Lab-Grown Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Shimmering, glittering, dazzling diamonds are often the default choice when it comes to bridal jewellery. From necklaces and rings all the way to tennis bracelets and earrings, the versatility and classic style of diamonds are what make them so popular. While old-fashioned views of gemstones assert that natural is the way to go, lab-grown gemstones are steadily gaining traction as modern beliefs shift and change. If you’re questioning the merits of natural v. lab-grown for your wedding/engagement ring and need some expert advice, you may find the answers here. Robin Harper from Melbourne Wedding & Bride sits down with Cameron Beever, owner and operator of Ringwood Jewellers, to discuss the trend of lab-grown diamonds and why they are growing in popularity. We will discuss what separates a lab-grown from a natural diamond, how they are made, and why beliefs about them are changing. If you’re currently searching for the perfect ring to pop the question to your partner, dear reader, then you’ve come to the right place!
Image Courtesy of: Still Muse Photography
Jewellery has been in the Beever family trade dating as far back as 1903. Beever’s great grandfather was a jeweller who immigrated from the United Kingdom, and his grandparents operated a jewellery shop in East Malvern for almost forty years. Beever’s parents, Peter and Pam, were working in the jewellery industry in the 70s when they met, and together they opened Ringwood Jewellers in 2001. When Cameron started working with his parents over the Christmas period soon after graduating, he realised that he too had a love for jewellery. After his parents retired in 2020, Beever and his wife, Candice, took over the family business and the Beever tradition continues to flourish to this day. With gemstones in his blood, he’s the perfect person to go to for all things diamonds and to help decide what might be the right choice for you.
Synthesise Me, Baby
While natural and lab-grown diamonds may be self-explanatory in terms of their differences, it’s important to the discuss them in depth to fully educate ourselves. For the natural diamonds, Beever explains: “Diamonds are naturally grown deep within the earth and have been growing over hundreds, thousands and millions of years under immense heat and pressure.” With this in mind, it’s no wonder why natural diamonds on the market tend to be on the more expensive side. As a resource birthed from our planet, its availability is finite. When you further take into consideration the sheer amount of time it takes to grow natural diamonds, the price tag starts to make a lot of sense.
As for lab-grown diamonds, “With technology rapidly evolving, diamonds can now be grown in a laboratory under immense heat and pressure similarly to how a natural diamond is grown,” says Beever. In other words, the process is largely the same, while the environment is completely different. “A lab-grown diamond has the same chemical composition as a natural diamond and is very difficult to distinguish between the two,” he explains.
Lab-grown diamonds have two primary methods of production: High Pressure Temperature and Chemical Vapor Deposition. Both processes can take several weeks—even months depending on the size and quality of the desired diamond. A much more reasonable time in comparison to the millions of years it takes to create the natural ones, that’s for sure! However way the diamond is made, they are cut and polished identically to natural diamonds, making them virtually identical in terms of chemical composition, physical properties and appearance.
More Diamond Than Diamond
Now that the differences in how the diamonds are made are clear, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: aren’t lab-grown diamonds ‘fake’ diamonds? Well, the answer to this question will depend on your own individual opinions and perspectives on the matter. Beever shares his thoughts on this belief: “Some people say that a lab grown diamond is fake or not real. While I understand some opinions on this, as technology advances, there’s so much more variety or opportunity.”
If it looks like a real diamond, feels like a real diamond, and has all the components that make up a real diamond as has been previously discussed, then the value of it is what you make of it. While there will always be people who value the natural diamond over the lab-grown diamond, there are certain benefits to having a lab-grown diamond that may be taken into consideration when deciding what’s right for you.
But At What Cost?
Enough about politics, let’s talk about what really matters – money! Like any good jeweller, Beever happily walks his clients through the process with a caring hand: “I try to work closely with my clients to stick to their budget. If they’re after a high colour and clarity of diamond and a natural diamond isn’t achievable, then we will often be able to get a better colour and clarity in a lab-grown diamond at a more affordable price.” The biggest draw for lab-grown diamonds these days are their affordability. This is likely due to the rising cost of living, according to Beever. “A lab-grown diamond offers a budget-friendly option,” he says.
If the price alone isn’t enough to sell you on lab-grown diamonds, perhaps the ethical and environmental components may be something to consider. As lab-grown diamonds are – obviously – produced in a controlled laboratory environment, there’s less risk of human rights exploitation and environmentally damaging mining practices. Its availability also means that lab-grown diamonds have a greater range of options to choose from when it comes to size, shape and colour.
For advice for men looking for engagement rings, Beever has some parting advice: “Have a chat to her friends or even herself about what sort of style she likes. Bring your ideas in and let us create your dream to your budget. If a natural diamond suits the budget, then great! If not, a lab-grown option is also good!”
Halabi’s final advice for grooms-to-be searching for the perfect patterned suit or statement accessories is this: “Whatever you choose, commit to your choice and own it! You are the groom after all, this is your big day, you should feel your best.” Don’t be afraid to channel your creativity and step outside the box. Your suit should feel like you, so have fun with it!