When it comes to buying diamonds, whether it’s for an engagement ring or other jewelry, there are so many options available and factors to consider. One of the most common questions we get asked is whether to buy a natural diamond or a lab-created diamond.
In this post, we’ll compare natural diamonds to lab-created diamonds, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying yours. Always remember, the most important thing is that you are 100% comfortable with YOUR decision – we’re just here to help you choose.
The History of Diamonds
Diamonds were first discovered in India over 4,000 years ago, and have come to represent love, durability, beauty and eternity. Today, engagement rings are almost always set with diamonds because of their meaning and ability to last forever.
The diamonds we know today were initially formed deep beneath the Earth’s surface over billions of years ago and are made up of pure carbon atoms. This difference between diamonds and other gemstones is evident in their appearances and properties. Diamonds have the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, a property which also contributes to their sparkle. Diamonds are also almost completely colorless, whereas other gemstones come in a variety of colors.
Clarity, Cut, Carat weight, and Color
Important characteristics that affect the value of a diamond is its clarity, carat (weight), cut and color. Clarity measures the amount and size of imperfections in a diamond visible under 10x magnification. Cut refers to the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish; the difference between a poorly cut diamond and a well-cut one is remarkable. Carat weight is the measurement of a diamond’s physical weight; one carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Color categorizes how close a diamond is to completely colorless, D color diamonds being as high-quality and colorless as diamonds come. Understanding these factors is important when it comes to assessing the value of a diamond, as each difference can greatly affect its price.
What is a natural diamond?
A natural diamond is a gemstone composed of carbon and crystallized at high temperatures and pressures. They have been used for centuries for jewelry and other adornments because of their unique beauty and durability.
Natural diamonds are formed deep within the earth over millions of years, making them a precious and exquisite treasure. Because they are naturally occurring, these diamonds can have more inclusions and can be less uniform than lab-created diamonds. While this may seem like a negative, many people actually prefer natural diamonds because they feel they are more unique and can hold more sentimental value than lab-created stones.
Because they are difficult to source and can not be created in an infinite supply, natural diamonds are more expensive than lab-created diamonds. They also have greater market value than lab-created diamonds, which means they are a better investment if you’re looking to eventually upgrade your ring for an anniversary or milestone.
What is a lab-created diamond?
Lab-created or lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are grown in a controlled laboratory environment and have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. They have the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical characteristics, and hardness as mined diamonds but they are less costly. Lab-created diamonds are a great choice for jewelry because they have the same brilliance and sparkle as mined diamonds but at a much lower price. Furthermore, they can come in any size, shape, and color imaginable so jewelry designers are able to create truly unique jewelry designs with them.
Additionally, lab diamonds can be considered more sustainable than natural diamonds because they are grown, not mined in a process that can be destructive to the environment. Lab-created diamonds can be a more eco-friendly option to natural diamonds that offer the same chemical properties at a lower price point.
How to decide if a natural or lab-created diamond is best for you
It’s important to first determine your budget so you can narrow down your choices when shopping for diamonds. When it comes to engagement rings, many people have certain expectations of size, color, cut, and clarity, so it’s important to define what you’re looking for before you commit to a diamond. From there, you can decide what’s the best option based on your budget range, preferences, and personal values.
While lab-created diamonds are much less expensive than natural diamonds, it’s possible to get a great value or a poor deal on either. The most important thing when shopping for a diamond is to work with a retailer that you trust and will provide you with fair insights about all available options.
When buying a diamond, make sure to research reputable jewelers to ensure you are getting a quality stone at a fair price that is properly evaluated and GIA-certified. Ensuring the diamond is authentic, accompanied by documentation of its origin, can help make choosing the perfect diamond much easier.
Final thoughts on natural vs. lab-created diamonds
Ultimately, whether you go for a natural or lab-created diamond is a matter of personal preference. Both types of diamonds have their own unique properties, as well as their own pros and cons. When it comes to making your decision, consider things like your budget, potential resale value, and any ethical concerns you may have. Most importantly, keep in mind what matters to you. No friend, family member, or jeweler should make you feel pressured one way or another.
Diamonds and engagement jewelry at Baribault Jewelers
Baribault Jewelers is a family business in Glastonbury, CT, established in 1948. While styles come and go, our mission at its core has always been to help our valued customers create beautiful memories with the people they love.
We offer natural and lab-created diamonds, as well as a wide selection of designer and custom engagement ring settings. Schedule an appointment with a trusted advisor on our team to help you decide on the perfect diamond, ring, and style that suits you.