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A collection of Lightbox lab-grown diamond jewellery with white, blue and pink stones

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-created, engineered, cultured, synthetic, or man-made – whatever name you know them by, lab-grown diamonds are increasingly popular. Learn about how lab diamonds have gotten sparkle down to a science and how they stack up against natural diamonds.
Lab-created, engineered, cultured, synthetic, or man-made – whatever name you know them by, lab-grown diamonds are increasingly popular. Learn about how lab diamonds have gotten sparkle down to a science and how they stack up against natural diamonds.

What is a lab-grown diamond?

Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that have been “grown” in a controlled, laboratory setting. They’re comprised of the same chemical components of natural diamonds but were created in a controlled setting rather than underground through earth’s diamond-forming processes.

Lab-grown diamond technology for industrial uses has been around for over 50 years, but within the last decade there have been impressive developments in quality and price, meaning these lab-grown stones can now be used in jewellery, too. Altering the “recipe” in the lab also means that lab-grown diamonds are available in different colours, including beautiful blues and pinks.

What are the benefits of lab-grown diamonds?

Beauty

Lab-grown diamonds shine and sparkle just like natural diamonds.

Value

Lab-grown diamonds can be produced in large batches in just a few weeks. This makes lab-grown diamonds considerably less expensive than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.

Range of Colour Options

In addition to colourless stones, lab-grown diamonds are also available in an array of colours that are extremely rare and expensive in natural form.

Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?

Laboratory-grown diamonds and natural diamonds both consist of pure carbon in the same cubic crystalline form. The difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds can be distinguished by an expert using a high-tech machine—but not by the naked eye.

Shop for lab-grown diamonds

What’s the difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds?

Both mined and lab-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon that is transformed into sparkling cubic crystalline stones. While their chemical foundation gives lab-grown diamonds the same optical properties as natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have no intrinsic rarity. Formed over millennia, natural diamonds acquire their scintillating shapes from the pressure of being compacted deep within the earth’s crust. Because of this, all of the natural diamonds that will ever exist have already been created making them forever rarities. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, can be produced limitlessly.

Are lab-grown diamonds available in different colours?

Lab-grown diamonds come in a wide array of hues—whether you’re looking for a stone that’s classic white, blushing with pink, or as beautifully blue as a cloudless sky.

Blue Nile offers an exclusive assortment of lab-grown diamond jewellery from Lightbox. Lightbox creates their beautiful coloured stones by adding a gas mix to the CVD reactor and combining this with treatments that are incorporated at the end of the synthesis process. The result is stones rich with colour, which would be extremely rare and expensive in natural diamonds.

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

It all starts with a seed. Made from a tiny lab-grown diamond, the seed follows one of two processes: CVD or HPHT. Chemical Vapor Deposition, or CVD, takes the seed and puts it into a plasma reactor chamber where a mix of carbon-rich gasses are added at very low pressure. Microwaves are then introduced to heat the gasses and generate plasma. As the temperature climbs over several thousand degrees, the gas molecules break apart, making way for carbon atoms to bond to the seed one layer at a time.

The High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method mimics the conditions of natural diamond creation by placing seeds in a large mechanical press and applying extreme pressure and high temperature to the carbon that is present. The seed acts as a guide for the lattice of carbon (that will soon become the diamond) to grow layer by layer within a matter of days until the desired carat weight is achieved.

What Is The Difference Between Lab-Grown And Simulated Diamonds?

Unlike lab-grown diamonds, simulated diamonds are not diamonds. Diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite have different chemical composition compared to a diamond.

Simulants are made from seed materials like glass or cubic zirconia. This fact makes diamond simulants like moissanite lack the hardness and optical properties of lab-grown diamonds. As time goes on, simulants become much more susceptible to wear-and-tear and diminished sparkle. Lab-made diamonds, on the other hand, are chemically identical to diamonds and offer lasting beauty.

How are lab-grown diamonds certified and graded?

Some lab-grown diamonds undergo grading and certification similar to natural diamonds by adhering to the the 4Cs of cut, clarity, colour and carat. After being sent to a gem lab that specializes in grading diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are graded independently by several of the lab's gemmologists. Afterward, the individual grades are compiled and compared to give the lab-grown diamond its final grade.

Can you tell the difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds?

Yes. The difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds can always be detected by a diamond expert with specialized technical equipment.

When purchasing Lightbox lab-grown diamond jewellery on our site, the quality is guaranteed by the presence of a tiny inscription. Because Lightbox lab-grown diamonds have the same sparkle and visual characteristics as a natural diamond, the presence of this inscription makes it easier to identify lab-grown diamonds larger than 0.2ct and confirms that the stones were manufactured by Lightbox and meet their high quality standards. This inscription is invisible to the naked eye but it can easily be seen with a 10X magnifying loupe.

Are lab-grown diamonds priced differently than natural diamonds?

Unlike the price of natural diamonds, which is determined by a stone’s unique characteristics and rarity, lab-grown diamonds can be priced uniformly per carat. Lab-grown diamonds also have the benefit of being priced significantly lower than natural diamonds since their production capacity is unlimited.

FAQS

Blue Nile does not sell loose lab-grown diamonds. Every loose diamond on our site is a natural diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds display variations in colour, clarity and cut, and may also exhibit minor internal or surface inclusions, similar to natural diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds have the same durability as natural diamonds, ensuring they won’t get cloudy as time passes, so you can enjoy their sparkle for years to come.

Yes! You can protect your lab-grown diamonds by insuring them just like you would other fine jewellery.

Lab-grown diamonds can be mistakenly identified as moissanite if inadequate equipment is used. A professional at a diamond testing lab can easily differentiate the two by testing their refractive properties. Moissanite exhibits double refraction while lab-grown diamonds display single refraction.

Yes. Lab-grown diamonds are produced at scale. This means they have no intrinsic rarity, which makes them less expensive than natural diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds are produced in controlled environments, so their quality can be closely held to high and exacting standards. Lab-grown diamonds can be evaluated according to the same characteristics as natural diamonds, using the the 4Cs: cut, colour, clarity and carat.

Experts working in a lab with a high-tech machine can always tell the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds. Additionally, the Lightbox lab-grown diamonds available on our site are marked with a micro inscription, visible with 10X magnification.

Like any gemstone, their resale value can fluctuate over time. Because of the recent introduction of lab-grown diamonds to the market and the potential for their future production in high volumes, future pricing of lab-grown diamonds remains uncertain.

While lab-created diamonds do not have the intrinsic rarity value that natural diamonds have, lab-made diamonds are still valued. They are valued for their beautiful 4Cs and are the perfect addition to many jewellery pieces.

In terms of colour, lab-made diamonds offer exceptional features. They can offer colourless styles along with beautiful shades of blue and pink, both of which are nearly impossible to find in natural diamonds.

The formation of lab-grown vs natural diamonds is the biggest difference between these two stones. Natural diamonds are created within the earth’s crust in high-pressure environments and are then mined. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are created in a controlled environment and grown at scale.

Just as with regular diamonds, a lab-created diamond will last forever. It is chemically identical to a natural diamond, bringing durability and hardness for long-lasting wear.

Because no mining is required, many people consider lab diamonds one of the most ethical options.

Yes, lab diamonds are real. The stones in lab-grown diamond rings will sparkle just like natural diamonds.