Why Your Mom Hates Lab Diamonds
By Stephanie Dore
It’s a basic fact of life, we’re pretty sure, that moms are required to be super skeptical of any newfangled technology, new recipes, and definitely any new partners. So it makes sense that your mom sees the too-affordable-to-be-true price tag on a lab diamond and only has questions. Perhaps questions about how exactly this fancy new tech works? Or questions about whether they’re even real? Not to worry darlings, we’re about to bust all those lab diamond myths she’s heard with some cold hard facts. Because we’re here for you, your love of lab diamonds, and for your wallet.
Her Book Club says They’re Fake
This one isn’t too surprising. So many folks out there still just won’t believe that lab grown diamonds are, in fact, real diamonds. But they are! Lab grown diamonds are chemically, optically, and physically the same as Earth-mined diamonds. Only, they’re made in a cool high-tech lab instead of deep within the Earth billions of years ago. Now, hear us out.
It’s kind of like ice. Ice occurs through the miracle of nature, but you can also recreate this process in the comfort of your home, right in that handy freezer of yours. Ice is still ice. And that’s pretty much the same. Some very smart science-y folks came up with unique processes to recreate diamonds too! Lab created diamonds are not fake. They’re just lab created.
Her Bestie says They Don’t Sparkle
Well, we just talked about how lab diamonds are optically the same as mined diamonds, which means they do, in fact, sparkle. They sparkle just like mined diamonds, assuming that you’re looking at a comparably well-cut stone. And yes, that’s the clincher. Diamond sparkle — whether you’re talking about mined or lab grown stones — is really all about cut grade. In fact, cut is the most important of the 4Cs to make sure your stone shines. It’s all about making sure that the diamond’s proportions are just right, all the facets are aligned, and it’s polished to, well, a high polish, too.
What your mom might be thinking about are some of the less-than-stellar diamond simulants on the market that just can’t hold a candle to a real diamond’s high brilliance. Things like glass, cubic zirconia, or any number of other materials that do not have the same optical properties of a diamond. And trust us, if you’re looking at one of those, chances are you’ll know it.
Her Hairdresser says They Won’t Pass a Diamond Detector
Who really uses those pesky diamond detectors, anyway? Only sort of kidding about this one. But really, darling, lab diamonds will pass a diamond detector because they’re real diamonds. There are two types of diamond testers and they work by either detecting the thermal or electrical connectivity of the stone. And since lab diamonds are the same material as real diamonds, they’ll pass free and clear.
What won’t however, is moissanite. Moissanite is another diamond simulant (and actually a pretty awesome gem in its own right!) that often fails a thermal diamond detector test because it conducts heat too similarly to a diamond. Hence the electrical connectivity test, which will separate Moissanite out from diamonds easy peasy.
Her Jeweler says They Won’t Hold Their Value
It’s a tale as old as time that diamonds are worth a whole lotta money and are a sort of recession-proof investment. Well, folks, hate to break it to ya, but unless you’re buying celeb-sized, museum-worthy rocks, no diamond — mined or lab created — will prove to be much of an investment at all. And this just shouldn’t be a reason behind choosing a diamond for your engagement ring. Diamond resale value is based on the market and you’ll never get what you paid for it, that’s just facts. So we recommend choosing a stone based on your stone preferences and budget instead.
And when it comes to budgets, it’s hard to beat a lab grown diamond’s price tag. Lab diamonds can save you 40-60% when compared to a mined diamond of the same quality. Sure, the resale market is even smaller for lab diamonds than mined diamonds, but you shouldn’t be popping the question thinking about getting your money back, now, should you.
Her Barista says They’re Not Good for the Environment
These days, it’s hard to get past the fact that diamond mining takes a huge toll on the planet, so it’s only natural to wonder just what sort of impact a lab grown diamond might take as well. Let’s break them down a bit. First of all, Earth-mined diamonds are a finite resource. There’s only so many, and mining for more involves removing large quantities of dirt from the Earth, rivers or ocean beds and siphoning or sieving the diamonds from rock, soil or sand. Every carat disrupts nearly 100 square feet, and creates thousands of pounds of mineral waste.
But diamond production also affects water usage, carbon creation, and energy consumption too. Mined diamonds consume more than 126 gallons of water per carat, whereas lab-created diamonds consume just under 20. Mined diamonds also produce more than 125 pounds of carbon for every single carat, whereas lab created diamonds produce just under 10 pounds. And everyone loves to critique lab grown diamonds for energy consumption (all those lasers and whatnot), but the reality is mined diamonds use a whopping 500 million joules per carat, whereas lab created diamonds use about half that. There are also labs using totally renewable energy, so if that’s important to you, just ask!
Her Walking Buddy says They Can’t be Certified
We fully support wanting to buy a certified diamond. It can tell you exactly what your diamond is, determine its qualities, and provide information by which you can get your diamond appraised and insured. And yes, darlings, you must get your fine diamonds and jewelry insured. And for many years, grading for lab diamonds was kind of hard to come by. Or these stones were listed as “synthetic.” But that’s no longer the case. Now, they will be listed as “lab created” and issued the same rigorous diamond grading certificate as a mined diamond. Most labs also laser-inscribe these stones with “lab created” and their identification number on the girdle edge for easy recognition.
Survey Says: Lab Diamonds Are a Go
If you (or your mom) still have questions about lab diamonds, we’re happy to help! You can book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view diamonds in person. Or simply check out our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 GIA and IGI certified lab grown and natural diamonds and don’t forget to zoom out (because size can be deceiving). Not finding what you’re looking for? Email us with what you’re looking for at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll curate a list of 5-7 exclusive stones that are just right for you.