A very hot topic in the gemstone world is the question of whether man-made diamonds or natural mined diamonds are better. It has been long discussed, debated, and argued, and we are here to explain what the differences are between the two and which one is truly the best choice.
Now some of this will depend on what you prefer personally, but we hope to assist you in being able to draw a conclusion after looking at both sides’ benefits listed side by side.
We will be comparing the two separately, starting with mined diamonds and their history and qualities.
The Case for Mined Diamonds
This is the natural, traditional way to come up with a diamond: mining it from the earth.
How They Come to Exist
Diamonds go through quite a long process to become that sparkling twinkle on your engagement ring. The conditions for their growth have to be absolutely perfect. Basically, they form when pure carbon endures super high temperatures and pressures over millions and millions of years in the Earth’s mantle.
When the conditions are exactly right, around 100 to 120 miles deep and up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, they are able to actually form. Over time, they are then pushed to the surface by volcanoes erupting. It is quite a timeline for these gemstones.
What are the Benefits?
So they are technically natural, but what are the actual benefits of going with a mined diamond?
One aspect that is important to keep in mind is the positive social impact that can come from the mining industry. There are companies like Zimele, who promote business and create jobs in diamond communities, helping it to become a thriving community.
Also, now that conflict diamonds have been eradicated, and there are companies working hard to ensure that 99% of the diamonds you see in jewelry are from peaceful nations – there is a lot less guilt behind the stones as well.
Other than that, there are not really as many differences as you may think between the two types of diamonds. While a lot of it does come down to personal preference, it is good to know both sides of the spectrum.
The Case for Man-Made Diamonds
Now you may be wondering, are man-made diamonds actually real?
The answer is yes. These gems are just as much diamonds as ones that were mined directly from the earth. These synthetic designs have the exact same chemical and physical properties as the natural gemstones.
How They Come to Exist
There are a few different ways that synthetic diamonds come to be. One is High Pressure High Temperature and the other is Chemical Vapor Deposition. The latter is the one you will see most of the time for high-quality gems that are able to be worn.
For this method, a disc of around 15-30 diamond seeds is placed in a little diamond growth chamber. Then a plasma ball of superheated gases builds up in there until the heat gets to 900-1200 degrees Celsius.
After that the gases gathering in there start to stick to the diamond seeds, causing the diamond to start growing carbon atom by carbon atom for a few weeks.
Knowing the Origin of Your Diamonds
Like we discussed before, there are measures in place to make sure the diamonds that are being purchased for jewelry is not from conflict-ridden areas. However, if it is something you are really concerned about, a man-made diamond will give you better peace of mind since you know exactly where it has come from.
There is a lot to be said for the environmental impact of having your diamonds created by man instead of the earth. Diamond mines can create significant damage to the ecosystems they are in, and also require a lot of fossil fuels in order to extract the stones from the earth.
The impact on the earth is a lot less invasive for the synthetic diamonds, which is a definite benefit to choosing them.
Your Wallet Will Thank You
Overall, purchasing a synthetic diamond over a natural one will cost you significantly less. With that in mind, you may be able to buy a larger, higher-quality cut if you go the man-made route. Unless it is vitally important to you to have a diamond that came from the earth, there isn’t a reason aesthetically to go with a natural one.
Which One is Truly Better?
We can’t really argue with environmental benefits, pricing, and quality of the man-made diamond. While both definitely have great qualities, the good really outweighs the bad on the synthetic gems. It’s also really great to have more choices and sizing options with the ones made by companies. Overall, they are just more convenient as well.
Which one do you prefer?