Answers to your questions about lab-grown diamonds
The tennis bracelet was invented in 1978 during the US Open tennis championships when world number one player Chris Evert stopped play to retrieve a diamond bracelet that had fallen during the match. Asked about the moment after the match, she simply replied, “Oh, that was my tennis bracelet.”
While our love for the tennis bracelet has never waned, it has since entered a new market for young Millennials and Gen Z fashionistas. With sometimes as many as 72 diamonds in a single bracelet, the cost of a diamond tennis bracelet is not exactly cheap. For the credit card, nor the planet. But when Marilyn Monroe said diamonds were a girl’s best friend, we’re sure she meant lab-grown diamonds.
The industry’s hottest new technology has arrived at the forefront of sustainable fashion with jewelers and experts turning to man-made stones for luxury jewelry. Melissa Trafford-Jones, CEO of Deltora Diamonds is an internationally qualified diamond expert who aims to make diamonds more accessible. On the occasion of the release of the brand’s new offer of diamond tennis bracelets, we ask our burning questions about the new technology.
How are lab coat diamonds created?
As the name suggests, lab grown diamonds are created in a laboratory using two different forms of technology. According to Trafford-Jones, the small stones known as “Melee” – mostly used on studs and hoop earrings – are created using a technique called High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). For stones above 0.20 carats up to 10 carats are made using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method.
“To grow a diamond with the CVD method, we first take a seed or a diamond slice from a mined stone and place it in an 800-degree compression chamber,” Trafford-Jones explains. “We then rain down carbon and in months, not millions of years, a diamond grows atom by atom, as it would in the earth’s crust.”
Using the CVD method creates type 11A diamonds and is only found in 2% of the world’s natural diamonds.
Are there any notable differences between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds?
The rarity and value of a diamond are based on four universal principles: cut, carat, color and clarity. When it comes to the visual differences between man-made diamonds and natural stones, Trafford-Jones says there is no difference. “They are chemically, optically and physically identical,” she says.
What is the price difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds?
Comparing a single carat between the two diamonds, Trafford-Jones says the hugely popular VS1 clarity diamond is valued at AUD $10,500 for a mined stone and $5,700 for a lab culture.
What are the benefits of lab grown diamonds?
According Time magazine, between 5 and 10% of natural diamonds are still traded illegally and recent years have exposed the harsh reality of the mining industry, particularly in Africa, where natural stones are known as blood diamonds due to human suffering involved. Additionally, a report of clean origin discusses the ecological impacts of diamond mining, including deforestation, disturbance of marine life and water quality.
“You know the origin, history and authenticity when buying a Deltora diamond,” adds the expert. “Our cultured diamonds are created in high-tech laboratories and have undisputable provenance with no impact on humanity.”
How can you tell the difference in quality between different lab-grown Merchants?
As Trafford-Jones says, “a diamond is a diamond”. Lab-grown diamonds always undergo the same grading from the GIA or IGI, with international certifiers using the four Cs.” CVD and HPHT growing methods produce diamonds of different quality compared to the 4Cs, so you see still brown and yellow hues, but it’s not a reflection of the merchant or the method of growth just the diamond it was seeded from and the time spent in the reactor,” she says.
will mined diamonds ever stop?
“Right now we’re seeing very high demand, high prices and growth that’s doubled month-over-month,” she recalls. “Consumers are demanding more sustainable products and practices and that’s why lab grown diamonds are in the sweet spot. Good for the environment, humanity and your pocket – a luxury that doesn’t cost the earth.
She continues, “With increased demand for lab-grown diamonds we will see a decline in demand for mined stones, our prediction over the next 10 years the market will halve.”
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