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Natural Versus Lab Grown Diamonds

You may have heard the term 'lab grown diamond' being used in the jewellery world, and you may be surprised to learn that these modern gems are no chemically different from the natural diamonds you've always known. Diamond as a substance is simply crystallized carbon: a pure element in an atomic structure known as “diamond cubic”. The diamonds we know as gemstones can be formed in two unique ways, each of which produce minerals almost identical in composition and appearance. There are organic diamonds created by natural forces, and lab-grown diamonds made using modern laboratory techniques that replicate the environment in which natural diamonds are formed. Both minerals are crystal clear and equally reflective, however; there are subtle differences that can only be detected using advanced equipment. 


Natural diamonds were formed as long ago as three billion years ago, through extreme pressure and high temperature conditions. This organic mineral was brought to the earth’s surface due to volcanic activity, and has since become one of earth’s most precious materials. While diamonds are purely carbon for the most part, some natural diamonds contain traces of other elements and tiny pieces of unalike material that cause visible inclusions. These impurities are what set natural diamonds apart from their lab grown counterparts. 


Lab grown diamonds share the exact same chemical and physical properties as earth grown diamonds, and are grown using HPHT (high pressure high temperature) or CVD (chemical vapour deposition) systems. Whereas natural diamonds can take billions of years to form, lab created stones take about 6-10 weeks. 


When it comes to the decision to purchase an organic or lab grown diamond, you may consider a few factors. While organic diamonds have a romantic appeal that sets them apart, synthetic diamonds are less expensive and generally have a higher clarity and brighter colour, in addition to being much friendlier to the environment. You may be attracted to the character of natural diamonds because they are one of a kind, but it's worth considering their modern counterpart for all of their benefits. 

If you are interested in using a natural or lab grown diamond in your own piece of jewellery, inquire through our custom jewellery form.

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