Lab created diamonds have grown in popularity since they were first created in 1954.
In recent years, they have been loved by tastemakers and celebrities, and seen on the likes of Rihanna, Zendaya, Lady Gaga, Meghan Markle, Emma Watson and the list goes on.
So, what exactly are lab grown diamonds? And why should you consider them over naturally mined diamonds?
What are lab grown diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds (also referred to as 'lab created diamonds' or 'man made diamonds'), are diamonds that have been created in a lab by mimicking the same conditions that natural diamonds are formed under.
Lab grown diamonds are therefore 100% identical in physical and chemical composition to natural mined diamonds. I.e. They are both made of carbon under intense pressure and heat.
Why should you choose lab grown over natural diamonds?
A more ethical and eco-friendly choice
Today, the discerning jewellery consumer is not just shopping for quality and price. They are also voting for a more responsible and ethical industry by making considered purchasing choices.
The traditional diamond mining industry has been riddled with a controversial history of wars, child labour and exploitation. Along with a complicated supply chain which touches upon numerous intermediaries, the traceability and transparency with sourcing naturally mined diamonds is often difficult to discern. Although not impossible, traceability and transparency also come at an added cost.
Another concern is the destructive impact of mining which affects the soil, water and air around the mines. The wide-ranging consequences can negatively affect neighbouring wildlife populations and water supply.
With lab grown diamonds, much of the ethical and environmental concerns with natural diamonds are removed.
Lab grown diamonds are also a more affordable alternative to a natural diamond. As natural diamonds are formed over hundreds of millions of years, and are finite in supply, they are more expensive. They can also be impacted by changes in supply, caused by external factors such as wars.
Lab grown diamonds are graded in the same way as natural diamonds (cut, clarity, colour and carat). However, since they are grown in highly controlled environments, they can often be produced at a higher quality to natural diamonds. This means a brighter stone, higher purity and fewer defects.