Synthetic Diamonds vs Naturally-forming Diamonds
To the naked eye, a synthetic diamond and a natural diamond will likely appear identical. Technically speaking, both synthetic and natural forms are 100% bonafide diamonds; synthetic diamonds contain the same crystal lattice structure--the same physical properties and chemical composition as natural diamonds...
So What’s the difference? Synthetic diamonds are man-made, and naturally-forming diamonds take billions of years to form, hundreds of miles below the Earth’s surface.
So how exactly are synthetic diamonds produced?
In labs, scientists expose the element carbon to a high-pressure and high-temperature to yield a diamond crystal. This process mimics the natural constraints that carbon undergoes to create diamonds within the Earth's mantle--only it doesn’t take over a billion years.
Scientists can also create synthetic diamonds through a method known as chemical vapor deposition.
During this process, a professional is able to take a small sample of diamond crystal and stimulate accelerated growth in a chamber.
What’s the price difference?
A lab-grown diamond can be up to 20-40% less expensive than a natural diamond. However, even synthetic diamonds D-F in color are considered rare; and therefore may cost just as much as their naturally-made counterparts.
So which one should I buy?
Both options can produce quality diamonds, so it really boils down to your tastes and budget.
Synthetic diamonds are usually an affordable alternative to naturally-forming diamonds, but it’s hard to compete with Mother Nature’s home-grown treasures. Each naturally-forming diamond is a rare piece of our Earth’s history; because they take billions of years to form--and because no new mining sites have been discovered within the last 20 years, naturally-forming diamonds are only becoming rarer.
So talk to a local, trusted jeweler about your options, and take your time finding your forever-diamond.