Among the various questions that people have about the value of real and lab diamonds, the most commonly asked one is, “which is better?” Obviously, natural diamonds are much rarer and more valuable, so they are the better investment. However, lab diamonds are a good alternative if you’re concerned about the environment, budget, or quality. Here’s the scoop on both. Read on to discover the differences between real and lab diamonds.
First, let’s compare the process of creating a lab diamond. Lab diamonds are created in two ways: High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). The HPHT method involves dissolving a seed in molten metal, which is then cooled. The CVD method involves inserting carbon-based gases into a chamber, which provides excellent conditions for the growth of diamonds. The machines run for a week to yield a single carat diamond. During the initial stages of lab diamond production, these gemstones were brownish and yellowish, and were contaminated with nickel and nitrogen.
Another major difference between real and lab diamonds is the way they were created. In contrast to natural diamonds, lab diamonds use significantly less water per carat and are created with minimal carbon emissions. Natural diamonds are formed deep underground and spread out over an extensive area, while lab-grown diamonds are cultivated under controlled laboratory conditions. As such, they are much more affordable than their natural counterparts. However, some people feel that lab-grown diamonds lack the same beauty and luster.