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If you're searching for gorgeously colored diamonds, you may have come across lab-grown diamonds. As natural-colored diamonds can be incredibly rare and, as a result, shockingly expensive, colorful lab-created diamonds are a fantastic alternative.
But just what is a lab diamond? A lab diamond is a diamond grown in a lab. In the lab, experts use advanced technological processes and the same materials natural diamonds are created from to create an engineered diamond. A tiny diamond seed made of carbon is placed in a machine that applies intense pressure and heat, just like what the material would experience deep in the Earth. A gas mixture is then added, causing the diamond seed to grow. The result is a diamond with the same characteristics and qualities as natural diamonds.
Because scientists can control the environment in a lab, unlike beneath the Earth's crust, lab diamonds have the same chemical structure and stunning beauty as natural diamonds. However, their clarity and color are often much better. This is true for traditional colorless diamonds and fancy-colored diamonds.
Aside from their pristine beauty, lab diamonds tend to be less expensive and can have fewer ethical and eco-conscious concerns than their natural counterparts. They are used in all types of jewelry, from lab diamond engagement rings to lab-created diamond earrings. In most cases, the friendlier pricing of lab-created diamonds means you may be able to purchase jewelry with a larger carat weight or more intricate design than if you had gone with earth-mined diamonds.
A fancy-colored lab diamond undergoes the same technological process as a colorless lab diamond. The body of the diamond features a dazzling hue instead of a classic colorless appearance. Any diamond that is not the traditional white is considered a fancy diamond.
You can find fancy-colored diamonds in various shades, including pink, blue, and yellow. Naturally, only 1 in 10,000 diamonds present with a fancy color, and most times, the color isn't very saturated. This is because, in the Earth, impurities accidentally react with carbon, making colored diamonds more or less an error in the process.
In a lab, impurities, which are substances other than carbon, are added in specific amounts under a controlled environment to achieve amazing colors. Each color is the result of a different compound.
• Brown, orange, and yellow: nitrogen is mixed with carbon.
• Blue: tiny amounts of boron with carbon.
• Green: gamma radiation causes green diamonds.
• Pink and Red: experts think higher pressure may change the structure of the diamond, resulting in pink and red.
In a lab, scientists can slightly alter the gas mixture with these compounds to change the color of the diamond. Individuals looking for a unique and colorful piece of jewelry regularly turn to lab-created fancy diamonds as they look stunning in all types of jewelry. You'll note that many celebrities of late have used fancy colored diamonds (though likely natural) in their engagement rings, inspiring many others to do the same!
When choosing a fancy colored lab diamond, it's essential to know that they are not graded like colorless diamonds. The 4 C's don't typically apply, mainly because lab-grown diamonds can be created free from impurities and flaws.
Instead, lab-created fancy colored diamonds are graded on their color, in terms of:
• Hue: the actual color.
• Tone: how light or dark the color is.
• Saturation: how intense the color is.
Nine color categories make up the range of color saturation. They are Fancy Vivid, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Dark, Fancy, Fancy Light, Light, Very Light, and Faint. Not everyone values the same color or shade, and that's okay!
The three most popular colors are:
Yellow and brown. Yellow and brown diamonds have held the title of most famous colored diamonds for a while. Yellow diamonds are sometimes referred to as canary diamonds, while brown is known as chocolate diamonds. These two hues are most widely found naturally, making them a common choice for people who want a natural fancy diamond look-alike.
Red. Alternatively, red is the rarest color to find naturally. Therefore, some individuals adore red lab-grown diamonds because it's something they're likely to find (or be able to afford) in the world of earth-mined diamonds.
Blue. Blue is another popular fancy diamond color. The trendy Hope diamond is a deep, greyish blue. Blue diamonds can also resemble sapphires, which have been made fashionable by many celebrities, including Kate Middleton.
When searching for lab-made diamonds, here is what you'll want to keep in mind.
• Consider face-up color. Even if the clarity of the diamond is not pristine, search for a stone with an appealing face-up color, as this is the view you have in a lab-created diamond piece of jewelry.
• Choose fancy shapes. Fancy-colored diamonds are bold and unique. Pairing their adventurous color with a fancy shape like a radiant cut helps to make your special diamond shine.
• Only shop from a reputed brand that offers certified lab diamonds. Lab certification is essential to establishing value and making an informed choice by comparing diamond specifics and grades.
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While naturally colored diamonds are more expensive than traditional, this isn't necessarily true of colored lab diamonds. However, the price can depend on diamond color, carat weight, and color characteristics.
Clarity is a prized grading factor for colorless diamonds, with the best clarity grade being flawless (F). Colored diamonds depend on the color grade, with Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid being the most sought after.
This truly depends on personal preference! Yellow, pink, and blue are pretty popular, but even those colors come in many shades.
Yes, and you should only shop at brands that offer lab-certified diamonds.