The latest additions to York’s extensive online and in-store range are beautiful and enrapturing - lab grown diamonds.
To help you better understand these unique gemstones, and the York designs that feature them, here are the most burning questions clients have about lab grown diamonds.
How are lab grown diamonds made?
Lab grown diamonds are formed under conditions that mimic, as closely as possible, those of the natural variety.
They’re often made through a method known as ‘high-pressure, high-temperature’ (HPHT), which was first developed in 1954.
The process begins when a small diamond fragment (or seed crystal) is placed in a press along with a metal catalyst and a block of graphite. As intense heat and pressure are applied to the components, the metal shifts to a molten state. This allows it to transfer carbon atoms from the graphite to the seed crystal, where they slowly build the diamond structure.
It typically takes just under a month for the gemstone to reach full size. Once cooled, it’s then cut and polished just like any other, before being graded and eventually sold.
Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) is another common means of producing lab grown diamonds. While utilising similarly high temperatures as HPHT, it instead relies on carbon-rich gases to facilitate the transfer of carbon to the seed diamond. This results in gemstones that are particularly ‘pure’ - i.e. lacking the trace amounts of nitrogen and boron found in most mined and HPHT diamonds.
Are they the same quality as mined diamonds?
Don’t be fooled by the use of words like ‘synthetic’ when perusing lab grown diamonds - there’s nothing ‘fake’ or ‘tacky’ about them. In fact, the carbon structure of lab grown diamonds is identical to those that have been mined from the earth. Even qualified and experienced jewellers would be hard-pressed to discern the difference between comparable examples of the two.
Of course, the quality of all diamonds (including those produced in a lab) are judged according to the ‘Four Cs’; cut, colour, clarity, and carat. These factors vary greatly between stones, no matter their origin.
Are lab grown diamonds valuable?
A common misconception is that lab grown diamonds are somehow less valuable than their mined counterparts. The truth is, all stones of exceptional size, quality, rarity, or colour can hold investment value.
Some consumers opt for mined diamonds due to an appreciation for their age and scarcity, while others choose locally-made lab grown diamonds. There’s a growing market for both, and they can fetch similar amounts if resold at a later date.
Whether mined or lab grown, all diamonds can be of considerable sentimental significance when incorporated into a custom jewellery design.
Can you insure lab grown diamonds?
Like other forms of jewellery, lab grown diamonds can certainly be appraised and insured. In fact, it’s highly recommended that you do so to avoid disappointment if your piece is lost or damaged.
Where Can I Find Quality Lab Grown Diamonds?
York Jewellers now carry a stunning range of jewellery featuring lab grown diamonds. From engagement rings to earrings to pendants, there’s a captivating diamond design to suit any taste. If you’re looking for a more personal touch, our friendly and experienced jewellers are happy to arrange for a custom piece to be made. Simply book an appointment here.
When buying from York you can be assured that your jewellery will be of outstanding quality, regardless of the gemstones or metals you opt for. If you’d like to know more, peruse our blog, or get in touch with us in-store, online or via phone.