February 15, 2022
When it comes to gemstones and how they are valued, diamonds probably hold the highest revere among jewelers. Wearing one whether in a ring, necklace, or bracelet can instantly level up any look.
Diamonds have been around for millions of years, however, their discovery in India during the 4th century B.C. marked the start of their present-day fame. Companies soon started investing in diamond-mining to keep its production and supply at par with the market demand. Russia, Botswana, DR Congo, South Africa, and Australia are currently the countries with the largest diamond reserves while ALROSA, De Beers, and Debswana are the leading diamond suppliers in the world today.
Behind their sparkle, the long history of the diamond-mining industry has always been associated with several issues. At the forefront of these are conflicts are human rights abuses, labor malpractices, price fixing, and environmental mismanagement that have continuously overshadowed the glamour of the industry. And even though some of these problems have now toned down because of the years of protests, the call to ensure a conflict-free diamond purchase is still loud.
The issues surrounding mined diamonds opened the discourse on the possibility of replacing them with lab-grown ones, so what does the future hold for these gemstones? And can diamonds made in a lab really replace the natural ones?
What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds, also referred to as synthetic, cultured, or man-made, are diamonds that are made inside a laboratory under strict guidance and high-end technology. The process involves replicating the chemical, physical, and optical compositions of a natural or mined diamond in order to achieve its "real" properties.
Lab-grown diamonds start with a "seed" that is placed inside a cell with press along with a pure carbon and a metal catalyst. The seed is then applied with pressure and temperature high enough to catalyze the growth of a diamond structure. The final steps involve cooling and cutting the cultured diamond, and once polished, it is then readied for distribution.
The process of growing diamonds in a laboratory only takes a couple of days depending on the desired number of carats. A typical 1 carat lab-grown diamond usually takes less than 10 days to be formed, while a 3-carat lab diamond takes about a month.
Can Diamonds Made in a Lab Replace Mined Diamonds?
Now the question boils to whether lab-grown diamonds are the future of the diamond industry, and can they replace the natural or mined ones? The answer is "Yes."
Simply put, lab-grown diamonds are in fact "real" diamonds. The only difference that they have is the environment in which they were formed, but their composition and properties are essentially the same.
Although the whole process of growing diamonds inside a laboratory still requires a tremendous amount of energy, it is lesser as compared to how damaging diamond-mining is in the environment. In fact, this principle is one of the main reasons why more and more jewelry enthusiasts are choosing to wear lab-grown diamonds today. Aside from the fact that they are within the price range of casual buyers, they are also considered sustainable and more environmental-friendly. Thus, the ethical origin of the diamonds is always on top of the list of consideration when deciding to wear one.
The diamond industry is always dynamic. The trends are always changing and so are the choices that come with wearing one. Therefore, lab-grown diamonds have great potentials and can indeed become good alternatives. While there are also natural diamonds that are conflict-free, there is no denying that the sustainability and affordability of lab-grown diamonds are enticing enough for it to become the next jewelry that will spice up your style.
Do you want to read more about lab-grown and natural diamonds, feel free to check out which is better Lab-grow vs Natural. Or if you’re now on the way to buy yourself one, be sure to do so at Gold Presidents, the #1 jewelry shop online!
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