They say bigger is better, but is that true even if your diamond is…grown?

Lab grown diamonds have become an increasingly hot topic in the world of fine jewelry for a number of reasons. From a practical point of view, lab grown diamonds are a more affordable option. And then there's the sustainability factor.

So here are the facts:

"Natural stones" are created over millions of years. The earth crushes carbon atoms together and shoots them up in volcanic pipes. We then take these rough chunks and cut them into carefully patterned geometric shapes with multiple "facets" that create the sparkle. Light enters the stone – and depending on how well the cutter lined up the facets – bounces around and comes back to your eye as sparkle.

A lab grown diamond recreates this million year process in a lab using heat and pressure. Carbon gases are introduced into a plasma chamber, which smash carbon together in the same way the earth does it naturally, only it happens in weeks, not years. The result from this innovative method is atomically the same product that comes out of the ground as "rough stones." Then these lab grown rough stones are cut by the same machines (and often the same people) that cut natural stones. The cut in both cases is what determines the sparkle.

One frequently asked question: "So, uh, will she be able to tell the difference between real and lab grown?" The answer is "no" if we're taking two stones with the same cut, color, clarity, and carat size. You would not be able to tell with your eye, and a jeweler could not tell with a 10x loupe.

So what do you look for to make sure your lab grown diamond is legit? The important thing is how the grading report on the lab grown stone matches up against its natural counterpart. This will tell you if the stone is comparable visually. But, the fact is, both are atomically the same product.