Buying jewellery can feel like an impossible task to navigate. On top of fluctuating prices due to changes in the resources and mining industry, you’ll also have the task of separating the legitimate dealers from the frauds. This is especially true when it comes to buying diamonds.
The buying and selling of diamonds can be a contentious topic in itself. Synthetic diamonds were introduced to combat growing ethical mining concerns in the diamond industry, however in recent times it’s becoming easier to find ethically sourced natural diamonds. If you’re in the market for a diamond, this begs the question: do you go for lab-grown diamonds, or their natural counterparts?
Below are a few reasons to consider both types and some relevant information to help you determine which is best for you.
What is the Difference?
Lab-grown diamonds (or synthetic diamonds) are man-made and produced in a laboratory, while natural diamonds can take billions of years to form and are harvested from the earth. This is the only fundamental difference between the two. In fact, synthetic diamonds look and feel so close to the real thing that even a professional specialising in gemology still needs to use specialised equipment to tell which is which.
Surprisingly, due to the lab growing process, a synthetic diamond can end up with a D colour grade (the highest diamond colour grade), meaning that even though a diamond is man-made, it can still potentially fetch just as high a price as a natural diamond. All jewellers must declare whether a diamond is lab-grown or naturally occurring and will include certification with the sale to indicate as such. This is really the only way you could tell the difference between the two types without using any specialised tools.
So Which One Should You Buy?
As there are no noticeable differences either aesthetically or texturally between synthetic and natural diamonds, which one should you buy? The decision will ultimately hinge on your priorities at the time. The two main factors that you should consider are price and potential resale value.
Price differences are largely due to the fact that natural diamonds are in shorter supply. It can take billions of years to produce one after all, whereas lab-grown diamonds can be produced in a matter of weeks.
If you’re only concerned with the aesthetic quality of diamonds, then lab-grown is best. There’s no need to splurge on a natural diamond, as they appear identical. However, if you plan on reselling your diamonds or are purchasing them as an asset, natural will be the better option. Natural diamonds often retain around 50% of their value, whereas synthetic diamonds depreciate in value immediately after purchase.
Which Are Best?
The best diamond for you will ultimately depend on your individual tastes and circumstances. A cash-strapped newlywed couple who have their heart set on a diamond ring would be smart to opt for the synthetic variety, whereas a jewel collector or investor should favour going the natural diamond route.
Fortunately, it’s getting easier to find synthetic diamonds in major cities, with an abundance of dealers offering both natural and lab-grown diamonds in Melbourne. This gives prospective buyers a chance to see and feel both options in the flesh in order to make the most informed purchasing decision.