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What is the difference between lab-made diamonds and natural diamonds?

You may have become increasingly familiar with the term ‘lab-made diamonds’ over the past few years as the powers of nature and technology have magically collaborated...

By Melissa Ban
3 min read
What is the difference between lab-made diamonds and natural diamonds?

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds - beautiful in every cut, colour, clarity and now in the way in which they are sourced. You may have become increasingly familiar with the term ‘lab-made diamonds’ over the past few years as the powers of nature and technology have magically collaborated.

Lab-made refers to diamonds that have been grown in a highly controlled laboratory environment in order of producing beautiful and sparkly diamonds with one huge difference - they haven't been mined.

“Plenty of sparkles, with some added science”

Now, what are the differences between lab-made and natural diamonds?


By opting for a stunningly beautiful lab-made diamond for your wedding or engagement ring, not only are you promised a high quality and certified diamond, but you are playing your part in the movement towards a much more sustainable diamond-mining industry.

The chain of events from sourcing the diamond to your finished ring is transparent for a lab diamond as we are in control of the entire process, which unfortunately cannot be said for that of natural diamonds. However, at Holts, we are always aspiring to play our part in striving towards a more ethically sustainable future for the diamond industry, which means we endorse for all naturally mined diamonds to be done so in line with the new responsible mining initiatives that are now in place.

Don’t be mistaken though - by choosing a naturally grown diamond you aren't single-handedly ruining the industry or planet. As with everything balance is key - too many lab-made diamonds would use incredible amounts of energy, which in turn could damage the environment if not kept to moderate numbers.


When it comes to price points, lab-made diamonds offer excellent value for money in comparison to their natural counterparts. Whilst the prices of lab-made diamonds vary when it comes to cut, colour and size (the bigger the carat, the higher the price), they are a cheaper alternative, carat for carat, compared to a natural diamond.

However, due to the nature of lab-grown diamonds, whilst emotionally they become more valuable, their value may deflate - unlike natural diamonds, which there is a finite amount of. Lab-made diamonds are perfect for those ‘forever’ pieces, not necessarily for pieces that may be sold again at a future time as their emotional value increases more than their physical value.


Differentiating the appearance of a natural diamond and a lab-made diamond would be an impossible task. Aside from the fact both are equally captivating in appearance, they are scientifically both made up of the same visual, chemical and physical components. One key difference is that due to how the diamonds are created in the lab they do not exhibit any natural flaws and imperfections - they really are visually perfect, real diamonds.

Since lab-made diamonds look so similar to their naturally created counterparts, they are sold with a certification to conclude their origin as this would be impossible to tell by the human eye alone.


Natural diamonds are embedded in the earth's surface for billions of years until they are mined. Their lab-made peers, however, are created in just 6-10 weeks. Do not be mistaken though, just because the growth time has been shortened by a few million years, no other steps have been forgotten whilst producing these lustrous diamonds - they are grown, cut, polished and graded as every diamond is.

Now, over to you

Now, time to choose the perfect diamond for you. One thing you are promised here at Holts Gems is a visually striking diamond that will shine brightly through your lifetime and beyond, whether it was born in a laboratory or mined from the earth's surface.


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