Although all lab grown diamonds are man-made, not all man-made diamonds are pure diamonds according to the Federal Trade Commission. Yes, it sounds confusing, even to us in the jewelry industry!
No worries – we’ll explain the difference.
What exactly is a lab grown diamond?
Back in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission began clarifying the definitions of diamonds into two distinct categories. They stated that diamonds were “a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system that was either mined from the earth or grown in a factory.”
Which means that in order for a product to be considered a diamond, it had to be carbon crystallized in the isometric system with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, with a specific gravity of 3.52 and a refractive index of 2.42. So chemically, optically, and physically, lab grown and mined diamonds are the exact same product. The difference is whether they were grown in a lab, or mined from the earth.
At Scott’s, we explain it like tomatoes grown in a garden (mined) or grown in a hot house (lab grown). Both are exactly the same, but hot house tomatoes cost less because they’re grown in a controlled environment.
Are man-made diamonds the same as lab grown diamonds?
Well, lab grown diamonds technically are all man-made, but not all man-made stones are diamonds.
Some jewelry manufacturers are producing inexpensive, coated gems, and calling them man-made diamond simulants. Simulated diamonds include things like cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, and YAG. They can also include some natural clear gemstones like white sapphire, white zircon or even clear quartz.
The problem is, the coating eventually wears off, and the gem will start to chip, scratch, or even break apart.
This is where having a jeweler that you can trust is a real help!
How do I tell if a diamond is lab grown?
Well, you can’t without some help 🙂
Lab grown diamonds are chemically the same as mined diamonds, and one of the only ways to tell the difference is for a jeweler to look under a magnifier for a laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond and determine the origin.
If there’s no inscription, then either the diamond is an older, mined diamond, or it’s not really a diamond, but a simulant.
Are man made diamond simulants a good choice for an engagement ring?
For a ring that gets a lot of use and abuse, it’s best to stick with a harder gemstone for the center.
Man made diamond simulants are generally not very expensive, but also can’t take the daily wear and tear like a mined or lab grown diamond. If they are just coated with diamond dust, that coating will eventually sluff off and break.
Why should I choose a man made, or lab grown diamond?
Lab grown diamonds are a great option for jewelry because they are conflict-free, eco-friendly, and cost 50-70% less than mined diamonds. That’s a BIG deal!
At this time, about 30% of the world’s mined diamonds are found in Russia. The United States has recently sanctioned diamonds coming from this region because they are using diamond sales to fund their war with Ukraine.
Lab grown diamonds also, only use a fraction of the natural resources to make in a lab, compared to the amount of energy and earth moving equipment used to mine diamonds from the ground.
In addition, lab grown diamonds cost much less than mined diamonds. Customers are able to get a diamond that is bigger, brighter, whiter, and cleaner than a mined diamond.
Still confused? No worries! Just give us a call at 614 336-4111 and we’d be happy to help you out.
4 thoughts on “What’s the difference between man-made diamonds and lab grown diamonds?”
How much would a
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I am interested in changing my settings on my engagement ring
We’d love to help you with that – give us a call at 614 336-4111 and we’ll talk more about changing your setting.