Natural vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds: Which Should You Choose’

May 5th, 2023

A cushion-cut diamond sits in a pair of jeweler tweezers

Diamonds have long been celebrated for their beauty and durability, making them a sought-after gemstone for jewelry. However, with the rise of lab-grown diamonds, consumers now have the option to choose between natural diamonds and their laboratory-grown peers. Natural diamonds are formed over millions of years deep within the earth's crust, while lab-grown diamonds are created in a laboratory using advanced technology. Learn more with this guide from Northeastern Fine Jewelry.

A pair of rose gold halo diamond studs feature natural diamonds

Characteristics of Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds are formed over millions of years deep within the earth's crust under intense pressure and heat. They are composed of pure carbon subjected to these extreme conditions, resulting in the formation of the characteristic crystal structure that gives diamonds their unique properties. The most valuable natural diamonds are completely colorless and have few inclusions or blemishes, as these diamonds are the rarest and most sought-after.

A jeweler places a round-cut lab-grown diamond into a set of prongs on a solitaire ring

How are Lab Created Diamonds Made’

Lab-grown diamonds are created using technology replicating the natural process of diamond formation. The most common method for creating diamonds is the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) process, which involves placing a tiny diamond seed in a chamber and subjecting it to extremely high pressure and temperature. This causes carbon atoms to crystallize around the seed, gradually forming a diamond. Another method is the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process. It involves heating a hydrocarbon gas and directing it onto a diamond seed, causing carbon atoms to bond and crystallize around it, forming a diamond. The resulting lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds.

A solitaire engagement ring sits in a black box on a linen surface

What are the Benefits of Lab-Grown Diamonds’

Lab-grown diamonds offer several benefits in jewelry. Firstly, they are often less expensive than natural diamonds, making them a more budget-friendly option. Secondly, lab-grown diamonds are more environmentally friendly, requiring less energy and resources than natural diamonds mined from the earth. They are also 100% conflict-free, so you can feel good about purchasing lab-grown diamonds. Finally, lab-grown diamonds offer a level of consistency in quality and availability that is impossible with natural diamonds.

A pair of diamond-adorned drop earrings sit on a black wooden table

Why Choose a Naturally-Mined Diamond’

Choosing natural diamonds over lab-grown diamonds is a personal choice that depends on your priorities. Natural diamonds offer a level of rarity, uniqueness, and prestige that lab-grown diamonds cannot replicate. For those who value tradition and history, natural diamonds are a timeless and valuable choice. Additionally, some people may prefer owning a natural diamond untouched by human intervention.

A group of brides compares their engagement rings

Which Diamond is Right for You’

Choosing the right diamond is a highly personal decision that depends on various factors, including a budget, personal style, and values. For those who prioritize rarity, prestige, and a long history of tradition, a natural diamond may be the best choice. On the other hand, budget and environmentally-conscious people may prefer a lab-grown diamond. Considering the 4Cs of diamond grading, including cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, and the origin and ethical concerns associated with each option is important. Ultimately, the right diamond for you is the one that fits your preferences.

A jeweler inspects various diamonds on a gray wooden table

Find the Best Diamond Selection at Northeastern Fine Jewelry

At Northeastern Fine Jewelry, we pride ourselves on offering the finest selection of high-quality diamonds in New York Our inventory includes both natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds for a range of styles and budgets, so customers can choose the option that best fits their values and needs. At Northeastern Fine Jewelry, we are committed to providing a personalized and memorable shopping experience. Schedule an appointment at our Albany, Schenectady, or Glens Falls showrooms to find the perfect diamond for you.