and they have been warned by the FTC to not make such claims.

Q. Are lab grown diamonds more socially conscious than natural diamonds?

Again, the answer to that is probably no. The natural diamond industry supports the livelihood of over 10 million people! They create 16 billion dollars of benefits annually for employees and communities. Of that money, 80% is retained by local communities. Without diamond mining, there would be a significant impact on those communities. On the other hand, the wealth accumulated from the sale of a lab grown diamond typically benefits their investors and owners.

Read more about what the diamond industry does and how it significantly helps at

Q. Are lab grown diamonds "fake" or "real"?

Lab grown diamonds share the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond produced by the geological processes of Mother Nature. Because of the contrasting conditions of natural and lab grown formation, lab grown diamonds display several features which allow them to be distinguished from natural diamonds. As noted by the Natural Diamond Council, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a lab grown or created diamond cannot be called "real" because it does not come from the Earth. It is not considered a gemstone.

Q. What makes them different?

This gets a little technical, but interesting! You first have to start from the beginning to understand how diamonds and lab grown diamonds are created. An organic, natural diamond forms when pure carbon undergoes intense temperature and pressure over billions of years within the Earth’s mantle. It only forms in the "diamond stability zone", 80 to 120 miles deep, and extremely hot (up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit), where the conditions are just right. Then, over eons of violent volcanic eruptions, diamonds get brought to the surface embedded in large chunks of rock.

One important fact: A natural diamond is the oldest thing you will ever own. It takes billions of years in the making! A natural diamond is rare. Especially since there have been no new discoveries of natural diamonds in approximately 30 years!

Lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, are grown in highly controlled laboratory conditions that reproduce the Earth’s natural growing environment: high pressure and high temperature. Yes, they have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical and physical properties of diamonds found in nature. They aren’t technically "synthetic diamonds" or "fake diamonds" since their chemical composition is that of naturally occurring diamonds; They can exhibit fire, scintillation, and sparkle as natural diamonds, but do include specific, identifiable internal characteristics. However, they are not considered rare since they can be endlessly replicated.

Q. Are lab grown diamonds identical to natural diamonds?

No, they are not identical. Mainly because they are mass-produced in factories located primarily in China, India, and Singapore in industrial microwave reactors. Their artificial production process occurs in just 2 weeks and there are tell-tale marks within the diamond which enables a professional (like us) to easily detect them.

Q. What is the value proposition for each? Are they worth it?

Natural diamonds obtain their value because of their rarity. In the last 35 years, they have appreciated by 3% on average. Currently, lab-grown diamonds are sold at a cost of between 70-90% less than natural diamonds!  In addition, their prices have dropped significantly over the last few years by as much as 50% and continue to decline rapidly. Because they are not rare, they will not hold their value. Therefore, they have little or no resale value.  That’s important to understand. If you decide to purchase one, you will most likely not be able to trade it in and receive that value toward the purchase of another larger diamond. 

The natural diamond market can also fluctuate based on outside factors such as global economic conditions, consumer preferences, and demand. Because they are mined from the earth, the output from those mines can affect the price. But, overall a natural diamond will hold its value.

At Harold Stevens, your diamond buying experience is highly personalized. Whether it’s natural or lab-grown, you are assured your diamond will be of the very highest quality.


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