The diamond and fine jewellery industry have witnessed a significant shift with the emergence and soaring popularity of lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds (also known as man-made diamonds) are formed in modern facilities using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed. Lab-grown diamonds today now equate to almost 20% of all diamonds available on the market, with facilities producing 6 to 7 million carats every year. As these remarkable stones become more accessible and consumers leaning towards affordable options, it leaves us with a burning question. Will natural diamonds be replaced? Let's explore further.
Lab-grown diamonds position themselves as the responsible alternative compared to natural mined diamonds. They are generally considered to have a lower environmental impact and can be more easily traced to their source. With younger generations valuing transparency and sustainability, lab-grown diamonds align with these preferences and further enhance their appeal making them an attractive option for clients. Whilst the natural diamond industry has strict initiatives in place for mining (such as the Kimberly Process which protects the earth, enforces fair labour practices and advocates better working conditions) they can’t compare with the lesser environmental impact of Lab-grown diamonds and the speed in which they can be produced. Natural diamonds have taken millions of years to form whereas lab-grown diamonds are created in months and weeks.
Natural Diamonds from the earth or created are one and the same. Lab-grown diamonds share the same physical properties and chemical makeup as natural diamonds. They exhibit the same variances in cut, colour, clarity and carat and are certified and graded under the same criteria as natural stones. This identical appearance and quality has led to the rising acceptance of lab-grown diamonds as genuine diamonds worthy of fine jewellery pieces and engagement rings. Influencing many clients towards a lab-grown option for their engagement ring. With technological advancements, Lab-grown diamonds and their creation process have come a long way since their beginnings using the HPHT process producing industrial diamonds fit for machinery. Today advances in technology have contributed to the CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) growing process which increases the efficiency and quality of the diamonds. Ongoing innovations such as growing diamonds from Type IIA seeds (the purest diamonds) have lead to improvements in the colour and size range of lab-grown diamonds enhancing their appeal.
Arguably the most significant driving factor in the increasing popularity and production of lab-grown diamonds is their price-tag. They are considerably more affordable than their natural counterparts and cost up to 70% less. This accessibility appeals to a broader audience who now have a greater selection of diamonds to choose from compared to ever before. Customers who wished to own a stunning diamond which was previously out of reach can now purchase a lab-grown equivalent. This affordability has led to a rapid increase in market share . Lab-grown allows clients to purchase high quality diamonds for their custom engagement rings and fine jewellery with identical physical characteristics. The only way to distinguish a lab-grown diamond is from forensic testing - as they exhibit the same brilliance, fire and hardness. Making it virtually impossible to tell the difference.
Only time will tell if lab-grown diamonds will eventually replace their natural counterparts. For now we see a growing shift towards lab-grown diamond options, but don’t see natural diamonds disappearing completely anytime in the near future. Clients will likely continue to have the choice between the two options based on their values, budget and emotional connection to the precious stones. The diamond market is forever evolving to cater to a diverse range of clientele which allows Lab Grown diamonds and Natural diamonds to coexist in harmony with one another within the fine jewellery and engagement ring market. Lab-grown diamonds offer the solution for diamonds to be more widely accessible and affordable. Whilst natural diamonds retain their higher value and the romantic concept that they took millions of years to form and considerable effort to unearth. Whichever way our clients decide, both diamonds are beautiful options for engagement rings and can be custom-made into the design of your dreams.
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