There is currently much controversy regarding the use of lab-grown diamonds or natural diamonds.
Many alternatives have always arisen for the diamond: zircons, white sapphires, white spinels... But all of them have been considered imitations or were not up to the task. However, today a new option has been extended to the natural diamond. It is about the laboratory diamond.
In this blog we explain what a natural diamond and a laboratory diamond are, how they are formed and how they differ. We also explain why we at Brown&Blonde will continue to work with natural diamonds.
What is a natural diamond?
A natural diamond is made of carbon and is considered the hardest natural element in the world.
Natural diamonds are created 100 miles underground at extremely high temperatures and pressures. Its formation process is very long, it can last billions of years. These diamonds manage to reach the surface thanks to volcanic activity, on a journey of more than 75 million years.
What is a synthetic or laboratory diamond?
A lab-grown diamond (or laboratory growth) are diamonds synthesized by human activity .
The main differences between a natural diamond vs. a laboratory or synthetic diamond are:
Lab-grown diamond prices are always cheaper than natural ones.
A priori, laboratory diamond is positioned as a sustainable diamond thanks to very good marketing campaigns. However, it is worth digging deep into this topic. And it is that:
- To produce a laboratory diamond with the Hp HT technique, an enormous amount of energy is needed, imagine, it is the same that a natural diamond needs for billions of years.
- If it is synthesized with the other method, the CVD, the energy equivalent to that required by a house is consumed for a month
It is said that this large amount of energy is obtained from renewable energy.
For its part, the natural diamond consumes a large amount of water to extract the diamond from its parent rock: kimberlite. However, this water is constantly recycled and reused. In addition, the commitment of mining companies today is very high and its impact is regulated so that each year it is less.
However, beyond environmental sustainability, the natural diamond industry is committed to the sustainability and social dignity of the countries of origin such as Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Countries that, thanks to the extraction of this gem, enjoy good working conditions, have been able to access education and public health in 80% of homes and have access to clean water and electricity in 90% of homes.
That is, natural diamonds help the growth and socioeconomic development of these countries and are their main economic source.
And this is where the synthetic diamond enters with force, since mass production will lower the price of the lab-grown diamond, a diamond with the same appearance as the natural one and which is very attractive to costume jewelery companies.
This also makes us reflect on another issue: what value are these synthetic diamonds going to retain over time?
In this sense, it also comes into play to talk about the durability of the artistic object itself: joy. Natural diamond has always been used in jewelry for its beauty, its optical properties and its hardness.
Once the artist or goldsmith designs and creates a jewel, it is a piece forever. And its artistic value is also closely linked to the use of the materials it has used. That is, enduring materials such as noble metals (gold and platinum) and natural diamonds. These materials will always have a higher value, and the growth of their value (regulated by the market) is exponential. The value of this work of art, the jewel, grows year after year.
Why do we at Brown&Blonde work with natural diamonds and not lab ones?
For us, each garment is unique, it is made by hand, with all the care and time in the world... We do not feel comfortable today creating our pieces with mass-produced synthetic diamonds.
Jewelry is synonymous with emotion, love, family tradition, legacy... Is a ring with a serial diamond synthesized by man up to a feeling as noble and unique as that of our love when asking for commitment? What sense does it make to offer a jewel with a laboratory diamond beyond its aesthetics?
A diamond tells a story and values. Also, your history and values.
On the other hand, when it comes to the sustainability debate, we are very aware of the communities that live and depend on natural diamonds around the world, which is why we have been working for years to offer you and trace the origin of our diamonds.Thanks to the diamond industry, various countries have improved the socioeconomic conditions of the country and the well-being of its citizens.