We are very excited by this question as it’s a topic we have some strong beliefs around. Being able to provide our clients with an alternative option to earth-mined diamonds is a welcome change that we believe will have a positive impact across the globe.
The invention of jewellery quality lab-created diamonds is a relatively new technology that has been widely accepted by the biggest gemmological and grading laboratories around the world.
In this blog post, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into the new question on every jewellery connoisseur’s lips: Earth-Mined vs Lab-Created diamonds: Which is better? We are a little biased as we believe in embracing technological advances that make the world a better place, however we’ll provide you with all the information so that you can make an informed decision.
Difference between Earth-Mined and Lab-Created diamonds
The honest truth is that is there aren’t any differences between an earth-mined diamond and a lab-created diamond except that one came from the ground and one was made in a controlled environment.
They both possess the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as each other; they both consist of carbon in a crystalized isometric cubic system. They are both graded using the same system which includes the 4 Cs of diamond quality: carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. In fact, the only difference on your diamond report would be the words “lab-created”.
Earth-Mined diamonds: Pros and Cons
Let’s look at the pros and cons of earth-mined diamonds to see why you would choose an earth-mined (natural) versus lab-created diamond:
- Natural diamonds are a product of nature, so there is a special connection for some people.
- Some people believe that natural diamonds make good investments for their financial portfolio. This however is often limited to extremely rare coloured diamonds or white diamonds of substantial size.
- The mining of natural diamonds has historically caused substantial environmental damage due to inadequate planning regulation.
- In African nations such as Sierra Leone, the natural diamond mining industry has been directly linked to the recent civil war.
- An estimated one million diamond diggers in Africa earn less than a dollar a day. This payment structure is designed to lock them into a perpetual cycle of poverty.
- A survey of diamond miners in the Lunda Norte province of Angola found that 46% of miners were between the ages of 5 and 16.
Lab-Created Diamonds: Pros and Cons
- Lab-created diamonds can be tracked directly to their origin, which allows you to be comfortable in the knowledge that your diamond doesn’t have a dark history.
- Lab-created diamonds are an environmentally sustainable resource.
- Lab-created diamonds provide you with the opportunity to receive a diamond of greater quality and size for your budget when compared to earth-mined diamonds.
- Lab-created diamonds don’t have that natural connection in the sense of their origin.
- As they are a new technology, there isn’t any evidence that they would make a good financial investment.
Want to know more about Lab-Created Diamonds and how they are made? Read our blog post on Lab-Created Diamonds in Australia.
Lab-Created vs Natural Diamonds
The diamond industry can trace its roots back to 1866 with the discovery of diamonds in the Kimberley, South Africa. At around the same time, the first car was being invented. That was roughly over 150 years ago.
The diamond industry had changed very little over the first 120 years, choosing to remain a secretive and, at times, dark industry. That was until the United Nations definition of blood diamonds (also known as “conflict diamonds”) was formulated in the 1990s prompted by the brutal civil wars that were destroying parts of western and central Africa.
This definition started a movement, which then was greatly helped by the movie Blood Diamond in 2006. It wasn’t however until 2015 that an alternative became available to the jewellery industry and our clients.
During the first 120 years of the diamond industry, the vast majority of people could claim little knowledge of the impacts that natural diamond mining had on the people and countries these beautiful objects were found in.
This is no longer the case, just as we understand that we need to embrace modern technology in our cars, it is time that we embraced the fact that while we all love our diamond jewellery, it is neither acceptable for someone else to suffer to produce it, nor is it acceptable for the environment to be destroyed to extract it when other viable and more sustainable options are available.
We hope that we’ve provided you with some food for thought when you next consider the question Earth Mined vs Lab-Created Diamonds: Which is better? As always, we believe in free speech and would love to hear you opinion on this important question so feel free to comment below or to contact us if you’d like to discuss your next lab-created diamond.