Lab grown diamonds are considered a great investment as they tend to be more affordable and ethical than mined diamonds. They can also have greater clarity and brightness that often rivals that of natural diamonds. Some however do question if this lustre fades with time. The truth is that lab-grown diamonds do not fade any worse than natural diamonds.
There is virtually no difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds aside from the fact that the former is made in a lab while the latter is mined from the earth. Both are made from carbon and share the same chemical and physical properties.
However, because lab-grown diamonds are made in the lab, it allows scientists to ensure that no impurities are included in the manufacturing process and that the amount of pressure and heat applied is carefully controlled, resulting in a diamond of the best clarity. So how does this explain why lab-grown diamonds don't fade with time?
Lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds are very much the same. It is almost impossible to tell the difference without sophisticated laboratory testing. And because they share the same properties, it is evident that there is no way a lab-grown diamond will fade, just as mined diamonds do not fade. The way they look when they are taken out of the chamber is the same way they will look a million years from now.
Why a Lab Diamond will never fade?
Lab diamonds can be made in two ways. These are the high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapour deposition (CVD) methods. in HPHT a diamond fragment is placed in a cell with a metal catalyst and carbon block placed on top. When exposed to extreme heat and pressure, the metal catalyst melts and allows the broken-down carbon to reach the diamond fragment and begin to crystallise.
With CVD, the seed crystal is exposed to carbon-rich gas at high temperatures to prompt crystallisation. The CVD process tends to be more reliable in producing clear and bright diamonds as certain metal catalysts can imbue the diamond that grows with colouring. Where the goal is a clear diamond, scientists can ensure that the metal catalyst used will achieve the desired results.
The resulting diamonds from lab production are not only bright and clear, but they are also highly resistant to becoming faded or cloudy. These results do not change. Just as natural diamonds do not also become faded or cloudy, so too should you expect lab-grown diamonds to persist.
And because the production process is void of impurities, especially when using the CVD process, this tends to result in more Type IIa diamonds that are considered the most chemically pure. These are also the rarest and most valuable diamonds that can be found in nature, with just 1-2% of all diamonds falling in this category.
If you do happen upon a lab-grown diamond that has become faded or cloudy, then it is likely a result of a poor production process or is cubic zirconia. Some poor-quality CVD lab-grown diamonds have been known to temporarily lose their lustre when exposed to UV light. Others could be from HPHT production where the metal catalyst imparted colour changes to the diamond.
This makes it vital to ensure that when buying a lab-grown diamond, you do so from a reputable jeweller who in turn deals with trusted labs that can guarantee the quality of their product. These
labs will typically have subjected their diamonds to UV light testing to ensure they are of the desired colour and clarity that will last a lifetime.