As Brian and Elke Podlasek, of Fort Myers, readied to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in August, the husband wanted to mark the special milestone by upgrading his wife’s wedding ring. “It was time to put the big, beautiful rock on her finger,” Podlasek says.
While shopping at Mark Loren Designs, owner Mark Loren presented the couple with a new option: a lab-grown diamond. Placing three sizable stones in front of them—two natural diamonds and one lab-grown—Elke was unknowingly drawn to the lab-produced gem. “I loved the color of the stone and the way it sparkled,” she says. The couple settled on a 3.10-carat lab-created diamond, which Loren fashioned into a one-of-a-kind stunner. “When you lay it all out for customers, and show them one of each product, 50% are going for the lab-grown diamonds,” says Loren, who started carrying lab-created diamonds a few years ago. “It’s surprising us, too.”
While the word “lab-grown” may conjure thoughts of cubic zirconia and other synthetic stones, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds—the difference is their origin.