If you want to save a little money while still getting all the fire and sparkle of a diamond, your first instinct is probably to check out lab-made diamonds. A lot of people have the idea that these are somehow less valuable simply because they are not naturally-generated. However, the reality is that lab-created diamonds can be just as expensive as mined ones. Why does this happen? There are a few different factors that contribute to the price of man-made diamonds.
Lab Created Diamond Prices Fluctuate More Rapidly Than Mined
When people talk about lab-created diamonds selling for more than mined ones, they are often looking at just a brief snapshot on the market. It is true that there might be a few months here and there where lab-created diamonds cost more than mined diamonds.
This occurs because of the difference in demand. To get an idea of the bigger picture, you need to look at how pricing and demand fluctuates over the course of several years.
Mined diamonds have a fairly stable demand. People always need them and are always willing to pay top dollar for them. Their price is always going up on a slow yet steady incline.
Meanwhile, the popularity of lab-grown diamonds tends to come and go. One month, they might be especially trendy and high priced, while in another month, more people may be interested in moissanite or other mined diamond alternatives. In these months, the price can dip down a bit. This means that the time you buy a lab diamond has a huge impact on its overall price.
There Are Still a Lot of Production Costs Associated With Growing a Diamond
Man-made diamonds might be created with a few very common ingredients, but that does not mean they cost pennies to make. There are a lot of very special pieces of equipment involved in growing diamonds. The diamond growing process includes:
- Diamond seeds are placed in a growth chamber with methane and hydrogen.
- A microwave reactor superheats the gases in the chamber until a plasma ball forms.
- Heat is carefully regulated to a temperature between 900 to 1200 degrees Celsius.
- The gases start to stick to the diamond seed. Slowly, atom by atom, the diamond grows for about a month.
- The diamonds are monitored closely and removed exactly when they’re the perfect size.
After the diamond is grown, it still has to be cut to a desired shape and polished to a shine. This requires a lot of expertise and know-how, with gem cutters working carefully to maximize each rough diamond’s potential. Then it needs to be placed in a setting and turned into a piece of jewelry. All of these combined production costs are reflected in the high price for a diamond.
Lab Diamonds May Still Be Cheaper When You Look at Equivalent Mined Diamonds
When comparing diamonds, most people just make statements like “lab created gems are $1,800 per carat while mined gems are $1,500 per carat.” This does not provide an accurate comparison however. Man made diamonds in Australia are basically grown in ideal conditions. They do not have uneven temperature ranges, mineral inclusions, or other things that can lead to flaws and off-colors. Instead, they tend to be crystal clear and fiery white, even in larger carat sizes.
This higher quality is reflected in the price of lab made diamonds. Most diamonds are valued based on things like their color and potential inclusions. Since lab diamonds are missing flaws, they can command a higher price. Larger naturally created diamonds almost always have flaws. Therefore, it can be hard to even find an equivalent diamond when comparing prices. A natural diamond may have the same cut and carat weight as a lab grown diamond, but it typically has far more flaws.
As you can see, lab-created diamonds typically have the quality and beauty to command fairly high prices. The main benefit of getting these diamonds is that you can ensure they are ethically sourced and completely flawless. Though the price might be a little higher than expected, it is still worth investing in these beautiful, high-quality gems.