Most Frequently Asked Lab Diamond Questions
Buying the best lab grown diamond for you requires plenty of research. By equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge, shopping for the perfect lab grown diamond becomes a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Since not everyone has the time to become a gemologist, we have gathered the top 10 most frequently asked lab diamond questions. From learning what is a lab grown diamond, lab grown diamond prices, and much more, our diamond experts have you covered. Watch our video about lab diamonds below, if you have further questions, read on or contact our gemologist team!
1. What are lab diamonds, and are they real diamonds?
One of the biggest questions we get is “are lab diamonds real?” Indeed, lab grown or man made diamonds are real as their naturally grown counterparts and have the same visual, physical, and chemical traits. Both natural and lab diamonds are known as the hardest substance known to man, and require carbon as well as intense heat and high pressure to grow. While mined diamonds form within the Earth’s mantle and travel to the surface through the kimberlite pipes, lab grown diamonds are made in a controlled environment with cutting-edge equipment that mirrors the conditions in which natural diamonds form. Since the two diamonds look the same and are incredibly robust, only highly skilled gemologists with advanced equipment can tell the difference between lab created diamonds and mined diamonds.
2. What are synthetic diamonds, are they the same as simulated diamonds?
Synthetic diamonds are another name for lab created diamonds and they are different from simulated diamonds. Also known as fake diamonds, simulated diamonds are stones made to resemble diamonds. Some examples of diamond simulants are: zirconia, moissanite, and rhinestones. From a gemologist perspective, simulated diamonds do not have the same beauty, versatility, or longevity as lab grown and naturally grown diamonds. Because of the previous point, simulants are easily identifiable as “fake diamonds.”
3. How long is the process to create a lab diamond?
While naturally formed diamonds required 1 million to 3 million years to form, lab diamonds need as little as 2 to 6 weeks to grow. Thanks to advanced technology, lab diamonds can be crafted and enter the market much faster than their natural counterparts.
4. How much cheaper are lab diamonds vs natural diamonds?
Definitely one of our top questions is: are lab grown diamonds cheaper? One of the best factors about lab diamond diamonds is how much more affordable they are in comparison to natural diamonds. You can expect to pay 15% to 30% less on a synthetic diamond than you would on a mined diamond. This price difference is because mined diamonds go through a longer supply chain and require more costly resources.
5. What are the 4 C's and which C is most important?
Nearly everyone has heard of the 4 C’s of diamond grading, but just what do these grades mean? Each grade reflects the characteristics of a diamond, helping customers make informed purchases. The most well-known 4 C is carat weight which refers to the size of the diamond. Clarity indicates the number of imperfections a diamond has. Color defines the amount of yellow hues that a white diamond has. The most important grade of the 4 C’s, and most misunderstood, is cut. Cut identifies how proportionate a diamond’s facets are. A diamond with an excellent cut grade has facets that are cut and arranged so that light can best travel through the stone and brilliantly sparkle. If a diamond has a poor cut grade, light will escape from the bottom and sides of the diamond, making it look lifeless.
6. Should the lab diamond be certified?
Any lab diamond you buy should absolutely be certified. A certified diamond comes with a report from a diamond lab that details valuable information about the diamond, such as its 4 C’s, proportions, and fluorescence. This way, you can know exactly the type of diamond you are looking at and understand if it has the characteristics you most desire in a diamond, such as an excellent cut grade. Certificates for lab grown diamonds are also important because it prevents jewelers from inflating grades, which could have made you pay much more than what the diamond is worth. Always make sure that your lab grown diamond has a certificate from a reputable lab such as the IGI.
7. What is an IGI Certificate for a Lab Grown Diamond?
The International Gemological Institute, also known as the IGI, was founded in 1975 and is the world’s largest independent diamond grading lab. IGI is one of the few labs that produce reports for lab grown diamonds whose gradings you can trust. Your lab grown diamond IGI report will not only detail your diamond’s grades but also clearly indicate your stone is lab grown.
8. Is Diamond Type Important?
Diamond type is another commonly misunderstood geological term. It does not refer to the cut of the diamond or how it was formed, instead it is a scientific classification that identifies the amount of impurities the stone has. While diamonds are predominantly made up of carbon, certain trace elements can enter during the formation process that influences the stone’s appearance. For diamond type, it's more important for researchers and gemologists because it's a starting point for them to identify of natural, synthetic, and treated diamonds.
There are four diamond types:
Type IA Diamonds: Accounting for 98% of diamonds, type IA diamonds are most common. Moreover, they have nitrogen atoms clustered in its carbon lattice, resulting in diamonds that have a pale-yellow or orange hue. Type IA diamonds are notable for their fluorescence when shown under infrared and ultraviolet light.
Type IIA Diamonds: Accounting for 1% to 2% of all diamonds, type IIA diamonds are the purest and most valuable of all diamond types. Type IIA diamonds contain no to very few nitrogen atoms, allowing for a remarkably white diamond. Type IIA diamonds are the most coveted of all diamond types and the most expensive. The good news is that you can buy an affordable lab grown type IIA diamond without draining your savings. But ultimately, you should buy the diamond type that’s most appealing to you.
Type IB Diamonds Accounting for less than 0.1% of diamonds, type IB diamonds have nitrogen atoms scattered as single atoms in its carbon lattice. These types of diamonds absorb a spectrum of blue light, thus resulting in diamonds with strong brown, orange, and/or yellow hues.
Type IIB Diamonds: These diamonds, like Type IIA diamonds, are free from nitrogen. However, the difference is, these contain boron within them. Boron absorbs a spectrum of red light, therefore these diamonds have a light blue to grey hue.
9. Should I buy in-store or online?
Perhaps the biggest question anyone has before buying a lab grown diamond is whether they should shop in-store or online. If you are unsure about which diamond style to get, looking at lab diamond engagement rings and lab diamond jewelry in person is incredibly helpful. When it comes to buying lab diamond rings and jewelry, shopping online is far more cost-efficient. Physical stores have more overhead fees from bills and employee wages that get passed onto their merchandise. You can expect to pay more in a physical jewelry store than you would for a comparable diamond sold online.
10. How do I clean the lab diamond?
Regardless of your diamond’s origins, all diamonds attract grime, dirt, and the oil from your skin. This build-up will diminish your diamond’s sparkle because light can no longer properly pass through the stone. Regularly cleaning your diamond is an easy way to keep your jewelry always looking its best.
Step 1- Get a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush, and castille soap.
Step 2- Close the sink hole (we don’t want a lost-and-found accident!).
Step 3- Gently brush the diamond with soap.
Step 4- Rinse under light-pressure warm water.
Step 5- Pat dry with a non-fibrous cloth.
As an extra bonus step, you may want to have annual cleanings with a professional jeweler who has ultrasonic tools that clean your lab diamond ring’s setting in addition to the diamond. With clarity offers a complimentary lifetime warranty with every purchase which includes ultrasonic cleaning and polishing.
11. Can a jeweler tell if a diamond is lab created?
Simply said, most likely not. There is a distinction between a jeweler and a gemologist. Jewelers usually readily have microscopes and loupes on-hand. Those two tools are insufficient to look closely and conduct tests to tell the difference between natural diamond vs lab grown diamond. The best way to know the difference is by comparing authentification certificates or asking a gemologist/certified lab.
Do you have more questions?