Not too long ago, lab-grown diamonds were just an idea; a potentially exciting opportunity to be able to break into the multi-billion dollar market of natural diamonds. It took many years of experimentation and technological advancements before achieving not only real diamonds, but gem-quality diamonds at that! This makes us the lucky beneficiaries of that brilliant (literally) scientific achievement - we get real, high-quality diamonds - but at lower prices. I will explain a little more about what a lab-grown diamond is, the pros and cons of choosing a lab-grown stone, and the top design options for our chic stud earrings. You can consider this your all-inclusive lab-grown diamond stud earrings guide!
What is a Lab Grown Diamond?
Since diamond buying is always easier the more you know, let’s start with what a lab-grown diamond is. In short, a lab grown diamond is simply a diamond that has been grown in a lab (duh right?). But there is so much more to them…for example, they have the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond, hence scientifically deeming them to be real diamonds (unlike a diamond simulant that only looks like a diamond). We also see different qualities of lab-grown diamonds, just like how our natural diamonds are assessed, with multiple methods used to manufacture the stones. All of these different options give us a wide price range to choose from, while consistently maintaining a lower price than what a similar natural diamond would cost, which is great for budget purposes!
CVD vs. HPHT Lab-Grown Diamonds
The two major processes used for producing lab-grown diamonds on the market today are CVD (chemical vapor deposition) and HPHT (high pressure high temperature). The HPHT method most closely mimics the natural diamond formation process using the high pressures and high temperatures to transform raw carbon into a dazzling diamond.
CVD diamonds are essentially grown by using a chemical vapor that is deposited in multiple layers over time until a solid diamond eventually forms. And really, besides some microscopic inclusions and maybe even a slight color difference, HPHT and CVD diamonds are extremely similar to each other (and of course look just like natural diamonds!).
Pros & Cons of Lab Grown Diamond Studs
Like with everything in life, there are pros and cons to choosing lab-grown diamond studs. But unlike with everything else in life, I have made an easy pros and cons list as a quick reference guide for you! Being able to confidently understand what you are looking at should ultimately make your final decision that much easier.
- Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds: which means they have the same hardness and brilliance level as a natural diamond. The hardness level is especially important to think about when considering a gemstone for earrings that will be worn often. Diamond can only be scratched by diamond - so diamonds are always the best option in general for jewelry worn on the reg!
- More cost-effective than natural diamonds: if the heart screams for glitzy diamonds, but the budget says not quite, lab-grown diamonds could be the financial compromise you have been searching for.
- Readily available: in all shapes, sizes, and colors so custom designs or multiple style options in stores and online are easily accessible.
- Quality control: because these diamonds are produced in a lab, under supervision, and in a highly controlled environment, the overall quality will be consistent.
- Mass-produced: …which not everyone considers a con, but a lab-grown diamond definitely cannot compare to how rare and unique a natural diamond is.
- Does not hold much value: unlike a natural diamond which will hold more of its worth over time. But lab grown diamonds also do not start with as much value as a natural diamond so the cost stays low!
- Uses a ton of energy to create the product: even though they are thought of as being more environmentally friendly with no mining involved, labs actually use an enormous amount of energy while manufacturing the diamonds.
Lab Grown Diamond Stud Earrings Styles and Designs
One of my favorite things about stud earrings is the simplicity of the design! With just diamond shape, setting style, and metal choice to think about, there is an ease to picking out your new favorite pair of lab-grown diamond studs.
Diamond Shape: easily the most popular shape of diamond sold across the board is the round brilliant cut…but almost any silhouette would be absolutely perfect for stud earrings. Shapes: round, oval, princess, emerald, cushion, asscher, pear, heart, marquise, radiant.
Setting Style: the setting is kind of important because this is what actually holds the diamond in place but it is also kind of important for aesthetic purposes too since there is not much else to the simple stud. Our top 3 settings are the prong, bezel, and halo.
- Prong: allowing more of the diamond itself to stay exposed in a setting lets more light access the stone - which means extra sparkle and brilliance can happen. The prong is the most open setting on our list, and also the most popular! It is a classic, safe design that really showcases the brilliance of the diamond…which is one of the main reasons why we love a good diamond, right?!
Bezel: speaking of safe options, the bezel setting is going to be the best at protection. It literally encloses most of the diamond in metal, minus the top which is open but surrounded by a simple thin rim of the metal instead. The enclosure of the stone is what makes this setting so safe (and what gives it a modern aesthetic flare)…but is also what blocks light from reaching a big part of the stone. Just something to consider!
Halo: if most recognizable by its name alone, the halo setting definitely rounds out our top 3 of the setting options. A small halo of tiny diamonds surrounds the center stone, which not only gives us some extra blingy flash, but it also will help that center diamond appear larger. Plus, the halo itself is surprisingly pretty protective as a setting.
Metal Options: lastly on the major decision making list is the metal you want to use. This one will pretty much just be a personal preference call, with platinum, white gold, and yellow gold being the most popular. Just be sure to pay attention to the slight color variations between the metals, like the silvery hue of platinum vs. the crisp whiteness of white gold or the variations in yellow gold, to find the perfect match for you!
Natural or lab-grown, diamond stud earrings are a total win. They can be dressed up or down, worn daily, and they will forever add that pop of sparkle everyone needs. If you are working with a budget, do not be afraid to explore the world of lab-grown diamond stud earrings. This is exactly what the lab-grown diamond was created for!