With lab diamonds surging in popularity it's only natural that more and more questions about them are arising. So what better time to sit down and give you some quick and convenient answers to some of Google's more common lab diamond questions?
Let's get started!
Are lab diamonds worth anything?
Yes, lab diamonds are worth something. Although they typically cost less than mined diamonds. Depending on the quality of the manufacturer this can be a 20 - 50% reduction in price for a comparable mined diamond.
The difference in price isn't related to relative quality (as you'll see below, lab diamonds tend to be higher quality than mined), but more about the way mined diamond prices have been inflated in the past.
As you might know, diamonds are one of the most common gemstones, but they command a much higher price than rubies or emeralds for example. Most of this is down to the advertising done by De Beers to inflate the actual cost of diamonds, as well as their manipulation of supply and demand. This type of behaviour keeps the overall cost of mined diamonds high, so they appear more valuable than lab diamonds and other gemstones.
One important thing to keep in mind is that not all lab diamond manufactures are equal. Some have lower standards, prefering to produce quantity over quality, meaning they can offer bigger price differences (up to 50%) compared to mined diamonds. Higher quality manufacturer's on the other hand will typically have a 20 - 30% price difference.
Can I sell a lab diamond I have bought?
You can, however bear in mind there is not the same appreciating market for lab-grown diamonds as there might be for an equivalent mined diamond.
Ultimately though, any diamond is only worth as much as a person is willing to pay for it. As a relatively new product, many high street jewellers have a hard time valuing lab diamonds. Some even avoid them as a way of staying 'traditional'. This generally leads to much lower demand for lab diamonds on the resale market.
Regardless, you should still have a diamond certificate attesting to the lab-diamonds characteristics to assist in your sale.
Are lab diamonds real diamonds?
Yes they are, unequivocally. Chemically they are identical to mined diamonds, to the naked eye they are identical to mined diamonds. Even trained experts rely on a lab diamond's laser inscription to identify whether it's lab-grown or mined.
Despite this, some people will always insist that unless they come from a natural source, it's not real. But that doesn't really hold up in our eyes. Ice made in your freezer isn't any more or less real than ice that forms on a winter night. An IVF baby isn't any less real than a "natural" baby.
It's an attitude we don't understand, but it's one we can hope to diminish as time goes on.
Why are lab diamonds so expensive?
Simply put, they're pretty expensive to make! It takes a lot of energy to replicate the conditions that diamonds need to grow. The machinery used is highly specialised and the experts who make them need to be highly trained and skilled.
Despite all this, lab diamonds still cost less than mined diamonds. And as we mentioned above, the actual cost of mined diamonds is inflated to such a great magnitude due to clever advertising that the price you pay isn't in line with the effort and work that goes into mining them.
How much is a 1-carat lab diamond?
That's a question that is difficult to answer. Lab diamonds have the same grading criteria as mined diamonds. So the price will be dependent on cut, colour, clarity and carat. If you want some accurate estimates feel free to browse our engagement rings, you can compare prices of different diamonds (both lab and ethically mined) when configuring your bespoke ring.
Can a jeweller tell if a diamond is lab-created?
A good jeweller should be able to tell quite easily if your diamond is lab-created by checking the laser inscription with a specialised tool. Aside from that, no it's virtually impossible to tell the difference without very specialist equipment that scans for trace chemicals or other 'invisible' characteristics.
Should I buy a lab diamond?
Of course you should! They're real diamonds that are more ethical, more environmentally friendly and easier on the bank! We don't really see a downside.
Are lab diamonds tacky?
Honestly, this question gets on our nerves a little. At Nightingale we make people's dream rings a reality. The type of diamond (or any other gemstone) that dream ring has is irrelevant as long as you and your partner love it.
But for the record, lab diamonds make up the top 2% of all diamonds in terms of quality because the environment they're made in allows for stricter control and therefore a superior gemstone.
And if having a diamond with zero risk of human suffering, minimal environmental impact and a larger carat for a similar budget makes a piece of jewellery "tacky" then who are we to argue.
Can I insure a lab diamond?
Yes you can! You can insure it the same way you would any other diamond or gemstone. When we're insuring our rings during transit we take out the same insurance, regardless of origin.
What are VVS lab diamonds?
VVS is a grade of clarity given to a diamond. As you'll remember from above, all diamonds are graded on the 4 Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat).
When talking about clarity, the more inclusions (or imperfections) a diamond has the lower its clarity score will be. The very best score is referred to as 'flawless' and means a diamond has zero inclusions. Flawless diamonds are exceptionally rare, to the point of being almost mythical, representing less than 0.5% of all diamonds.
VVS diamonds are stones that have very minimal inclusions and are one grade below flawless. They are very rare and command a much higher price.
Lab diamonds follow the same grading standards as mined diamonds, so have the same criteria to be judged against.
Are lab-grown diamonds GIA certified?
Yes, GIA has been certifying lab diamonds for almost 15 years now. Not all lab diamonds will use GIA however, different manufacturers use different grading labs so you may also get a certificate from institutions like IGI, for example.