The Ultimate Guide To Lab Created Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds are 100% diamonds, sharing the same chemical composition, optical properties and hardness as mined diamonds. Interested? Read on whilst we explore the virtues of this stunning ethical diamond choice

Why Lab Grown Diamonds?

Ethical & Sustainable

Lab grown diamonds are produced in a laboratory and no mining is required.

Exceptional Value

Excellent value, lab created diamonds are more affordable than mined diamonds.

Fully Certified

Identical to a mined diamond with the same chemical composition and certified as a diamond.

What are lab created diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds are 100% diamonds, sharing the same chemical composition, optical properties and hardness as mined diamonds.

The only point of difference compared to a mined diamond is the origin. A man made diamond is "grown" under controlled conditions in a laboratory, using advanced technology that replicates the growing process of a mined diamond.

Lab grown diamonds are made up of actual carbon atoms, arranged in the same characteristic diamond crystal structures as natural diamonds. Thus, they perform and exhibit the same brilliance and sparkle as a mined diamond.

Every lab diamond Lily Arkwright set is fully certified and accompanied by an industry standard GIA, IGI or GCAL grading report, including the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight specifications.  

 

Some of our favourites

Shop our stunning collections of lab created Engagement Rings.

Ethical and sustainable

The other major benefit of choosing a diamond grown in the lab is its ethical and sustainable credentials, which is one of the primary reasons for its growing popularity. Unlike traditional mined diamonds, lab grown jewellery has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and all of the ethical implications that are often involved with mining practices are eliminated.
The statistic that an estimated 80 tonnes of earth are moved in order to remove a single carat of diamond is cast in stark relief when compared with the sheer quantity of diamond removed from the planet - there were on average 148 million carats mined in 2018 alone. That’s a lot of earth! The energy needed to produce lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, is a fraction of the size.

 

mountain scape ethical jewellery

Photo Reference: Nathanael Desmeules on Unsplash

Photo Reference: The Diamond Foundry Loose Diamonds

 

The ethical implications of mining are unfortunately another reason why some choose lab grown diamonds. Some diamond mines employ workers in unsafe conditions and on low wages, and can fund violent groups and conflicts. The Kimberley process is a certification scheme which aims to prevent diamonds from entering the jewellery market that legitimises and funds these practices. Whilst the scheme has been a huge help in safeguarding, its ability to eradicate conflict diamonds accurately has been called into question, as the process only follows diamonds up until they are cut, with the remaining legs of the journey still going unrecorded. Because lab grown diamonds cut out the entire process surrounding mining, there are no such issues that arise.

 

 

 

 

In fact, the traceability and transparency when purchasing a lab grown diamond is another major reason why some are choosing to buy them. As there are so many different people and processes involved in traditional mining there is a real issue when it comes to knowing exactly where a mined diamond has originated from; not only this but diamonds are often reset into new jewellery further obscuring and adding to this lack of transparency. This is not the case with grown diamonds, all diamonds that come to us from the lab are fully certified and easy to trace.

 

Cost

 

One of the significant differences when considering lab grown and mined diamond would be the price difference between the two, lab grown diamonds cost around 30% less than their mined counterparts. All of our rings also come with a 30 day returns policy, have a 12 month warranty, and have free and insured global shipping.

 

 

How are lab diamonds made?

We work with a number of different world-leading laboratories to source our high quality lab grown diamonds, all of which are accompanied by a GIA, IGI or GCAL certificate. The process is very similar to how mined diamonds are formed, one takes place naturally within the earth's crust, whilst the other takes place under controlled conditions within a laboratory.

The lab grown diamond manufacturing process replicates conditions that mimic the natural diamond creation process, subjecting carbon to extreme temperatures and pressures.

There are two different methods used to produce lab diamonds, High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Deposition (CVD).

HPHT - A diamond seed is added to a piece of carbon, the carbon is then pressured to over one million pounds per square inch and heated to temperatures in excess of 1,400 degrees celsius. The carbon begins to form around the diamond seed which is then cooled.

CVD - Similar to HPHT, a small diamond seed is placed inside a sealed chamber, this is heated in excess of 700 degrees celsius and mixed with carbon gases such as methane and hydrogen. Through ionisation plasma is formed resulting in carbon and a new diamond. Heat or irradiation treatments can then be used to enhance the diamonds colour if required. Lily Arkwright are proud to partner with the Diamond Foundry who produce all their lab diamonds via this particular method.

Typically either process takes less than a month to complete and after this, similar to natural diamonds, cutting and polishing takes place to achieve that special sparkle.

 

Why should I choose lab grown diamond?

 

Here at Lily Arkwright we believe this is an easy choice, shop smart, save money and embrace ethical lab grown diamonds.

Choosing a lab grown diamond has a number of advantages over mined diamonds. The environmental impact is much reduced, mined diamonds have a huge impact upon environments, landscapes and communities. It can take in excess 80 tonnes of earth to locate a 1.0ct diamond.

Whilst not all mining is exploitative, why take the chance? All our lab grown diamonds are certified and accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gem Certificate and Assurance Labs (GCAL) or a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificate. You can have complete peace of mind no individual, family or community have been displaced, violated or harmed whilst producing your ring.

 

 

Every lab grown diamond we set is better value than a comparable mined diamonds, simply put, you can choose a bigger or higher quality stone for your budget. Each lab diamond is graded in the same fashion as a mined diamond utilising the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight.

Our lab grown diamonds are an amazing option for those who still want the classic and characteristic sparkle of a diamond ring. The advantages are huge, and the price difference alone should make it a consideration. The number and variety of options available when trying to decide on an engagement ring is vast, and the growing popularity of lab grown diamonds and moissanite shows that a move away from traditional mined diamonds is on the horizon.

 

Common myths

 

Lab grown diamonds are not as hard as the mined stones

  1. This is untrue, as they have the same chemical composition, both lab grown and mined diamonds would score a 10 on the mohs scale of hardness (which measures the scratch resistance of a mineral). In fact because diamond is the hardest substance on earth, diamonds used in manufacturing in drilling, cutting and grinding make up a large portion of the market with diamond jewellery only making up around 30%. This sturdiness is one of the reasons why diamonds make great engagement rings, they are utterly durable for everyday wear.

  2. Lab grown diamonds do not test as ‘real’ diamonds
  3. Both lab grown and mined diamond have the same composition, so this is inaccurate. Only specialist equipment can be used to discern any difference and any contrast cannot be seen with the naked eye.

  4. Lab grown diamonds get cloudy over time
  5. No, just like mined diamonds lab grown diamonds do not go cloudy. There can be a build-up of dirt over time but this is easily cleaned.
  6.  
  7. Lab grown diamonds are yellow
  8. This is false, when the technology was new and diamonds were just beginning to be grown, there was a yellow or brown colour to the diamond. In the last few years especially, science has come along allowing for much less coloured gemstones.
  9.  
Lab grown diamond engagement ring

How are diamonds graded?

 

Known as the 4 C’s, there are four criteria by which diamonds are graded and this is also the case for the lab grown variety.

The first criteria on which a diamond is graded is on the cut of gemstone, which does not refer to the overall shape, but the proportions and ratios of a stone’s facets. All diamonds offered by Lily Arkwright are ideally cut and all our rings are crafted by our goldsmiths here in the UK, making sure that your engagement ring is as beautiful as it can possibly be.

The second criteria on which diamonds are graded is their colour. The system that grades colour ranges from D-Z, and diamonds certified as D-F are described as colourless with only their brightnesses telling them apart. G-H are near colourless with no noticeable colour when viewed from above, and only very slight colour visible when turned upside down, any sign of actual colour should only really start from I.

 

 

Diamond Colour Chart

 

The clarity of a diamond refers to the number and size of inclusions that are present in the stone, a cheaper diamond is one which has a large amount of these imperfections. They are present in lab grown diamonds as well because the process of growing a completely flawless gemstone is very difficult. The range over which clarity is measured begins at IF (internally flawless) and finishes at I (Included), where there will be a number of inclusions spread throughout the stone. The majority of lab grown diamonds are often graded VVS (very very slightly included) or VS (very slightly included), making for an incredibly clear stone.

The last criteria on which diamonds are graded is their carat, which refers to the weight of a stone and not its size, as is commonly thought. Diamonds can actually look bigger or smaller depending on how they have been cut; a wide diameter stone which is shallow could have the same carat as a stone that is deeper with a smaller diameter. All Lily Arkwright diamonds are cut to ideal proportions to ensure the maximum amount of sparkle and fire possible, and come in a full range of sizes.

 

 

Diamond Clarity Chart

GCAL certificate example

We are fully certified

 

All lab grown diamonds offered by Lily Arkwright come fully certified to international standards and are accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gem Certificate and Assurance Labs (GCAL) or a Gemological Insitute of America (GIA) certificate, which includes the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight specifications.

The IGI is a global leader for jewellery assessment; and they have vast amounts of experience and reach. Renowned for diamonds and coloured gemstones, they protect buyers by evaluating and grading finished jewellery. Our other assessor, the GCAL are again world acclaimed for their unique suite of certification, identification, and valuation for diamonds, gemstones, and jewellery. Finally the GIA is a non-profit organisation and world leader in jewellery assessment and research. It is their grading system, the 4C's, which is universally used to examine diamonds and determine quality.

 

Celebrity endorsements

 

The rising popularity of lab grown diamonds is not only amongst the general population but also has many celebrity backers. In 2015, when Leonardo DiCaprio came out as an investor in the diamond foundry, diamonds grown in a lab were only just beginning to be made widely available and even in the last few years the technology involved has come along leaps and bounds. From Meghan Markle to Emma Watson, lots of celebrities have begun to appreciate the benefits that lab grown diamonds can offer.

For example, Penelope Cruz released a jewellery collection in 2019 which featured gemstones that had all been grown in the lab, including diamonds. She even wore her some on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival demonstrating how gorgeous and luxurious these gemstones can be.

 

@penelopecruzoficial on Instagram

 

 

Meghan Markle has also been seen sporting lab grown diamonds when she wore earrings studded with the gems. Take a look at our earring collection for our own range, including the Scarlett Set which feature two elegant pear cut gemstones. If you need any more information regarding our earrings, you can contact us via our email on hello@lilyarkwright.com.  

 

 

@diabonworld on Instagram

 

 

Bindi Irwin, the conservationist and daughter of Steve Irwin, got engaged in 2019 and the ring that her fiance chose features a huge lab created diamond. The fact that the lab grown diamond can reflect her life and work in conservation is wonderful, and we offer a ring alike to Bindi’s in our Eden ring. A twist on a classic quite literally in its vine-like design, coming in a range of metals have a look at our rose gold version here.

 

 

@bindisueirwin on Instagram

Lab grown diamond rings offered by Lily Arkwright

 

We offer an array of different options when it comes to lab grown diamonds, and our most popular is the Grace solitaire. The clean design and classic beauty of this ring is unparalleled and offers couples an elegant option. You can see an example of the Grace in the featured image opposite. Coming in a range of precious metals, the Grace solitaire’s four prong mount is constructed to allow as much light as possible through the centre stone, making sure that the diamond showcases its maximum sparkle. This particular ring can be seen in a recent Telegraph article on where to buy an engagement ring online.

 

 

Another of our gorgeous rings is the Macy, which when paired with a lab grown diamond looks truly stunning. The oval cut version of this ring, as seen in the picture, makes for an ideal centrepiece stone with timeless style, and the four prong setting and micro pavé band really demonstrates how much this ring glitters. Again coming in a variety of precious metals, it is worth noting that all our jewellery is UK hallmarked. Hallmarking is a centuries-old practice in the UK, and verifies the purity of the precious metal content. Jewellery cannot be described as gold, silver or platinum without an independent, third party assuring buyers of the quality of the piece they are purchasing. To read more about hallmarking and why we are such a trusted online retailer, have a read through our blog post on being Assay Assured.

 

Macy Lab grown diamond 0.94ct ring

 

The Eden is a beautiful engagement ring with vine-like detailing on the band and is a twist on the classic solitaire. This ring is for those who want a delicate and refined option with some modern variation, and pairs wonderfully with the Ivy eternity band, as in the image (which also features another winding vine design, complete with many round cut diamonds). We are proud Assay Assured retailers and members of the National Association of Jewellers, who are a professional membership body made up of thousands of UK jewellery traders that have a strict compliance policy. We are assessed by an independent third party, giving our customers the assurance that our quality is outstanding.

 


Visit our UK showroom

If you need any more guidance on the moissanite ranges or have any queries regarding your engagement ring or other jewellery we offer, please get in touch with us on our email hello@lilyarkwright.com or call us on 0161 537 6773.

You can also book a one-on-one consultation at our UK showroom to see what our rings look like in real life or have a virtual showroom appointment with one of JET trained jewellery consultants who can show and talk you through our different options.

 

Viola Custom Engagement ring rose gold Lily Arkwright

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