There is a new diamond in the market called a lab-created diamond. It looks, feels, and weighs like a real diamond and it can pass the diamond test. Certified by the GIA, these diamonds sell for half the price of real diamonds. If you have thoughts of investing in one, you might be wondering if lab-created diamonds are worth anything.
Diamonds have greatly been popularized over the centuries. We all feel some pressure to conform to the general perceptions surrounding engagement rings. With a rise in technology, scientists have divulged ways to create diamonds.
Going for 40% less the price of a real diamond, they have made it possible for many people to afford this expensive jewelry. The main concern, however, is how much the lab-created diamond is worth a few years down the line.
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What are Lab Created Diamonds?
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Lab-created diamonds are designed and developed inside a scientific facility by qualified gemological professionals. These types of diamonds are completely similar to real diamonds and it is close to impossible to tell the difference. They match a real diamond’s look, feel weight, color, carat, clarity, and brilliance with uncanny similarities.
Lab-made diamonds are also called by names such as synthetic, cultured, lab-created, lab-grown and simply, created diamonds. A laser inscription is made on the created diamond’s girdle to identify them as lab-made.
Alternatively, a lab report number could also be engraved on the created diamond’s girdle which is also your diamond’s reference number. By visiting the manufacturer’s website and searching the report number, you should be able to get detailed info on your diamond’s quality, origin, and more.
You may find two types of lab-created diamonds, these are the HPTP Diamonds and the CVD Diamonds.
What are the HPTP Diamonds?
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HPTP is a scientific process designed in the 1950s to try and boost sales in the diamond industry. It stands for High Pressure/High Temperature.
This process is ideal for converting the cheap and flawed diamonds that are considered rejects into dime pieces worthy of a sale. The processes are so complex and high level that you can get diamonds in colors of pink, blue, and yellow with this technique.
Inside the earth’s crust, carbon components are heated at extreme temperatures and the pressure of matter around the core exerts pressure on the components catalyzing their combination into a crystal-clear gem. This natural process is successfully replicated using lab machines through HPHT methods.
Unfortunately, this method is considered very expensive and unsustainable because of the high heat and pressure equipment needed to make a diamond.
For instance, the heat needs to be raised to 2,600 degrees and maintained over two weeks or more before the process can be complete.
The production time may be short but the costs are overbearing. Thankfully, with technology and new feats in science, a new technique came up in the ’80s that is popularly in use to date.
Pros and Cons of HPTP Diamonds
- Scientists believe that exposing a diamond to the same conditions that created it makes it stronger, more resilient, and brilliant than any other untreated diamond.
- This process of creating diamonds is capable of producing grade D and E class D diamonds which are the two highest rankings of diamonds available.
- Because the diamonds used are rejects and have major impurities, the cost of production does not affect their final price which is cheaper than that of real diamonds.
- Upon gazing at your HPHT diamond, it may show some slight tones of brown, blue, or yellow colors.
- Flux is an imperfection in the diamond stone that looks like a tiny black mark. it is visible via magnifying glass and is an automatic result of the explosive carbon reaction.
- HTHP diamonds are less weighty than normal diamonds.
- To create pressure, magnetic force fields are used and they sometimes could transfer these energetic fields to the diamond crystal which will exhibit magnetic qualities.
What are CVD Diamonds?
The ’80s brought with them a new technology known as Chemical Vapor Deposition which saw diamonds grown in a methane gas vaporized chamber.
Temperatures in the chamber are kept at about 800 degrees. A technician will then pick a piece of carb or diamond seed as popularly referred and puts it in the chamber. The airtight chamber is then infused with high amounts of methane gas which is sometimes combined with hydrogen gas to quicken the process.
Temperatures in the chamber cause the gas to break down which in turn releases carbon particles that fall on the diamond seed. Once this happens, the carbon atoms and the diamond seed begin to explosively crystallize for over 6 t 12 weeks before you can see a diamond.
A black coating will be covering the created diamond rock. This is scraped away to reveal the shiny bright diamond crystal. The violent eruptions that constitute the making of these CVD diamonds can cause random imperfections in color or clarity.
However, this should not dampen your spirits as CVD diamonds are considered the most superior in quality over all others. The GIA has proudly certified the CVD diamond as a worthy gem and has given it classifications similar to real diamonds within its category.
They have even gone a step further to declare that diamonds should no longer be considered a naturally occurring element as now they can be made in a laboratory.
Pros and Cons of CVD Diamonds
- CVD diamonds introduced a more affordable and sustainable form of diamond production that is appreciated by all manufacturers, and especially customers, worldwide.
- The ethical, labor and humanitarian concerns surrounding the mining industry have painted it in a bad light and have people campaigning against them. CVD diamonds being lab created are truly ethical and completely free of violence.
- The integrity of our planet and environment is crucial for our survival and this is greatly affected by the heavy impacts of mining. Buying a CVD diamond will be a way to contribute to a safer world.
- Even a higher graded CVD will go for 30 to 40% less than its Real diamond counterpart.
- Color inversions and infractions within your CVD diamond are expected and quite common because of their creation process.
- The crystallization process is intense and explosive. Automatically, grained lines within the diamond are created which may dull its brilliance.
Are Lab-Created Diamonds Worth Anything?
The most direct answer to this question would be, no. However, in all fairness, lab-created diamonds can fetch you a couple of dollars but it will be nothing in comparison to what you bought them for.
In the case of a real diamond, once bought, the value drops to about half its original price. Yes, as soon as you cash in for that ring, its value drops by almost half. The great news is, after a while, the value will start to pick back up, however gradually but steadily.
If you can hold on to it for several decades, it is possible to get your real diamond at a little bit more than half its original sale amount.
To better compare the lab-created diamond and a real diamond, here’s a chart detailing the similarities and differences between the two.
|Real Diamonds||Lab-Created Diamonds|
|Made of Carbon Atoms||Made of Carbon Atoms|
|Ideal for Engagement Rings||Ideal for Engagement Rings|
|Quality Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat||Quality Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat|
|Formed in Earth’s crust over 3 Billion years||Developed in a Lab over 6 to 12 weeks|
|A rare find||Produced in large volumes|
|Expensive with a resale value of over 50%||Costs 40% of real diamond with no resale value|
Unfortunately, the lab-created diamond is not so lucky when it comes to its resale value. Being lab created by machines, cheapens its production process making it a commonly man-made commodity. Once you leave the jewelers shop, your priced lab-created diamond losses all its value.
What makes Lab Created Diamonds lose all their value?
With the simplicity of production as well because of the use of machines, special gases, and scientific techniques, the lab-created diamond loses its rarity and hence the price dip.
Though they are available in the same cut, clarity, color and carat weight as real diamonds in the same classification, they can’t beat the allure and illusion of real diamonds.
This is why they go for almost half the price of an original diamond. This is also the reason why they have grown so much in popularity. Be it in production or market demand, this is everyone’s new favorite stone.
However, most would be appalled when a few years later, they come across their beloved and expensive ab created diamond ring welling for dollars on the penny. That’s how fast they deteriorate in value.
Case of the Lab Made Emeralds
With more production, higher demand, and an increase in competition and technology, these diamond stones are set to be as overpopularized as the created emeralds that saw them lose their appeal and value across the market.
However, many people feel that this fate is not due to diamonds because of the psychological perceptions ingrained in us back in 1947.
The mastermind behind this enforced accepted and expected notion is the De Beers. Yes, the same guys who own over 40&% of the diamond industry to date.
Popularized Notion on Diamonds Value
Even after years of heavy marketing emphasizing that “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”, De Beers has successfully turned all, the population aged 15 and over, into diamond addicts. To date, many young men are breaking over backward taking loans or using up to 2 months of their salary just to buy the ring that will melt his woman’s heart.
As they do this, some may be under the misconception, as so many others are, that diamonds are a form of investment. Some form of money-saving techniques that you can redeem instantly and quickly in your time of need.
Now, this could not be further from the truth given the facts discussed above. As ethically produced and authentic looking as they are, the lab-made diamonds are a waste of money. Immediately your spouse swipes his card in confirmation of purchase, the lab-created diamond losses all its value. You’d be lucky to get a few dollars for it on eBay.
As things stand now, more and more companies will invest in lab-created diamonds which will create a surge of supply. Once this happens, the prices will inevitably plummet down as they did those of the emerald stones.
Deciding to settle on a lab-created diamond for your engagement ring will not score you any future financial points that you can collect. However, beauty, affordability, and quality should be enough to satisfy and dazzle the eyes.
If you really must get a diamond ring for your bride, this is the best option. The only thing needed is to be sure of your financial security and of the fact that this is a one-time retail product that will be worth close to nothing once you cash out.
Can you tell the difference between a Lab Created Diamond and a Real Diamond?
If you are worried that someone may be able to tell the difference between the lab-created diamond you bought and a real diamond, have no fear.
Lab-created diamonds are legitimate and created from the same carbon atoms that real diamonds are made of.
There is no way at all to tell apart the two diamonds. Even with specialized machinery, you would need the eye of a professional gemologist who will analyze the nature of inclusions.
Those inclusions are created spontaneously during the explosive reaction involved in their creation and only a trained eye could tell which is which.
How light bounces or reflects off a diamond ring could also tell a tale but again, the differences are so insignificant to the naked untrained eye.
Lab-created diamonds are a worthy buy for those of us who crave the bling and allure of a diamond ring.
In my opinion, they are a great alternative to the overpriced original diamond. What’s more, now that you can’t tell the difference between the two, wouldn’t you be safer going for the lab-created diamond instead?
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.