Lab-grown diamonds started making their way into the jewellery industry in 2013 and have been growing with popularity ever since. Even though lab-grown diamonds have been around for many years there are still many misconceptions about this gorgeous gem.
Alana Weirick, Co-Founder of Moi Moi Fine Jewellery is here to debunk the myths surrounding lab-grown diamonds. Alana opened Moi Moi with her sister Lauren Sommer in 2004 specialising in their very own Moissanite, SUPERNOVA – another lab-grown gem. In 2019 Alana and Lauren introduced their LAVANA premium lab-grown diamonds to the Australian market.
As pioneers in the Australian lab-grown gem market, Alana knows a thing or two about the common misconceptions that come to mind with lab-grown diamonds and shares with us her knowledge to debunk these myths.
Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?
Yes! Lab-grown diamonds have the exact same crystal structure, physical, optical and composition as a mined diamond. The only difference is that a lab-grown diamond is made in a lab and a mined diamond is found in the earth. In 2012, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the leading US consumer body, ruled that lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds and can be called so.
Do lab-grown diamonds last as long as a mined diamond?
Because a lab-grown diamond is exactly the same as a mined diamond, they last just as long as a mined diamond would. A lab-grown diamond is a forever gem and will last for years and years to come.
Do lab-grown diamonds have resale value?
Absolutely. Consumer demand for lab-grown diamonds has greatly increased during the last decade.
A 2018 Wall Street Journal article written by Paul Zimnisky, an independent diamond industry analyst, stated the Lab Grown Diamond market is “forecasted to grow at 22% annually by 2023.”
Due to this demand, a downwards price shift for premium lab-grown diamonds is highly unlikely.
Are lab-grown diamonds more sustainable and ethical?
Yes, even though lab-grown diamonds are made using electricity the carbon footprint from making them is insignificant compared to mining a diamond. Not only do lab-grown diamonds use less energy to create, they also use much less water. It takes 480 litres of water to extract and process 1 carat of mined diamonds, versus 70 litres of water for lab-grown.
Mined diamonds have a complicated history with how they are collected. Diamond mining, more specifically blood diamonds, are unethically sourced. With miners working under inhumane and unethical conditions. The blood diamond trade has fueled civil wars, which has resulted in a large amount of death, destruction and displacement in these countries. The worst part is, you don’t know if you are purchasing a blood diamond as they are dispersed around the world for resale and are untraceable.
The major benefit of buying a lab-grown diamond is the guarantee of its origin. You can have peace of mind knowing that your lab-grown diamond was created conflict free, in a controlled environment and with little to no damage caused to the environment.
Can you tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond?
Visually to the untrained eye and even most jewelers, a lab-grown diamond looks exactly the same as a mined diamond. There are 2 ways that lab-grown diamonds can be identified. Either by the inscription engraved on the girdle which corresponds to a certificate, or the gem is sent to a gemmological laboratory that uses advanced technology to determine the difference.