Today, the lab-grown diamonds are acclaimed as the very best alternatives to the mined, and often, conflict-free diamonds that cost so much more, but is there a chance that the lab-grown diamonds are not all that good or perfect?
Do the lab-grown diamonds carry some kind of dark side that we may have been blind to for a long time?
Well, recent studies and investigations for the lab-grown diamonds, especially their manufacturing and processing point to the fact that there is a possibility of these diamonds having several unwanted or undesirable problems.
And so, if you are thinking of buying the lab-grown diamonds because they are perceived as more eco-friendly and safer, not to mention cheaper, you may want to take some time to understand both sides of the coin before you buy these diamonds.
History of diamonds
Bear in mind that this is such a big deal because of how diamonds have fascinated humans for thousands of years since they were first discovered 4000 years ago in India and subsequently introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great.
If you look at ancient Greece, for example, the diamonds were infamously called the ‘tears of the gods’ which means that the diamonds have, for the longest time, fascinated humans, and they are also some of the oldest objects to ever have been discovered and touched by man.
As a gemstone that is held in very high regard across generations and with a very high demand. The diamond has also been marketed as one of the best creations by nature, a must have gemstone that symbolizes forever, which is why it is regarded as a symbol of eternal love, and believed to last forever. This has created this sense of urgency and a feeling that you must own a diamond or wear a diamond engagement ring.
But even with the very high demands for the diamond, this gemstone is just too expensive, and for many people, it’s price tag is essentially unattainable for most people.
Then there is the unfortunate bit about most diamonds on the market being blood diamonds, which means that these diamonds are tainted and something you wouldn’t want on your finger.
So, with all these going on, the idea of the lab-grown diamonds is not only appealing, but also the next best thing anyone would want to get their hands on.
The lab-grown diamonds, also called LGDs, are currently regarded as the best alternatives to the mined diamonds. But the only catch is that there is just so much that we don’t know about these diamonds, specifically their downsides. So, in this article, we’ll be sharing some of the problems that are not often highlighted when the lab-grown diamonds are mentioned.
Problems with lab-grown diamonds
Here are the common problems that are associated with the lab-grown diamonds
1. They are not valuable
One of the biggest challenge or problem that is associated with the lab-grown diamond would be the fact that these man-made diamonds may look and feel like real diamonds, and cost only a fraction of what the real diamonds cost, but once you buy them, their value drops so fast.
And with the prices per carats of the lab-grown diamonds dropping fast, these diamonds may not be worth your money after all. The truth is that even the value of the mined diamonds drops after purchase, but the drop in value is not as fast as is with the lab-made diamonds.
And in many instances, the lab-grown diamonds are essentially worthless once they leave the jewelry store.
The upside is that with an increase in the number of competitors creating these diamonds, there is more knowledge share about these stones, and they look more natural, even as you have more access to a larger variety of very beautiful gems.
The prices of the lab-grown diamonds have also not stabilized, and though buying them saves you a lot of money, these diamonds are not worth much. And so, like the natural diamonds, the lab-grown diamonds may not be a good investment option unless you are buying the premium, investment-grade colored or fancy diamonds.
2. Not as eco-friendly
The lab-grown diamonds are marketed as the most eco-friendly alternative to the mined diamonds, but this is far from the truth, in the real world.
So, while we are all trying to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint, these diamonds made in the lab may not be doing much to change things.
Remember that the lab-made diamonds are created in a laboratory or factory setting where a lot of electricity is consumed, and as we are all aware, electricity is not great for the environment.
To put this into perspective, creating just one carat of the diamond calls for the use of 250 million joules of electricity. While this is less than what is needed for mining diamonds from the earth (mining diamonds uses 528.5 million joules per carat), it still is a lot of energy.
So, unless the diamonds are made in diamond labs or foundry that use renewable energy, making diamonds in the lab still leaves a huge carbon footprint.
And it’s not just electricity because the lab-grown diamonds also require a lot of water, each carat of lab-grown diamonds use 18 gallons of water.
The upside is that this is less water compared to the 126 gallons of water needed in mining and processing of the natural diamonds, and also, the carbon emissions for the lab-grown diamonds are lower.
According to warnings by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the lab-grown diamonds are considered not eco-friendly, and they are often difficult to substantiate.
The FTC has also warned that these lab-grown diamond alternatives are not the most sustainable option available today. Most of the laboratories for the lab-grown diamonds are also said to increase greenhouse emissions and they also cause pollution because of the potentially harmful gasses emitted such as methane, which is known to extract carbon from the air.
These companies are also not the most transparent when it comes to sharing information about how this problem is managed, and methane sourced. There is also the fact that the production of diamonds in the lab is very energy-intensive.
3. These diamonds are not always appraised
The other problem or challenge around the lab-grown diamonds is the fact that you cannot get these diamonds to be appraised. The diamonds have only recently started getting graded and some companies are offering certifications for their lab-created diamonds, which allows for appraisal.
But in most cases, these diamonds are not appraised and in absence of any kind of grading, the diamonds cannot be appraised. Also, the lab-created diamonds cannot be appraised in the same way as the natural diamonds.
And unless you know that the diamonds are valuable and worth appraisal for insurance protection purposes, you may start counting your losses early enough, especially with the very cheap diamonds made in the lab.
That said, you must get all your valuable and precious jewelry appraised and also insured. At the end of the day, we can all agree that losing jewelry pieces of great sentimental and economic value is very painful, and so, having an option to get the valuables replaced incase of a burglary or any other unfortunate event is very important.
4. They are not ‘real’ diamonds
When it’s all said and done, the lab-grown diamonds are not real or natural diamonds mined from the earth’s crust, and so they don’t carry the same weight in terms of allure and desirability as the mined natural diamonds. Think of the lab-grown diamonds as au naturale diamonds, made differently.
You should know, however, that the lab-grown diamonds are exactly like the natural diamonds in terms of their atomic structure, their physical appearance, and even optically, and so, they are just like the pressurized mined diamonds, except for the fact that they are made in the lab really fast.
5. They don’t have that allure of the natural diamonds
The other reason why we think you need to reconsider your decision to buy the lab-grown diamonds would be the fact that even with the creation of these diamonds meaning that they are well-made and have the same features and characteristics as the mined diamonds, they still lack the allure of the natural diamonds.
And so, many women across the world who are considering diamonds may opt for alternative stones over the lab-created diamonds because they don’t carry the same air and allure of elegance that is seen with the mined diamonds.
Some people think of these lab-grown diamonds in the same way as Louis Vuitton knockoffs, and despite looking like the real diamonds, they are just not the real thing!
Regardless of how good it looks and how it’s just like the real thing, the lab-grown diamonds are not just what people want, and so, many jewelry stores opt out of selling these types of diamonds. They know that people who appreciate the value of the real thing would be willing to pay the full price for the jewelry.
6. Longevity, quality, and value as family heirlooms
The other challenge faced when it comes to the lab-grown diamonds is the fact that these diamonds don’t hold the same value and appeal as the mined diamonds, especially if you hold the sentimental value of jewelry in high regard and believe that valuable jewelry should be kept in the family for generations as family heirlooms.
So, for anyone who is conscious about the value held by jewelry, and its representation of love, meaningful moments in life, and how the right jewelry helps to carry family traditions, lab-created diamonds might not be the best option for you.
7. These diamonds are still expensive
Despite being sold off as cost-effective alternatives to the mined diamonds, the lab-grown diamonds are not exactly cheap and you still have to spend a lot of money on them.
The price of the diamond might be 50% less than that of the mined diamonds but when you look at the actual figures, the lab-grown diamonds are still considerably expensive.
On the flipside, you still save a good sum when you choose to buy the lab-grown diamonds. Generally, a moissanite would be a better alternative to the lab-grown diamonds if the price is your big challenge.
The lab-grown diamonds are meant to be the perfect alternatives to the mined diamonds because they cost much less than the mined diamonds, while carrying similar optical, chemical, and physical characteristics as the mined diamonds.
But despite this, they are not perfect and not as perfect as they are pegged. They are also not good options for investing in if you consider jewelry a form of investment.
But they are as sparkly and pretty as the real diamonds, and if you are up for this option, they are an excellent alternative to symbolize your love and commitment to each other.
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.