All About Lab-Diamonds: What is a Laboratory-Grown Diamond, Anyway?

Let’s be real, we all love diamonds (perhaps there’s some truth to that cliché saying about best friends, after all). But increasingly, the modern considered shopper is interested in more than just the brilliance and brightness. Shopping for your perfect diamond piece can also mean thinking about the path your beautiful stone travels to reach your jewellery box.

At Medley we’re all about creating modern jewellery that lets you make a considered choice: with pieces crafted in genuine 10k gold and sterling silver, and quality 18k gold plating, as well as conflict free natural diamonds – all pieces that you can treasure for well beyond a fashion season.

So we’re proud to introduce a range of laboratory-grown diamonds (lab-grown diamonds for short), empowering you even further in your choice of jewellery and allowing you to select the type of diamond you love most.

If you’re wondering what on earth (or what in the lab) a laboratory-grown diamond is, read on. 

Laboratory-Grown Diamond Round Stud Earrings in Silver

What is a laboratory-grown diamond? (And what’s in a name?)

Chances are, you’ve seen a few different names floating around for these luxe stones. Some jewellers say laboratory-grown diamonds or lab-grown diamonds, some say created diamonds, some say synthetic; but essentially, they all mean the same thing. What they’re talking about is a manmade diamond.

At Medley, we like to call them laboratory-grown diamonds, because they *are* grown. These stones are formed using cutting-edge equipment and very clever proprietary techniques, which emulate the forces and conditions that take place deep below the Earth’s surface to result in the formation of natural diamonds.

Now, we get it – the word ‘lab’ doesn’t always sound so glam. But laboratory-grown diamonds are the result of incredible innovation, ingenuity, and an in-depth process. They are so special, in fact, that they’re actually classified as diamonds – they’re just a different type to natural diamonds. This is important to note, because they’re a world away from cubic zirconia and other diamond simulants. Of course, laboratory grown diamonds are also remarkably beautiful; see one IRL and you’ll be captivated.

What’s the difference between laboratory grown and natural mined diamonds?

We’ll start by stating the obvious: the major difference between laboratory-grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds is the origin. Natural diamonds are formed deep below the Earth’s surface, and are extracted via mining. Laboratory-grown diamonds are made by people, using ultra-modern machinery and techniques.

But how about what these two types of diamonds have in common?

Lab-grown diamonds (laboratory-grown diamonds) have essentially the same chemical makeup, crystal structure, and physical and optical properties as natural mined diamonds. Both are made from carbon, though natural diamonds are more likely to contain some trace elements due to their origins underground. Both score a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness – so natural diamonds and laboratory grown diamonds share the podium as the hardest known gemstone.  

Both natural mined and laboratory-grown diamonds are graded using a system called the Four Cs (cut, colour, clarity, and carat) which is used to determine the stone’s quality and value.

And, perhaps most importantly for jewellery lovers, natural and laboratory-grown diamonds share a spectacular beauty and a sparkle that’s distinct from other gemstones.

Is a laboratory-grown diamond the same as a diamond simulant?

The short answer: no. The long answer: let us explain.

Natural mined diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds, and simulated diamonds – there’s a lot going on, right?

As we’ve covered, laboratory-grown diamonds have an awful lot in common with natural mined diamonds, with the major difference being in the origin. Extraordinary innovation has allowed for stunning stones to be created in a laboratory, which meet the requirements to be classified as diamonds.

A diamond simulant, on the other hand, is a synthetic stone which is created to mimic the appearance of diamonds – but which is *not* classified as a diamond. The most popular diamond simulants are cubic zirconia and moissanite, which are gorgeous and sparkling, but they’re not made from carbon and they’re not as hard as diamonds. A trained eye can also distinguish them from natural mined diamonds based on their appearance.  

The beauty of all these stones is that they empower you to choose your perfect jewellery pieces, based on what’s most important to you: be it durability, appearance, price, or all of the above.

We love lab(-oratory-grown). Here’s why:

We aren’t one to play favourites. Natural mined diamonds are a thing of beauty – and when you think about it, they’re kind of miraculous (how does something so stunningly bright emerge from below the Earth?).

Laboratory-grown diamonds are amazing because they give you the radiance you love about diamonds, and they’re available in desirable clarity and colour grades for a more accessible price than a natural diamond of comparable quality.

For this reason, we love laboratory-grown diamonds for those must-have, timeless jewellery styles: think luxe-yet-minimalist solitaire necklaces and solitaire stud earrings. We’ve taken these classic styles and made them modern treasures in chic oval and baguette cuts. Do you want to know how to keep these pieces clean? Learn more.

These laboratory-grown diamond styles are the perfect long-term additions to your jewellery wardrobe, layering beautifully with your favourite chains and earrings. They also make for super special gifts, or stunning additions to your modern bridal look.

Intrigued? Shop our modern laboratory-grown diamonds: