Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real Diamonds?
VRAI | April 20, 2021
VRAI | April 20, 2021
Yes, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds have ushered in a new era of sustainability, offering environmentally friendly choices in an industry historically dominated by mined diamonds. And they share the same physical, atomical and chemical properties of their mined counterparts. Learn more about lab-grown VRAI created diamonds.
Lab diamonds vs natural diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds share the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as mined diamonds. The only difference is a lab-grown diamond’s innovative origin. As of 2018,The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers both lab-grown and mined diamonds to be real. The NAD expanded further on this topic in 2021, clarifying that lab-grown diamond is real diamond.
Whether created in a lab or mined from the Earth, both diamond types share an identical process, forming first as carbon atoms under high temperature and immense pressure, then bonding together to grow a crystalline lattice structure. Once formed, rough diamonds of either designation are cut and polished to reveal their maximum brilliance. Identical to mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds also exhibit unique variations in color and clarity, known as inclusions, that occur naturally during the diamond’s growth process. These distinct markers are what make each diamond truly one of a kind.
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What is a lab-grown diamond?
Today, lab-grown diamonds are produced by two methods: chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT).
While both offer a controlled environment, the HTHP is more costly and less energy efficient. The thermodynamic process involves placing a diamond seed into pure carbon, then exposing it to intense pressure and heat. The carbon attaches to the diamond seed in 14 different directions and forms a rough diamond with a complex cuboctahedron shape.
CVD is a more economical and sustainable process, using vacuum chambers to convert carbon-heavy gasses into plasma with less energy consumption. Kinetics allow the carbon atoms inside the chamber to build on top of the diamond seed in a single vertical direction, so the rough diamond grows into a cleaner square shape.
What is a natural diamond?
A “natural” diamond is another name for a mined diamond. Officially, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines a diamond as “A mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system.” Whether a diamond is mined or created, both share this chemical composition. The difference and designation between lab-grown and mined diamonds lie in the way in which it is created. Titles like “lab-grown” and “mined” designate origin.
Mined diamonds are extracted from Earth through complex pit, underground, or alluvial methods, and utilize heavy machinery as well as an extensive amount of labor. To distract consumers from the human and environmental toll of these methods, some in the diamond industry have begun to call their diamonds “natural.” The term is for marketing purposes only, and does not make a mined diamond atomically different from its lab-grown counterpart.
Are lab-grown diamonds the same as mined diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are physically the same as mined diamonds. Created diamonds are made by replicating the way diamonds are made in nature without the negative environmental or human toll of mining. The difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds could be compared to the difference between ice formed outside on a winter’s day versus ice that’s formed inside your refrigerator.
Moissanite vs lab-grown diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are not moissanite, a naturally occurring gemstone. Nor are they cubic zirconia, a synthesized material that resembles diamond to the untrained eye. Lab-grown diamonds, moissanite, and cubic zirconia all have different chemical properties. Only one — lab-grown diamonds — is truly diamond.
Do lab created diamonds test as real?
Created diamonds test as real because they're made of crystallized carbon, just as mined diamonds are. And just like minded diamonds, created diamonds are graded by independent gemological organizations on their cut, color, clarity and carat weight, also known as the 4C’s. Not all lab-grown diamonds are “perfect” — they will differ in color and quality, just as a mined diamond would.
How are VRAI created diamonds produced and is the process sustainable?
VRAI created diamonds are lab-grown diamonds created by our own foundry using the CVD method. We begin with a thin foundation of diamond. Carbon is atomized in a plasma reactor and, one by one, the atoms stack on top of the slice, extending the unique crystal structure of diamonds extracted from the earth and growing into a pure, jewelry-grade diamond of gem size. The foundation material can be sliced off and reused as starting material any number of times. Once the rough stone forms, our diamonds are then cut and polished to the most exacting standards by master craftspeople in our international workshops.
Combining proprietary technology of superior efficiency with the zero-emission power of the Columbia River, VRAI's foundry is able to sustainably grow diamond in America’s beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Choosing just a carat of VRAI created diamonds vs. mined diamonds, saves 250 tons of earth, 120 gallons of water and 143 lbs of carbon dioxide released into the air.
But VRAI goes beyond zero carbon emissions, as well. We convert greenhouse gas into VRAI created diamonds by crystallizing it in our foundry. Once crystallized, the gas is no longer trapped in our atmosphere, making the sky reflect heat and warming the planet.
Crafted from the very elements in our atmosphere that would otherwise harm our planet, VRAI created diamonds are true to our most precious luxury: the future.
How are our VRAI created diamonds priced?
As the only jewelry company that is vertically integrated, VRAI eliminates middlemen and markups to provide diamonds of impeccable value and origin. We own the complete production process, including cutting and polishing studios, so our diamonds pass through fewer hands and incur fewer expenses along the way. Utilizing superior technology and renewable energy, our prices reflect the more economical and sustainable means we’ve created to grow our own diamonds in today’s market.
We offer complete transparency throughout this process and ensure that every one of our diamonds has no human or environmental toll. With a responsibly sourced, vertically integrated supply chain, we are certain about the origin of our diamonds at all times.
Atomically identical to one another, the only difference between our lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds is their distinct and cutting-edge provenance. Every VRAI created diamond truly represents the beauty of evolution.