What to Know About Ethical Diamonds

Not all diamonds are sourced or even created naturally. Man-made diamonds, also known as cultured or engineered diamonds, are made in laboratories using scientific processes that mimic the environment and conditions that allow for diamonds to develop naturally when they start to form within the mantle layer of the Earth beneath the crust.

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These lab-grown diamonds consist of the same chemical properties as diamonds that are natural and are able to grow from the miniscule carbon elements of these.

Due to advanced technological processes, such as a specific deposition process or the application of extreme heat or pressure, the natural diamond formation method is able to be duplicated.

In the lab, different-coloured diamonds can form when tiny quantities of certain trace elements are there at the time of the diamond’s growth phase, replicating nature itself.

Both clear and coloured engineered diamonds consist of trace elements which may be different to those of natural diamonds. Specialized equipment, such as a hand-held diamond tester, which detects differences in crystal growth, can distinguish between natural diamonds and man-made diamonds. However, it is also possible to do this without any specialist equipment and simply with just the naked eye. Gemologists can usually distinguish between natural and man-made diamonds due to the refractive properties in both.

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The colours of some cultured diamonds are rarely found in nature; however, their prices do not reflect this, and they often sell at comparatively lower prices to their natural counterparts.

Examples of lab diamonds include moissanite and cubic zirconia. Both natural and lab diamonds are popular as engagement and eternity rings, although diamond eternity rings are more so. Even DeBeers are now selling man-made diamonds.

Where did eternity rings originate?

Eternity rings, sometimes referred to as anniversary or infinity rings, are usually a row of diamonds or stones, coloured or clear, that circle the finger all the way around to indicate never-ending or eternal love. The design of the ring was later modified to a ‘half-eternity’ ring, which had the stones set at the front. Eternity rings were once worn on the right hand but now are often found nestled between the wedding and engagement ring.

Eternity rings are sometimes worn to symbolise the birth of a child or to recognise significant anniversaries. They are more popular with women than men.

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