The Differences Between Lab and Natural Diamonds

Most regard diamonds as the most valuable gemstones on earth. Interestingly, diamonds are abundant compared to gem-quality emeralds and rubies. Moreover, diamonds hold their own as one of the world's premier precious stones due to their durability and beauty.

Lab-grown diamonds are created in a laboratory by artificially growing carbon atoms into a diamond crystal. The first step is to create a diamond seed, which acts as a template for the larger diamond. Next, carbon is deposited on the diamond seed and heated to very high temperatures to form a thin layer of diamond. The process continues until the diamond seed has formed many layers of crystallized carbon atoms and is the desired-size diamond. 

The main difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds is that natural diamonds are formed over millions of years, while lab-grown diamonds take weeks or months to create. Lab-grown diamonds also tend to be less expensive than natural diamonds. There are two main lab-grown diamond production methods: the high pressure/high-temperature process (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). CVD is the more popular method for producing jewelry quality diamonds, and the HPHT process is typically for diamonds intended for industrial applications. 

Another difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds is that natural diamonds are formed over many years, while lab-grown diamonds grow in weeks or months. Lab-grown diamonds also tend to be less expensive than natural diamonds, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds. They can be made in different shapes and sizes, whereas natural diamonds are limited to the conditions found in nature. Lab-grown diamonds have a higher clarity grade than natural diamonds. Gemologists can't distinguish between diamonds made in a lab or the earth without specialized equipment. 

How to tell the difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond

Lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds can be difficult to tell apart, but there are a few ways to tell the difference. One way is to look at the diamond's girdle or the thin band around the edge of the diamond. On a natural diamond, the girdle is usually smoother and more even. On a lab-grown diamond, the girdle may have an inscription indicating lab-grown. Keep in mind that natural diamonds can have their unique GIA Report Registry number micro-laser inscribed onto the girdle, according to GIA. Another way to tell the difference is to look at the diamond under a microscope. Under magnification, natural diamonds will have minor imperfections called inclusions. Lab-grown diamonds will typically have fewer.


Lab-grown diamonds have several advantages over natural diamonds, including being less expensive and available in various shapes and sizes. In addition, lab-grown diamonds are equal in quality, durability, and appearance! While mined diamonds are a traditional choice, that doesn't make them better.

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