Buying a diamond Natural Diamonds or Lab Grown Diamonds is a big deal. Usually recognized as a celebration of a major life event, we understand that a diamond is something you desire to get right. And, to be fair, the process can be overwhelming. From learning the 4C’s of grading diamonds to finding the right rings that fit within your budget, there is a lot to consider when it’s time to find the perfect shiny rock. And, since lab-grown diamonds are still so new, there’s another learning curve. But don’t worry — we want all our customers to feel informed and confident in their diamond-making decisions. As such, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the perfect lab-created diamond, whether you’re going for rings, earrings, pendants, or loose stones!
- What’s the difference in a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond?
In short, the only physical exception is the place where the diamond is produced. Yep, that’s right — it simply boils down to whether a diamond was formed in the Earth or in a lab. There is no such thing as a “natural” diamond, as both natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds share the exact same physical, chemical, and optical properties.
The most significant differences in the two diamonds are found in the business practices, and this is why we love lab grown diamonds so much. The mining industry is historically riddled with problems for the environment and its workers alike. From child labor to workers only making $2/day through to the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources, it’s hard to feel good about a mined diamond. However, Synthetic diamonds offer the perfect answer because they do not utilize humans in their making process, and they are a much further environmentally beneficial choice. Remember, the only conflict-free diamonds are those that are created in a lab.
- Are lab grown diamonds as strong as natural diamonds?
Yep! Your grown diamonds will last forever just like a mined diamond. This is due to sharing the exact same physical and chemical properties, as the reason behind a diamond’s durability is its molecular structure. If you’re interested in a more technical breakdown of diamond durability, check out this blog we wrote on the topic.
- Are lab-created diamonds certified?
It depends where you buy it. If you’re buying it from us here at New World Diamonds, then the answer is a resounding yes. We take great pride in our certification process, as we want you to flaunt a high-quality diamond that brings joy to your life. The certification process is important because it ensures that the diamond, you’re paying for is exactly what it says it is; a trained gemologist uses his/her tools to grade and certify the diamond.
We certify our diamonds through two world-renowned, independent laboratories, including the International Gemological Laboratories (IGL) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI). This all depends on carat weight, as the IGL certifies our diamonds that weight .25 carats up to .90-carats. All of our loose stones that weigh more than .91 carats are certified by IGI. We chose these labs because of their stand-out expertise as well as their impartiality. Both labs are completely self-governing of New Grown Diamonds and therefore provide honest reports on the quality of our diamonds.
To learn more about the certification process and why it’s important to only buy certified diamonds, read this blog.
- Why are lab-created diamonds less costly than natural diamonds?
Don’t worry — it’s not because lab-grown diamonds aren’t “real” diamonds! Simply put, the price of developing a diamond in the lab is much more cost-effective than mining it from the Earth. Additionally, the mining industry has long been heading up the prices of diamonds since the De Beers company had such a monopoly on the market — at one point owning around 85% of the diamond industry. According to this report from Berkeley, jewelry diamonds from the mining industry would only be worth $2-30 if used industrially!
Additionally, at New Grown Diamond, we offer the absolute most suitable prices in the diamond industry, making our lab-created diamonds the most cost-effective, highest quality stones available. This is because we own our very own laboratory where we grow the diamonds. This takes out the “middleman” costs and helps us do what we love to do — deliver beautiful diamonds for all at the lowest price available. Go ahead and see for yourself — check out this handy price comparison table.
- May I see a grading report of my diamond?
Always ask this question! A reputable jeweler will have this report readily available for you, as it is included as part of the diamond certification. This documentation is essentially a report card for your diamond. It outlines the specific characteristics that make your stone unique. For example, the grading report will list the four C’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat), as well as mark the measurements of your diamond. It should also include the shape and cutting style.
This can be a bit trickier online — but not at New World Diamonds. When you browse our loose stones, you can view the grading report and see which lab-certified it. Grading reports help give you peace of mind about your purchase, so be sure to ask for it.
- Are lab-grown diamonds available as loose stones?
They are, and this opens up endless possibilities for jewelry creation. Although it was a deficiency in the lab-grown diamond business when it first accessed the market in 2015, loose stones are now publicly available. We can create custom pieces for you, thanks to our in-house team of designers and artisans. We could even work with you to add stones to your rings or another existing piece of jewelry! Browse our selection of loose stones here
- Are colored diamonds available?
This is perhaps one of the most exciting advances of lab-grown diamonds, one that creates even more of an advantage over natural diamonds. Colored stones are available and, thanks to the technological edge a lab has, they are being created in never-before-seen colors! Best of all, colored diamonds that are grown in the lab are cost-effective. Because colored diamonds that are mined account for such a small percentage of diamonds, they are exceptionally expensive. This is not the case with lab-grown colored diamonds; the pricing of colored lab-created stones is quite comparable to white lab-grown stones. The affordability means that you can have fine, striking fashion jewelry in vibrant colors.
- How do I take care of my lab-created diamond?
Although grown diamonds are just as strong as natural diamonds, there are some basic care tips that will help make sure your diamond does not get damaged. These care tips should be followed for all diamonds — whether they’re grown in a lab or formed in the Earth.
Put on lotions, creams, perfumes, and other personal care products before you put on your jewelry. This helps keep the chemicals away from your diamond and the other metals that it’s set in.
Wipe your diamond with a clean cloth every time you take it off. This helps to remove the oily residue and prevents build-up from accumulating.
Take your jewelry off when you’re planning to participate in the exercise, deep house cleaning, or swimming. This helps reduce the risk of accidentally banging it against something really hard, exposing it to potentially damaging chemicals, and losing it
Store your jewelry in a clean soft cloth and then tuck it into some sort of jewelry box to protect it.
Only use a solution of warm water with a small amount of mild soap or jewelry-cleaning solution to clean your jewelry.
Consider periodic professional cleaning or steam cleaning to help revive the brilliance of your diamond.
- Is there a return policy for my diamond?
Life happens. Whether something comes up or you’re simply not satisfied with your purchase, you should make sure that whomever you buy from has some sort of return/exchange policy in place. Here at New Grown Diamonds, we offer free returns within 60days of any receipt order over $100. We also offer free resizing on all rings within 60days of purchase.
Additionally, we also have an amazing exchange program. Since our diamonds will never lose their importance, we offer a 100% lifetime credit towards exchanges and upgrades. Any diamond you bought from us can be exchanged for a credit or upgrade equal to the original purchase price for a new diamond or jewelry that is at least 50% greater value.
- What creates lab-grown diamonds better than natural diamonds?
If you’re not totally satisfied that a lab-created diamond is better to a mined diamond, we wanted to just round out some of the top reasons for opting for a grown diamond. Beyond being the same as natural diamonds and costing a fraction less, we know that people no longer want to support the exploitation of Earth and humans by the mining industry. For many, it boils down to ethics and sustainability:
The most obvious reason has to do with ethics. Lab-grown diamonds are the only guaranteed conflict-free diamonds. This is because there are many gaps in the Kimberley Process, which is the international resolution that took aim at ensuring diamonds coming out of Africa were conflict-free. Besides the wars that diamonds have fueled, there are currently an estimated one million diamond diggers in Africa who get paid less than a dollar a day for their work. This put them and their families well below the extreme poverty line, and in turn means that they can’t afford basic life necessities like clean water, adequate food supplies, and sanitation.
Also, several mining corporations use child labor to help mine, cut, and polish the diamonds. Consider this information from Diamonds for Peace:
In the report of ILO in 2012, the International Labor Organization, the number of children who must work is 168 million. This means that 11% of the people from 5-17 years old must struggle across the world. The worst area is the Sub-Saharan region in Africa. (Northern Africa was excluded.) Twenty-one percent of the workforce is made up of child labor. (This shows that one out of five is in the labor force.) Half of these children work under the so-called “the worst condition[ii].” One example is working in a mine: it is specified as “hazardous work” in “the worst condition.” Such labor involves working with harmful materials such as mercury, as well as working near cranes, landslides, and being involved in unexpected circumstances such as drowning. Such dangerous labor environments prevent children from growing healthy. Child labor related to the diamond industry has grown in two main areas; diamond mines in Africa and finishing factories in India.
Creating a diamond in a lab needs one major resource: electricity. And while the amount of electricity used is huge, it can be more sustainable by using renewable sources. However, when it comes to mined-diamonds, “While much has been done to offset the impact of diamond mining, from building schools and medical facilities to remediating environmental impacts, roughly 200 to 250 tons of earth must be mined and sifted through to find 1 carat of a diamond — not to mention the water and fossil fuels needed to complete the job. 25% fewer diamonds were dug than 10 years before, thanks to the huge mining efforts of the past century. The diamonds that are now being mined are in the extremely cold arctic regions of Canada and Russia, which calls for an even more carbon-intensive effort for mining.