By Radika Chin
What’s a Lab-Grown Diamond and How is it Different From a Natural Diamond?
By far, this is the question we get asked the most at Dana Walden Studio. To create a resource for new clients (and engagement ring shoppers at large) here are the points I like to drive home in our one-on-one meetings with new clients.
Firstly, lab diamonds are real diamonds. Lab-grown or lab-created diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to a diamond formed in the earth’s surface, over the course of a billion years or so. Lab diamonds are grown in several weeks within a controlled laboratory setting that mimics natural circumstances.
So, let’s be super clear: when we say lab-grown that shouldn’t be confused with “fake” or “artificial” in any way.
What Do I Know?
I’ve been sourcing diamonds for 20+ years, and I tend to geek out about gemstones. Something I always look for when we start a new ring is scintillation, or a very special sparkle. I’ve seen this characteristic in both natural and lab-grown gems. In fact, most experts can’t tell the difference between a lab-grown gem and a natural one, unless they use specialized equipment. That is, with the naked eye, your lab-grown diamond reads as 100% genuine (which it is). Perhaps this is why lab diamonds are graded and certified by gemologists to the same degree as natural diamonds.
Here at Dana Walden, we specialize in creating exquisitely-crafted fine jewelry in classic silhouettes with artfully-executed details. Another factor that is paramount in our mission is responsible and ethical diamond sourcing + commitment to using eco-friendly fine metals with no new mining impact. So, working with lab diamonds more and more allows us to offer a guaranteed ethical diamond that is equivalent to a natural diamond but, also, with zero mining impact.
Thanks to lab diamonds, clients can have the colorless hue, amazing scintillation, and timelessness of a natural stone without having to worry about tracing, origins, and mining impact.
The next point: COST. Despite being identical chemically, lab diamonds provide a significant value when compared to natural counterparts. A Dana Walden 1ct Astrid natural diamond solitaire engagement ring starts at about $7100 USD. Meanwhile, the same Astrid setting with a 1ct lab diamond starts at just $4600 USD.
As a result, opting for an ethical lab diamond creates an amazing opportunity for an upgrade, because now you can tweak your ring design for a higher carat weight, clarity, and color than opting for a natural stone would allow with regard to budgeting.
The symbolism of diamonds cannot be denied: there’s a reason that diamonds are the go-to gem of choice for meaningful engagement ring designs. There is an amazing beauty and history that comes with a natural diamond, formed in the earth over what seems like an eternity. If that doesn’t speak to the embodiment of the enduring nature of true love- then what does?
That said, times are changing and as we move toward a more responsible and ethical reality we understand the appeal that lab-grown diamonds have. They represent the ingenuity of the human mind and are a marvel of modern science, showing that we can have all of the beauty that is inspired by nature with no mining impact to Mother Earth.
The Final Word
Lab-grown diamonds create a fresh arena that merges nicely with our traditional-but-distinctive vibe, while being 100% ethical in our production. Wherever you land in your personal engagement ring decision- lab grown or natural- know that we will walk you through your options, respect your budget, and always provide an ethical, conflict-free solution.
In the end, our primary goal is to ensure you have a custom ring that truly speaks to your partnership and your unique vision.
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