Is there a difference between man-made diamonds and real diamonds?

There’s often a stigma around man-made diamonds with some not believing them to be real diamonds. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, while they may not be naturally mined, the gemstones that are created in a lab have the same chemical and optical properties as those formed within the earth’s crust.

The diamonds are exactly the same and even expert geologists can’t tell them apart. The only difference is the way they were created, natural diamonds require billions of years of extremely high pressure and temperatures found only 80 miles deep inside the Earth’s mantle.

The path from the Earth’s mantle to adorning your ring can be complex, but you’d expect nothing less from the hardest and most stable form of pure carbon. Once there has been immense pressure and a diamond has formed, it is only brought to the surface through aeons of volcanic eruptions that embed the gemstone in large chunks of rock.

Diamonds are a universal symbol for everlasting love and roughly around 133 million carats of rough diamonds are mined every year. However, the man-made process is becoming even more refined, leading to some diamond experts to consider it alongside their usual supply.

Lab created diamonds are grown in highly-controlled laboratory settings that will mimic the natural growing environment provided by the Earth. This process is significantly quicker and we don’t have to wait aeons for more diamonds to make their way to the surface.

Creating a diamond in a lab can take anywhere between 3 to 10 weeks and these can grow up to a size of 3 carats. Meanwhile, the diamonds that we are mining today could have made their way to the surface anywhere between 1 to 3.3 billion years ago. So, when it comes to choosing between the two, couples tend to go with a piece of the Earth’s history.

While time is a benefit of man-made diamonds, many still prefer to buy original, naturally formed gemstones. From a value perspective, mined diamonds are worth much more and will retain their value over the years. This is due to the scarcity and rarity of the gem and the billions of years’ worth of development. Meanwhile, man-made diamonds are quite common and due to being used primarily in electronics or other industrial purposes do not retain their value nearly as much.

Even with the most talented diamond experts and geologists being unable to tell the difference between the two, there is a clear difference in value. While you are paying a bit more for a real diamond, you’re also paying for a universal symbol of love billions of years in the making.

To find out more about the diamonds we use on all of our gorgeous diamond jewellery, you can take a look at the diamond education part of our website.

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