Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, as everyone knows, but what about those of the lab-grown variety? What about the man-made gem moissanite? What’s the difference? Our expert friends at Diamonds Direct are here to show you the scoop on natural vs. lab-grown stones.
Price is the first obvious difference between artificial gemstones and natural stones. Artificial diamonds have the ability to be competitively priced with natural diamonds because they are made in a lab, so you may be able to find one priced a bit lower than a true diamond. However, the makers of these lab-grown diamonds are able to make crazy high margins on their products because production costs have gone down year after year while the value of natural diamonds is actually increasing.
Natural stones have to be mined, cut, and individually handled by experts, so their price is determined by their quality and rarity. Lab grown diamonds and other artificial stones like moissanite are not considered rare or precious because they can be created anytime in a lab. However, because they look like precious gems, retailers are able to sell them for around 1000% their actual value.
2. Future Value
One other thing to keep in mind is that artificial stones hold absolutely ZERO resale value. If a diamond is resold, it still holds value based on its quality and rarity. Rarity in diamonds goes up over time due to the fact that it takes billions of years for Mother Earth to develop one, so the value of your diamond will actually increase over time. So if you want to pass your jewelry down to your kids one day, they could get a pretty ring if it is manufactured, but it will only be worth something if it is made with a natural gem.
Many people have been wary of natural diamonds after hearing about conflict diamonds (or blood diamonds) from years ago, and therefore have preferred to go with an artificial gem that stays away from that history. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that conflict diamonds have been nearly eradicated in the last 15-20 years thanks to the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process is a set of requirements that ensures that diamonds entering the diamond trade are all ethically sourced. It is actually now harder to find a natural diamond that was unethically obtained than it is to find diamonds that are ethically obtained.
Lab grown diamonds love to claim being “eco-friendly,” but they are actually coming under fire for all the energy it takes to create the pressure and heat required to grow one. Did you know it takes almost double the energy to produce a lab-grown diamond than it does to harvest a natural one? Natural diamonds are created through intense heat and pressure over billions of years under the earth’s surface. In order to recreate this, scientists have had to create factories that can handle the imitation of this immense amount of energy. It is an incredible feat that they can do this, but if you’re eco-conscious, a natural stone may be a better fit for you.
Most people will assume at first glance that a lab-grown diamond or even a moissanite is a real diamond. The biggest difference between lab-grown diamonds and real diamonds is where they were made: a factory or Mother Earth. Moissanite, on the other hand, can be much easier to pick out. Moissanite is another artificially produced gem that was created to imitate the look of a diamond. While they do look beautiful, there are some clear differences between the two.
The first characteristic that separates real diamonds from diamond imitations is called fire. The fire of a gemstone describes the myriad of colors within that gem. Natural diamonds have a full rainbow scale of color. Moissanite displays what is called “extreme fire,” which generally, when seen with the naked eye, looks visibly artificial. They also yellow over time, so you may want to plan on a replacement or two if you decide to take the moissanite route.
Have more questions about real vs manufactured engagement bling? You can chat with the pros at Diamonds Direct here, for all of your diamond needs!