Most people will tell you that these precious gems come from a mine, and while this is the correct answer, it isn’t the only correct answer. Due to technological advancements and a growing trend towards conscious consumerism in the fashion industry, the popularity of lab-created diamonds has risen considerably over the last several years.
However, a stigma surrounds the phrase “lab-created” or “lab-grown” when it comes to diamonds. They don’t have a negative connotation, per se, but there is some hesitation when they are compared to mined diamonds. After all, they can’t possibly be real diamonds, can they?
The truth is that the only thing that separates a mined diamond from a lab-created diamond is where it was grown. Other than that they are exactly the same. Lab-created diamonds are real diamonds. They just came from a different source than what the world is used to. Scientists have found a way to replicate the diamond-growing process in a lab using what they know about diamonds that are created in the Earth’s core. That is where the innovative technology comes in.
Sure, purists and traditionalists will cry foul, believing them to be “unnatural” in concept and creation; but the truth of the matter is that there is no cosmetic difference between mined and lab-created diamonds. Both are graded the same way using the 4 c’s (cut, clarity, color and carat), and they both share the same physical and chemical properties. Some naysayers will compare lab-created diamonds to cubic zirconia, but that is simply not the case. Cubic zirconia is another element entirely.
So what exactly is attracting consumers to lab-created diamonds? It’s a combination of factors, but it can mostly be tied to the economic constraints and environmentally friendly minds of millennials. Not only are these diamonds eco-friendly due to the fact that there is much less waste, resource use and carbon emissions, but the lack of mining means that the diamonds are also ethical because there is no way for them to be linked to the unethical practices that some diamond production operations have fallen under scrutiny for. You won’t hear the words “blood diamond” or “conflict diamond” anywhere near a jeweler selling lab-created diamonds, and that helps put the consumer’s mind at ease when making a purchase.
All of this being said, mined diamonds still make up the majority of the market share when it comes to diamond sales, but it is believed that the sales of lab-grown diamonds could eclipse those of mined diamonds as early as 2030. Jewelers are making lab-grown diamonds the new norm, and considering all the benefits they come with it should come as no surprise that they are taking the world by storm.
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