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The general image of an engagement ring is a beautiful solitaire ring that boasts a large natural diamond right in the center. This is, of course, the kind of ring that every woman dreams of wearing when she is proposed to, but the reality of the situation is that real diamonds cost a lot of money, and not everybody can afford a high-quality diamond ring or spectacular piece of diamond jewelry.

If you don't think that you would be able to buy a showstopping earth-mined diamond engagement ring to present to your partner when you pop that huge question, don't worry. The dream isn't over. 

There is a wonderful alternative to traditional diamonds, and that is lab-created diamonds.

Lab diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, cultured diamonds or synthetic diamonds, are fast becoming the number one diamond alternative.

What Are Lab-Created Diamonds?

Laboratory-grown diamonds are made by one of two industrial processes. Both methods mimic the intense heat and pressure that creates natural diamonds deep in the Earth's crust.

High-Pressure High-Temperature Method: Developed in the 1950s, the HPHT process begins with a diamond seed being placed in a press/growth chamber together with a high-purity carbon source. The chamber is treated to extreme heat (temperatures of 1300-1600 °C) and pressure above 870,000 per square inch. This causes the release of carbon atoms which settle in layers on the seed, growing into a synthetic diamond.

Chemical Vapor Deposition Process: Dating from the 1980s, the CVD process starts with a carbon seed crystal in a vacuum-sealed chamber that is flooded with carbon-rich gases. When the chamber is heated to temperatures of +1500° Fahrenheit, the gases turn into plasma causing carbon atoms to be discharged which cling to the seed forming layers to eventually create a diamond.  

Both methods produce high-quality stones and in both, trace elements can be introduced to produce colored diamonds. 

Are Lab-Made Diamonds Real?

Emphatically, yes!

The traditional diamond industry may not be too happy but bodies like the Gemological Institute of America report and grade lab-made diamonds in exactly the same way as their natural counterparts. A man-made stone always has a diamond certification. 

They are far from being fake diamonds. Cubic Zirconia are fake diamonds!

Man-made diamonds and earth-mined diamonds share exactly the same physical properties. They also share the same optical properties.  

The only difference is that mined diamonds are formed in the earth over a vast period of time by a natural process whereas synthetic diamonds are created in a much shorter time frame using advanced technologies and specialized equipment. 

Reasons to Choose Lab-Grown Diamonds

Because they are the same, there is a growing market for lab-grown diamonds and there are benefits to choosing lab-grown diamonds over naturally-mined diamonds.

Before you begin the buying process, it's important to know a little about diamond certification. 

All diamonds are graded on the 4Cs - cut, carat, clarity and color.

Each of the 4 Cs has a graduating scale and the higher up the scale, the higher the price. It also means that a buyer can play off the 4Cs against each other to purchase the best stone for their budget.

Any reputable jeweler will be happy to explain the certification process, the 4Cs and diamond reports and also advise how to compensate higher grades of one against another depending on what feature matters most to you. 

 Guaranteed High Quality

One of the best benefits of lab-made diamonds is a guarantee of high quality. 

Perfect diamonds are extremely rare. Most rough diamonds have inclusions (impurities in the carbon crystal that causes marks, shadows, alterations in colors, etc). The expert diamond cutter will decide on how best to shape the diamond to maximize its 4Cs.

Inclusions are an effect of natural diamond formation. Lab diamonds are made in sterile conditions and a controlled environment so the risk of impurities contaminating the carbon is minimal. Lab-created stones have far fewer defects and imperfections, meaning they can be much whiter and much brighter than earth-mined diamonds.

They Are More Affordable

There is no getting away from the fact that real diamonds of a decent carat size have a luxury price tag. The most marvelous thing about lab-grown stones is that they offer extreme quality at a much more affordable price. 

On average, the cost of a man-made diamond is 40 to 60% cheaper than its natural counterpart of equal weight and quality. 

The greater affordability means you might be able to consider an increased carat size or choose a higher clarity or color closest to perfect white. You can think about being able to afford a better quality base metal for the band, or perhaps even look into buying a loose diamond and having a custom design ring.

They Are A Guilt Free Option

Though purchasing a diamond ring in a jewelry store or online can feel like a very clean and sterile experience, the reality of the diamond's journey to the store can be very different.

There are stories of child labor, poor working conditions and plenty of other ethical issues surrounding blood diamonds that is starting, for some, to become too prevalent to overlook in today's society. 

Undoubtedly, the most ethical diamonds on the market are those that are grown in the lab, as they are guaranteed to not be traced back to overworked or underpaid miners in unsafe conditions or to diamond mining companies with a history of human rights violations or trading with criminal warlords. 

If making responsible choices is something that is very important to you, then opting for a lab-grown diamond over an earth-mined stone is the best decision. 

They Are Environmentally Friendly

Not only is a lab-grown diamond the best ethical option, it is also the best alternative to diamond mining in terms of environmental impact.

Diamond mines' holes are some of the largest dug holes in the world. They also require massive amounts of energy produced by fossil fuels to keep the machinery and operation going. Add the fact that trees and natural environments need to be sacrificed to create the mines and you can see how negative the diamond mining business can be on an eco level. Even if diamond mining companies adopt a conscientious expanse and try to fill in spent holes or reclaim the land, the damage has already been done and biodiversity may have recklessly been damaged beyond recovery. 

Lab-grown diamonds are created within laboratory environments with nowhere near the same impact on the wider world. They are vegan, a lot of them are made with renewable energy and they are overall just a more sustainable option that can make a real difference.

You Can Choose Different Colors

The price of natural diamonds in colors other than white can be cost-prohibitive. The process of creating colored versions of lab diamonds is quite a simple one - trace elements are introduced and because the amount can be controlled, all sorts of color levels are achievable. 

Colored diamonds are a fun and trendy way to add a modern twist to a classic engagement ring design and they are available at a reasonable price.  

They Are Real Diamonds!

To reiterate what was stated earlier, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds in every sense that actually matters!

Don't be fooled by the 'man-made' terminology. Even professionals are unable to tell the difference on many occasions. Many times, specialized equipment is required to pinpoint a stone's origin.

You may think there is a stigma to the idea of a stone that is not mined but if you choose it to be so, no one need know you have made the canny purchase of a lab-grown diamond. The diamond engagement ring you choose is going to be stunning and have the wonderful scintillation and brilliance you want regardless of the origin of its stones. No one you don't tell will ever be able to tell the difference between a natural diamond and a synthetic diamond. 

Global Rings Jewelry has an exceptional range of diamond engagement rings with lab-grown and natural stones. We have existing stocks but also offer a custom design service

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