Why Millennials Are Going With Diamond Alternatives

PHOTOS by The Great Heights Team

There are plenty of reasons to look at alternatives to the traditional diamond mined from the earth. This post covers not only the reasons that our generation is choosing alternatives, but also some helpful buying tips for when your'e ready.

There has been a recent trend among the millennial generation when it comes to buying diamonds, and more people in their twenties and thirties are beginning to purchase diamond alternatives rather than ones that are mined. Although the concept of diamond alternatives has been around since the 1950s, any stigma or doubt associated with the process seems to have faded away in recent decades, making diamond alternatives more appealing than ever before.

In a nutshell, a diamond alternative - particularly lab-grown diamonds - is a form of diamond made and controlled by humans over the course of just a few months, whereas mined diamonds are produced through a geological process that can take over a billion years. The following is everything to know about why millennials are going with diamond alternatives, including what it is, how they compare to other options and when to consider purchasing one.

An Overview of Diamond Alternatives

A lab-grown diamond - the most authentic type of diamond alternative - is created in a laboratory following a very detailed process. The process essentially follows a similar formation as a natural diamond, although the growth of the diamond is controlled and sped up by human effort. The first step in the formation of lab-grown diamonds is the insertion of what is known as a diamond seed, which is a tiny carbon piece of a pre-existing diamond, into a growth chamber. Through pressure and superheated gasses inside the chamber, the diamond begins to expand, and are complete and ready after two to three months.

The finished product is indistinguishable from a mined diamond, and the microscopic inscription on a lab-grown diamond  can only be noticed through the use of advanced scientific equipment. The advancements in the formation of diamond alternatives have now made it possible for those who purchase one to trust the product is legitimate, looks amazing and just as strong and durable as a mined diamond. Whether looking for the perfect engagement ring or just trying to spoil yourself with a nice piece of jewelry, diamond alternatives are a great way to get something you or a loved one is going to love for a lifetime at a more affordable cost.

Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Diamond Simulants

Lab-grown diamonds have only recently become a more popular choice among millennials, and naturally, there are some misconceptions about what they are exactly. As mentioned, lab-grown diamonds are created in a lab using a growth chamber, and the finished product has the same physical and chemical properties as a mined diamond.

On the other hand, a diamond simulant has similar properties to a mined diamond, but the differences are often noticeable to the naked eye. They can also be either artificially created or be formed naturally over time. There are many different types of diamond simulants, including moissanite, white sapphire and cubic zirconia.

The major difference between the two is that lab-grown diamonds are true, authentic diamonds. While they may not be formed naturally over millions and millions of years, they have the same chemical composition and appear the same as mined diamonds. Diamond simulants are not diamonds, although some of the properties may be similar.

So how can you choose between the two? The answer is solely dependent on your personal preference, and both lab-grown diamonds and diamond simulants are most often of high-quality. If you want a true diamond, however, a lab-grown diamond alternative is the best way to go.

Benefits of Diamond Alternatives

It is not by coincidence that more and more millennials are choosing to go with diamond alternatives over mined diamonds or diamond simulants, and there are many unique advantages to choosing diamond alternatives, which include:

  • No mining is required
  • Same properties as natural diamonds
  • More affordable than mined diamonds
  • Beautiful appearance and just as durable

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a diamond alternative - and the advantage that attracts many millennials - is the price, which is typically between thirty and forty percent less than mined diamonds. By being able to choose a diamond alternative, more people are able to get the diamond they want, rather than settling for a less expensive form of simulant.

In addition, no mining is required with diamond alternatives, which means the owner never has to question whether or not the diamond is a “blood diamond” or contributed to immorality in any manner. Last but not least, diamond alternatives have a fantastic appearance that is not any different to the naked eye than naturally formed diamonds. Since they are made of the same chemical properties and formed in a similar manner, they are also durable and most likely to last a lifetime without needing repair or replacement.

When to Consider a Diamond Alternative

The fact of the matter is diamonds are often out of the budget for many young adults. As appealing as it might be, purchasing one for yourself, family member or a significant other just is not an option in many instances - until now. Diamond alternatives give people who may not be able to afford a natural diamond - or are unwilling to buy one due to an ethical standpoint - the chance to purchase their dream ring, necklace or other types of jewelry.

Diamond alternatives can be useful for many people in many different circumstances, including young men who want to buy their future bride a beautiful wedding ring. However, the average age for a person’s first time getting married is twenty-seven years old, and the unfortunate reality is that many cannot afford a diamond at this point in their life. Therefore, men who are getting married and want the best for their significant other may want to consider a diamond alternative.

In addition, anyone who would like to know the origin of their diamond and not have to question whether or not it was obtained through ethical means may appreciate a diamond alternative, in which the exact company that made it is known. Of course, the ultimate decision is completely up to you, but diamond alternatives are a great option to consider, which is why they are quickly gaining popularity among millennials.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the choice you make, the important thing is that you choose something that you or your loved one is going to love for a lifetime. If a mined diamond is important to you and is within budget, then, by all means, go for it. However, if getting a diamond at a price that is not going to cause financial difficulties for yourself and your family is a concern, then a diamond alternative is a great way to get a beautiful diamond at a price that is more affordable.

Everyone deserves to be spoiled once in a while, and purchasing that special diamond for someone can be a great way to show them that you love and care for them. For those getting married for the first time - which at the moment is mostly people within the millennial generation - the ring is important and can ensure a marriage starts out strong. Regardless of the exact reason - and there are many reasons to purchase a diamond - diamond alternatives are certainly something worth considering, and most who have chosen them in the past attest to how authentic and fantastic they look and feel.