The Chupi Journal


Everything You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds

Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Our new The Stories We Tell collection has been launched, and it contains some of our most beautiful lab-grown diamond pieces. And I should know – I spend all day with these beauties. 

Like our CEO Chupi, I believe lab-grown diamonds are the way of the future. Ethical, sustainable and carbon-neutral, I’m excited to share what I know and answer your questions.

Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?

The short answer is yes! Chemically, they’re exactly the same – it’s just the way they’re produced that’s different. 

Lab-grown diamonds – often referred to as lab-created diamonds, man-made diamonds or cultivated diamonds – are diamonds that are made above the ground instead of below it. 

Grown in a laboratory, cutting edge technology is used to replicate conditions you would find in the earth’s crust, resulting in a beautiful, unique diamond that is as much a real diamond as a mined stone.

They’re visually the same and structurally the same – the only difference is that one is completely traceable and you know how it was made and exactly where it came from.

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Lab-grown diamonds are made in two different ways.

One way is called CVD, which stands for Chemical Vapour Deposition. That means that a diamond seed is put into a chemical vapour chamber and a gas is injected into the chamber and the gas contains carbon. A lot of pressure is applied inside the chamber and the carbon precipitates on the diamond seed and it grows little octahedron-shaped diamonds inside the chamber. It takes a few weeks for it to grow that way. 

The other way that you can grow diamonds is called HPHT. It stands for High Pressure, High Temperature, which is based on the same principle as how diamonds grow in the earth. There is a diamond seed in a chamber, and metal placed is in the chamber with it and the metal contains carbon. 

Because they use incredibly high heat and very high pressure in the chamber, the metal melts, the carbon comes out of the metal and it attaches deep down into the crystal and a seed grows in the same way. 

We use both CVD and HPHT diamonds, and both of our supplies are carbon neutral certified.

Once they’re grown, they’re cut and polished and certified in the same way a mined diamond would be.

Why does Chupi use lab-grown diamonds?

We put a big focus on sustainability and transparency in what we do, and are always looking for ways to improve. We want to know everything about our products and where our materials come from. 

The diamond industry is notoriously opaque; I love the idea of knowing exactly where everything comes from, which is why I love lab-grown diamonds.

However, a lot of people who buy lab-grown diamonds do it with a lot of purpose, they approach it from the heart; it isn’t always about the cost. We had gotten feedback that people worry about where diamonds come from and want to know that their piece wasn’t harmful to the environment. 

Do lab-grown diamonds shine like mined diamonds?

Yes. Lab-grown diamonds are cut and polished in the same way as mined diamonds, and then they’re certified the same as a mined diamond would be. When picking our lab-grown diamonds, we look at the 4Cs – colour, clarity, carat and cut – and hold them to the same standards of rarity and value as mined diamonds. 

Are lab-created diamonds as strong as mined diamonds?

Yes, they both have the same durability, a 10 on the Mohs scale.

Why are lab-grown diamonds cheaper than mined diamonds?

The price difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds is mainly down to the way the mined diamond economy works. The market value of mined diamonds is tightly controlled, and the prices are set. 

With lab-grown diamonds, the price is based more on how much energy it takes to grow them, rather than this market controlling price. Obviously, they’re part of this diamond market as well, but the cost of them is more based on what it takes to create the diamond.

Can you wear lab-grown diamonds beside a mined diamond?

Yes, although like with any diamond, you need to be mindful of the grading: if your diamonds are graded the same, then they will look the same. So if you have a mined diamond that’s a different colour than a lab-grown diamond, that would be the only noticable difference. 

How do I care for my lab-grown diamonds?

We’ve put together a lab-grown diamond care guide containing lots of information on caring for your precious pieces.

I feel so heartened by the love we have been receiving for our lab-grown diamond collections, and am really looking forward to the response to our new range of beautiful lab-grown heirlooms this year. So much love and care has gone into every decision, and into the provenance of every part of each piece.

I look forward to the day we can replace all new mining with safely controlled, environmentally conscious lab-grown diamonds.

I am mindful of the labour mining provides for marginalised communities, so it is a sensitive process. However, I truly believe that reducing all mining would be beneficial to our world, including the communities and environments surrounding mines. The first step is to create such irresistibly gorgeous lab-grown diamond products that nothing else can compare, matching our aesthetics with our ethics.

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