What is the difference between natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds?

On a scientific level, natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds are the same-chemically, physically and optically. The only difference between them is that is one is mined from the depths of the Earth and other is made in laboratory.

Because of this fact, the Diamond Foundry asked that the FTC removed "natural" from the diamond definition. It contended, "the fact that diamonds exists in the soil of Earth" is "not a necessary attribute."

The commission agreed, and therefore eliminated the word "natural" from the diamond definition in the final Guides.

The FTC's definition of "diamond" now read as: "A diamond is a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system. It is found in many colors. It's hardness is 10; its specific gravity is approximately 3.52; and it has a refractive index of 2.42."

A brief history of lab grown diamonds

When the commission first used this definition in 1956, there was only one type of diamond product on the market- natural stones mined from the earth. Meanwhile, man-made diamonds suitable for industrial use were first produced in the laboratory in 1950s. While gem-quality diamonds were produced in a laboratory for the first time in 1971. Since then, technological advances have made it possible to create diamonds in lab. However it wasn't until the mid-2010s that colorless laboratory-grown diamonds entered the gem and jewelry market in commercial quantities. These stones have essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as mined diamonds; thus they are diamonds.


How are lab grown diamonds made?

Lab grown diamonds are made by high pressure, high temperature machine (HPHT) that mimics the pressure of the Earth and the temperature of the Sun. Simply put the HPHT methods simulates the natural process of a diamond created in the Earth by leveraging the same pressures and temperatures.