Summer 2024

Lab Grown or Natural: Can you tell the difference?

By Dominique & Maxine, LaGravinese Jewelers of Pelham

When lab-grown diamonds first became popular most people were very skeptical. Is it a real diamond? Can anybody tell them apart? What is their real value? What is your opinion on them? These are just a few of the questions that we were frequently asked. 

They are in fact “real” diamonds. The only differences are how they are made and what they cost. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled laboratory by simulating the combination of heat and pressure that is necessary to form a natural diamond in the earth’s crust. A process that can take up to three billion years. Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical composition and physical appearance as a natural diamond making it almost impossible to tell the difference without the proper equipment. 

Since they have the same growth process, there are still variations of quality in lab-grown diamonds, and they can be certified by the same institutions that grade natural diamonds.

In the last couple of years, we have seen a significant increase in the interest and sales of Lab-grown diamonds, not just for engagement rings but jewelry pieces as well. There are a few reasons why someone would opt for lab-grown vs natural. There is no concern about how ethically they are sourced as they are created in a controlled laboratory environment. Many clients explore this option for that reason alone. Lab-grown diamonds have provided another option for those who would have gone with a moissanite or other simulant to ensure that they are wearing a conflict-free stone. 

Another reason they are so popular is that due to Lab-grown diamonds being a man-controlled supply/demand the cost of them is significantly less than a natural. Consumers can get a much higher carat weight and/or quality for their budget. The beauty, appeal, and romance are maintained for a fraction of the cost. The bad news is that, although the resale value of a natural diamond isn’t very strong (usually about a third to a half of its value,) Lab-grown diamonds hold very little to no resale value. They are in no way an investment piece. When deciding between lab-grown vs natural there is no right choice. It is important to know the facts, consider your budget, and discuss your significant other’s preferences. 

La Gravinese Pelham
99 Fifth Ave, Pelham, NY 10803
Phone: (914) 738-0263