Lab Grown Diamonds

We have a lot of people ask us about Lab Grown Diamonds. Are they real? Are they a good price? What's the difference between Lab Grown and Natural diamonds?  Here, you'll find a quick breakdown to help you make a decision that appeals to you.

Ultimately, a Lab Grown Diamond is the same as a natural. 
Both have a nearly identical chemical composition (over 99%), so they're made of the same thing (carbon) and share the same optical and physical properties as well. Diamonds make an excellent choice for rings that you want to keep forever and pass down as an heirloom, as they are one of the hardest materials known to mankind. Both Natural and Lab Grown diamonds rank 10/10 on the Mohs scale, the industry standard  used to determine hardness.  They also share the same specific gravity and refractive index and are graded on the same 4C's of Quality scale. Currently, to consistently differentiate between a Natural and Lab Grown Diamond we need a diamond screener.
The only real difference between Lab Grown diamonds and Natural diamonds are how they were created.
Natural diamonds were formed in the Earth's mantle and brought up to the Earth's crust through volcanic activity. Lab Grown diamonds can be grown in a couple of ways, through chemical processes that aim to replicate the temperature and pressure conditions in the Earth's mantle. The comparison that works quite well to highlight the difference between the 2 is to imagine that diamonds are ice: one comes from your freezer, the other from a glacier. They'll both be considered ice, except one is "natural".
Sooo... Are they real?
 Well, yes. Since Lab Grown diamonds have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as a natural diamond, they are considered real, although fall under the term 'synthetic'. However, there are several other mainstream gemstones that are visually similar to a diamond, but are so chemically different they are not considered synthetic diamonds but rather 'imitation' diamonds. These include Cubic Zirconia, white Topaz, white Sapphire, white Quartz, Swarovski crystals and Rhinestones. Even Moissanite is gaining traction as a substitute, but that's a story for another time.  To ensure our client's are aware that their diamond is Lab Grown or Natural - we always provide documentation to that effect.
Is there a price difference between the two?
The price difference between Natural and Lab Grown diamonds is widening every year, with Natural diamonds maintaining a significantly higher and more stable value. Whereas Lab Grown diamonds are far more affordable than their natural counterparts, they have been progressively getting less and less expensive due to a supply/demand imbalance. Where and when it will stabilize is unknown at this time.

 So which is best for me?
Honestly, it depends. Some people love the idea of having a natural diamond as there is something romantic about getting a piece of earth that has millions, if not billions of years of history behind it. If you get a diamond that can be traced, you'll also be able to choose a diamond that lines up with your beliefs, as some Canadians prefer diamonds mined in Canada! (Currently there are no Lab Grown Diamonds grown in Canada). However, a lab grown diamond can fit into your budget much easier, while looking virtually the same to the naked eye. 
There is much to learn in the world of diamonds! Hopefully you've found something useful in this little blurb. At Tompkins Jewellers, we sell both Natural and Lab Grown diamonds. We love them both equally! But if you have any additional questions don't hesitate to ask, that's what we're here for.