The so-called Lab Grown Diamonds
Not all diamonds are products of nature. Some are grown in a lab. These diamonds are manmade but have the same optical and physical features as natural diamonds, such as their chemical composition, refractive index and 4Cs.
The only difference? Its point of origin. One is grown above ground in a laboratory or factory, while the other is extracted from the ground. They ARE NOT DIAMOND’S IMITATIONS like a cubic zirconium or synthetic moissanite.
There are 2 ways to produce a lab-grown diamond. One is HPHT, which means under High Pressure and High Temperature. The other is CVD, which means through Chemical Vapor Deposition.
Why choosing lab-grown diamonds?
First, some people argue they are more environment-friendly than their natural counterparts because there is no mining process needed to extract them. But what really tips the scale? The price! Indeed, lab-grown diamonds are approximately 30 to 40% cheaper than natural diamonds, as the rarity factor does not apply to them. They can be reproduced in mass. Furthermore, their quality is very nice regarding color/clarity grades as growth conditions of the diamonds can be monitored.
Can’t wait to have a diamond of your own without spending a fortune? As she has access to a large selection of shapes and colors, Laurence can make a bespoke piece of jewelry with lab-grown diamonds upon request. She also launched her Bridal Collection « The Lab Grown Show » entirely made with lab-grown diamonds, and dedicated to brides(to-be) who would value to wear on their finger a lab grown diamond from 1 carat & up. Because sometimes, BIGGER IS SIMPLY BETTER.
How to make the difference with natural diamonds?
Distinguish a laboratory grown diamond from a natural one with a loupe or microscope is IMPOSSIBLE. Someone telling you that he/she is able to make the difference between the two by simply louping at his/her diamonds is simply a lie (only diamond imitations like a cubic zirconium or a synthetic moissanite can be identified with a loupe/miscrope, or even with the naked eye if it’s a badly made simulant).
As their chemical, physical and optical properties are exactly the same, nothing internal, for example inclusions, can be observed and taken as factor to make the difference between the two.
The only way to determine the real nature of a diamond is to look at their growth structure and reaction to specific light when submitted to a diamond laboratory. Indeed, if the lab grown diamond has been grown with the CVD technique (Chemical Vapor Deposition), spectroscopic techniques allow to look at a specific layer growth structure. When made from the HPHT method (High Pressure High Temperature), UV and infrared types of light are submitted through the diamond, which will absorb or emit a certain quantity according to its natural/synthetic provenance.
Nowadays, portable machines (+- costly) rather than big lab machines exist on the market and are available for sale. These practical instruments allow a diamantaire to quickly determine the nature of the stones he buys, even when diamonds are already mounted in a jewelry.
What’s the importance of a Laboratory Grown Diamond Certificate ?
Lab grown diamond grading reports can be found since a few years on the market, and are issued by different laboratories (GIA, IGI, HRD, ALGT,…).
They can be distinguished by their specific color (e.g. yellow for the HRD Antwerp certificate), or/and at least by a clear inscription of their synthetic origin on the cover or inside the report.
All lab grown diamonds must be laser engraved with « laboratory grown » (or something similar) and report number. The presence of the lab grown inscription is mentioned inside the grading report. Depending from a lab to another, the same nomenclature as for the natural diamonds can be used or not (e.g. HRD Antwerp will use the color scale D-to-Z as for natural diamonds to determine the color grade of a stone while GIA will use terminology like « colorless »).
A grading report often accompanies a lab grown diamond from 0.50ct and up as the cost for certifying might be pretty high compared to the value of the stone itself. All the lab grown diamonds set by Laurence in her new The Lab Grown Show capsule are certified.