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Lab vs Natural Diamonds

Posted on March 13 2024

In your search for ethical jewellery the choice between Natural vs Lab-grown has become a pivotal conversation and a polarizing subject. At London Rocks we believe transparency and trust is the key, and the nuances of these choices empower you to make an informed decision. As a design led business we have no bias against either choice. Lets delve into the world of Diamonds, exploring the Natural vs Lab-grown debate and the ethical considerations that guide our craft.
Natural Diamonds
Natural Diamonds formed deep within the Earth over millions of years, have long been cherished for their rarity and unique characteristics. At London Rocks we source our Natural diamonds with the utmost care, ensuring they adhere to ethical practices and contribute positively to the communities they come from.
Diamond mining is one of the worlds most highly regulated industries ,and has come along way since the 1990s, creating jobs and infrastructure for local communities. Films like Blood Diamond brought issues into the public arena.
since then the possibility of conflict stones making it into the market has dropped from around 15% down to 1% which is remarkable, unlike the Lab-Grown industry which is largely unregulated. Natural and Lab-grown diamonds can only be differentiated by a machine. These machines detect the tiny amounts of nitrogen hidden inside natural Diamonds. This signifies a natural stone apart from a lab grown one, but has no effect on the aesthetic appearance of the stones.
Factories growing "Labs" are mainly in developing countries like India and one concern is that the energy used is largely fossil fuels like coal. The vast majority of Lab Grown Diamonds are made in China where ethical regulations, human rights and environmental challenges don't align with the Western world. There have been threats by the US federal trade commission that could sanction any campaigns by Lab-grown diamond factories that they are "Eco friendly" "eco conscious" or "sustainable" without proper evidence, in an effort to stop 'greenwashing'.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown Diamonds are created using advanced technology processes, and present an affordable alternative. They are impossible to tell apart from their natural counterparts using the naked eye and are free from the environmental concerns of traditional Diamond mining . "Labs" are definitely real Diamonds, only grown in under 2 weeks as opposed to the Billions of years a natural stone takes to form. They make up about 20%of global sales and are steadily on the rise. They have come in high colours and high clarity grades and are visually identical to natural stones. The price of Lab-grown diamonds allows customers to get exactly what they want and we have seen an increase in sales of 2 carat to 3 carat sizes, usually in the price range of £25,000 to £55,000 for a natural stone, with Lab options stones like this sell for around £1,500.
One of the main questions we are asked is will Lab-Grown Diamonds hold any value, unfortunately the answer is no, there is currently no resale market due the already affordable price and the fact that there is no end to how many can be produced. However, with the price difference being so vast does it really matter?
Lab-Grown Diamonds are usually graded by IGI laboratory and GIA graded stones are a little harder to come by. As all Lab-grown diamonds are high spec there isn't much variation in the stones we sell, the colour is always above F and and clarity is always above VS2.
One other great thing about the rise in popularity of Lab-Grown diamonds and their ethical reputation is that it has accelerated the Natural Diamond industry to up their game and focus more on initiatives like Canada Mark and The Kimberley Project which register rough stones at origin and promote transparency which now must be rolled out globally.
We challenge the norms of the diamond industry by embracing innovation and sustainable practices. We are proud to champion Ethical Diamonds, ensuring every stone is sourced with responsibility and crafted with integrity.

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