May 19, 2021 6 min read
We've recently expanded our online selection of gold and diamond rings, and we'd like to highlight why we only work with lab-grown diamonds.
Over the past few years, one of the most prominent trends in the jewellery sector has been the emergence of man-made diamonds. They are made through a process known as "chemical vapour deposition", or CVD. During this process, a thin ‘seed’ diamond is placed inside a sealed chamber and subjected to extremely high temperatures. Then, a carbon-rich gas mixture is introduced into the chamber. The gases are ionized to break down their molecular bonds, allowing the pure carbon to attach itself to the diamond seed. As the carbon builds up, it forms atomic bonds with the seed diamond, resulting in the growth of a new, larger diamond. Estimates vary, but it is generally considered to take about a month to grow a 1ct CVD diamond.
Aside from CVD, lab-grown diamonds can also be made through the high-pressure high-temperature or HPHT process. With this process, stones are subjected to temperatures up to 2,600 degrees in labs to imitate the natural occurrence that creates natural diamonds. Compared to the CVD process, HPHT is costlier because it requires more energy, and the pieces of machinery are more expensive.
Although lab-grown diamonds are not made from the earth's crust like the traditional ones, they are not lesser diamonds. They have the exact same optical and chemical properties. Even experts with years of experience appraising diamonds can have a difficult time determining the difference between lab-grown and traditional diamonds.
What we like about lab-grown diamonds is that they have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds. Aside from that, they are better than traditional diamonds because of the following reasons:
It takes over 250 tonnes of shifted earth to get a single carat of the traditional diamond. It also accumulates over 510kg of carbon dioxide in the process for every single polished carat. Over time, this has taken a lot of toll on the environment, hence making lab-grown diamonds the more environmentally friendly options.
Furthermore, traditional diamond mining has been closely linked to water pollution. This is because the acid mine drainage pollutes water sources. Its lasting effect can affect locals for many generations.
It is reassuring to know that lab-grown diamonds are 100%, not blood diamonds. For the uninitiated, a "blood" diamond is also known as conflict diamonds. These are mined in conflict areas and are sold for the purpose of financing insurgency.
Many consumers nowadays are careful in the diamonds that they choose because of it. Having the peace of mind that lab-grown diamonds are nowhere associated with such bad intentions is great for consumers.
Since lab-grown diamonds have a shorter supply chain, the production cost is much cheaper. However, this does not mean that they are of lesser quality than the ones that are traditionally mined.
Remember, there is no difference in the quality and appearance of lab-grown and natural diamonds. In fact, some lab-grown diamonds are a little better than natural ones because scientists have full control of their growth conditions. They can recreate natural scenarios which make the best quality of diamond without waiting for hundreds of years.
Lab-grown diamonds can be cut according to your desired shape. Whether you want a pear, princess, or cushion cut, you can make it happen.
There are also options for the shades that you want. It can either be orange, blue, pink, and yellow. Generally, blue and pink diamonds are a better investment because they have the highest potential to appreciate in value as time goes by.
Without a doubt, lab-grown diamonds are ethically, environmentally, and economically better than naturally mined ones. There is also a wide range of selections for you to choose from in terms of shape and color of the stones.
Of course, CVD has its own set of environmental issues (principally its energy intensity) and to mitigate them we work only with suppliers who are members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). RJC is an international body, headquartered in London, that certifies fine jewellery product manufacturers and suppliers for responsible ethical, social, and environmental practices throughout their operations. Certification and membership requires an independent third party audit covering all aspects of operations, from supply chain and production to business ethics and employee health and safety.
When shopping for a lab-grown diamond, it is important to understand the 4 C’s of diamond quality. These include knowing the best cut, color, clarity, and carat weight to understand the diamond value you are investing in fully.
The diamond cut refers to the quality of the finishing details of a diamond, including its angle, symmetrical facets, and proportions. This is because these factors have a direct impact on how the diamond sparkles and its overall aesthetics.
Lab-grown diamonds can vary depending on the cutters and the source of the diamond. It is important to pay close attention to it because it is the biggest indicator of a diamond's beauty.
The diamond color is determined according to how transparent or white a diamond is. The prices of the diamonds are typically highly affected by this factor. In most cases, diamonds with similar colors through the naked eye may differ in price because the other has a higher rating.
To choose the higher quality color of a diamond, you should pay attention to whether it has any signs of tinting that interferes with the light reflections. If you are unsure of your own evaluation, consult an expert to assist you.
The clarity of a diamond is determined according to how clean it is. The blemishes and imperfection of the diamond can significantly interfere with how the light passes through. When this occurs, it can affect the overall beauty and brilliance of the diamond.
Ensure that a diamond is considered eye clean and does not have blemishes that affect the light reflection. It is best to ask an expert's opinion about whether it is eye clean or not because not many certifications indicate it in their reports.
There is a misconception that carat weight refers to the actual size of the diamond. However, it is not. The term "carat" is used to identify the diamond's weight and not how big it is. Typically, a 1-carat diamond weighs around 0.2 grams, which is also the same weight as a raisin.
The carat weight of your diamond should be a major consideration when choosing your jewelry. However, the cut, clarity, and color must be more important because they make your diamond look sparkly and beautiful.
Aside from the 4 C’s of the diamond quality, it is also important to remember that the setting of your jewelry can affect the diamond's overall look. Some settings can even mask the diamond color. For example, a white gold engagement ring can affect the diamond color by making the diamond look whiter despite having slight yellow tinting.
It is also important to make sure that your center diamond matches with your side stones. You will want all the stones to complement each other. It is recommended that stones that are slightly darker or match the color grade of your center stone make it look more white and sparkly.
We only source lab-grown diamonds from members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the global membership and standards body for responsible jewellery throughout the entire supply chain – from mine to retail. RJC's ‘Code of Practice’ references key development frameworks, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO Principles and UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about the RJC here.
We have a number of ready-made diamond rings in stock, but please don't feel constrained by what you see on our site. Since we create everything in house, you can customize many aspects of the rings you see on our site: the diamond size, shape, setting, and band metal. It would take about 3 weeks for us to custom design your ring.
If you're interested in this free, no-obligation service, simply schedule a virtual appointment with one of our consultants in Iceland, and we'll be very happy to advise you about all the options and show you our wider selection of rings which we have in our store.
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