What are Lab Grown Diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds, sometimes referred to as man made diamonds, cultivated diamonds or even synthetic diamonds, are created in a laboratory setting through a technological process, as opposed to a geological process that creates natural, earth-mined diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical, and physical properties of natural, earth-mined diamonds, meaning they are identical in every way.

The demand for lab grown diamonds has increased substantially in recent years, as technological advances have perfected the process of growing diamonds that are not only equally beautiful, but also economical and ethical.

Lab grown diamonds offer excellent value, offering the opportunity to purchase a larger diamond at a lower price point - often in excess of 30% lower in price than natural, earth-mined diamonds of comparable size and quality.

 

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Why choose Savvy+Sand for Lab Grown Diamonds?

Savvy+Sand is at the forefront of lab grown diamonds in the UK, being the first jeweller to introduce this new facet of diamonds to engagement jewellery in 2016. Our unparalleled expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including Sky News.

Watch our interview with Sky News below.

With our immense experience and expertise, our gemmologists will source an exclusive selection of lab grown diamonds that meet and, in some cases, exceed your aspirations. 

Lab grown diamonds - are they real?

This question is usually the first thing most people ask. In short, lab grown diamonds are 100% real diamonds. They have the same optical, chemical, thermal, and physical features, meaning there is no difference to a natural, earth-mined diamond.

For this reason, under testing conditions, lab grown diamonds will detect as real diamonds. Even experienced gemmologists will be unable to tell the difference.

Read more about this here.

How are lab grown diamonds created?

Lab grown diamonds are categorised as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapour deposition (CVD) diamonds.

The HPHT method was introduced in the 1950s and involves placing a small diamond seed in carbon. The diamond seed is exposed to extreme heat (over 1,500 degrees celsius) and pressure (around 1.5 million PSI), replicating the way diamonds are naturally grown in earth. It is then cooled and the diamond is formed.

The CVD method was created in the 1980s and imitates how diamonds form in interstellar gas clouds. The CVD method places a diamond seed in a vacuum chamber, which becomes filled with carbon rich gases and is heated to nearly 800 degrees celsius. The gas turns into plasma from these extremely high temperatures, causing the release of carbon pieces. These carbon pieces become layered onto the diamond seed, which grows the diamond.

The CVD process produces Type IIA diamonds, which are extremely rare for naturally occurring diamonds. Type IIA diamonds are the most chemically pure diamonds – they lack nitrogen and/or boron impurities, unlike HPHT diamonds that are exposed to nitrogen.

The end result of both the HPHT and CVD method is a rough diamond. The rough diamond then goes through the exact same process that a natural, earth-mined diamond would go through to produce a polished diamond - planning, cleaving/sawing, bruting and polishing.

Are Lab grown diamonds more ethical?

Lab grown diamonds can provide peace of mind that a natural, earth-mined diamond often cannot.

Many years ago, the mined diamond industry came under scrutiny when unethical production practises were exposed. These practises produced diamonds that funded violence (sometimes referred to as blood or conflict diamonds) and exploited miners and their families.

Thankfully, with the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003, these unethical practices have been virtually eliminated.

As with mining of any natural resource, diamond mining has a significant impact on the environment and the eco-systems around them. Although, the diamond mining industry is fully aware of that impact and have taken steps to minimise the effect they have.

However, lab grown diamonds are significantly less detrimental to the environment as it takes considerably less energy to grow a diamond in a lab than it does to mine it from the ground.

Whether you are considering purchasing a lab grown or natural diamond, it is important to know that you are buying from a trusted jeweller. Savvy+Sand, with a heritage spanning over four-generations, only works with the most trusted, ethical and transparent diamond suppliers, sourcing only newly certified GIA and IGI diamonds for our engagement rings.

Which designs can be created with lab grown diamonds?

Each of our collections - engagement rings, both designer and in-house - and fine jewellery can be created using a lab grown diamond in its center. Wedding bands can also be created using lab grown diamonds throughout.

 

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How to choose the best lab grown diamond for your engagement ring

If you have decided that a lab grown diamond engagement ring is right for you, the process of choosing the best lab grown diamond is no different to choosing a mined diamond. At Savvy+Sand, we advise to first define your rough budget and the diamond shape or shapes you are interested in. We will then curate the best selection of lab grown diamonds for you to view, either in person or virtually. As with mined diamonds, the four key considerations are Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight.

At Savvy+Sand, we prioritise an excellent Cut, followed by a high colour grade (D-F), then a mid to high clarity grade (VS2 and above). This will ensure that your diamond will appear bright, colourless and have a magnificent sparkle and scintillation. Remember, a very low clarity grade will have more inclusions (some of which may be black/grey and visible to the naked eye) and will distort the reflection of light, which may lead to a dull looking diamond. It’s important to seek advice from a qualified gemmologist (Savvy+Sand’s team are all GIA graduates) to help and guide you in the intricacies and characteristics of each diamond. For more advice, please contact our experts.

How long does it take to create lab grown diamonds?

Lab grown diamonds typically take around a week to form into a rough diamond. This rough diamond then goes through the exact same process as a mined diamond to produce a polished diamond, that you see in all our beautiful engagement rings. Compared to the natural process, it's an incredibly quick process!


What else are lab grown diamonds known as?

Lab grown diamonds are sometimes referred to as man made, lab created, cultivated, cultured, aboveground and synthetic diamonds.


Where can I buy lab grown diamonds in the UK?

Savvy+Sand were the first retailer in the UK to introduce lab grown diamonds to the UK engagement ring market in 2015. Still today, very few UK jewellers sell lab grown diamonds and an even smaller proportion have expertise in this new facet of diamonds. Being at the forefront of understanding lab grown diamonds, Savvy+Sand has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with clients on lab grown diamonds alongside our award-winning bespoke engagement ring services.

At Savvy+Sand, our ethos is to work with our clients at every step to creating your dream engagement ring. After listening to your aspirations, our GIA gemmologists will curate a selection of the best lab grown diamonds for your budget, before meeting with you in person, or virtually, to discuss your engagement ring.


Can I insure my lab grown diamond engagement ring?

Yes! It is important to insure your lab grown diamond ring, as you would any other high value item. We are happy to recommend an insurance company to you, if you wish.

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