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.

What is a natural diamond?

A natural diamond, also known as a mined diamond, is a precious gemstone originating deep within the Earth's mantle. Formed over millions of years under intense heat and pressure, carbon atoms crystallise to create these gems, which are then extracted from deep mines. Each mined diamond boasts distinct features, encompassing colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight, commonly referred to as the 4Cs.

What is a lab grown diamond?

Laboratory grown diamonds are precious gemstones cultured in a laboratory, where they undergo an accelerated diamond creation process that mimics millions of years of natural formation. This innovative approach not only results in a more environmentally conscious option but also offers a more affordable alternative to traditionally mined diamonds.

The difference between lab and natural diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds exhibit indistinguishable physical, chemical, and visual attributes from natural diamonds. The primary disparity lies in their origin, as lab diamonds are cultivated in controlled laboratory environments, whereas mined diamonds form naturally within the Earth over extended periods.

Contrary to common belief, lab diamonds do not lack the quality associated with mined diamonds. In fact, lab-grown diamonds often showcase more consistent visual characteristics due to the controlled setting, making it easier to ensure they are free from inclusions and achieve superior clarity scores.

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are lab diamonds cheaper than natural diamonds?

Lab diamonds are notably more affordable than mined diamonds because they are less rare and can be produced in a controlled laboratory environment, offering flexibility in their creation process.

In contrast, natural diamonds entail higher costs due to traditional mining techniques, which require more materials and manpower compared to laboratory methods.

For example, our lab grown Raine design which features a solitaire is approximately £8,250 less expensive than the same ring with a mined diamond of similar carat weight.

Ethical natural diamonds

While lab diamonds are commonly viewed as a more ethically sound option compared to mined diamonds, this perspective remains contentious and subject to debate. Each type of diamond carries its own set of advantages and drawbacks, leaving the decision ultimately in the hands of individual consumers and their personal values.

The environmental impact of natural diamond mining is notably larger due to the extensive excavation required. Mining operations also consume significant amounts of power, contributing to carbon pollution.

The issue of conflict diamonds also poses ethical concerns within the diamond industry. These diamonds, mined in war zones and sold to finance armed conflict, often perpetuate human rights abuses and instability in affected regions.

However, one ethical advantage of mined diamonds if they are certified conflict-free, is the employment opportunities and economic benefits they provide, particularly in developing countries like Botswana. The diamond trade can serve as a source of revenue and infrastructure development, creating job opportunities for local communities in need.

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.

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How to choose between a lab diamond and a natural diamond

When selecting a diamond, it's crucial to align your preferences with your budget. If you're looking for a sizeable diamond with excellent visual clarity but have a limited budget, a lab-grown diamond may be the ideal choice for you. On the other hand, if you prioritise a stone with natural origins and have a higher budget for factors like size and clarity, then a natural diamond may be more suitable.

At Jessica Flinn, we prioritise the use of lab-grown diamonds for several reasons. We consider them to be not only more environmentally and ethically sustainable but also more cost-effective, providing greater flexibility when crafting your dream ring design.