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April's Babies- Diamonds

Natural vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds

One took millions of years to grow in the Earth, the other takes just a few weeks in a lab. Still, they are essentially chemically and optically the same and it takes sophisticated equipment to see the difference.

Natural diamonds formed under extreme pressure and high temperature millions, possibly billions of years ago. Volcanic activity brings them close to the surface where they are mined.Lab-grown or man-made diamonds are made two ways. High pressure, high temperature diamonds are produced in a laboratory by mimicking the conditions that form natural diamonds deep in the Earth. Another procedure known as the chemical vapor deposition method breaks down the molecules of a carbon-rich gas, such as methane, into carbon and hydrogen atoms, which then are deposited on diamond seeds.

Natural and lab-grown diamonds sparkle the same, have the same types of color and clarity, and come in the same sizes and shapes, including round, princess, oval, marquise, pear, cushion, radiant, emerald, and asscher.

So which diamonds are better? Well, that depends. Lab-grown diamonds tend to cost 30% less than natural diamonds, but the market for them is unsettled and that may rise or fall. Both types are virtually identical but lab-grown diamonds are much more sustainable. The human and environment cost of mining diamonds is disturbing. So better is subjective and better for you might mean price, process or protection of the planet.

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