Lab Grown Diamond vs. Natural Diamond

If you're contemplating purchasing diamond jewellery but uncertain whether to opt for a lab-grown diamond or a naturally mined one, this guide is tailored for you.


Lab Grown Diamond vs. Natural Diamond

If you're contemplating purchasing diamond jewellery but uncertain whether to opt for a lab-grown diamond or a naturally mined one, this guide is tailored for you.


Synthetic, laboratory grown, laboratory created, man-made, or cultured diamond: Lab grown diamond

Scintillation: This phenomenon refers to the dazzling play of light and flashes of brilliance that occur when a diamond is moved or observed from different angles. It is a visual effect caused by the interaction of light with the diamond's facets, creating a sparkling and dynamic appearance.

Inclusions: An inclusion is a cavity or crystal cluster within a gemstone. These can cause problems if they form too close to the surface, and their presence will often decide the value of a stone

IGI: International Gemological Institute

GIA: Gemological Institute of America

The 4 Cs: Cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight, collectively known as the 4 Cs, serve as the essential parameters for determining the quality and value of a diamond.

Lab-Grown Vs Natural Diamonds: Everything You Need to Know

In this guide we'll be delving into what distinguishes lab diamonds from natural ones, looking at how they're created, what differentiates them, and help you decide which type of diamond is right for you. If you've always wondered what the real difference is between these two diamonds then you're in the right place.

Take a look at our lab grown diamond guide if you would like to learn about lab diamonds in more depth!

What is a Lab Grown diamond?

Lab grown diamonds are precious gemstones that are cultivated in a laboratory. These diamonds, although made in a lab, are created under the same intense heat and pressure as natural ones, the difference is that lab diamonds are created at an accelerated rate, shaving millions of years off the formation time! Our guide on how lab grown diamonds are made delves deeper into this formation process, going into detail on the technical side of lab grown diamonds.

Both lab grown and earth diamonds have exactly the same chemical composition, meaning there is no visual difference between the two. However, these two diamonds do differ in price. Whilst natural diamonds command a higher prices due to their mining process and market value, lab grown diamonds should be considered for a more affordable and environmentally conscious alternative to mined diamonds.

The Key Differences Between Lab Grown and Natural Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds are visually, physically, and chemically identical to natural diamonds, making them indistinguishable to the naked eye! The only real difference is their origin and how they're made, as lab grown diamonds are formed in a controlled laboratory setting in a few weeks, while earth diamonds form deep within the earth over millions of years. 

While many believe that lab grown diamonds might lack the quality of a mined one, this is far from the truth. In fact, the controlled environment of a laboratory allows for more regulation when it comes to the quality of the stone. In a laboratory, the conditions can be controlled to ensure that the diamond has better clarity, colour and carat weight. If you would like to learn how these factors effect the overall appearance and price of a diamond then read our guide on the diamond 4 Cs.

Are Lab Diamonds Less Sparkly?

Lab grown diamonds are no less sparkly than natural diamonds. In fact, due to their regulated formation, there is a lot more control in how these diamonds appear visually. Lab-grown diamonds can therefore achieve the same sparkle as natural diamonds. In fact, clearer and more sparkling lab diamonds are more common due to the speed at which they are created!

Do Lab Diamonds Fog Up?

As long as a lab diamond is given the proper care, it will never fog up on its own. Due to the fact that lab grown diamonds hold the exact same chemical composition as a natural diamond, they will retain their sparkle just as a mined diamond will.

Some lab grown diamonds might appear foggy or cloudy if they hold inclusions, just as natural diamonds with low clarity will. It’s important to remember that these inclusions do not affect any other aspect of the diamond apart from the appearance, so don’t worry about inclusions affecting the sturdiness or hardness of a gemstone. If a lab diamond has excellent clarity when you purchase it, it won’t reduce over time, just make sure to keep the stone clean and away from harsh chemicals to avoid any damage.

All your questions answered

Have all your questions answered by a professional. Our diamond experts are available to provide guidance on selecting the ideal gemstone for you.

Don't hesitate to reach out for a chat with one of our experts and get all your questions answered. Or explore our Jewellery School where we have guides on all things jewellery related, from gemstones and metals to budgeting and price guides.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Lab Grown Diamonds?

Perhaps the main disadvantage of a lab grown diamond is the fact that it could depreciate in value over time. However, most people aren't looking to buy diamond jewellery as an investment, the majority of the time these pieces are bought either as engagement or wedding jewellery, or for a loved one to cherish forever. 

There is also increasing concern that the production of lab grown diamonds requires a significant amount of energy, which can be detrimental to the environment. The truth is that there is no completely eco-friendly way to create or mine diamonds, as the cultivation of both lab grown and natural diamonds take up resources, land and energy. However, lab diamonds are far more traceable than mined diamonds, so you will often be able to determine its origin and decide whether it comes from a lab that aligns with your values. 

Aside from this, there are many advantages to buying a lab grown diamond. They’re a great choice if you’re looking for a diamond with all the sparkle and allure of a natural diamond but at a fraction of the cost. Meaning that you can choose a diamond with better clarity, a higher carat weight and a clearer colour for far less than a mined diamond. Lab diamonds are also much more traceable, meaning you can make sure that your diamond doesn't come from a conflict zone or has been made in unethical ways. Browse our collection of lab grown diamond engagement rings for some inspiration!

Why Are Lab Diamonds Not Flawless?

Just as with natural diamonds, along the way in the formation process, these gems can form inclusions. However, lab grown diamonds are more easily controlled than their natural counterparts, meaning there is less chance of these inclusions being formed. The sped up process can increase the risk of inclusions forming in the stone, so a flawless lab diamond will cost more than one with inclusions.

Lab Diamonds vs Real Diamonds Cost Comparison

There’s a vast difference in price between lab grown and natural diamonds, with lab grown diamonds being significantly less expensive than earth diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment at an accelerated speed, this means that lab grown diamonds are created in higher numbers than natural ones which results in a lower market value. Our lab grown diamonds price and value guide goes into detail on how you can make the most of your budget when searching for a lab grown diamond.

Can Jewellers Tell the Difference Between Natural Diamonds and Lab Created Diamonds?

While there is no way of telling the difference between a lab grown and natural diamond to the naked eye, professional jewellers can use specialist equipment to determine whether a diamond is lab grown or not. This involves using a powerful microscope to look for a microscopic inscription on the diamond which will signify whether the diamond has been grown in a lab or not.

Another way for a jeweller to tell whether a diamond is lab grown or natural is to look at its certification. Every diamond should come with a certificate which highlights to the buyer where the stone has come from and shows its journey up until the moment you purchase it. If you'd like to learn more about natural diamonds then take a look at our guide!

You can work alongside us at Jessica Flinn to find your perfect diamond, whether it's lab grown or natural. At Jessica Flinn, you can collaborate with one of our experts to discover your ideal diamond. Just get in touch with our design team to start the process.

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Ethical lab grown diamonds

Many consider lab diamonds to be a more ethical option than mined diamonds due to their reduced environmental impact and clearer origin, making them a conscious choice for ethically minded consumers.

Synthetic diamond laboratories require fewer materials and land compared to diamond mines and produce less carbon emissions. Lab grown diamonds also eliminate the issue of conflict diamonds, as they are not sourced from conflict zones, and are associated with fewer instances of human rights violations. If you would like to learn more about how lab diamonds are a more ethical choice in our lab grown diamond guide.

Lab Grown vs Natural Diamonds: Which Should I Choose for a Ring?

Deciding between a lab grown or natural diamond is ultimately up to you. This choice is completely personal and depends on what you want from a diamond, if you’re searching for a larger carat weight and high clarity on a budget, then a lab grown diamond could be the stone for you. 

At Jessica Flinn, we offer both bespoke and custom services, meaning you can customise your ring as much or as little as you want. Book an appointment to start your journey of finding the perfect diamond.

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Take a look at our diamond collections to find the perfect piece for you. From engagement rings and wedding rings to loose gemstones that can begin your bespoke journey, find your perfect diamond today.