Decoding the Diamond Dilemma: Real Diamonds vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds

18K White Gold1.99CTTW Diamonds Ring
JFJ 18K White Gold 1.99CTTW Diamonds Ring

Naturally sourced diamonds with their unique beauty, rarity and utility have captivated humans for centuries, ingraining themselves as timeless symbols of love and luxury.  

However, more recently, the technological development enabling mass production of synthetic diamonds, known as either “lab-grown diamonds” or “moissanite” has catalysed some of the industry’s biggest changes since the diamond-rush of the 1800’s.


The process to create each of these synthetic options is different but unlike their predecessor, the cubic zirconia, both options are indeed very close in their properties to real diamonds that were formed billions of years ago under the earth’s surface.

18k B/Tn 1.01ct Solitaire Diamond Ring
JFJ 18k B/Tn 1.01ct Solitaire Diamond Ring

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

After numerous failed attempts by a plethora of organisations, scientists from the General Electric Company – yes, the guys that make fridges – finally made the momentous breakthrough in 1955. 

They achieved this incredible feat by artificially heating and compressing carbon at pressures of almost 1 million psi. The resulting product is one that resembles its natural counterpart in seemingly all properties, except its rarity

Initially, the objective of this science was to reduce the cost of diamonds used in industry, with the aim of producing a stone as hard as a natural diamond but significantly cheaper.  However, due to their affordability, strength, sparkle and clarity these synthetic diamonds have recently grown in popularity for use in jewellery and wedding rings as well.

9k B/Tne 1ct Diamonds Ring
JFJ 9k B/Tne 1ct Diamonds Ring

But will they hold their value?

As the demand for synthetic diamonds has grown, so too has the supply, meaning that the accessibility and price of these stones is now at an all-time low. With prices between $180 bought online to $1000, the Hollywood “big rock” is now affordable to almost everyone. 


Naturally, the economic law of supply and demand, means that the proliferation of these “fake” diamonds in the market has only served to push their prices down and in turn increase the allure of naturally sourced diamonds.


Investing in luxury diamonds, gold and platinum is what sets fine jewellery apart from mass-produced products, with their resale value being a crucial factor. As the market gets more and more flooded with lab-grown diamonds, it is clear that the resale and insurance values of these ‘new kids on the block’ simply do not hold up.


So whilst a lab-grown diamond may give you the “big-rock-bling” of your dreams, it’s a bit like a fake Louis Vuitton bag – it just doesn’t feel quite the same and certainly cannot be traded for close to, if not more, than the price you paid for it in the future.

'Gail' Platinum Diamond Ring
JFJ 'Gail' Platinum Diamond Ring

Are lab-grown diamonds considered ethical and sustainable?

Some may see lab-grown diamonds as more sustainable and ethical, especially given the reputation of natural diamonds in this regard over the years.


However there still needs to be more transparency around the carbon footprint and human resources in many of these operations. With the bulk of the factories situated in countries with largely unsustainable energy sources, such as China and India, the reality might not be quite as idealistic as the marketers of lab-grown diamonds like to state. 

JFJ store

 Should I go for real instead?

John Franich Jewellers in West Auckland have been keeping a close eye on lab-grown diamonds for some time now. Whilst they do offer them to customers looking for custom-made pieces with a sizeable centre stone, they have also seen customers coming back disappointed to see that their jewellery investment, when valued for insurance, is no longer worth what they paid for it. 

Ultimately having choices that cater to everyone’s needs is the best option for the market. Whether you opt for the timeless value and elegance of real diamonds or the more budget-friendly lab-grown alternatives, the positive is that you now have more beautiful choices available to you. 


John Franich is committed to helping you explore the right options to find a forever stone that embodies your style. They will happily source lab-grown diamonds or moissanite for custom-made pieces, should clients wish to consider this option, but recommend you Book an appointment to discuss this in more detail with Jenni or John Franich. 


All of John Franich Jewellers diamonds are sourced through Diamond Brokers in the Diamond Capital of the World in Antwerp, Belgium.  These diamonds are certified “conflict-free” by the Kimberley Process and come with an authenticity certificate of size, clarity, colour and weight (carat).


Explore John Franich’s curated collection of natural diamonds, and their own John Franich Private Collection.


For further reading on your options for diamonds and look-a-like diamonds, read their article here.


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