What is a Natural Diamond?
A natural diamond is obtained from the resources provided by the Earth. It is made from a component known as Carbon. Natural diamonds take one to three billion years to develop into a specific shape and size. They are removed 85 miles below the Earth’s mantle under natural conditions with high pressure and high temperature. After the underground processes, it travels from molten rock to the Earth’s surface, making it the hardest object in the world. Additionally, it is beautifully turned into fine jewellery after mining and collection.
How are Natural Diamonds Found?
As it is a natural resource, natural diamonds are found approx 150 km below the Earth’s surface. Finding diamonds is tedious as they are mixed with other stones and rocks. The differentiator is that a diamond consists of 100% transparent Carbon as its core element. The diamonds are transported to the Earth’s surface in volcanoes called Kimberlights. Forming a beautiful diamond can take up to 1 to 3 billion years.
To find a diamond in itself is one of the most daunting tasks, as it is hidden under the surface of the Earth. A lot of resources must be devoted to finding Earth’s precious stones, heavy investment of human resources, capital expenditure including machinery and government permission. Companies try to cut costs by using various strategies by which they could get the first mover advantage and furnish the diamond based upon their taste and preference. The process is mentioned in the article below.
What is Lab-grown Diamond?
Lab grown diamonds are diamonds made in a laboratory by humans. Lab grown diamonds are chemically, physically and optically sound, which one will find in a natural diamond. All the properties remain the same as there is no difference in the visual, and both are carbonated diamonds. Similar to the idea of unnaturally and commonly conceived children where the cycle is different, yet the result is the same, lab developed precious stones are genuine jewels filled in cutting-edge labs rather than being mined from underneath the world’s surface.
Lab grown diamonds can be made in a matter of weeks. However, the central conundrum about lab created diamonds is that they lose their value after buying, whereas, in a natural diamond, 50% of the value is retained after buying. Hence giving more value to the customer. Furthermore, a natural diamond is costly compared to a lab created diamond. It is 20% cheaper, stimulating more demand for a lab-grown diamond than a natural diamond. But ultimately, it depends upon the consumer’s perception of whether the consumer prefers value over price or the latter.
How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Formed?
Lab grown diamonds are formed in a confined laboratory, but it has a subtle process which must be followed. The process is known as (CVD) Chemical Vapour Deposition. The steps are as follows-
1. Diamond Seed
The first step of making a CVD diamond is that cut a thin layer of an actual diamond to form the CVD diamond seed. This seed is known as Type II A. These types of diamonds are the rarest type of diamonds found on Mother Earth. Less than 2% come in the category of Type II A diamonds. These diamonds have the least impurities and only contain 100% carbon, not nitrogen. This makes the lab diamond not only appealing but also sustainable.
Many of you would think that we use the real diamond to obtain a CVD diamond, then how is it sustainable? Yes, they use a real diamond from the mines, but it is only used once as once a CVD diamond is made, they tend to cut it from the lab grown diamond itself. By this, we make our Earth sustainable and reduce digging on the surface of the Earth.
3. Plasma Reactor
Once the diamond is polished, it is placed in the reactor. The magic starts, and this is where CVD diamonds hold their Unique Telling Point (UTP) and a differentiator from a normal diamond. It is exposed to a specific temperature and pressure, the characteristics found below the surface of the Earth. Moreover, the surface of the Earth contains various impurities which may get into the diamond, which consist of Boron and Nitrogen. The Plasma Reactor helps the diamond to be free of contaminants and disintegrates Carbon which gives it a shine. The result is that it looks as aesthetic as a real diamond.
4. The final process:
After removing the disintegrated part, it is cut and shaped according to the needs and preferences of the consumer. This, in short, is the process of making the CVD diamond.
Difference Between Lab Grown vs Natural Diamond
The appearance and feel of both the natural and lab-grown diamonds are the same. Both look elegant and identical to the naked eye. If you buy either of the rings, one will not be able to notice a difference. There can be a few tiny considerations on lab jewels absent in regular precious stones. It’s exciting for these incorporations to be noticeable except for utilising amplification instruments. In every case, a lab precious stone will have a similar splendour and sparkle as a characteristic, so assuming you’re essentially searching for a lovely jewel, lab jewels can introduce a minimal expense choice without agreeing to a lower grade.
The USP (Unique Selling Point) of a lab-grown diamond is its price as they are 50% cheaper than a real diamond. However, real diamonds are expensive but have a 50 % resale value over lab grown diamonds. This could disrupt the jewellery market as a rational consumer would want a quality product at a reasonable rate. Lab created diamonds can provide both.
You all must be thinking, why are lab grown diamonds cheap? It is because of the supply. Normal precious stone stockpiles are restricted because of the billions of years it takes for nature to make a jewel. However, with engineered precious stones, there is no cap on the stock, which drives the cost lower as the supply increases. For example, the price of a real diamond will be $8,540 in contrast to the price of lab grown diamond would be $4,270.
As per the GIA, the clearness reviewing framework covers lucidity that influences the free section of light through the stone. All precious stones — engineered or regular — are evaluated with a similar framework. Grades are allowed in the wake of looking at precious stones under 10X amplification and taking note of the number, alleviation, and situation of considerations. There are various clarity measures which include-
- Precious stones without any incorporations apparent much under 10X amplification get the most high grade, the profoundly valued Flawless(F).
- Precious stones without any incorporations apparent much under 10X amplification get the most high grade, the profoundly valued Flawless.
- The following clearness grade level is Very, marginally Included (VVS). These stones contain considerations challenging to see under 10X amplification.
- The following clarity grade level is Very Slightly Included (VS). Most lab-grown diamonds receive VS clarity grades. These stones contain inclusions that are somewhat easy to see under 10X magnification, either because of their size, relief, or placement.
- Stones in the next clarity grade level, Slightly Included (SI), contain inclusions easily seen through 10X magnification. Some of these inclusions may be visible without exaggeration.
- The final clarity grade level for jewellery-grade diamonds is Included (I). These stones contain inclusions evident under 10X magnification and possibly visible to the naked eye.
Natural diamond is a product obtained under the surface of the earth. The crystal-clear carbon-mined rock is “Kimberlite”, which is bottomless on the earth. These diamonds are obtained after digging various lands, which causes land degradation. Additionally, it requires heavy investment and increases a company’s capital expenditure. As consumers understand the importance of sustainable products, the demand for natural diamonds may diminish with time.
According to an article by Forbes, Generation Z consumers, including millennials prefer to buy sustainable products, and their spending has increased from 25% to 42%. This is where lab grown diamonds come to the rescue in the diamond industry. They are grown in a plasma chamber and do not require human efforts like digging land mines. Furthermore, it is considered a real diamond and not a synthetic diamond, making it even more appealing to consumers. The most monumental point is that lab created diamonds are eco-friendly, but it looks exactly like real diamond and is cheaper than them.
Why Should One Consider Buying a Lab Grown Diamond?
A new Deloitte report on Millennials in India expressed that environmental change and the climate have become the no. 1 need or worry for them. Insights likewise express that these twenty to thirty-year-olds will pay a 44% premium on maintainable items/materials. With the most significant millennial populace in India today of 410 million individuals, a people more incredible than the whole populace of the United States – this, for my purposes, was an open door that was not worth relinquishing.
They remain extremely brand conscious, and support brands not just for the product, be it for jewellery or anything else, but also the philosophies and values that the brand stands for and are willing to pay a premium for brands that endorse an ethical or sustainable product. Like everything else, they are also looking for real, sustainable, affordable alternatives to precious jewellery. These factors impact in a significant manner. This is why lab grown diamonds will be an excellent alternative to buy but also sustainable, stimulating demand in the minds of various consumers.
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Can a jeweller tell if a diamond is lab-created?
Yes, a trained and experienced jeweller can tell if a diamond is lab-created or natural by examining it closely with specialized equipment. However, lab grown diamonds are becoming increasingly sophisticated and may become more difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds as technology advances.