• Hunt Valley Jewelers

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?

Photo Credit: Cape Town Diamond Museum

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.

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