What's The Deal: Lab-grown vs. mined diamonds

If you could have twice the diamond, for the same price, would you care if it came from a lab? That's what many consumers are asking themselves as synthetic gems grow in popularity.
Our friends at MoneyTalksNews compared the man-made options, with the real things.

"Created diamonds offer more for less not a compromise, but you're buying something that's physically, chemically, optically identical. It's certified by the same exact certifying agency that says it's a diamond with the only distinction is its provenance. They came from above the ground instead of below the ground," said Neil Koppel from Renaissance Diamonds.

The diamond distributor is talking about a revolution in the diamond biz. Lab-grown diamonds are now starting to hit mainstream jewelry stores.

Although it costs 20% to 50% less than mined diamonds, make no mistake, these aren't fakes.

They're real and indistinguishable from mined stones.
"So here are two diamonds that are similar in eye appeal, similar in size. This one, the lab grown, will cost you $8,000. And this one, the mined diamond will cost you $17,000," said Stacey Kravitz from Beverly's Jewelers.

Lab-grown diamonds are sending shock waves through the jewelry industry. Some jewelers have already announced they're not going to carry them, while other stores carry them as an option.

But should we really care whether your diamond comes from a lab or from a mine?
As it happens, some buyers not only don't mind lab-grown diamonds, they prefer them.

"They might want a lab-grown diamond because they want to get more bang for their buck. Also, if they have eco-friendly concerns, they want to leave a smaller footprint. These diamonds are sustainable, and eco-friendly," said Kravitz.

You may not find a lab-grown diamond at your local jeweler today, but more than likely it won't be long.

"Now we're at a place where it's ready for prime time because, first of all, the quality is good enough, the supply is starting to emerge and more than that the consumer is, I think they want to get more value for their money," said Koppel.

One more advantage of lab-grown diamonds is the availability of different colors, like pink, yellow, and blue, which are very rare and very pricey if found in a mine.
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