Have you ever heard of Lab Grown Diamonds ? The name doesn't seem particularly sexy at first glance, because it translates to a "lab-grown diamond". What lies behind it, however, is a real innovation in the jewelry industry from which customers can benefit twice. As a rule , lab grown diamonds are cheaper than conventionally mined diamonds , meaning you can get a larger stone for less money. In addition, it is said to be more sustainable in production .*

But what exactly is a lab-grown diamond? Is it identical to a mined diamond or just another glass stone?

In short: a lab-grown diamond is a real, synthetic diamond that is physically identical to a traditional mined diamond, but grown in a laboratory under controlled conditions. A twin of the mining diamond, so to speak. The difference between the two stones cannot be seen with the naked eye, even by experts.

You can find our sources for the article at the bottom.

History and properties of diamonds

What is a natural (mined) diamond?

Now it gets chemical for a moment: A natural diamond is formed when a carbon deposit deep in the earth is exposed to high temperatures and pressure. Usually at a depth of over 100 kilometers. What is particularly interesting is the time it takes to create them: some diamonds are created within months. However, most occur within several million years.

The creation process is never completely linear. A pause can also occur here due to changes in pressure or temperature. And only after millions more years does growth continue.

“Natural” diamonds are limited resources in the world and that is precisely why they are so valuable. To dismantle them, very deep craters sometimes have to be dug into the earth, which can cause lasting damage to the ecosystem for people and nature , for example through polluted, stagnant water. A breeding ground for pathogens and mosquitoes accumulates there. Due to poor soils, agricultural use and an important source of income are often no longer possible.*

Unfortunately, war and violence are often associated with the beautiful diamond, as they are often used to finance civil wars or illegal mining takes place.*

Incidentally, the majority of diamond mining worldwide takes place in Russia, Botswana (Africa), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia and Canada.*

Of course, a lot has happened here in the last few decades, but it still requires a lot of research to understand the supply chains and ensure that everyone involved (from the mine to the grinding shop to the jewelry manufacturer) is paid fairly.

Millions of children still work in the mines. Many families work for starvation wages and continue to work below the poverty line because they simply have no alternatives. A term you may have heard in this context is blood or conflict diamonds.

What are cultured diamonds?

A cultured diamond is physically identical to a natural diamond - its twin, so to speak. The only difference lies in how they are created: while natural diamonds grow underground, lab grown diamonds are grown under controlled conditions in laboratories. There are currently two different methods for this, the HPHT (High-Pressure and High-Temperature) method or the Chemical Vapor Disposition (CVD) method.

According to reliable estimates, lab grown diamonds have a better CO2 and conscience balance as well as very good traceability in contrast to mined diamonds.

Cultured - or synthetic - diamonds have been around for several years, but are only now experiencing a major boom. Because more and more people are paying attention to where their products come from, who produced them and that everyone involved earns enough from them.

The production of cultured diamonds is complex. They are grown in laboratories, mainly in India or the USA, which is why the English term “lab-grown diamonds” has found its way into Germany.

And these modern, “green diamonds” are very trendy. For the year 2050, forecasts predict that for the first time more laboratory-grown diamonds will be sold than conventional diamonds.*

Are lab grown diamonds real diamonds?

In short: yes, lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds! The diamonds that are mined from the earth are chemically and physically identical to laboratory diamonds. Both are real diamonds, but they have different origins. They have the same properties and the same shine. Even an experienced jeweler cannot distinguish a lab grown diamond from a natural diamond with the naked eye.

A traditional mined diamond is 100% carbon. A lab grown diamond too! Therefore, only experts with a special microscope can tell the difference based on the structure of the diamond.

“Synthetic Diamonds” is another term for Lab Grown Diamonds. However, they should not be confused with “glass diamonds” - usually referred to as zirconia or zircon. These inexpensive stones are primarily used in fashion jewelry and seasonal jewelry and have no overlap with real diamonds.

What are the benefits of lab grown diamonds?

1) No work in mines

With lab-grown diamonds, no people have to work deep underground and the natural ecosystems are not affected. The diamonds grown are mostly developed in America or India. When selecting suitable partner companies, attention must also be paid to occupational safety and fair pay as well as ethical origins.

2) Conflict-free origin

Lab Grown Diamonds are generally conflict-free stones whose origin can be precisely determined and are not blood diamonds that are used to finance wars or armed violence. Their origin in the laboratory cannot be equated with mining in mines.

3) Environmentally friendly creation

Lab Grown Diamonds are considered more sustainable than conventional mined diamonds because they are efficiently grown in a laboratory under controlled conditions in a shorter time. However, it is important to mention that a relatively large amount of energy is currently required for breeding. However, as technologies improve, work is being done to reduce this energy use even further. Many manufacturers of lab grown diamonds already work with solar energy.

4) More carats for the same price

The big advantage for you as a customer is: you get a larger stone for the same price. The laboratory-grown diamonds are cheaper to produce than mining a conventional mine diamond.

5) 4 C's ensure high quality

The International Diamond Grading System - the so-called "4 Cs" - are characteristics that are identical worldwide and are intended to describe the unique quality of a diamond - regardless of whether it is a lab-grown or mined diamond. The 4 Cs stand for: Carat (weight), Color (color), Cut (cut) and Clarity (purity).

You can find more information about this in our blog article about the 4 C's.

How are lab-grown diamonds created?

A diamond is made of pure carbon. Scientists found this out as early as 1797. Since then, many more generations have attempted to create artificial diamonds. In the 19th century, some scientists claimed they had solved the mystery. But it was more a stroke of luck than actual skill, because the experiment could not be repeated and the results could not be reproduced.

Meanwhile, researchers from around the world continued to puzzle over the natural reproduction of diamonds until, in 1953, Tracy Hall created artificial diamonds for the first time and was able to repeat the process. A great miracle for the jewelry world!

The first lab-grown diamond was only 0.15 millimeters in size. Since it did not visually correspond to the ideal of a sales diamond, the first lab-grown diamonds were used purely industrially, such as for lasers.

How can you create diamonds artificially?

Basically, there are currently two different processes for the production of Lab Grown Diamonds , the HPHT (High-Pressure and High-Temperature) method or the Chemical Vapor Disposition (CVD) method.

An example: the “HPHT” (High Pressure, High Temperature) process simulates the conditions underground, so very high pressure meets very high temperature and this is how a diamond is created.

A piece of existing diamond is used as a base and carbon is added to it. With extreme pressure and high temperature, a layer of “diamond” forms here. You can find the detailed scientific explanation in this entertaining YouTube video by a physicist .

What products are available with lab-grown diamonds?

We at Dear Darling Berlin offer rings and earrings with lab-grown diamonds. Here you will find our sparkling selection.

Rings with Lab Grown Diamonds

Here you can find our sustainable diamond rings.

Earrings with Lab Grown Diamonds

Here you can find our sustainable diamond earrings.

Pros and cons: Are lab grown diamonds better or more sustainable than mined diamonds?

We would like to go into this topic in more detail in this blog article, as there are both strong advocates and opponents here. We would like to introduce you to both sides so that you can form your own opinion. At the end of the article you will also find our own opinion on the topic.

Opponents of Lab Grown Diamonds say that a lot has happened in the area of ​​diamond traceability in recent years and decades. There are many seals, there are fair trade diamonds, etc. In short: the story of the blood diamond is outdated. In addition, Lab Grown Diamonds are infinitely reproducible due to their artificial production, unlike natural mined diamonds which are a limited resource. Lab Grown Diamonds are often said to be less valuable or less emotionally charged and require a lot of energy to produce.

The advocates, i.e. those who find laboratory-grown diamonds more sustainable and better, say: Yes, a lot has happened, but not nearly enough. There are still major gaps in traceability. This is different with laboratory-grown diamonds: Here there is full transparency about the creation and origin of the diamond.

In addition, there are still countless reports of poor working conditions, child labor, violence and exploitation in conventional diamond mining and the acceptance of environmental destruction is still on the agenda. Although the production of Lab Grown Diamonds requires a lot of energy, it takes place 100% in a laboratory. No mines are mined, the environment is not destroyed and no one has to work in mines.

For example, solar energy is often used to produce a lab grown diamond, and improving technologies make it possible to use less and less energy.

Conclusion & own opinion

Everyone has to decide for themselves which type of diamond is more sustainable or better. When it comes to the CO2 balance, there are currently only projections from manufacturing companies, but no concrete, empirically verifiable figures.

We think: Lab Grown Diamonds are a brilliant alternative to conventional mined diamonds. They are slightly cheaper, 100% traceable and just as beautiful as natural diamonds. If the traceability and ethical supply chain of natural diamonds is given or recycled diamonds are used, for example from old pieces of jewelry, we would also choose this.

In general, we believe that lab grown diamonds are just as emotionally valuable as mined diamonds! Whether the diamond comes from the earth or from the laboratory does not change the meaning of the gesture of buying a diamond or giving a diamond as a gift.

We only use lab-grown diamonds for the jewelry in The Signature Edit collection .