Lab Grown Diamonds
What you need to know.
The amount of misinformation about natural diamonds versus lab-grown diamonds on the Internet is staggering. However, we do believe you should understand the facts. At Donald Haack Diamonds, we do not sell lab-grown diamonds. The following are some answers to some very important questions.
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds “fake” or “real”?
Lab-grown diamonds share the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds produced by the geological processes of Mother Nature. Because of the contrasting conditions of natural and lab-grown formation, lab-grown diamonds display several features which allow them to be distinguished from natural diamonds. As noted by the Natural Diamond Council, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a lab-grown or created diamond cannot be called “real” because it does not come from the Earth. It is not considered a gemstone.
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds more eco-friendly?
Natural diamonds produce 3x fewer carbon emissions per carat than lab-grown diamonds. Natural diamond producers recycle on average 83% of the water used in diamond recovery and 99% of waste produced is rock. There are no toxic chemical byproducts, because once they are removed from the ground, diamonds are easily extracted from the host rock.
Lab-grown diamonds portray themselves as far more socially responsible and “eco-friendly”, but they require an immense amount of energy to replicate the process in a few short weeks, along with significant water usage to cool the reactors. To produce synthetic diamonds, and recreate Earth’s conditions, the manufacturers generate temperatures between around 1,500 degrees Celsius, or 2,700 Fahrenheit and pressure 1.5 million pounds per square inch. 55% of lab-grown diamonds are manufactured in China (42.5%) and India (12.5%), which rely heavily on coal. Lab-grown diamond eco-friendly claims are somewhat unsubstantiated and are in violation of US federal guidelines.
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds more socially conscious than natural diamonds?
The natural diamond industry supports the livelihood of over 10 million people. They create 16 billion dollars of benefits annually for employees and communities. Of that money, 80% is retained by local communities. Without diamond mining, there would be a significant impact on those communities. The wealth accumulated from the sale of a lab-grown diamond typically benefits their investors and owners. So, when we are asked this question, we have to say “no”. Read more about what the diamond industry does and how it significantly helps at diamondsdogood.com
Q. Are lab-grown diamonds identical to natural diamonds?
No, they are not identical. Their artificial production process occurs in just 2 weeks and there are telltale marks within the diamond which enables a professional (like us) to detect them.
Q. What makes them different?
An organic, natural diamond forms when pure carbon undergoes intense temperature and pressure over billions of years within the Earth’s mantle. It only forms in the “diamond stability zone”, 80 to 120 miles deep, and extremely hot (up to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit), where the conditions are just right. Then, over eons of violent volcanic eruptions, diamonds get brought to the surface embedded in large chunks of rock. One important fact: A natural diamond is the oldest thing you will ever own. It takes billions of years in the making!
Conversely, lab-grown diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory conditions that reproduce the Earth’s natural growing environment: high pressure and high temperature. They have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical and physical properties of diamonds found in nature. They can exhibit fire, scintillation, and sparkle as natural diamonds, but do include specific, identifiable internal characteristics. However, they are not considered rare since they can be endlessly replicated.
Q. What is the value proposition for each? Are they worth it?
The price of natural diamonds is determined by the diamond's characteristics (cut, clarity, color, and carat size) and its rarity. Because a lab-grown diamond has unlimited production capability, they are priced significantly lower. Ultimately, the choice is yours. But, we feel very strongly about how those differences matter and for those reasons, we do not sell them.