Lab grown Diamonds - Thoughts?

May 3, 2020
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226
Opinions / thoughts on lab grown diamonds?
Are they worth it?
What should I be on the lookout for?

I don’t really know much about them except that it is now growing in popularity and a cheaper alternative.
I have both diamond necklace and lab grown diamond necklace.
My Tiffany DBTY is my favorite piece ever that I’ve had for years. However when I looked at yellow gold equivalent the prices were much higher so found a lab grown alternative. I justified it as I don’t want to spend “too much” on yellow gold as I gravitate more for wg/silver. I wear yellow rarely.

So far so good, but it was a hasty purchase (unlike me) and now when looking at diamond pieces the affordable pieces are all lab grown. Some pieces look really nice, but don’t know about how long lasting they are or anything.
What do you think?
 

mewt

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Apr 18, 2011
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Lab diamonds are chemically the same, with identical physical, optical, etc properties. They are literally real diamonds.

Cut is King, so that's the only thing I'd be on the lookout for in a nice diamond, regardless of how it was grown.

Btw "worth it" is very subjective. I think lab diamonds are "worth" about the same as a natural diamond in terms of enjoyment derived, beauty, and potential resale value (as in, not good--unless you have some rare, huge, fancy Hope diamond).
 

daisy913

Member
Apr 26, 2019
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A lab grown diamond, at the end of the day, is a real diamond. It will be as tough and as long lasting as a natural diamond. If you're talking about settings and styles, I would evaluate them just as you would natural diamond pieces. Look for pieces with quality craftsmanship.

I only have one lab-grown piece, and the rest are natural. I wish more fashion-forward jewelry was made with lab diamonds. I don't want to pay thousands of dollars for H/I I2 stones, and I would rather pay for lab stones than treated ones. Lab diamonds are more affordable, but they're still a hefty price for plenty of people, so I don't really think of lab diamonds as devauling the market or notion of "exclusivity."

As mentioned above, if you're concerned about resale value, unless you have a truly flawless and colorless natural diamond that is cut to perfect proportions, all your diamonds will have "so-so" resale value, natural or lab.
 

Egel

Member
Mar 9, 2020
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If you go to a jeweler the lighting being reflected from lab grown and natural diamonds are different. I find myself making a comparison between a pretty bag and a premier designer bag. Sometimes you just want to wear something for a couple of times per year. It's not money well spend to go for the premier option. Even though some people say that they might sell when needed.

If you don't want to spend to much on yellow gold but you do want the look, either go for lab grown diamonds or buy real diamonds from a jeweler. If you buy jewelry from a premier designer you also pay a premier price for the design, not for the diamonds.

If you still want real diamonds but not pay full price, you can also look at somewhat cloudy diamonds. You pay more for flawless diamonds. There is also a difference between flawed diamonds. Some flawed diamonds, the flaws can only be seen under a magnifying glass. Not with the naked eye. And some even more flawed diamonds the flaws can be seen with the naked eye, but only when someone is really knowledgeable about the subject.
 
May 3, 2020
112
226
Thank you, this is helpful.
Last poster, this is the thing, no one will know it’s a diamond or not unless someone is knowledgeable in the area. The only satisfaction of knowing whether it is natural diamond or lab diamond is gained only to the wearer. I think I am agnostic to this. I think greater satisfaction lies with the $$ saved so perhaps I will look into lab diamonds (when I have the funds of course).

Lab diamonds are chemically the same, with identical physical, optical, etc properties. They are literally real diamonds.

Cut is King, so that's the only thing I'd be on the lookout for in a nice diamond, regardless of how it was grown.

Btw "worth it" is very subjective. I think lab diamonds are "worth" about the same as a natural diamond in terms of enjoyment derived, beauty, and potential resale value (as in, not good--unless you have some rare, huge, fancy Hope diamond).
Yes, when I say “worth it” I am always thinking in terms of long lasting and whether I will get the enjoyment out of it in years time. Not potential resale value, as you said it is subjective so what value I think something is worth is not the same to others, especially when it comes to preloved items. As far as I am concerned I don’t look at resale value, I always think of anything I buy will lose money when resold. I don’t buy things to resell, I rarely buy things (luxury) and so when I do I only think of whether it will last in 10-40 years and or I can pass it on.
 

cbarrus

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Oct 9, 2006
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I do not believe that any jewelery is worth what we are asked to pay. Jewelery is sold with emotion and not logic, and the markup is ridiculous. As far as a lab-grown diamond versus a natural one, no one will know but you and your jeweller. I have a limit to what I will pay for anything without a roof, lol. Having said that, I do not own any lab grown diamonds to comment on durability, but I do own some moissanite pieces that still look great after many years. If you do not want to spend top dollar for the look then I would certainly look at diamond alternatives. All of my "diamond" stud earrings are CZs because I have a bad habit of losing earrings, lol. Even these have lasted for years and are set in 14k.
 

papertiger

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May 23, 2009
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I value natural over lab because it is natural, created over millions of years and an a chain of chemical/pressure accidents.

Lab diamonds are real, pretty and cheaper (but not quite as ethical/sustainable as marketers would have us to believe) and yet they don't mean anything to me at all except decoration along with synthetic rubies, composite turquoise or dyed corral.
 

cbarrus

Authenticator
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Oct 9, 2006
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Although I understand the draw of a natural diamond versus synthetic, real diamonds are certainly not without issues. Thus the relatively new marketing of "conflict-free" diamonds. So, as with anything, buy what you are willing to afford and know that you will be happy with your purchase.
 

Canturi lover

Member
Dec 13, 2015
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While they do have the same chemical properties of a natural diamond they are not identical. How they are grown plays a huge part in how they will look. They can have strain lines and growths. IMHO the price for lab grown will continue to fall now that both China and India have started production.
 

sonicxml

Member
May 1, 2015
390
453
Since they are chemically identical, lab grown diamonds will last. However, for designs like DBTY, the stones are usually smaller so the price difference between a lab diamond and a natural diamond will not be that much. Essentially you are paying for the cut, design, craftsmanship, and gold rather than the stone itself. Moreover, as the lab stones are cheaper, I would not expect the pieces to be as well-made as the ones with natural stones.

I feel that right now the lab diamonds are best for pave designs that need a lot of stones but not too much of craftsmanship/ideal cutting, e.g. tennis bracelet. The price for larger lab grown stones will probably continue to fall as the technology advances.
 

FunBagz

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Apr 15, 2015
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Sunny Florida
While they do have the same chemical properties of a natural diamond they are not identical. How they are grown plays a huge part in how they will look. They can have strain lines and growths. IMHO the price for lab grown will continue to fall now that both China and India have started production.
Agree with all this. In addition to the growths and staining, which can cause haziness or transparency issues, lab growns can also have an unnatural blue tint generally not seen in natural diamonds. Also, the environmental impact of lab growns is still not fully known, so the jury is still out on that. And with the new labs popping up, there the market will likely be flooded and prices for lab growns will likely continue to fall. So lots of things to consider with lab growns.
 

pammbw

O.G.
Nov 7, 2007
251
1,161
I am a big fan of lab grown diamonds and lab grown gemstones in general. The technology fascinates me. There are arguments both ways as far as environmental concerns go. I bought lab diamonds because I didn't want to contribute to the corrupt diamond industry, a lab stone is more mind clean to me.

I draw some parallels between the cultured pearl industry and the natural pearl industry. Yes natural pearls are more expensive/valuable but cultured pearls are a more beautiful and accessible product. Cultured pearls make up 99% of the pearl business nowadays probably because natural pearl producers didn't have the marketing and PR juggernaut that diamonds do. Cultured pearls are simply a better product, visually and environmentally.

The only reason we are even having this conversation is because DeBeers has drilled it into our heads that natural diamonds are better. They have fought off every diamond simulant that has come along with great success, even though CZ and moissanite are beautiful and durable stones and are great diamond alternatives.

Some folks simply don't think something is good unless they spend a lot of money on it. Marketing matters!
 

sonicxml

Member
May 1, 2015
390
453
I am a big fan of lab grown diamonds and lab grown gemstones in general. The technology fascinates me. There are arguments both ways as far as environmental concerns go. I bought lab diamonds because I didn't want to contribute to the corrupt diamond industry, a lab stone is more mind clean to me.

I draw some parallels between the cultured pearl industry and the natural pearl industry. Yes natural pearls are more expensive/valuable but cultured pearls are a more beautiful and accessible product. Cultured pearls make up 99% of the pearl business nowadays probably because natural pearl producers didn't have the marketing and PR juggernaut that diamonds do. Cultured pearls are simply a better product, visually and environmentally.

The only reason we are even having this conversation is because DeBeers has drilled it into our heads that natural diamonds are better. They have fought off every diamond simulant that has come along with great success, even though CZ and moissanite are beautiful and durable stones and are great diamond alternatives.

Some folks simply don't think something is good unless they spend a lot of money on it. Marketing matters!
I like the parallel between cultured pearls and man made diamonds. Marketing definitely matters – the victory of Mikimoto in the Paris trial really built the reputation of cultured pearls as well as the brand, and that’s probably one of the main reason Mikimoto can charge a high premium. I think DeBeer’s launch of the Lightbox line is a smart marketing move – taking advantage of its presence in the mined diamond industry and quickly occupying the man made market with the lowest price.
 

pammbw

O.G.
Nov 7, 2007
251
1,161
I like the parallel between cultured pearls and man made diamonds. Marketing definitely matters – the victory of Mikimoto in the Paris trial really built the reputation of cultured pearls as well as the brand, and that’s probably one of the main reason Mikimoto can charge a high premium. I think DeBeer’s launch of the Lightbox line is a smart marketing move – taking advantage of its presence in the mined diamond industry and quickly occupying the man made market with the lowest price.
Yes I agree that Lightbox was a brilliant move for DeBeers; they have their foot in both markets but have positioned MMD squarely in the fashion jewelry niche, preserving their hold on the engagement market.