One of the most significant jewelry trends of today is the use of colored diamonds. Colored diamonds are not only stunningly beautiful but are also unique, bold, and daring. If these shining superstars have made a way to your heart, and you are seriously thinking of owning one, then here's all the information you need to make the best purchase.
What is a Colored Lab-Created Diamond?
Lab-created or lab-grown diamonds are diamonds grown in highly controlled laboratory environments that use advanced technological processes to imitate the conditions under which a diamond naturally develops.
They are REAL diamonds in all aspects - chemically, physically, and optically. The only difference is that they are produced artificially under simulated conditions. Lab-created diamonds are also known by many names, such as man-made diamonds, synthetic diamonds, engineered or cultured diamonds, along with many others. A colored diamond is often referred to as a fancy diamond.
Interestingly, colored diamonds are formed when there is a malfunction in the diamond-making process.
A totally and completely pure diamond possesses only the element carbon and nothing else. However, impurities are often present in the formation of a diamond. When the impurities form in specific ways, they can cause the deep and rare colors presented in fancy diamonds.
Yellow, Brown, and Orange Diamonds: These shades are all created due to various amounts of nitrogen mixed in with the carbon. [Learn more about yellow diamonds]
Blue Diamonds: When boron mixes with carbon, it forms various hues of blue. Yes, the world's most famous diamond, the Hope Diamond, was created thanks to small amounts of boron! [Learn more about blue diamonds]
Green diamonds: Strangely enough, green diamonds are formed due to natural gamma radiation. [Learn more about green diamonds]
Pink and Red diamonds: Although it's still a bit of a mystery to scientists how stunning pinks and (exceptionally rare) reds form, the strong theory suggests that it's due to higher pressure. Scientists speculate that the stress and strain experienced by rough diamonds in the Earth's mantle cause the diamond's lattice to be distorted. This distortion creates graining and pink color zones to occur within the diamond. [Learn more about pink diamonds]
How are Colored Lab-Created Diamonds Produced?
Lab-grown colored diamonds are produced using conditions that imitate the natural process that creates Earth-grown colored diamonds. Carbon is subjected to high temperatures and high pressure in a controlled environment (along with introducing the impurity or the factor that leads to a particular diamond shade). The result is a stunning lab-created colored 'diamond.'
The creation process is the same whether you get a colored mined diamond or a colored lab-grown diamond. Scientists simply replicate the processes found in nature to create beautiful colors.
Lab-created colored diamonds are as solid and hard as natural diamonds, both scoring a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. They also carry the same color and clarity as mined color diamonds.
Much like mined diamonds, lab diamonds are priced based on their 4C's characteristics. Lab diamonds are typically 40-50% less expensive than natural colored diamonds of the same size and quality. Further, there is a resale value for colored lab-created diamonds too. Like a mined diamond, a lab-created diamond is forever and will always have a resale value. However, the resale value is not at par with natural colored diamonds.
Are Colored Diamonds Rare?
Yes, mined colored diamonds are rare, with only 1 out of every 10,000 mined being colored, and their price reflects their rarity. However, colored lab-created diamonds are not as rare, which is why the cost is much lower than their natural counterparts. But, the optical, physical, and chemical properties are the same. The only difference is that they are created in highly controlled conditions in a lab.
What are the Rarest Colors of a Diamond?
The most desired and rarest colors are red, pink, orange, green, and blue. But once again, this is only true for mined diamonds, as colored lab-created diamonds are more readily available in various stunning shades.
Why Should you Choose Lab-Created Colored Diamonds?
A diamond created in a lab is just as real as a mined diamond, with the same physical and chemical properties, but without the argued and questionable ethical practices involved with mining natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are often of better quality due to the controlled environment and fully monitored process.
Some of the most significant factors why should you buy lab-created colored diamonds include:
- Brighter quality and higher purity standard
- Fewer defects comparatively
- Ethical and environment friendly
- Greater affordability
- Rare natural colored diamonds can be created easily in labs
- Trackable origin source allows to source diamonds from reputable places
Grading of Lab-Created Diamonds
The process of verification and grading for lab-created diamonds is the same as that of natural colored diamonds. You should always buy loose lab-created diamonds verified and graded by internationally recognized laboratories such as GCAL and IGI to get the highest quality lab-created diamonds. These labs, after the inspection, issue a formal report, grading each attribute in detail. IGI, GIA, HRD, and GCAL are some highly acclaimed laboratories issuing grading certificates for lab-grown diamonds
The grading process focuses on – carat, cut, clarity, and color of the gemstone.
- Carat – Carat is the measure of the diamond's size and weight. For lab-created colored diamonds, the price increases exponentially in relation to the carat size.
- Cut – Cut is one of the most critical factors in diamond grading as it is a diamond's 'cut' that is responsible for bringing out the best brilliance in a diamond. However, when it comes to colored diamonds, the focus of the cut should be on maximizing the color of the stone. What matters the most is the color and not the brilliance.
- Clarity – Clarity is essential when considering colored diamonds but not as crucial as it is for colorless stones. As color tends to hide flaws, even stones with lower clarity levels can still be sold for high prices.
- Color – Prices go up with the color intensity level of lab-created colored diamonds. Lab-created colored diamonds that are graded intense or vivid are very valuable. When combined with secondary colors, the rarer the secondary color is, the higher the price.
Each lab-grown colored diamond is carefully examined and assigned a quality grading and certification.
Price Comparison of Lab-Created Colored and Natural Colored Diamonds
When looking at the price difference between fancy color lab-created diamonds and fancy color earth-mined diamonds, it's clear that choosing lab-created is the better option yet again.
Lab-created diamonds offer greater affordability over natural-mined diamonds. Lab-created diamonds cost around 20-40% less than their natural counterparts and even 50-60% cheaper or more in some cases. For instance, a 1.45ct heart-cut fancy vivid pink lab-created diamond is priced at 11,000 dollars, whereas its mined counterpart is priced at around 60 million dollars.
We want to highlight here once again that this significant price difference is only due to supply. Natural diamond supply is limited due to the billions of years that it takes for nature to create a diamond, whereas there is no cap on the supply of lab-created diamonds, which drives the price lower and lower as supply goes up.
Overall, this price difference offers some great value to the buyer. You get the best deal for your budget; you can go for a bigger stone size or spend more on your setting, all while still getting a quality diamond.
Best Places to Buy Lab-Created Colored Diamonds
Lab-created colored diamonds are a modern, ethical and affordable alternative to natural diamonds.
While looking to buy lab-created colored diamonds, it is imperative to buy these from reputable sellers to ensure that you get the best price for the carat weight. In addition, you want the seller to provide a diamonds certificate of authenticity from a certified third party.
Listed below are some of the most reputed and trusted online sellers. Check these out for a smooth, hassle-free, and excellent shopping experience.
James Allen is one of the largest privately held online diamond and bridal jewelry in the world. Their mission is to offer consumers the highest quality diamonds online and the most extensive selection at the best price. In addition, every diamond they sell is certified conflict-free in compliance with the Patriot Act, the Kimberley Process, and United Nations resolutions.
They have 200,000+ certified conflict-free diamonds, all photographed in 360° HD. They also offer 24/7 diamond experts' advice, with an option for real-time diamond inspections, along with a lifetime warranty, free shipping worldwide, and hassle-free returns with a 100% money-back guarantee.
Blue Nile was founded in 1999 with the idea that the diamond and engagement ring business was ready for innovation. With their 'customer-first philosophy', they have cut out the middleman to pass the best diamond value to their customers, all while preserving exceptional customer service and the highest quality diamonds and gemstones.
Their diamond and jewelry experts ensure the quality of Blue Nile lab-grown diamonds and jewelry before they ship so that every piece meets industry-leading standards. Apart from these, they offer GIA-Graded diamonds, secure Delivery, 30-day returns, and lifetime guarantees.