Diamond mining is a risky business. It can lead to severe health consequences for the people working in the industry. For example, diamond miners are at risk of asbestos exposure and developing related diseases. Similarly, a large number of workers die due to accidents like tunnel collapse.
Moreover, there are detrimental environmental effects like deforestation and soil erosion.
Machines have been used to replace manual processes in various industries. The diamond industry is no different. Machines are already being used to create artificial diamonds in laboratories. These diamonds are called synthetic diamonds, artificial diamonds, or lab-grown diamonds.
Businesses involved in the lab-grown diamond industry are using machines and technology to create beautiful, stunning diamond jewelry that is identical to its natural counterpart. It is almost impossible to distinguish lab-created diamonds, wedding sets, lab-created diamond rings, and other diamond styles from natural diamonds, with the naked eye.
There has been a rise in the demand and production of machine-created diamonds in recent years. Celebrities and the common folk, both, are choosing artificial diamonds over natural ones. If things stay the same way, it isn’t long before the demand for natural diamonds will cease to exist. It will be completely replaced by lab-grown diamonds.
But, what exactly are lab-grown diamonds? Let’s take a look in detail.
What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds, as the name suggests, are diamonds that are artificially made in a laboratory using a diamond seed instead of being mined from the earth. The lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. They are also called synthetic or artificial diamonds.
There are two main methods of creating lab-grown diamonds. The first method is called the High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method. In this method, a diamond seed is placed under high temperature and high pressure to grow a diamond crystal.
The second method has been discovered recently which is called as Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) method. In this method, too, a diamond seed is used to grow a diamond crystal. The only difference is that the seed is placed in a sealed chamber that is filled with carbon-rich gas. It is then heated to around 800 degrees celsius. This condition makes the gases stick to the seed, thereby growing it.
The diamonds are then cut into different diamond styles and shapes. They are then used to make jewelry such as proposal rings, tennis bracelets, and diamond stud earrings, among others.
Now that you have understood what lab-grown diamonds are, let’s take a look at the rise in the popularity of artificial diamonds.
The Rise in Popularity of Lab Created Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds, as mentioned earlier, are high in popularity among millennials and Gen Z. That being said, a part of the older generation, too, is switching to lab-grown diamonds.
About seventy percent of millennials are considering buying artificial diamonds over natural ones. Celebrities, in particular, are opting for lab-grown diamond jewelry.
For example, in 2019, Meghan Markle was spotted wearing diamond earrings that were grown in a lab. Similarly, Billy Porter wore an attractive lab-grown diamond necklace at the Oscars in 2020.
Other celebrities like Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Deepika Padukone, and Emma Watson have been spotted wearing lab created diamond jewelry.
But, why are lab-grown diamonds popular? Let’s find out.
Why Are Lab Grown Diamonds Popular?
Lab-grown diamonds provide numerous benefits to businesses and consumers alike. Hence, their demand and production, both, are increasing at a significant rate. Here is a look at some of the prominent reasons for the rise in popularity of lab-grown diamonds.
The cost of a lab-grown diamond is forty times less than that of natural diamonds. Thus, they prove cost-effective for all the stakeholders involved, including customers.
Moreover, the cost of artificial diamond production is decreasing by the day as the technology becomes more advanced. For example, the cost of producing one carat of CVD diamond was $4000. Now, it has dropped down to $3000.
The prices will drop further in upcoming years, making them affordable for everyone.
Diamond mining, as we know, is disastrous for the environment. Lab-grown diamonds are more eco-friendly to produce than mining natural diamonds.
A report has stated that natural diamond mining releases fifty-seven kg of carbon for every carat mined. Artificial diamonds, on the other hand, release barely a few grams.
3. Production/Extraction Process Time
Natural diamonds require a long time to be extracted from the earth. Moreover, the extraction process is highly difficult and dangerous.
Lab-created diamonds are grown in just a matter of weeks.
4. Diamond Properties
Artificial diamonds are similar to natural diamonds in every aspect. They have the same physical and chemical structure. They also have the same optical properties as natural diamonds.
How to Tell the Difference Between Natural and Artificial Diamonds
Natural and lab created diamonds have similar properties. Thus, it is difficult for even a professional gemologist to tell the difference between the two with the naked eye.
However, they can use a magnification tool to take a look at the nature of inclusions. The inclusions are slightly different between the two. Additionally, the way artificial diamonds reflects light is different than natural diamonds.
Lastly, you can also take a look at the diamond grading report to verify if the diamond is natural or artificial.
The Future of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds have a sparkling future ahead. The market for the category is only increasing with each passing day.
As per a statistic, the lab-grown diamond market jumped to seven percent in 2021 compared to a meager three percent in 2018.
As consumers become more environmentally and socially conscious, the demand for lab-created diamonds is only going to increase further. Moreover, a large sum of the population is opting for cheaper alternative fashion and shopping alternatives. This, again, is a huge driving factor for the growth of lab-grown diamonds in the future.
Yes, diamonds can be created using machines. Artificial diamonds have been in production for quite a few years now. They are proving to be a cost-effective and environmental-friendly substitute for natural diamonds.
The demand for artificial diamonds is only set to increase in the upcoming years as people get educated about them. Moreover, the supply of diamonds, too, will increase as technology advances.
New methods of artificial diamond production will make lab-grown diamonds more time and cost-efficient to produce. Owing a diamond will become a reality for many people who currently can’t afford to buy them.
The future truly looks promising for the artificial diamond industry.
What are your thoughts regarding lab-created diamonds? Will you buy them? Do let us know.