Earth-mined or lab-grown diamond? Which one is better

Published February 15, 2022, 10:36 AM

by John Legaspi

British Vogue-approved local jewelry brand Lucce gives us the answer

“A diamond is forever.” That’s one of the most victorious marketing campaigns the world has ever seen. This unforgettable slogan is created by diamond mega-corporation De Beers, turning the priced gemstone into a cultural symbol for love and everlasting commitment.

But what others may not know much about is De Beers’ other campaigns, particularly, the “Real Is Rare, Real Is a Diamond.” This is the brand’s answer to the rise of lab-made diamonds, which started in the 1950s. While it takes a trained eye and other tools to tells which is which, natural and lab-grown diamonds are pretty much the same, according to experts.

To help us understand more about their difference, the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing either, and the value that goes into purchasing a diamond, natural or man-made, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle had a conversation with local jewelry brand Lucce. Established in 2018 by husband and wife Michael and Christine del Mundo in Quezon City, Lucce is the result of their passion for gemstones, particularly moissanite, that now led them to be recognized by the international fashion magazine British Vogue.

First off, how did your brand end up being part of British Vogue’s “Vogue’s Valentine” feature?

We received an invitation directly from British Vogue. They came across our Instagram and they felt that Lucce would be perfect to showcase in an exclusive bridal campaign that they are creating.

The brand’s British Vogue feature

You’ve released a collection inspired by it? Can you tell us more about the “Vogue Collection” pieces? How are they different from your past releases?

Yes, we were greatly inspired by the invitation from British Vogue. So we channeled that inspiration to come up with new, original, and exclusive ring designs for our clients. The rings in our “Vogue Collection” are actually featured in Vogue both in print and digital. The Modern Designs make a bold statement of elegance and refinement—perfect for the stylish woman. Here’s a bit of trivia, each piece in the collection was named after the women in our team that laid the foundation for what Lucce is today.

Lucce also champions ethical, environment-friendly, and responsibly made jewelry. Why is that initiative important for the brand?

Our eco-conscious initiative is at the heart of Lucce. We believe that our rings will help create new standards within the global fine jewelry industry that will ultimately lessen conflict mining and environmental destruction. As we craft engagement and wedding rings, we strongly feel that they should represent the values of true love.

Christine ring from the brand’s ‘Vogue Collection’

We also partnered with OneTreePlanted.org to plant trees here in the Philippines for every piece that we craft and sell.

Is there a difference between lab-grown diamonds and moissanite?

We use both premium moissanite and bab diamonds in our rings. Yes, they have similarities and differences. Both are grown in a laboratory and are free of mining. To the naked eye, they somehow look similar, however, they are scientifically and chemically different from each other. Lab-grown diamond is pure carbon just like a mined diamond, while moissanite is silicon-carbide. They also differ in optical properties, moissanite has higher brilliance, fire, and luster compared to lab diamonds according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Catherine ring from Lucce’s ‘Vogue Collection’

What is the usual misconception about these stones?

Unlike in the US, Europe, Australia, Filipinos are still not that acquainted with the beauty of lab-grown gemstones. One of the questions that usually arise is “are they real?” Yes, absolutely! Lab diamond is 100 percent a diamond with the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as a mined diamond. Moissanite is a real and unique gemstone originally discovered in a meteor crater in Arizona.

Lucce’s team

Why are they just as beautiful and brilliant as mined diamonds?

Both moissanite and lab diamond are beautiful and stunning gemstones. We, as well as our clients, have no doubt they are as breathtaking as other mined gemstones. One of the primary reasons why Lucce fell in love with moissanite and lab diamond is their eco-consciousness and social impact on top of their undeniable beauty and brilliance.

Check out more of Lucce’s jewelry works on Instagram

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