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Lab Created Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds formed deep in the earth, from 3.4 billion years ago to 650 million years ago. They are like time capsules from the early continents. They are rare and difficult to find. Mining diamonds requires a lot of effort. An average of 250 tons of earth have to be moved and sorted to find one carat of diamond.

Many of our customers are interested in lab-created diamonds because they don’t support the mining of natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are a relatively new option: they’ve only been available in commercial quantities for about a decade.

Lab diamonds don’t require mining tons of earth or creating large infrastructure in remote places. But growing diamonds in a laboratory does use a lot of energy to create the conditions for crystals to form. The carbon footprint of diamond laboratories depends on the source of that energy. Labs that use solar power or hydropower have a much smaller carbon footprint than labs that use fossil fuels.

At Brilliant Carbon we are working hard to reach carbon neutrality by 2021 by insisting that the diamond growing laboratories we work with to switch to solar power.

Once the diamond crystals are grown or mined, the rest of the journey to your jewelry is very similar. Lab created diamonds and mined diamonds are polished exactly the same way using the same equipment and skilled diamond cutters. They are also graded by the same laboratories using the same quality criteria. Like mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds come in a range of colors, clarities, cuts, carat weights and shapes.