Why Not Lab? What to Consider When Deciding Between Lab Created and Natural Diamonds
Before the “Why” or “Why Not” question, you may be wondering “What are lab diamonds?"
Lab Created Diamonds are the exact same as a naturally mined diamonds except for their origin. Lab diamonds are NOT look-a-likes or imitation diamonds. They are actually real diamonds with the same chemical and optical properties of their natural counter parts
Created in a lab using pressure and heat created by proprietary machinery, gases or plasma, and diamond seeds, each crystal grows layer upon layer until it is large enough to be removed and cut.
Because lab diamonds and natural diamonds are the exact same material, expensive testing equipment is required to determine whether the origin of a diamond is natural or manmade.
Even GIA Graduate Gemologists cannot tell the difference without this equipment.
Bench jewelers can create, repair, and solder on jewelry set with lab created diamonds in the exact same way they work on natural diamonds.
In short, they are the same…except for one important factor: PRICE!
Lab Created diamonds are not rare like natural diamonds. Since rarity affects demand, it also is the basis for natural diamond pricing. Lab created diamond pricing can be as much as 70-80% lower than pricing for natural diamonds, especially in very large specimens. The larger the diamond, the more difference there is between the pricing of their counterparts.
Since pricing is the main difference, it is important for diamond buyers to think through the decision of natural vs. lab diamonds. If the diamond you are purchasing is your “forever” diamond and you don’t plan on trading up to a larger diamond in the future, a lab created diamond might be a great option for you. If you do plan to trade up at some time, it is best to put your money into a natural diamond where the value will increase and you will be able trade it toward another natural diamond at any time.
Since lab created diamonds are created by technology, the price of lab diamonds has decreased over the decade they have been available, while natural diamonds have continued to increase in value during the same time. This is the one factor that should most affect your decision.
Just as we make purchases in other technology sectors because we love the benefits they bring, we can apply the same thinking to purchases of lab created diamonds. They are diamonds that can be passed from generation to generation and enjoyed for their beauty, size, and durability, but we do not expect the value to go up over time and simply enjoy them as they are.
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