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Most Common Lab Diamond Misconceptions

Though lab diamonds have been around for decades and are constantly growing in popularity, several common misconceptions still plague the industry. The truth is, lab-grown diamonds are a less expensive, equally beautiful, and equally real option. But we’ll arrive at that point after addressing the different incorrect ideas some people tend to hold about lab diamonds. 


Common Misconceptions #1: Not Real Diamonds

First and foremost, some people insist on continuing the debate of whether or not lab diamonds are real diamonds at all. Because they’re produced in a lab, rather than grown over millions of years in the earth, naysayers insist they cannot be the same as natural diamonds. 

This is simply not true. Scientifically, and according to the diamond experts at GIA, that argument has been put to rest. Lab-created diamonds are real and are indiscernible from mined diamonds except when examined by trained gemologists with special equipment. In all categories that matter, lab diamonds are equal to mined diamonds. 

Carat

When it comes to size, lab-created diamonds actually have an edge over natural stones. Large natural diamonds are very rare, whereas experts can create lab diamonds of virtually any size. It’s quite difficult to get natural diamonds in larger sizes, but you can purchase lab-created stones of equal quality and beauty in whatever carat you desire.

6.12 carat Oval Lab Diamond Signature Wrap Engagement Ring

$24,300

7 Carat Oval Diamond Rose Gold Engagement Ring

$250,000 *approximately

Cut

The quality of a lab-grown diamond’s cut is evaluated with the same metrics as natural diamonds. They’re assessed with the same criteria and scale, and they’re cut and polished the same way as a mined stone.

Color

We’ll delve more into color and lab stones further down in the article. For now, we will simply say that color can be introduced during the growth process for lab diamonds, or they can be created entirely colorless. 

Clarity

Lab diamonds form imperfections and inclusions the same way as natural diamonds. The fact that they still naturally develop these imperfections is a testament to being real diamonds. They have the same “growing pains” as mined stones. 


Common Misconceptions #2: All Lab Diamonds Are Flawless

The point about clarity is a perfect bridge toward this next misconception. All lab diamonds are not flawless. Lab-created diamonds are developed with one of two methods.

The first, called HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature), is very reminiscent of natural diamond creation. It uses extreme heat and pressure against a carbon seed, and the carbon that subsequently forms around the seed becomes a rough diamond. The process takes days or weeks instead of millions of years. 

The second method is referred to as CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). It’s not quite as hard on the seed as HPHT, but it still uses a high degree of heat that’s paired with hydrogen and methane. Over six to 12 weeks, carbon attaches itself to the seed and forms the diamond. 

Throughout both HPHT and CVD, a diamond develops certain imperfections and inclusions. The result is not a flawless stone, just as natural diamonds are not always flawless. Lab-grown diamonds bear the same marks of growth and emergence as mined stones. They’re beautiful, of course, but they are also realistic… and just plain real. 

Because lab diamonds do have inclusions and imperfections to varying degrees, Lauren B is proud to offer our customers SI2 diamonds and above.


Common Misconceptions #3: Lab Diamonds Don’t Have Fluorescence 

Fluorescence is a type of glow (typically blue, though sometimes yellow, green, or red) present in certain diamonds. Fluorescence is only visible if a stone is seen under UV light. While this type of light usually doesn’t affect other aspects of a diamond’s appearance, over the years it has garnered a reputation as an undesirable quality in a diamond.

So, what does this have to do with lab-grown diamonds? There’s an ongoing idea that lab diamonds either all have some degree of fluorescence or have a higher instance of it. That isn’t the case, however.

Just as some natural diamonds have fluorescence, some lab-created diamonds do as well. But the tightly controlled creation process allows fluorescence to be avoided if and when desired. The scientists who grow lab diamonds are experts at what they do, and there is nothing in the process that irrevocably introduces fluorescence into the stones. 

Purchasing a lab diamond doesn’t mean you’re going to end up with a glowing stone set into your ring. However, at Lauren B, all of our lab-grown diamonds are fluorescence-free!


Common Misconceptions #4: Color Lab Diamonds Don’t Exist

While colorless diamonds will never go out of style, colorful stones are popular, too. There’s a beautiful rainbow of diamonds to choose from. Unfortunately, some believe that you only get that choice if you’re purchasing a mined diamond. The truth is, lab-created diamonds have the same range of colors. 

In nature, diamonds pick up color because of the trace elements and minerals present while they form. Certain elements, like nitrogen, bring particular colors into the mix and affect the final appearance of the stone. 

Color is introduced into lab-created stones in an identical fashion—it just doesn’t take millions of years to get there. Scientists have incredible control over the color of a lab-created diamond, and they can manipulate its dominant color by introducing specific elements. 

Yellow Lab Diamonds

Yellow tint comes from nitrogen, which is introduced during the growth process to create yellow diamonds. Yellow is the most popular color choice for fancy color diamonds as they are the least expensive option.

Blue Lab Diamonds

Blue diamonds are formed with boron. Boron’s origins are loosely linked to ancient oceans and are found abundantly on the Earth’s surface. When it comes to natural diamonds, however, rarely is boron present in the Earth’s mantle where the key factors necessary for diamond creation are available. How Boron seeps into the diamond crystal during formation is a complete mystery.

Because of this, natural blue diamonds are incredibly rare thus making them wildly expensive. An average medium-toned 1 carat natural blue diamond would be priced at $200,000. As for a lab-grown blue diamond, we have a 6 carat engagement ring in our inventory for one-tenth of that price!

6.07 carat Fancy Blue Antique Cushion Lab Diamond Engagement Ring

$16,600

Pink Lab Diamonds

Unlike blue or yellow diamonds, pink diamonds get their color from a defect in the diamond’s lattice crystal structure. Pink lab diamonds are made through Chemical Vapor Deposition where they are exposed to radiation that changes the permanent structure and color of the diamond. The process affects how the diamond absorbs and reflects light, giving off a pink color in various intensities.

Green Lab Diamonds

Green diamonds usually get their hue from radioactive chemicals like thorium or uranium; when these radioactive materials decay, they emit radiation that penetrates the diamond during formation. More frequently, this material can only get through the surface layer of the diamond crystal, which is why natural vivid-color green diamonds are exceptionally rare.

The color can also come from trace elements of nitrogen, nickel, or hydrogen. Green lab diamonds are not as common as blue, yellow, or pink lab diamonds, but they do exist! Scientists simply mimic the same radioactive process in the lab that naturally (and rarely) occurs in the earth—and safely.

Red Lab Diamonds

In nature, red natural diamonds are the rarest fancy color diamond out there, thus making them the most expensive with only 20-30 existing in the entire world. The average size of a natural red diamond is ½ carat to 1 carat, and the valuation of a natural red diamond is $1 million per carat. How red diamonds get their color is a bit of a mystery as there are no trace elements in these diamonds—they are still pure carbon. Scientists believe that, like pink diamonds, they possess a rare deformation during their atomic structure that causes them to turn red.

Lab-created red diamonds are more vibrant and intense than a natural red diamond color as scientists cannot precisely replicate the red hues of a mined red diamond. Different from nature, in the lab, scientists introduce iron to the diamond seed to achieve that red color.


No More Misconceptions

We’re pleased to offer our customers an exclusive selection of lab diamonds at Lauren B. These fantastic stones are not only a marvel of science, but they make stunning center stones and jewelry. Laboratories make diamonds more affordable and accessible, meaning more people have the opportunity to sport high-quality diamonds of their own. Don’t let the misinformation and misconceptions about lab-grown diamonds deter you. As soon as you see one for yourself, you’ll know you’re looking at the real deal!

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