Do lab-grown diamonds really have a lighter carbon footprint?

As the name implies, lab-grown diamonds are ones that are produced in a laboratory setting as opposed to being mined from the Earth. Despite being accessible since 1954 when GE first achieved success producing proved synthetic diamonds that were subsequently used for industrial applications, lab-grown diamonds have grown in appeal within the jewellery industry in Australia in recent years.

Modern techniques are used to create lab-grown diamonds that mimic the extraordinarily high pressures and temperatures present in the Earth's mantle, where diamonds are naturally created.

Because diamond mining uses a lot of energy, lab-grown diamonds are frequently advertised as having a lower carbon impact than mined diamonds. This might not be fully accurate, though. The precise techniques and materials utilised to make lab-grown diamonds, as well as the source of the energy used in the process, all affect how much carbon is emitted during the production of those diamonds.

According to a study done by MDPI, not all lab-grown diamonds should always be preferred over those obtained by mining because different deposits and climatic conditions require different amounts of energy and water. Some processes for producing lab-grown diamonds might have a smaller carbon footprint than others, whilst some might leave a bigger carbon footprint than some mining techniques.

Overall, there are numerous factors at play, making it challenging to compare the carbon footprint of lab-grown diamonds to mined diamonds.

January 01, 2023 — Jana Neill