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What is a Lab Grown Diamond?

If you have been engagement ring shopping lately, you have probably heard the term lab grown diamond, and perhaps, were wondering what the heck that is!

A synthetic diamond or lab grown diamond has the same chemical, optical, and physical properties of a naturally occurring diamond, including crystal structure, but it is grown in a laboratory or factory instead of being formed below the Earth’s crust. Diamonds are not the only gemstones to be grown in a laboratory or factory, in fact, lab grown sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and alexandrites have been around for quite some time!

The first lab grown diamond was grown in the 1950’s. By the mid-1980’s, gem quality lab grown diamonds were in the market, but they were small with a yellow or brown color. The mid-2010’s brought colorless lab grown diamonds in large and small carat sizes to the marketplace!

There are two ways to grow a diamond in a laboratory or factory:

· High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) – A large cubic hydraulic press, roughly 10-15 feet high and wide, imitates the high pressure and high temperatures used to create a diamond in the Earth. It’s the same pressure as a commercial jet plane balanced on your finger with temperatures 1300 to 1600 degrees Celsius!

· Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) – A diamond seed is put into a vacuum chamber where carbon-containing gas is deposited, and the seed crystalizes into a synthetic diamond. If a larger diamond is wanted, they give it more time in the chamber.

Lab grown diamonds are not without their own carbon footprint. The metal used to create the large cubic hydraulic press is mined from the earth and uses oil to operate. Both machines also use a lot of electricity to grow diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds have declined in price from when they first came out, and some sources predict their prices to continue to go down. They can be a great way to save on the budget in the short term! Rest assured, they are a diamond and not another gemstone that looks like one.

A word of caution. According to the FTC, the person or online store selling you your diamond MUST ALWAYS disclose if the diamonds or gemstones in your jewelry are lab created and not natural. When they don’t say it is lab created, the assumption is that it is natural. There must be a verbal disclosure from a person or typed into the description online, as well as, a written disclosure on the receipt.

I would love to help you create the wedding ring or anniversary ring of your dreams, whether it is lab grown or natural! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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