By Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG
Founder & Course Creator
THE GEM ACADEMY
Welcome to THE GEM ACADEMY - Advancing your knowledge about laboratory-grown diamonds. Subscribe for monthly subscriber emails and be the first to hear about the latest posts, YouTube videos, specialist online courses, and workshops.
Laboratory-grown diamonds continue to capture the interest of consumers worldwide. I get asked a lot of questions about laboratory-grown diamonds as hey - it is my specialism. There are pros and cons for everything, especially laboratory-grown diamonds. Without further ado, here's my list of the good stuff for laboratory-grown diamonds....
The #1 reason why anyone should consider buying a laboratory-grown diamond is PRICE. Comparative to their natural counterparts, laboratory-grown diamonds are retailing at 65-70% less on average at the time of writing this article. Consumers can get the same look and wearability as natural diamonds without the price tag.
Those proposing to their loved ones with diamonds often have to compromise the size and quality of the stone they purchase to get to a price they are willing to pay. As laboratory-grown diamonds are manufactured on mass and are of great quality nowadays they offer very appealing price points when directly compared to natural diamonds of the same quality.
Wait, why are they so much cheaper?
There's quite a few reasons. Importantly, they lack value due to being a replicable product. There is zero rarity. There is no restriction on how many can be produced and of what quality. Arguably, every stone that is produced lowers the value of all laboratory-grown diamonds. Natural diamonds have a higher, stable price due to their rarity and restrictions imposed on them by being a natural resource. Another reason it competitive pricing, as more producers get in the game.
It is important to note that laboratory-grown diamonds are only relatively cheap. In other words, they only appear cheap in direct comparison to natural diamonds. As a man-made, replicable product, they could be considered rather expensive. This is especially true for larger stones exceeding 3-4ct that currently retail at tens-of-thousands of dollars.
2. Jewellery Design
I like big gems and I cannot lie...
One of my personally favourite reasons for buying laboratory-grown diamonds is that their price and accessibility leads to greater options in the choice of jewellery design. I've always thought that the way that I would differentiate my own engagement ring from others is to go big with the centre stone. Large stones can create more impact in jewellery. This means more exciting designs options are available to you. This is a wonderful, previously-impossible option for many of us that love diamonds but do not have the money to afford the size of stone required to make an impact. Granted - the stone that you'll be wearing is a laboratory-grown diamond, but you get the look without breaking the bank.
The first two points link to the accessible aspect of laboratory-grown diamonds. More consumers can afford laboratory-grown diamonds. Bigger stones are available to you at these more appealing prices. This leads to a wider range of jewellery options - and the accessibility doesn't stop there...
The variables surrounding laboratory-grown diamonds are almost unlimited. There is a greater array of shapes available to you. The qualities of the stones available are often favourable. In short - whatever you could want is pretty easy to obtain.
An example, I've always wanted a 2.5-3ct heart shape diamond ring (#selflove). Would I ever buy a one for myself? Not if its natural! I can not afford it and even if I could - I probably would opt for a piece of jewellery that I know other people wouldn't jeer at (as, even though I love heart-shapes, I am aware this opinion is not echoes amongst many of my industry friends). But spending just under 5k on one? I could do this. Happily.
This brings me on to an additional point. One can purchase many more pieces of jewellery with laboratory-grown diamonds than they would have otherwise owned! This is again, due to their accessibility. Another story - I always wanted a pair of diamond earrings. I still do not own a pair of diamond earrings BUT I do own a pair of laboratory-grown diamond earrings. For many, these new products may never 'save' them money but rather allow them to buy more. If anything, laboratory-grown diamonds feeds into our consumer culture in a way that natural diamonds do not.
The only physical limitation in laboratory-grown diamonds, at this time, is SIZE. The largest size of colourless, gem-quality laboratory-grown diamonds reported is 15-16ct. Laboratory-grown diamonds of this size would be restricted to those with a big budget as such a stone would currently retail for a 6-figure sum.
4. Awesome properties
I love diamonds. Diamonds are awesome. There are an exceptionally impressive material. For their hardness, their ability to resist damage, their lustre, and appearance in general - they've always been my favourite gem.
As laboratory-grown diamonds are the same material - by default, they possess almost all of the awesome properties of diamonds. The main exception is not being a wonder of nature but, instead, representing an achievement of human engineering.
Laboratory-grown diamonds have the wearability of natural diamonds. Due to their extreme hardness, they will only be scratched by diamonds or other laboratory-grown diamonds. They are not affected by light or chemicals. They can be worn every day for years and look like they were cut and polished just yesterday. For all these reasons, they are a great choice for engagement rings as, just like diamonds of natural origin, they will withstand the test of time and the challenges of daily wear.
The final reason? Laboratory-grown diamonds are on-trend. If trends are important to you, this could be a big factor in purchasing a laboratory-grown diamond for yourself. Even though awareness of laboratory-grown diamonds are high, not many people have seen one. Want an interesting conversation starter? Laboratory-grown diamonds are currently it. Heck - I've been taking about them for years and I have no intention on stopping anytime soon.
Want to be a part of the trend? Buy a laboratory-grown diamond. They're beautiful with the same wearability as natural diamonds with the option of getting a nice, big stone for a relatively affordable price in the jewellery design of your dreams. In my opinion, these are the greatest benefits of laboratory-grown diamonds.
Hold up now, Julia. What about all the other stuff? Sustainability... Conflict-free.... Superior qualities.... 'Saving' money... the lack of mining.... what about this other important stuff?
I shall echo my introduction. The pro's and con's of laboratory-grown diamonds are not black and white and quite frankly, my dear, these above points are the greyest area of the lot. So much so that, in general, they should rarely be discussed as benefits of laboratory-grown diamonds as they are seldom true or relevant. I'll talk about this more when I discuss reasons NOT to buy a laboratory-grown diamond. Let me show you the other side of the coin...
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