Engagement rings have a great deal of symbolic significance for couples. It represents their commitment to each other and also their willingness to move forward in life together. Because of this, you have to choose a ring that’s ideal for your lover.
Diamonds have always been the most popular option for engagement rings. Yet, for some people, the ethical concerns associated with mined diamonds may be unappealing. Hence, many opt for synthetic or lab-grown diamonds when it comes to the engagement ring.
What are lab-grown diamonds?
A laboratory-grown diamond is developed in a regulated laboratory environment using procedures that mirror the planet’s natural intense heat and pressure characteristics. Moreover, diamonds made in the laboratory are quite close to real diamonds.
How is it created?
The majority of geologists believe that mined diamonds developed between one and three billion years ago. The process happened 100 miles below the Earth’s crust, when carbon dioxide was subjected to immense pressure after exposure to intense heat. Carbon atoms were compressed into diamonds and then moved upward through subterranean volcanic eruptions.
Today, scientists have developed two distinct techniques for replicating that phenomenon, which are the following:
- High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)
The HPHT technique is the first way to make synthetic diamonds, and it was first used in the 1950s. Moreover, aside from creating new ones, the HPHT method may also be applied to alter the hue of an existing diamond.
In this process, a tiny diamond seed is put in carbon to create an HPHT diamond. The small seed is subjected to tremendous heat and pressure, simulating the process through which natural diamonds develop underground. Then, the carbon in the seed melts to produce a diamond.
Furthermore, diamonds made from the HPHT method commonly have a yellowish color. This is because they’re formed in the presence of nitrogen. Additionally, they often include darker metallic specks. These metallic specks may aid experts in determining that the diamonds were generated in the laboratory.
- Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
CVD technique was developed in the 1980s. Moreover, this process is modeled after the formation of diamonds in nebular gas clouds. Additionally, this procedure utilizes less pressure and smaller machinery compared to the HPHT technique.
In the CVD technique, a diamond seed is placed in a vacuum-sealed chamber filled with carbon-rich gases. Then, the chamber is heated to about 1500°Farenheit. Due to the extraordinarily high temperatures, the gas transforms into plasma. This process results in the discharge of carbon atoms. Then, these carbon atoms cling to the diamond seed, gradually becoming a carbon diamond.
Why choose a lab-grown diamond ring?
1. Less expensive
With synthetic diamonds, you may receive a larger or better-quality diamond for the same price as you would with a naturally occurring diamond. Moreover, the cost of enhancing the carat, cut, clarity, or personalizing a lab-produced diamond is relatively low. If you compare the price of lab-grown vs. natural diamonds of the same grade, lab-grown ones are approximately 40% less costly than natural ones.
2. Guaranteed conflict-free
You’ve likely heard about ‘blood diamonds.’ This moniker was given to mined diamonds because they were used to fuel different conflicts and uprisings in Africa, where most of the natural diamonds originate.
Furthermore, there are ethical concerns involving unequal pay, inhumane labor practices, and breaches of human rights. All of these are significant ethical and humanitarian concerns that may be resolved by getting lab-grown diamonds instead of mined ones.
Apart from ethical breaches, the production process for natural diamonds is rather lengthy. For this reason, it’s considerably more difficult to confirm that the diamond you’re acquiring is ethically sourced. On the other hand, if you acquire a lab-grown diamond, you’ll know precisely where the gem came from.
While mined diamonds may seem beautiful, they have a significant negative impact on the environment. To begin, they need massive equipment and explosives that dig down into the soil, disrupt ecosystems, contaminate the water, leave the land useless, and generate literally tons of chemical waste.
Moreover, mined diamonds emit more than 125 pounds of carbon per carat. On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds emit just 6 pounds per carat. Additionally, naturally mined diamonds emit more than 30 pounds of sulfur oxide, but synthetic diamonds emit none.
Furthermore, a traditionally mined diamond requires around 126 liters of water. In contrast, laboratory-grown diamonds need just 18 gallons of water. Additionally, a large portion of the energy utilized to generate lab-grown diamonds is sustainable.
In addition, since diamond mines are among the world’s biggest man-made excavations, they’ve had significant effects on the planet’s ecosystems. However, unlike mined diamonds, synthetic diamonds are manufactured in a controlled facility and have a minimum environmental footprint.
4. Real diamonds
Diamonds made in the laboratory are identical to natural diamonds. They’re composed entirely of pristine crystalline carbon in the isometric cubic structure. This means diamonds generated in laboratories and natural diamonds have identical chemical, visual, and physical qualities.
Moreover, lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled setting under parameters comparable to those found in nature. While laboratory-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in most aspects, diamond substitutes are not. Substitutes like cubic zirconia are very sparkly and popular. However, they lack the chemical and refractive indices of diamonds, hence they’re significantly less costly.
5. Unique and stylish
As with mined diamonds, synthetic diamonds lend themselves to a multitude of modern design possibilities. You may get lab-produced diamonds in a variety of cuts, shapes, and sizes. Moreover, lab-produced diamonds may be put in just about any setting of your choice, providing you with a plethora of fashionable possibilities.
Hence, with lab-produced diamonds, you may get exactly what you want while also obtaining something distinctive and fashionable. In addition, the younger generation is increasingly gravitating toward lab-grown diamonds because they want the appearance and experience of a diamond engagement ring, but at an accessible price and without conflict.
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Overall, the choice to purchase an engagement ring made with a synthetic diamond is a subjective one. However, there are many individuals who don’t want to wear an engagement ring that might contain blood diamonds. Thus, lab-grown diamond engagement rings are a perfect alternative for those who want the same appearance but want to know that they were developed responsibly.
Moreover, choosing an engagement ring is also a matter of how much money you have to spend. A superior ring for the same or less money may be possible using lab-grown diamonds. In the end, what matters most is choosing a diamond that both you and your fiancée appreciate and that you can afford.