Jewelry Industry

Difference Between Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds

The Mintly Team

The Mintly Team

November 07, 2023

The world of diamonds is sparkling with options, with lab grown diamonds increasingly sharing the limelight with their natural counterparts. But what are the differences between these Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds?. Let’s dive in and explore.

What are Natural Diamonds?

Natural or real diamonds are precious stones that have been formed over billions of years under the Earth’s surface. They are made from carbon, one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust, which has been subjected to high pressure and temperature conditions deep within the planet. This process leads to the formation of a crystalline lattice structure, making diamonds the hardest known natural substance on Earth.

Diamonds were first discovered in India around 400 BC, and since then, they have been regarded as valuable due to their brilliance, hardness, and rarity. Today, they are mined in various parts of the world such as Russia, Canada, Australia, and Africa.

This or that? How lab-grown and natural diamonds differ

Natural diamonds are often used in jewelry, especially in engagement rings, due to their sparkling brilliance and durability. Their hardness makes them resistant to scratching and other forms of damage, ensuring they maintain their beauty for a lifetime.

In addition to their visual appeal, natural diamonds have several industrial applications. They are used in cutting, grinding, and drilling tools because of their hardness. They are also used in high-tech applications such as laser lenses and in the manufacturing of high-performance bearings.

It’s important to note that each natural diamond is unique. They vary in color, size, and quality based on factors like carat weight, cut, clarity, and color – commonly known as the 4Cs. Some diamonds also have inclusions or tiny imperfections inside them, which can affect their value.

Despite the emergence of laboratory-grown diamonds in recent years, natural diamonds continue to hold a special allure because of their unique creation process. Each natural diamond represents a unique slice of the Earth’s history, making them not just beautiful objects, but also fascinating geological artifacts.

What are Lab Grown Diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are precious gems created in a laboratory setting rather than being mined from the earth. They are produced through two main methods: High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

In the HPHT method, a small diamond seed is placed into carbon and then exposed to extreme heat and pressure, mimicking the natural conditions under which diamonds form deep within the earth. The carbon melts around the seed and begins to form a diamond.

The CVD method, on the other hand, involves placing a diamond seed in a sealed chamber filled with carbon-rich gas. The gas is heated to extreme temperatures, causing the carbon atoms to “rain” onto the diamond seed and form layers, gradually creating a diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds carry several advantages. They are ethically sourced, as their production does not involve the social and environmental issues associated with traditional diamond mining. Additionally, they are typically less expensive than naturally sourced diamonds of the same quality, making them an attractive option for consumers who want the beauty of a diamond without the high price tag.

However, it’s important to note that while lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds, they do not carry the same intrinsic value. Natural diamonds are unique and have been formed over billions of years, which adds to their allure and value.


Differences Between Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds

Diamonds are symbols of luxury and everlasting love, but they can be sourced in two distinct ways: mined from the earth (real diamonds) or grown in a laboratory (lab grown diamonds). Understanding the differences between these two forms of diamonds is crucial for making an informed purchase.

Real Diamonds

Real diamonds are naturally formed over millions of years under extreme pressure and high temperatures deep within the Earth’s mantle. They are then brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The unique conditions of their formation contribute to their rarity and value. Each real diamond is unique, with its individual characteristics regarding color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, are man-made and created in a controlled laboratory setting. Scientists use two primary methods to create these diamonds: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods replicate the conditions under which natural diamonds form. Lab grown diamonds possess the same physical and chemical properties as real diamonds, including their sparkly appearance.

Differences between these Two diamonds

While both types of diamonds may appear identical to the naked eye, there are several key differences:

  • Origin: The most significant difference lies in their origin – one is a product of nature and time, while the other is a product of human ingenuity and technology.
  • Price: Lab grown diamonds are typically less expensive than real diamonds. This is because the production process is more controlled and predictable, reducing the costs associated with mining.
  • Environmental Impact: Real diamonds have a significant environmental impact due to the extraction process, which can cause soil erosion, deforestation, and ecosystem destruction. Lab-grown diamonds have a lesser environmental impact as they are manufactured in controlled settings.
  • Value Over Time: Real diamonds tend to hold their value over time and can even appreciate, making them a popular choice for investment. Lab grown diamonds, however, do not typically hold their value as well because they can be produced at will.

Similarities Between Real and Lab Grown Diamonds

Despite their differences, it’s important to note that lab-grown and natural diamonds share several similarities as well.

Physical Properties

Both real and lab grown diamonds have identical physical properties, including their hardness and brilliance. Both possess the same chemical composition, being made up entirely of carbon. This means that they will both register as real diamonds when tested with a diamond tester, which measures thermal conductivity.

Visual Appearance

To the naked eye, Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds are indistinguishable. Both exhibit the same sparkle and fire that diamonds are known for. Without specialized equipment, even a trained gemologist would struggle to differentiate between the two.

Grading Standards

Like real diamonds, lab grown diamonds are graded on the same 4Cs scale – carat, cut, color, and clarity. These guidelines are set by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), ensuring that whether a diamond is lab-grown or mined, its quality can be accurately assessed.


The durability of lab grown diamonds is the same as that of their natural counterparts. Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, and this applies to both mined and lab created diamonds. This makes them suitable for everyday wear in jewelry such as rings and necklaces.


Finally, both types of diamonds come in a variety of colors, sizes, and cuts. Whether you’re looking for a traditional round cut or a modern princess cut, you can find it in both real and lab-grown options. Similarly, colored diamonds, such as fancy yellow or blue, are available in both forms.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Lab Grown Diamonds vs Real Diamonds boils down to personal preference. Some may prefer natural diamonds for their unique formation process and long-standing tradition. Others may opt for lab-grown diamonds for their ethical production, lower cost, and identical appearance to natural diamonds.

Regardless of your choice, it’s essential to be informed about the differences and similarities between these two types of diamonds to make the best decision for your needs and values.

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