Key Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Purchase Lab-Grown Diamonds
For the past few years, lab-grown diamonds have gotten a lot of attention, hype, and even notoriety. Without the proper knowledge, the information circulating lab-grown diamonds seems harmless, better for the environment, easier on your wallet, and offers your conscience peace of mind. Let us tell you the truth about this ever-growing facade of information that the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in to squash and reveal the facts for consumers.
Scientists initially discovered the compilation of diamonds in the late 18th century. After determining that diamonds are made of pure carbon, scientists began developing methods in which to grow diamonds under artificial conditions. The perfect diamond-creating process was apparently developed in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that the process was determined proper and effective. It was then that artificial gem quality was put on the market for consumers.
Lab Creation Process, Intensive Labor, and Extensive Energy Use
There are 2 effective ways to produce, HPHT and CVD. HPHT stands for High-Pressure High-Temperature and CVD stands for Chemical Vapor Deposition. We can assume from the names of these methods that your wheels are turning a bit as neither of these creation methods appears to be energy friendly or environmentally friendly. Either method requires intensive manpower, time-intensive sensitive energy processes, and the use of a high-quality natural diamond fragment for EACH attempt because inclusions may become unstable and cause the “diamond” to explode.
High-Pressure High-Temperature is a process that involves the placing of a “seed” into a highly pressurized, heated mold where molten metal is dissolved into the mold onto the “seed”.
In order to create a “quality diamond” with HPHT:
- Machines need to run for at least 1 week to yield a 1-carat diamond.
- Titanium or aluminum is needed to produce pure white “diamonds”.
- Nickel and nitrogen cause a brown color and boron causes a blue color.
You can do some simple math to see how much energy and labor is involved.
The Chemical Vapor Deposition method requires the insertion of carbon-based gasses into a chamber. The chamber then energizes the carbon and provides ample growing conditions to create the “diamond”. CVD is complex and the process is not energy efficient nor environmentally friendly.
CVD method requires:
- Extremely pure, carbon-rich gasses- like methane, in order to work properly.
- Gasses are to be heated at extremely high temperatures to break the gasses completely apart.
- Carbon atoms must break away and fall into a diamond substrate.
- Time is involved (a lot of it)
- Carbon atoms must layer and layer resulting in a crude diamond crystal.
Did we mention this takes time (a lot of time) to complete? We are talking about 2-2.5 months to create ONE gemstone-quality “diamond.”
Natural Vs Lab
Many natural diamonds that circulate today are not “new”. A lot of them are distributed by a diamond re-seller who sells diamonds that are considered vintage and pre-owned.
- There are even diamonds that are conflict free if that is a concern for buyers; ie: Canada is a seller of strictly conflict-free diamonds.
- A lot of (3rd world) countries rely on their mines to create income for their homeland as well as their families- it is a way of living for a lot of people.
- Lab-created diamonds use exorbitant amounts of energy, metals, gasses, and expensive equipment.
- Lab-created diamonds also require extensive amounts of labor to operate and conduct.
- Lab-created diamonds still require mining for metals and gasses.
They may seem like a safer, guilt-free alternative, but that is not the case.
- Lab diamonds can cost less money, but that is also because they are replaceable.
- Lab-created diamonds are as disposable as a flat screen tv.
- Natural diamonds are alluring because they are, well, natural, and were created under natural pressures and natural environmental circumstances when the earth formed.
- More diamonds could be produced naturally should an asteroid or meteor hit the earth’s surface with the right force in the right circumstances.
- Natural diamonds are not rare, but could become so at some point- only so many of them are in existence.
- Different conditions and locations in the world create different attributes of a natural diamond.
We have never sold lab-created diamonds, and we never will. For the many reasons listed in this blog post, we believe there is a cloud hiding the truth of lab diamonds vs natural diamonds. Lab diamonds have absolutely no value at all. You are technically buying the materials, time, and labor that was used to “create”. We are strong believers in what the good Lord has created and all the natural antique diamonds that are circulating out in the world that are unclaimed and waiting for a good home. Antique and vintage diamonds are environmentally friendly, they have a history behind them, they are romanticized, and carry their worth.
Homegrown in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Mackley Jewelers has been East Tennessee’s hometown jeweler in Knoxville, TN for 41 years. Treating customers with respect, providing ethical service, and selling beautiful jewelry with natural stones is the foundation of Mackley Jewelers’ philosophy. We also offer a full range of professional Knoxville jewelry repair services performed by our talented jeweler right here, in-house. Every day, our goal is to be the best family-owned Knoxville jewelry store we can be all while giving our customers an authentic small business buying experience with genuine Southern charm.