What to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds Before Investing In One

In the modern world, jewelry can be defined as much more than a status symbol. With the rise of sustainable fashion, jewelry shoppers are seeking out pieces that offer more than just aesthetic beauty. Lab-grown diamond jewelry can scratch that itch for the continuous buyer.

But what is a lab-grown diamond, and what should you know about them before investing in one? Lab-grown diamonds are chemically identical to their mined counterparts and offer a variety of benefits, such as affordability and sustainability, for the diamond consumer.

Photo by Danielle De Angelis on Pexels

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about lab-grown diamonds before investing. From what they are and how they’re made to their ethical sourcing and buying tips.

5 Things to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds Before Investing

Before investing in anything, whether it’s homes or jewelry, you’ll need to do your research to avoid making a poor investment. Here are a few things to know about lab-grown diamonds.

1. Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Grown in a Lab

First, it’s important to understand how lab-grown diamonds are created. Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are grown using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) in an artificial environment. Even so, they’re still made from carbon.

This process creates diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically identical to mined diamonds. For all intents and purposes, lab-grown and mined diamonds are exactly alike.

The difference between a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond is actually more subtle.

For example, companies like VRAI offer lab-grown diamonds for the modern bride. VRAI created diamonds are grown with a net-zero carbon footprint. Their engagement rings use recycled gold and go through a delicate process that produces high-quality pieces that are made to order.

2. Lab-Grown Diamonds Can Be Grown in Zero Emission Foundries

Lab-grown diamonds don’t come with zero baggage, but they’re capable of being grown in foundries that produce net zero emissions whereas it’s impossible to do the same for mined diamonds. Since mined diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s surface, you need an ax and a shovel to get to them first.

There are three types of mining:

Open-Pit Mining: Considered the most dangerous. The environmental impacts include changes in vegetation, soil, and bedrock. Many mines are abandoned and wasteful.

Underground Mining: This has the same environmental impacts as open-pit mining but is used for short-term mining. Too often, water floods into the mine, killing workers.

Marine Mining: Removes parts of the seabed, causing pollution that greatly disturbs marine life. It can take several decades for marine animals to return to the site.

Mining operations consume 126 gallons (gals) of water and 585.5 million joules (J) of electricity and produce 125 pounds of carbon (c) per carat on average. On the other hand, lab-made diamonds consume 18 gals of water and 250 million J and produce 6 pounds of c per carat.

Mining operations are also disastrous to the Earth and land. Nearly 5,798 pounds of mineral waste is created for every 1000 square feet of land disturbed. However, lab-grown diamonds typically disrupt 0.07 square feet of land per carat and produce 1 pound of mineral waste.

It’s clear to see that lab-grown diamonds are the more sustainable option of the two diamonds.

3: Lab-Grown Diamonds Aren’t Diamond Substitutes

Consumers often confuse cubic zirconia or crystals for lab-made diamonds, but they aren’t the same. Lab-grown diamonds are exclusively made from carbon, whereas cubic zirconia is made from zirconium dioxide, and crystals are typically made from plastic, glass, magma, or rocks.

Lab-grown diamonds are also as strong as mined diamonds. Both are a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, meaning they’re the toughest minerals around. While any gem can make for a great gift, it’s important to note that lab-grown diamonds are different from substitutes.

If you plan on purchasing a lab-grown diamond, make sure you do so from a reputable seller. Some individual sellers will pass off a diamond substitute as a diamond to sell it for more.

To avoid getting ripped off, make sure the diamond is certified by a reliable 3rd party gemological institute, like the GIA, and that they aren’t offering “too good to be true” deals.

4: Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Budget-Friendly

Lab-grown diamonds cost 40% to 50% less than mined diamonds on average, making them an inexpensive but still incredibly beautiful gift for Valentine’s Day or a birthday. Since lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from mined diamonds, they sparkle just as brightly.

If you’re purchasing a lab-grown diamond as an heirloom, you can rest knowing that they’re just as strong as mined diamonds and won’t yellow like diamond substitutes.

5. Lab-Grown Diamonds Don’t Have Resale Value

…but neither do mined diamonds. Well, that’s technically not true. Mined diamonds can be sold, but never for a profit unless the diamond you have is rare or unique. On average, a mined diamond will resell for 25% to 50% of its purchase value, so you’ll lose money in the end.

People often consider mined diamonds a good investment because they’ll become rarer to find over time. While this is true in theory, there are currently so many diamonds on the planet that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Not only that but diamonds of all types basically last forever.

Unless people start melting their diamonds, we’re not going to see a reduction in the number of gems circulating in the market. And unlike gold, diamonds can’t be melted down and reshaped. It’s very difficult to reshape or cut a diamond once it’s been set in a ring or another post.

In the end, neither diamonds have significant resale value. If you want to purchase a diamond, don’t do it with the expectation that you’ll recoup your investment within your lifetime.

Photo by Lucas Santos on Unsplash


Lab-grown diamonds offer an affordable and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. Before investing in a lab-grown diamond, it is essential to understand how these diamonds are made and to research the seller carefully. You should also consider why you want to buy a diamond.

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