Lab grown diamonds are diamonds that are produced in a controlled technological process. They are formed by crystallizing pure carbon in an isotropic 3D form. They share the same chemical and physical properties of naturally formed diamonds.
Clarity grades for lab-grown diamonds
If you’re thinking about buying lab grown diamonds, you may be wondering what clarity grades mean. GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, is preparing to release a new report in the fourth quarter that includes clarity and color grades for lab-grown diamonds.
These new reports will be digital and contain QR codes, which link to a GIA education page. This will help consumers understand the importance of these new gradings.
According to GIA’s website, the organization’s goal is to “protect the public’s trust in gems and jewelry and ensure that the fine jewelry industry operates with the highest standards of quality and integrity.” They also stated that they have been exploring a number of projects that could potentially transform the way diamonds are graded.
Previously, GIA used descriptive terms, such as “synthetic”, to describe the diamonds they graded. However, they have been re-tooling their terminology since March of this year. Instead of referring to the diamonds as synthetic, they will now refer to them as natural.
Carbon footprint of lab-grown diamonds
If you’re in the market for a diamond, you may be considering whether to buy a mined or a lab grown diamonds. The latter is a far more environmentally friendly option. But a report from the Diamond Producers Association indicates that the carbon footprint of a lab grown diamond is about one-third as large as that of a mined diamond.
The term “carbon footprint” is thrown around frequently in the diamond industry, but it isn’t always as easy to quantify as it may sound. In fact, reports have been churning out conflicting statistics on the subject.
Creating a diamond requires a lot of energy. A typical mined diamond needs 80 kilowatt hours to produce a carat of stone, but a diamond grown in a lab only uses about 20 to 28 kilowatt hours of electricity per carat.
While it’s possible to make a diamond from carbon, it’s a far more complicated process. The process can take millions of years and requires an incredible amount of energy.
Cost of lab-grown diamonds compared to mined diamonds
The cost of lab-grown diamonds compared to mined diamonds is a little confusing at first. Until recently, the prices were too high to compete with natural diamonds. However, technological advancements have drastically reduced production costs. With the advent of consumer demand, lab-grown diamonds have begun to become mainstream.
Lab-grown diamonds are essentially carbon diamonds grown in a lab. They are chemically, physically, and optically identical to natural diamonds. Laboratory-grown diamonds are graded to the same specifications as mined diamonds. During production, variations in color and clarity can occur. Unlike natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can come in a wide range of fancy colors. Ultimately, this gives consumers more options for buying and saving.
For instance, lab-grown diamonds can be as difficult to chip as a natural diamond. This is one reason they are able to hold their value over time. Another is that they have lower environmental and social costs.
As more consumers become aware of the potential benefits of lab-grown diamonds, the price will probably rise. But until then, they are still a great way to save money on a diamond.
Ethical issues with lab-grown diamonds
A recent survey reveals that millennials are more focused on buying ethically sourced and carbon neutral items. Many companies are attempting to take advantage of this trend by marketing lab-grown diamonds as “sustainable.”
While the diamond mining industry is known for its environmental damage, many consumers have become concerned with the growing number of children working in hazardous mining conditions. The International Labour Organization estimates that 215 million children work in mines worldwide.
One major benefit of lab-grown diamonds is that they are cheaper. In fact, the price of a high quality lab-grown diamond continues to decrease. This allows consumers to purchase more diamonds at a lower cost.
Another benefit is that they are conflict-free. Most mined diamonds are obtained from areas in conflict. They are often sold to fund illegal military activities in warzones. With lab-grown diamonds, consumers can be sure that they are buying a conflict-free gemstone.
However, some lab-grown diamond manufacturers still use fossil fuels to power their operations. Additionally, some companies do not perform post-growth treatment. Post-growth treatment is costly and can affect a company’s eco credentials.