Natural vs. Lab Grown Diamonds

If you've shopped for diamonds recently, you've likely come across a question you may not be sure how to answer. Natural or Lab-Grown diamonds?

"Natural" or "mined" diamonds have been the standard for fine jewelry for millennia. These stones are so treasured because they take millions of years to grow beneath the earth's surface. Like finger prints, each one is unique. High quality jewelry grade diamonds offer unparalleled sparkle and radiance when compared to other gems. Not to mention, they are the hardest stone known to man, meaning they are perfect for using in engagement rings and jewelry you want to last lifetimes. 

For almost as long as diamonds have been used in jewelry, mankind has been striving to recreate this precious material. In the 1950's engineers at GE proved successful in this endeavor. In the decades since the process has become refined enough to create eye clean, colorless diamonds like the ones used in fine jewelry. Since 2020, lab grown diamonds have really taken off within the bridal jewelry industry, but is becoming more common in fashion jewelry as well.

Both options are truly a diamond. Without a trained eye or special equipment there is no way to tell the difference between lab and mined. However, there are a few things to take into consideration before making your purchase. Let's weigh the pros and cons to help you choose the diamond that best reflects your values and style.

Natural Diamonds: A Timeless Treasure

  • Rarest of the Rare: Formed over millions of years deep within the Earth, natural diamonds possess an undeniable allure of rarity and mystery. Owning a unique piece of geological history can be incredibly special and offers a really powerful message to the recipient it's gifted to. 

  • Investment Potential: High-quality natural diamonds, especially larger stones with good cut, clarity, color, and carat weight, can hold their value or even appreciate over time.

  • The Traditional Choice: Natural diamonds have been the symbol of love and commitment for generations. Choosing a natural diamond upholds a long-standing tradition associated with marriage, anniversaries, or other milestones.

Cons of Natural Diamonds

  • Ethical Concerns: The process of diamond mining as undergone an overhaul since the times of "blood diamonds" and unethical labor practices, yet the stigma still remains. At Herzog, we offer only responsibly sourced stones ranging in sustainability and price. 

  • Higher Price Tag: The rarity and traditional markup lead to a higher initial cost for natural diamonds compared to their lab-grown counterparts.

Lab-Grown Diamonds: A Sustainable Spark

  • Eco-Friendly: Herzog Lab Grown Diamonds are created in controlled labs under a few weeks and have a significantly smaller environmental footprint compared to mined diamonds. We even offer Aether Carbon Negative diamonds that can lessen the carbon footprint of your wedding.

  • Affordability: Lab-grown diamonds are typically significantly less than Natural diamonds. This means that you can purchase your dream ring now instead of waiting to trade up for it when you can afford it.

  • Scientific Marvel: Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, making them indistinguishable to the naked eye. In fact, most lab grown diamonds offer higher color and clarity than natural diamonds because they are created in a controlled environment free from contaminants. 

Cons of Lab-Grown Diamonds

  • Resale Uncertainty: The lab-grown diamond market is still relatively new, and the resale value of these stones is already proving to be less than desirable. Rings that were purchased for $15k a few years ago may be worth less than $5k in todays market. 

  • Lack of History and Individuality: For some, the lack of a long and storied journey beneath the Earth can diminish the romantic appeal of a lab-grown diamond. Not to mention these stones are grown and cut quite quickly, without the personality and meticulous considerations of natural stones.

  • Trend or Here to Stay: While lab grown diamonds are certainly holding in popularity for the time being, there is no way to tell what the public opinion may be on them in 5, 10, 20, or 50+ years.

The Choice is Yours: Finding Your Perfect Diamond

Ultimately, the decision between a natural and lab-grown diamond is a personal one. Consider your budget, values, and what holds more significance for you - the age-old tradition or the sustainable alternative. No matter your choice, with proper care, both natural and lab-grown diamonds can become cherished heirlooms, sparkling reminders of life's special moments.

Herzog has been selling natural diamonds for over 100 years and have not shied away from lab grown since it started gaining popularity about ten years ago. In our experience, there are some major considerations to take when purchasing lab grown. Stop by or shoot us a message if you have questions and we'll be happy to provide some insight on whether lab grown or natural diamonds are more appropriate for you.