For most couples that are planning to get engaged, a diamond is one of the most symbolic things of their commitment. This is because of its sparkly, timeless, and, most of all, enduring. However, not many people who are looking for engagement rings realize that there’s more than one type of diamond that they can choose from. For the past years, lab-created diamonds or also known as man-made diamonds, rose into popularity. Which is why most people are wondering what is the difference between natural diamonds and man-made diamonds. This is why in this article, we are going to talk about man-made diamonds, how it’s made, their difference between natural diamonds, and how much they are worth.
What are Man-Made Diamonds?
Man-made diamonds or also known as synthetic, lab-grown diamonds, are diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically similar to earth-mined diamonds. They are grown or made in highly controlled laboratory environments with the help of advanced technological processes that mimics the conditions where diamonds naturally develop when they form beneath the Earth’s crust. Man-made diamonds are usually made of actual carbon atoms that are arranged in order to have the same characteristics of the diamond crystal structure. And since these diamonds are made of the same chemicals and compounds as natural diamonds, they have the same optical properties as well as hardness rating as natural diamonds has. Man-made diamonds also disperse and refract light the same way as natural diamonds do, which means that they also give off the same diamond brilliance and fire.
How are Man-Made Diamonds Created?
Man-made diamonds are made by placing a diamond seed into a chemical vapor deposition chamber. This said chamber has methane and hydrogen gases that are in high temperature and low-pressure environment, this way it allows the carbon atoms within the gas to separate. After that, the carbon atoms will rain onto a diamond substrate, which then builds layers of a rough diamond crystal. After six to ten weeks, a rough type IIa diamond will start to mature. After that, it will be polished, cut, and graded the same way as earth-mined diamonds does.
Man-made diamonds and natural diamonds can only be differentiated by using a unique tool that can detect inconsequential differences in crystal growth and trace elements of the diamonds.
What is the Difference Between Man-Made Diamonds and Natural Diamonds?
Appearance – When it comes to their looks, there is no difference between natural and man-made diamonds. Both hems can be near colorless or colorless, and they both can have a variety of candy colors. Both man-made and natural diamonds can come in different shapes and cuts such as oval, princess, round, pear, cushion, marquise, emerald, and radiant. In short, they are very identical when it comes to their appearance.
Price – The price of man-made diamonds are significantly less compared to natural diamonds. This is because we do not depend on Earth’s natural process to create man-made diamonds. Man-made diamonds are not mined, they are not hard to find, and they also do not take too much time to develop. In fact, man-made diamonds are created on-demand, and they do not take much time and effort compared to natural diamonds. Which is why they cost significantly less than natural diamonds.
Man-made diamonds are relatively new in the diamond industry; that is why their prices have been changing a bit during the last few years. Today, in a comparison of the amount between man-made diamonds and natural diamonds that has the same color, cut, size, and clarity, a natural diamond can cost 30 to 50 percent higher than a man-made diamond.
Value – As we mentioned, man-made diamonds are new in the jewelry industry, and new man-made diamond brands are entering the business every day. That is why the long-term value of a man-made diamond is still uncertain. The technology of making man-made diamonds could develop, which can decrease its price, or the demand for these diamonds could increase in the future, which in turn can also increase its value. A lot can happen.
How Much do Man-Made Diamond Costs?
As we mentioned, man-made diamonds are optically, chemically, and physically identical to natural diamonds. But, man-made is more ethical, affordable, and as beautiful as any diamond that can be mined out of the Earth. Just like natural diamonds, the price of a man-made diamond is determined by the diamond’s 4C’s, which are the color, carat, cut, and clarity.
One reason why man-made diamonds cost much less compared to a natural diamond is that the supply chain is much shorter. Natural diamonds tend to travel from country to country before it reaches the consumer. With man-made diamonds, it will just come straight out of the lab and to the casting house then straight to the customer.
A one carat round cut man-made diamond with VS1 quality can cost around 3,300 U.S Dollars. In contrast, the equivalent natural diamond can cost approximately 4,600 USD or higher.