Natural vs. Lab Grown: Which diamond should you buy?

Natural vs. Lab Grown: Which diamond should you buy?

At Little Treasury Jewelers, we want customers to make the best choice for themselves when making a purchase. Every customer has personal preferences and individual circumstances that we pay close attention to when helping them find the right product. This is especially true when it comes to our large selection of natural and lab grown diamonds.  

The processes that diamonds are obtained are different, but all our diamonds are still the same material, even in chemical composition. Diamonds which naturally occur are mined from underground where they formed under pressure over millions of years. Lab grown diamonds have the same carbon based structure, created using technology in a lab. No matter the source, all diamonds are graded using the 4Cs standard, which are Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. Grades in the 4Cs impact the price of the stone, with higher grades increasing the value.  

There are a few reasons why customers prefer one source over the other. 

Multiple Diamond stones in a row on a table

Natural diamonds have unique characteristics, called inclusions, which can be seen when viewing each stone up close. Nature’s process for forming diamonds underground over millions of years is what creates these inclusions; each stone varies from the next and is special. Natural diamonds which have less inclusions are rarer. Customers may find that natural diamonds will retain more of their value over time because they are one of a kind, making them a more reliable investment.  

Affordability and sustainability are the typical reasons why customers choose lab grown sources, especially when they are looking to purchase higher grade diamonds. Creating lab grown diamonds may be more energy efficient and release less pollutants than mining. They are more affordable because they tend to be less expensive to produce. Not every lab grown diamond is exactly the same, there are still some variations in quality and grades, like natural diamonds. Lab technology is used to replicate a natural diamond’s growth process over the course of weeks, instead of millions of years. 

Workers in a Lab checking machines, creating lab grown diamonds

Technicians constantly check the growing machine. Image courtesy of Surreal Superlab.

One of our suppliers uses Chemical Vapour Decomposition (CVD), which is one of two common methods. Lab technicians take tiny diamond pieces, called “seeds,” and place them in a growing machine, like the one in Surat, India (seen above). This chamber is flooded with “carbon-rich” gasses, and heated, so that carbon molecules form more crystalline structures on the “seed,” creating a snowball effect to grow the size of the stone. These larger pieces are then cut and graded, just like natural diamonds. 

 Regardless of the reasons for your preferences, we hope you can find what you’re looking for at Little Treasury Jewelers. When you come in to see us, we encourage you to ask more questions. Our goal is to help you decide, so you are confident in your decision and enjoy your purchase.