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Not All Lab Diamonds are Created Equal

Lab-grown diamonds have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many consumers seeing them as a more ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to natural diamonds. With the rapid increase in production worldwide, we are seeing that not all lab-grown diamonds are created equal.

Lab-grown diamonds can have structural and crystal differences that go beyond the traditional 4Cs of cut, color, clarity, and carat size. For example, some lab-grown diamonds grown via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) can be tinged with brown or gray colors or have signs of strain and striation, which can give the stones a streaky or blurry appearance. Meanwhile, diamonds grown by high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) presses can be tinged with blue or gray, and some can even phosphoresce.

The reason for these differences lies in the fact that many lab-grown diamond growers are prioritizing speed and low cost over quality. As more growers have entered the market and sought to increase their output, they have taken shortcuts and used lower-quality materials, leading to a glut of lab-grown material, particularly in the 2 to 3 ct. range.

This has resulted in a market that is bifurcating into two segments: one populated by upscale producers who take time growing their diamonds and charge a premium, and one by budget producers who prioritize fast, cheap goods. However, poor-quality growers may begin going out of business, leading to a potential consumer confidence crisis that could disrupt the entire lab-grown diamond trade.

Image showing inferior blue and brown lab diamond tints.

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