The Lab Diamond Debate: Natural Diamonds & Lab Diamonds in the UK

It’s no secret that lab diamonds have caused a bit of a stir in the industry as of lately with the lab diamond vs natural diamonds debate, but exactly why is this? Let’s start with the basic facts…


Natural Diamonds:

Formed very deep down inside the Earth, diamonds are made up of a single atom – carbon. These beautiful gemstones are a solid form of carbon atoms, bonded together under intense high pressures and temperatures, which over billions of years, creates one of the most durable substances on the planet. Learn more… 


Lab diamonds: 

Consisting of the same properties as a natural diamond, around 70 years ago, research allowed for diamonds to begin being formed in laboratories. Recent breakthroughs in technology have allowed this process to become far more efficient and now, lab grown diamonds of the highest quality can be found at many diamond retailers.


Diamond Simulates 

Diamond simulates are, simply put, gemstones that have been made to mimic real diamonds. Stones such as Cubic Zirconias, Moissanite and some crystals are often used in more budget friendly jewellery pieces to replicate diamonds. Diamond simulants look very different from real diamonds with a far less intense sparkle …
It’s a common misconception that lab diamonds are diamond simulants. It’s a fact that lab diamonds are real diamonds, with identical properties to diamonds that have been formed naturally. Therefore, they even test as genuine diamonds… because they are! This absence of physical differences makes it impossible to tell lab and natural diamonds apart without the use of specialist equipment.



So the debate isn’t about whether or not lab diamonds are ‘real’ diamonds, but more so about the pros and cons that they each offer… 



Advantages of lab diamonds:

Lab Diamond Price UK 
Perhaps the first and most prominent advantage to choosing a lab diamond over a natural one is the price. Lab diamonds can be formed in just a few short weeks, compared to the billions of years it takes for a natural diamond to be formed inside the Earth’s crust. The efficiency of lab diamond production allows for a far more ‘friendly’ price tag, typically costing 60% – 80% less than a natural diamond.
Another reason why lab diamonds are cheaper than natural diamonds is because they are made by a small team of experts. For comparison, natural diamonds require extensive plots of land, time to locate the diamonds, an extremely large workforce and infrastructure which all contribute to their hefty price tag.


As lab diamonds are man made, they don’t require mining, which brings me onto their next advantage…



Currently, lab grown diamonds are not entirely sustainable, however they are definitely the more sustainable alternative. They use less energy and water, as well as having lower carbon emissions than natural diamonds.
To create a diamond in a lab requires a large amount of energy, and lab diamond producers are constantly working to use energy that is from a more renewable source. It’s predicted that the sustainability of lab diamonds will increase as more efficient technologies become available.



Disadvantages of lab diamonds:

Unfortunately, the future is uncertain in regards to the value of lab grown diamonds. It’s no secret that they have caused quite a stir in the industry, and because they are an unprecedented gem, nobody can know for sure if lab diamonds will hold their value like a naturally formed diamond does. (Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the resale value of a diamond will never be as much as the original price!)
Some believe that the man-made origin of lab diamonds will cause them to lose their value over time in comparison with natural diamonds. But on the other hand, it’s predicted by some that the value of lab grown diamonds will only increase in the future – only time will tell!



Lab Diamond Rings UK

Browse Artisan’s selection of handmade lab diamonds rings here… 



To summarise: 

  • Lab diamonds are genuine, authentic diamonds & are not diamond simulants.
  • You can’t tell the difference between natural and lab diamonds, unless you have specialist equipment.
  • Like naturally formed diamonds, lab diamonds can be found in the top cuts, colours, clarity & carat weights.
  • It takes 2 – 4 weeks for lab diamonds to form compared with the billions of years it takes for natural diamonds to form in the Earth’s crust.
  • Lab diamonds retail at around 60% less than naturally formed diamonds.
  • Lab diamonds are the more sustainable alternative when compared with natural diamonds.
  • It is currently unknown whether lab diamonds will hold their value like natural diamonds. Only time will tell!