Diamonds, in experts’ terms, are precious stones consisting of essentially pure carbon, which has been crystalized under great pressure. However, this definition is, like real diamonds, not without its own flaws.
Real diamonds are, in fact, composed of primarily carbon, but not entirely. They are subjected to intense pressure, but it is the duration of that pressure that makes these authentic stones stand apart from their counterfeit alternatives.
To the untrained eye, lab created diamonds would appear an exact match for nature’s true beauty. There are differences, though, and those variances are what helps to ensure that natural diamonds retain their greater value.
The True Makeup
Natural diamonds form where pockets of carbon once existed. The pockets are heated and compressed by the earth, and the result is that the carbon crystallized. Though these diamonds contain very large percentages of carbon in their makeup, they almost always have slight inclusions of other elements. When the inclusions are large, it can impact the color of the stone.
In some cases, the color change is highly praised, as in the case of boron inclusions resulting in gorgeous blue diamonds. In other cases, the inclusions can negatively impact the value of the stone, by negatively impacting clarity and color. All that aside, slight inclusions are also what demonstrate to the professionals that the stones are natural and authentic. Lab diamonds vs real diamonds are devoid of inclusions, as all variables of their development are controlled by the scientists that craft them.
Timing is Everything
It is important to understand in the lab diamonds vs real diamonds debate to acknowledge that lab created diamonds are not fakes. Unlike cubic zirconia, lab-created diamonds are chemically near-perfect replicas of natural diamonds. The real difference lies in the length of time that it takes to craft these stones.
Natural diamonds grow deep beneath the surface of the earth. The pockets of carbon, previously mentioned, are subjected to intense heat and pressure over millions (or even billions) of years, during which time, the carbon crystalizes and forms into the stones we so highly praise.
Lab-created diamonds, on the other hand, are formed much, much more quickly. In as little as six weeks, scientists can replicate earth’s hard work. The exact length of time that it takes to create a lab diamond depends on its size but, generally speaking, it takes less than three months to work this manmade magic.
The Value of Lab Created Diamonds vs. Real Diamonds
Although lab created diamonds have been winning increasing praise from the market, there is still a greater demand for genuine stones, which are professionally certified by widely recognized authorities. Statistics point to lab-crafted diamonds carrying a value equal to approximately 65 percent of the cost of a natural diamond of the same size and quality.
As production of the lab variety increases, however, the supply is outrunning the demand, and prices are showcasing a downward trend. Although the average buyer wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, the experts can. When buying, it is essential to know exactly what the investment is and how the origins can impact the value.