Diamond rings for engagement and wedding captivate great heights of prestige and status. This is most special in the Philippines where diamonds are basically rare to find. Even extreme reverence, diamonds are truly difficult to source. So, how do you know if what you’re seeing is a natural diamond or a lab grown diamond? What are the distinct characteristics that set them apart? Let’s take a five-point above board to clear some misinformation between these diamonds.
First on the list is the origin of the diamond. Natural diamonds are pulled and mined from the earth. Most natural diamonds are billion years of age and even the young ones a mere one billion year old. While natural diamonds age to a billion, man-made typically grows in a month and even produce 1-carat diamonds inside a lab. Composition-wise, natural diamonds are made almost entirely of carbon thru intense pressure and extremely high temperatures which harden to billions of years producing the exquisite stone it is. Lab grown diamonds on the other hand, are subject to conditions of proprietary formula some with patented coating material imitating the high pressure and temperature of a natural diamond. These lab grown diamonds have identical carbon composition to natural diamonds (almost 100% carbon) such as silicon carbide and zirconium dioxide. Let’s note that these compositions can be subject to impurities and imperfections likewise.
Secondly, the environmental and human cost of natural diamonds, as they are 150 to 200 kilometres below the earth’s surface, can be both destructive and horrific. Pale in comparison, lab grown diamonds does not require mining at all. This advancement in the diamond industry granted us the means to create diamonds inside the walls of a highly-controlled laboratory.
Next is the hardness and quality. Traditionally mined diamonds is 10 on the Mohs scale (the measurement of a gem or mineral) which makes it the hardest gemstone to date. Lab diamonds can also measure to 10 Mohs scale making both diamonds equally heirloom quality.
Fourth on our list is the color and clarity of the diamond. Organic diamonds are graded on a scale of the ideal clear (D) or colourless. Unpopular to most of us, lab grown diamonds can be of ideal color, too. In fact, the brilliance of these diamonds can be of same level making it difficult to set them apart. Also, the clarity of a natural diamond may have inclusions and flaws from the earth and appear as black spots. However, lab grown diamonds can be inconsistently graded on clarity as some may be flawless at first then quickly be contaminated by its surroundings.
Lastly, the cut, carat, and cost of diamonds are just inseparable. How the girdle perfectly complements the pavilion then balances the crown of a diamond is a masterpiece. The brilliance a diamond exudes is dependent on how it is cut—making the brilliant cut a feat to pay the price. As the carat measures how much a diamond weighs, it is a domino effect on the cost. Comparably, lab grown diamonds may cost up to 30% less than mined and natural diamonds.These features set the facts between natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds. As clienteles, it’s important to be in-the-know of these truths when diamond purchase is at hand. So if you find these man-made diamonds to be wonderful alternatives to traditionally mined diamonds, your options as to quality, price, and guilt drive are now on the upswing more than ever!