Natural and Laboratory-Grown Diamonds
Diamonds last forever but do we know where they begin?
If you are given, two identical specimens of faceted crystalized carbon - same size, both are crystal clear and give off a kaleidoscope of spectral colours in direct light, and there is no difference between the two, whatsoever, apart from one is a billion or more years old and the other was recently grown in a laboratory.
Both are diamonds, of course. The first is a natural diamond created by forces deep within the young Earth. The second is from a laboratory and possesses essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties as its natural counterpart.
Because natural diamonds and man-made diamonds have some of the same physical and other properties, even a trained gemologist will not be able to distinguish them by sight alone, a piece of specialised equipment is required.
So as a consumer, how do you know what you are buying?
Man-made diamonds are a more common topic of discussion at the jewellery counter these days because they are being used more frequently in jewellery. No matter your preference, it is important that you are aware of what you are buying.
Lab-grown diamonds are indeed a more cost-effective way to invest in fine jewellery. They are normally 1/3 of the price of their natural counterpart but how do can you guarantee you are buying a lab-grown or a natural diamond.
Diamond Certificate - buy a diamond with a certificate issued by a reputable and independent gem laboratory like GIA or IGI. The certificate will tell you exactly what the diamond factors are and most importantly if it is natural or from a laboratory.
What is the future of lab-grown diamonds?
First off, it is not going anywhere. They are not that new, although it's only been about 5 years when they came out commercially. They were first made in 1954. Leading jewellery manufacturers such as De Beers manufactures their own lab grown diamonds and incorporate them into their fine jewellery line.
Millenials and Gen Z are drawn to lab-grown diamonds due to their competitive price, transparency and sustainability. The demand will dictate continuous growth in market share of jewellery. The global lab-grown diamonds market size was valued at $19.3 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach £49.9 billion by 2030 registering a CAGR of 9.4% from 2021 to 2030 according to the Allied Market Research.
What is the resale value of lab-grown diamonds?
Regardless of origin, either man-made or mined, all diamonds are priced using an internationally accepted pricing system. This system is known as the Rapport Pricing Method. The diamond factors also known as the 4Cs, carat, cut, clarity and colour, are taken into consideration. Therefore whether they are lab-grown or mined, they go through the same pricing method.