Difference Between Lab Diamonds And Real Diamonds

Diamonds have long been admired and desired for their beauty, durability, and rarity. They have been loved for centuries and are revered as one of the most precious and coveted gemstones in the world. 

However, with the advancements in technology and growing concerns about environmental impact and human rights violations in the diamond industry, a new alternative has emerged: lab-grown diamonds. 

In this blog post, we will explore the difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds in terms of all. So keep reading to discover everything you need to know about these two types of gems.

What Are Lab Diamonds? 

Lab diamonds, also referred to as synthetic or man-made diamonds, are produced in a laboratory setting using sophisticated technology under controlled conditions.

Real diamonds, on the other hand, refer to natural diamonds that are formed deep within the earth's mantle under high pressure and extreme temperatures. These precious gems take billions of years to form and are then mined from the earth's surface.

The concept of creating diamonds in a lab is not new and dates back to the mid-20th century:

The first successful synthetic diamonds were produced by General Electric in 1954 using the High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method, which mimics the natural conditions under which diamonds form.

Over the years, technological progress has greatly enhanced the quality and size of lab-grown diamonds. The Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique, which emerged in the 1980s, provided a different method for creating diamonds.

The CVD process entails decomposing carbon-rich gases in a regulated environment, enabling carbon atoms to accumulate on a substrate and build a diamond crystal layer by layer.

Today, both HPHT and CVD methods are widely used to produce lab diamonds, offering a more sustainable option without the problems associated with traditional diamond mining.

As a result, lab diamonds are becoming increasingly popular among consumers looking for environmentally friendly and socially responsible gemstones.

Difference Between Lab Diamonds And Real Diamonds

After understanding what artificial diamonds are, now we will see together whether there is a difference between laboratory diamonds and real diamonds and what that difference is. Here are the main factors that set them apart:

Origin and Formation

The most significant difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds is their origin. Lab diamonds are created in a controlled environment, while natural diamonds form deep within the earth's mantle under intense pressure and heat.

Physical, Chemical, And Optical Properties

Despite being created in different environments, lab diamonds and real diamonds exhibit the same physical, chemical, and optical properties. 

On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, both lab and natural diamonds score a perfect 10, making them the hardest known natural material. This exceptional hardness makes diamonds, whether lab-grown or natural, resistant to scratches and an ideal choice for daily-wear jewelry like engagement rings.

In terms of chemical properties, both types of diamonds are made up of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure. This structure is responsible for the diamond's incredible strength and other unique properties.

Additionally, both lab-grown and natural diamonds have the same density, typically around 3.52 grams per cubic centimeter.

Optically, lab-grown and natural diamonds exhibit identical characteristics. They both possess similar levels of brilliance and fire, which are the reflections and dispersion of light that give diamonds their signature sparkle.

The optical properties, including the refractive index (approximately 2.42) and dispersion of light (0.044), are the same for both types of diamonds, meaning they both display the same visual beauty.

Furthermore, lab diamonds can take on various colors, just like natural diamonds, by introducing certain elements during their creation process. This ensures that when comparing lab diamonds and real diamonds side by side, even experienced gemologists may require advanced tools to tell them apart.


In terms of appearance, lab diamonds and real diamonds are identical. To the naked eye, there is no discernable difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds.

Both types exhibit the same brilliance, fire, and sparkle that diamonds are famed for. They are also cut and polished in the same way, which means their ability to reflect light is indistinguishable.

Additionally, lab diamonds can be produced in a range of sizes and qualities, just like mined diamonds, offering consumers a plethora of choices for their jewelry needs.

Market Perception And Value

Despite the increasing popularity and acceptance of lab-grown diamonds, there is still a significant difference in market perception and value between these two types of diamonds.

Real diamonds have been revered as symbols of love, beauty, and wealth for centuries, the storied history and the established status of natural diamonds contribute to their higher market value, often seen as luxurious and prestigious.

They are often passed down through generations and hold sentimental value for many people. Natural diamonds tend to command higher prices primarily due to their rarity and the labor-intensive mining process.

On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds generally offer a more cost-effective alternative to natural diamonds. The controlled environment of their creation allows for a more streamlined and less expensive production process.

Consequently, lab diamonds can be priced 50-60% less than their natural counterparts of similar quality, making lab diamonds an increasingly attractive option for cost-conscious consumers seeking high-quality gemstones.

With advancements in technology and consumer preference for sustainable options, it is expected that the market perception and value of lab-grown diamonds will continue to increase in the coming years.

Environmental Impact

Extracting natural diamonds can cause considerable environmental damage, such as deforestation, soil degradation, and water contamination.

In contrast, the production of lab diamonds has a lower environmental impact due to their controlled growth process. Furthermore, lab-grown diamonds do not require the use of heavy machinery or explosives, reducing their carbon footprint significantly.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, lab diamonds also contribute to a circular economy as they are created using recycled materials and can be repurposed or recycled at the end of their life cycle.

Ethical Considerations 

One of the big difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds, and one of the main reasons for the rise in popularity of lab-grown diamonds is their ethical and sustainable production process.

Unlike mined diamonds, which can have a tainted history associated with human rights violations and environmental damage, lab diamonds are created using clean energy and do not involve any exploitation or harm to communities.

Moreover, as lab diamonds are grown in a controlled environment, they are free from imperfections such as inclusions, making them more desirable and affordable than natural diamonds with similar carat weights and qualities.

Levels Of Quality

Just like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are graded based on the same 4Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. This allows consumers to compare and choose between different qualities of lab diamonds, just as they would with natural diamonds.

For natural diamonds, quality can fluctuate based on the geographical region where they are mined, the conditions under which they formed over millions of years, and the presence of impurities or inclusions that occurred during their natural formation.

Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are produced in a controlled environment, which allows for greater consistency in quality. This means that consumers can expect to find high-quality lab diamonds that rival or even surpass the beauty of natural diamonds.

Are Lab Diamonds Certified? 

Like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can be certified by reputable gemological institutes such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).

These certifications provide consumers with an assurance of quality and authenticity. Additionally, some lab-grown diamond producers may include their grading reports to certify the origin and characteristics of their diamonds.

However, consumers need to ensure that they are purchasing lab-grown diamonds from a reliable source and verify any accompanying certification to avoid potential scams or misrepresentations.

Which Diamond Should I Choose? 

The choice between a lab-grown or natural diamond depends on personal preferences and values.

Both types of diamonds have their unique qualities and beauty, and they can make a stunning choice for an engagement ring or any special occasion.

Lab diamonds are still real diamonds with the same as their natural counterparts. However, they offer a more sustainable, cost-effective, and ethical option for those looking to purchase a diamond.

On the other hand, natural diamonds hold centuries of cultural significance and are often viewed as a symbol of tradition, prestige, and luxury.

Furthermore, consider factors such as budget, environmental impact, and personal beliefs when making your decision.

Regardless of the type of diamond you choose, it is essential to do thorough research and purchase from reputable sources to ensure quality and authenticity.


In conclusion, the difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds is mainly in their origin and production process.

Lab-grown diamonds offer a more sustainable, ethical, and affordable option for consumers while still maintaining the beauty and quality of natural diamonds.

Ultimately, the choice between lab-grown or natural diamonds comes down to personal preferences and values, but both can make a beautiful addition to any jewelry collection. 

So whether you choose a lab diamond or a mined diamond, rest assured that either one will be an enduring symbol of love and beauty.