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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 it is our goal to make beautiful jewellery that people will love forever.
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 and that stats we do rely on mainly come from China, the worlds biggest producers of synthetic diamonds.
Natural and Lab-grown diamonds are visually identical and 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.
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'.
although there are stills concerns about the ethical marketing of engineered diamonds the technology its self is certainly on the right course .
Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown Diamonds also referred to as engineered, cultured and fabricated 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 ethical 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.
Lab-grown engagement rings make up about 20% of global sales and are steadily on the rise, They have high colour and high clarity grades and are visually identical to natural stones.
The price of Lab-grown diamond rings allows customers to get exactly what they want without compromises, which is a given when buying a natural diamond. We have seen a large increase in sales of 2 carat engagement rings and 3 carat ring sizes.
But how much does a 2ct engagement ring cost?
Usually, a Natural 2ct diamond ring would be anywhere in the price range of £25,000 to £45,000, but Lab-grown options, for example, a 2ct Oval diamond ring well sell for around £3,500 or higher.
You may prefer a 2ct emerald cut diamond ring with a lab-grown diamond, prices are pretty consistent across all diamond shapes and the price would be affected by the cut grade which is different to shape.
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 of 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.
One of the main questions we are get asked is will Lab-Grown Diamonds hold any value, unfortunately the answer is no, there is currently no resale market due to 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?
Re-selling a Natural Diamond isn't an easy process and if you don't know the hacks you may lose up to 50%.
So, if you bought a 2 carat natural diamond for £20,000 and have to sell it for £10,000 would you be happy? Or do you think you should have gone with the synthetic diamond at £3,500 in the first place?
Two interesting perspectives to think about.
Consider your budget, some natural diamonds hold value more than others.
Diamonds in the hundreds of thousands, like stones over 5cts in fancy colours and really high specs like D, flawless are very rare and this is where we get the ideas of diamonds being good investments like rare pieces of art.
Diamonds in the tens of thousand are also good investments but aren't as rare and the demand when selling isn't as high as a lot of couples buying engagement rings wouldn't want a previously owned stone.
Diamonds under £10,000 can still be good investments if you know what you’re doing or have good advice from your jeweller.
The market for diamonds under £5,000 have been hit the hardest by Lab-grown diamonds and you will actually struggle to spend over £10,000 on a lab-grown stone in todays current market.
This is a very polarising subject for a lot of people.
We understand both perspectives on this and our goal is to be transparent with customers and to make fantastic jewels to be loved which ever you option you lean towards

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