The Rise of Lab-Grown Ethical Diamonds and Moissanite

by | May 9, 2024 | News


When the time comes to choose an engagement ring, couples today face more options than ever before. Beyond just deciding on a ring design or metal type, the source and composition of the stone itself—whether it’s a traditional mined diamond, a lab-grown diamond, or moissanite—can make a significant difference not only in cost but also in environmental and ethical impact. At Factory51, we understand the importance of making choices that reflect your values and your dreams, especially when it comes to planning your perfect wedding. We explore the differences between these three stone options so you can make an informed decision.

Mined Diamonds

Mined diamonds have been the traditional choice for engagement rings for centuries, valued for their brilliance, durability, and rarity. These diamonds are mined from the Earth in a process that can be both labour-intensive and environmentally invasive. While they are often prized for their natural origins, the mining process raises concerns about ecological damage and ethical issues related to the working conditions in some diamond mines.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are a modern marvel, offering the same chemical and physical properties as mined diamonds but with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Created in controlled laboratory environments, these diamonds mimic the natural growth process, resulting in stones that are optically, chemically, and physically identical to their mined counterparts. The key benefits of lab-grown diamonds are their sustainability and ethical transparency, as well as their more affordable price point.


Moissanite is another popular alternative, known for its dazzling brilliance and excellent durability. Originally discovered in a meteor crater, moissanite is now primarily lab-created. It offers a distinct look with more fiery, rainbow-colored flashes of light compared to diamonds. Moissanite is significantly less expensive than both mined and ethical diamonds, making it an attractive option for couples looking for a budget-friendly yet beautiful stone.

Comparing the Options
Aspect Mined Diamond Lab-Grown Diamond Moissanite
Origin Natural, Earth-mined Lab-created Lab-created
Cost High Moderate Lower
Environmental Impact High Low Low
Ethical Considerations Varied; can be high Low Low
Brilliance High High Very high
Durability Very high Very high High


Frequently Asked Questions

Will a lab-grown diamond look the same as a mined diamond? 

Yes, lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from mined diamonds when viewed with the naked eye. Both types of diamonds possess identical physical, chemical, and optical properties, making them equally brilliant and durable. Lab-grown diamonds are created through processes that replicate the natural conditions under which diamonds form over millions of years beneath the Earth’s surface. These technological processes either mimic the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions or use chemical vapor deposition, which results in a diamond that shares the same crystal structure and chemical composition (pure carbon) as its mined counterparts. Because of this, even professional gemologists require specialised equipment to tell them apart. For anyone considering a lab-grown diamond, it provides the beauty and timeless elegance of a traditional diamond at a more accessible price point, making it an excellent choice for those who value both aesthetics and ethical considerations.

Is moissanite as durable as a diamond? 

Moissanite is indeed a very durable gemstone, making it an excellent choice for engagement rings and other jewelry intended for daily wear. It ranks at 9.25 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which measures a mineral’s ability to withstand surface scratching. In comparison, diamonds, the hardest known natural material, rank at 10. This high hardness level makes moissanite highly resistant to scratches and abrasions, qualities that are crucial for jewelry that you’ll wear every day. Furthermore, moissanite is also remarkably resistant to heat and breaking, making it not only a beautiful choice but also a practical one for the longevity of your jewellery. Its toughness and brilliance make moissanite an attractive alternative to diamonds, offering significant durability at a more affordable price point.

How do the costs compare between these options? 

Mined diamonds are generally the most expensive, followed by lab-grown diamonds which can cost 30-40% less. Moissanite is even more affordable, often costing a fraction of the price of a diamond.

What are the best settings for an engagement ring to ensure it lasts a lifetime?

When choosing an engagement ring setting, consider durability and style. Prong settings are popular as they allow maximum light exposure to enhance the stone’s brilliance but require regular checks to ensure the prongs remain secure. Bezel settings, where the metal surrounds the stone, are more protective and a good choice for active lifestyles. It’s important to balance aesthetic preferences with practical considerations to ensure the ring can withstand daily wear.

What should I know about the different types of precious metals for the band?

Engagement ring bands come in a variety of metals, each with unique properties. Platinum is very durable and hypoallergenic but can be more expensive. Gold is available in several colors, including yellow, white, and rose, and is also popular due to its traditional appeal. For a more budget-friendly option, consider palladium or silver, though they may require more maintenance to preserve their appearance over time.

Making Smart Choices for a Dream Wedding

Choosing a lab-grown diamond or moissanite not only aligns with ethical and environmental values but also offers significant cost savings. These savings may be pocketed, or for some couples, can help towards having your dream wedding. You may want to book the photographer you’ve got your heart set on, upgrade your beverage package to something a little more bespoke, or style your reception for that wow moment. Our dedicated team at Factory51 is here to help you create a celebration that reflects your style and values, without compromising on the luxury and uniqueness of your special day.

Getting Engaged with the Future in Mind

As you choose the perfect engagement ring, consider how each option aligns with your personal ethics, budget, and style preferences. Whether it’s the traditional allure of mined diamonds, the responsible choice of lab-grown ethical diamonds, or the affordability of moissanite, your decision can have a lasting impact on your wedding and future together. At Factory51, we celebrate the beauty of all choices and look forward to helping you celebrate your love! After you’ve popped the question, be sure to come and see our romantic venue perfect for an engagement party and wedding.


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51 Holdsworth St Coorparoo QLD