Simona B asks; Gem Therapist, what are your thoughts on lab made diamonds? They claim it’s the real deal and they are IF. I think they only go up to 1.5 carats though ?
This is a great question. There’s a lot of confusion out there about synthetics, simulated, lab grown and all the other terms that get bandied about with diamonds. When most people hear synthetic they think, fake. But in the case of diamonds it simple refers to a diamond that has grown under lab or man made conditions, as opposed to nature’s geological process. These synthesized diamonds combine the same chemical makeup, hardness and durability that a natural diamond possesses. There are two main processes that are used, High Temperature High Pressure- HPHT, and Chemical Vapor Dispersion- CVD. You can read more about them here and here. They mimic aspects of nature’s process to form diamonds at rapid speeds.
The benefit to these stones, are that they are significantly cheaper, than a diamond that formed over millions of years. The downside they mostly come in yellow and blue-and not the beautiful yellows and blues that nature produces- and they don’t quite have the same allure as a natural diamond.
Several companies are in the business of cultured diamonds. They include Mia Donna, Pure Grown, Gemesis, Brilliant Earth, and LifeGem which uses hair or ashes of loved ones to synthesize a diamond, creepy if you ask me. The size of these diamonds does not stop at 1.5 carats, they can come rather large, and are therefore an option for someone who wants a larger diamond but can’t afford a natural one. They also don’t only come IF- Internally flawless, they come in all clarity grades.
For the eco-conscious consumer these stones are a boon, since there is no damage to habitats or people that can often come with open pit mining. They also are guaranteed conflict free, since they are grown by scientists in a lab. Obviously they have benefits and a market. For me the allure of a natural diamond that’s formed deep in the earth in such harsh conditions is hard to replicate, but for many a lab grown diamond is a great option.