We’ve previously blogged about what exactly a lab-grown diamond is. We wanted to take that a little further and explore the differences between lab-grown stones and their mined counterparts.
Truth is, it’s not possible to talk about the differences in the stones themselves, because both lab-grown and mined diamonds are exactly the same atomically. They have the same physical, optical and chemical characteristics, because they are made of the same “ingredients” of crystallised carbon. They are both ranked at 10 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale (this is a geological scale of the scratch resistance of materials). They both have the same “specific gravity” (for the science buffs out there, this refers to the density of a material. Water has a specific gravity of 1. Anything less than 1 will therefore float on water – diamonds are graded at 3.52, hence why people have been known to lose diamonds in the swimming pool!) They both have the same features of optical transparency, i.e. how they allow light to refract and pass through them, creating that magnificent sparkle. And they both have the same thermal conductivity – diamonds are unusually good conductors of heat.
So really, the major differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds are in the impacts they each have on our world. Did you know that, for every carat of diamond (that’s just 0.2 of a gram in weight), mined diamonds create around 4,000 times more mineral waste than lab-grown diamonds? Or that it takes an average of nearly 100 square feet of land, and between 200 and 2,000 tons of earth and dirt, to mine one carat of diamond, versus zero (well, other than the physical footprint of the laboratory itself!) in the case of lab-grown? How about the usage of water during the process? Under 20 gallons of water are used to create a carat of lab-grown diamond, as opposed to more than 100 gallons with mined diamonds.
Here at The Ethical Diamond Company, we don’t want to take choice away from consumers. So we believe in the lab-grown and mined diamond industries working alongside each other, with the aim of the mining industry achieving higher standards of ethics and sustainability across the supply chain. These facts and figures are to give people greater choice 😊
Please contact us to discuss how we can find the perfect piece of jewellery for you.
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