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Synthetic vs Natural Diamonds: What's the Difference?

Find out from your local Pittsburgh jeweler the real difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds

Lisa Marie Kotchey Jewelry
February 22, 2022

Diamonds are highly regarded, not only as valuables, but as universal symbols of love and matrimony. Since diamonds are so meaningful to so many, the topic of lab-created diamonds can be a tricky one. There are lots of reasons why people opt for synthetic diamonds, whether it be cost, sustainability, or other deciding factors. On the other hand, there are some who prefer natural diamonds over all others because of their perceived rarity. Today, your local Pittsburgh jeweler, Lisa Kotchey is here to break down the facts about synthetic vs natural diamonds. Let’s drive in!

What Are Synthetic Diamonds?

If you haven’t heard of synthetic diamonds before, your local Pittsburgh jeweler is here to help

diamond in tweezers
Synthetic diamonds are a new development in the jewelry industry.

Synthetic diamonds, as the name suggests, are created in a laboratory instead of forming naturally inside the earth. When it comes down to it, this is really the only difference between the two variations — one is mined and one is man made. Synthetic and natural diamonds are made of the exact same material makeup, but synthetic diamonds are made to minimize any naturally occurring flaws that would typically be seen in natural diamonds. 

In order to make synthetic diamonds, scientists use a process called chemical vapor deposition. Chemical vapor deposition involves placing crushed up existing diamonds on a silicon wafer. The wafer is then heated up by a plasma creating a lab-grown diamond.

Can You See A Difference Between Synthetic Diamonds and Natural Diamonds?

Even an experienced Pittsburgh jeweler may have trouble telling the difference between synthetic and natural diamonds

four diamonds in a row
Synthetic diamonds have the same chemical properties as natural diamonds.

It is practically impossible to separate a synthetic diamond from a natural one. Both types of gems have the same look, feel, and shine. But, are lab-created diamonds as durable as natural ones? Yes, they are — meaning that there is almost no material difference between the two variations. 

Even down to the chemistry, the structure of natural diamonds is nearly exact to synthetic diamonds. By examining the diamonds with a naked eye, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two. In fact, special equipment is normally needed to tell if a diamond is lab-grown or naturally occurring. So, if it is impossible for people, and even Pittsburgh jewelers to tell the difference, why does it matter?

There are a few critical factors that make a big difference for consumers, so let’s take a look.

The Bottom Line: Which Kind of Diamond Should You Buy?

Ask your local Pittsburgh jeweler for advice on the right kind of diamond for your budget and sustainability concerns

woman holding diamond in jewelry store
Not sure which type to buy? Consult your jeweler!

Now that we’ve established that it is impossible to tell the difference between natural and synthetic diamonds, it’s time to get into the major deciding factors. Depending on who you are and your priorities, it is very likely that there are certain factors that will mean more to you than others. So, before you decide with your Pittsburgh jeweler on the type of diamond you want, be sure to consider these points:


Right now, the cost of lab-created diamonds is around half the price of natural diamonds. This difference is due to supply and demand — while there is a limited amount of natural diamonds, synthetic ones can be easily produced. This has led to a massive decrease in the cost of synthetic diamonds recently. As more diamonds are manufactured, the price is expected to continually drop.


When discussing the value of a diamond, the meaning is twofold. First, the value of a diamond refers to its resale value. Since the price of synthetic diamonds is continuously dropping, you can assume that the value of a synthetic diamond will decrease over time. Conversely, the value of natural diamonds is currently at an all time high.

Diamonds hold another value as well — an emotional value. Lots of people purchase diamonds for wedding rings or other commemorative life events. If buying or gifting a natural diamond possesses an emotional value for you, then that is a big factor to consider. If you aren’t sure, you can always ask a local Pittsburgh jeweler for advice on the best type of diamond for a proposal or other special occasion


The last aspect of synthetic diamonds vs natural diamonds that we need to discuss is sustainability. Synthetic diamonds were created in an effort to minimize the environmental and human cost of mining diamonds. Natural diamonds are not unethical, but there are individuals who may want to avoid contributing to mining industries. If you are someone who is looking for an environmentally responsible diamond, then you should consider a synthetic diamond.

Now that you know more about synthetic vs natural diamonds, the choice is up to you. If you have further questions about the right kind of diamonds to purchase, stop in to your local Pittsburgh Jeweler for help. Thankfully, you can browse lots of options at places like Lisa Marie Kotchey Design. If you’re searching for a wedding ring or diamond earrings this year, Lisa Marie Kotchey will assist you in finding the perfect piece. Contact us today to get started finding or designing the perfect piece of jewelry.