A Complete Guide to Lab-Grown Diamonds: Everything You Need to Know

June 06, 2024 14 min read

A Complete Guide to Lab-Grown Diamonds: Everything You Need to Know


Lab-grown diamonds, also known asman-made diamonds orlab-created diamonds, are produced in a laboratory setting. Unlike natural diamonds, these gems are created without the environmental and human toll of mining. Physically identical to mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds share the same growing process: carbon atoms bond under high temperature and immense pressure to form a crystalline lattice structure.

Key takeaway: In this guide, we will explore the fascinating world of lab-grown diamonds, including how they are created, their characteristics, market trends, and how to choose the perfect one for you.

You may have noticed the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds as ethical and sustainable alternatives to natural diamonds. These diamonds offer an array of benefits:

  • Ethical sourcing: No negative environmental or human impact from mining.
  • Cost-effective: Generally more affordable than natural diamonds.
  • Variety: Available in a wide range of color and clarity grades.

Lab-grown diamonds represent a modern choice for consumers who value sustainability and ethical practices. To see examples of stunning lab-grown diamond jewelry that showcase their beauty and craftsmanship, consider pieces likethis radiant diamond engagement ring orelegant lab grown oval diamond engagement ring offered by North & South Jewelry.

Ready to dive into the details? Let's explore how these incredible gems are created.

How Lab-Grown Diamonds are Created

Lab-grown diamonds are made using two main methods: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Each method is a sophisticated way of simulating how natural diamonds are formed.

1. High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)

The HPHT process starts with adiamond seed, which is placed in a special machine that can recreate the extreme conditions found deep inside the Earth. Here's how it works:

  • Preparation: A small diamond seed is chosen as the starting point.
  • Extreme Conditions: The seed is exposed to temperatures higher than 1500°C and pressures over 1.5 million pounds per square inch.
  • Carbon Source: The seed is surrounded by a carbon source, usually graphite.
  • Growth Phase: In these extreme conditions, carbon atoms start bonding with the diamond seed, slowly forming a larger diamond crystal.

HPHT technology has been improved over time, making it possible to produce high-quality diamonds on a large scale.

2. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

The CVD method offers a different approach, where diamonds grow by adding layers of carbon atoms in a controlled environment:

  • Selection of Diamond Seed: Similar to HPHT, CVD starts with a diamond seed placed in a vacuum chamber.
  • Introduction of Gases: Carbon-rich gases like methane are put into the chamber.
  • Energy Application: The gases are turned into plasma using microwaves or lasers, causing carbon atoms to separate from gas molecules.
  • Diamond Formation: These loose carbon atoms then stick to the diamond seed one layer at a time, forming a crystal structure.

Both HPHT and CVD have greatly improved because of technological advancements. This progress allows for the creation of lab-grown diamonds that are just as good as natural ones in terms of quality and appearance.

If you're interested in exploring our collection of lab-grown diamonds, we have a wide range of options available:

Our lab-grown diamonds offer sustainable and ethical alternatives to mined diamonds without compromising on quality or style.

Characteristics and Qualities of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Color Grading in Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds have their own color grading system, different from natural diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown) to grade natural diamonds.

However, lab-grown diamonds often have an additional range of vibrant colors called fancy colors.

Differences in Color Grading:

  • Traditional Scale: Lab-grown diamonds are graded on the same D-Z scale as natural diamonds.
  • Fancy Colors: In addition to the traditional scale, lab-grown diamonds come in many fancy colors like blue, pink, yellow, and green. These colors are created by adding specific elements during the growth process.

Why Are Fancy Colored Lab-Grown Diamonds Popular? Fancy colored lab-grown diamonds have become very popular because they are visually stunning and more affordable than naturally colored diamonds. Now, buyers can choose from a wide variety of colors without sacrificing quality or spending too much money.


These colorful options give buyers the chance to find something that suits their personal style and preferences.

Clarity Grading in Lab-Grown Diamonds

The clarity grading system for lab-grown diamonds is similar to that of natural diamonds. It looks at how pure the diamond is by examining any internal flaws (inclusions) or external imperfections (blemishes).

Clarity Criteria:

  • Flawless (FL): No inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification; only minor surface blemishes.
  • Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Tiny inclusions that are extremely hard to see under 10x magnification.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Minor inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification.
  • Included (I1, I2, I3): Inclusions visible to the naked eye.

Lab-grown diamonds generally have fewer inclusions compared to natural ones because they are grown under controlled conditions. This means that higher clarity grades are more common for lab-grown diamonds.

Improvements in technology have played a big role here, making it possible to create lab-grown diamonds of exceptional quality with minimal flaws. As a result, these diamonds have become even more appealing to buyers.

Understanding these characteristics and qualities will help you make a better choice when buying a lab-grown diamond that matches your style preferences and ethical values.

Clarity Grading in Lab-Grown Diamonds

Clarity is a crucial aspect when evaluating diamonds, irrespective of whether they are lab-grown or natural. It pertains to the presence of internal and external flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes, which can significantly impact a diamond's sparkle and overall appearance.

Theclarity grading scale employed for lab-grown diamonds closely resembles that used for natural diamonds, spanning from Flawless (FL) to Included (I). Here's a brief overview:

  • Flawless (FL): No visible internal or external flaws even under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless (IF): No internal flaws; some minor external blemishes.
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Tiny inclusions that are hard to detect even under 10x magnification.
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Small inclusions visible under 10x magnification but not affecting the diamond's sparkle.
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification, sometimes even visible without magnification.
  • Included (I1, I2, I3): Obvious inclusions that may impact transparency and sparkle.

Due to their controlled growth conditions, lab-grown diamonds often exhibit fewer inclusions compared to their natural counterparts. Consequently, they generally boast higher average clarity grades.

When selecting a diamond, it is vital to consider bothcolor andclarity. Fancy colored lab-grown diamonds may showcase inclusions more prominently owing to their vibrant hues. Opting for a higher clarity grade can allow the color to stand out without any distractions from flaws.

For those seeking high-quality lab-grown diamonds with excellent clarity, here are some options worth exploring:

  • Dainty and Unique 2.80ct Radiant Lab Created Diamond Engagement Ring: This stunning engagement ring is simple yet stunning. What makes this ring unique is our signature secret halo, which adds a very unique touch to the ring without changing the look. The design features diamonds that add exceptional brilliance to your engagement ring, making it an ideal addition for those looking to enhance their ring's overall beauty. 
  • Diamond Halo 1.50ct Pear Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring: This classic diamond halo engagement ring is fitted with a beautiful lab created pear diamond. The halo is always custom and made to perfectly fit around the lab grown pear diamond, without any gaps. Additional diamonds are added on the engagement ring to really complement the ring and add sparkle, while turning the entire ring into a classic masterpiece.

Both of these choices exemplify how clarity enhances the overall beauty of diamond jewelry, making them excellent options for those seeking visually striking lab-grown diamond pieces.

Market Dynamics and Trends in Lab-Grown Diamonds

Resale Value of Lab-Grown Diamonds

The resale value of lab-grown diamonds has been steadily increasing. Initially, there were doubts about their worth compared to natural diamonds, which affected their market perception. However, as more people become aware that lab-grown diamonds possess the same physical and chemical properties as natural ones, the resale market is starting to appreciate their value.

Several factors can influence the resale price of lab-grown diamonds:

  • Market Acceptance: A higher acceptance of lab-grown diamonds among consumers can drive up their resale value.
  • Technological Advancements: Improvements in production methods, resulting in higher quality stones, can also increase their resale value.
  • Economic Factors: Changes in the overall diamond market can impact how much a lab-grown diamond can be resold for.

Importance of Reliable Certification

Having a reliable certification is crucial when it comes to lab-grown diamonds. This certification serves as proof that the diamond is genuine and provides information about its quality. Well-known gemological laboratories such as IGI (International Gemological Institute) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) offer certifications for lab-grown diamonds. Acquiring a certification from one of these labs instills confidence in your purchase and facilitates easier reselling if desired.

Current Market Trends for Lab-Grown Diamonds

There are several reasons why more people are opting for lab-grown diamonds:

  • Ethical Considerations: Increasing awareness about the environmental and human rights issues associated with mining natural diamonds has led many individuals to choose lab-grown alternatives. By doing so, they can avoid supporting harmful practices.
  • Cost Efficiency: Lab-grown diamonds are generally priced 20-40% lower than natural ones, making them a more affordable option for buyers.
  • Customization Options: Lab-grown diamonds can be created in different colors, providing consumers with a wider range of choices when it comes to their jewelry.
  • Technological Progress: The methods used to create lab-grown diamonds have significantly improved over time, resulting in higher quality stones that are more readily available.

Considering these factors, here are some projections for the lab-grown diamond industry:

  • Continued Growth: The market for lab-grown diamonds is expected to grow at a rate of 22% per year for the next few years.
  • Increased Adoption: More jewelers are incorporating lab-grown diamonds into their collections to meet evolving consumer preferences.
  • Investment in Innovation: Ongoing research and development efforts aim to enhance the production process of lab-grown diamonds, leading to even better quality and more options for buyers.

Lab-grown diamonds are revolutionizing the jewelry industry by offering ethical, affordable, and high-quality alternatives to mined diamonds. Reliable certification plays a vital role in ensuring the genuineness and value of these diamonds. As sustainability and affordability become paramount considerations for many, the future looks bright for lab-grown diamonds.

If you're interested in exploring the market for lab-grown diamonds, you may want to check out some stunning pieces like theseThree-Stone 3.0ct Emerald Lab Grown Diamond orDainty Spaced Diamonds 3.75ct Cushion Lab Grown Diamond

Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds: A Comparative Analysis

Key Differences Between Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds

Origin and Creation Process

Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled laboratory environment using advanced technological processes likeHigh Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) andChemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods allow for the precise manipulation of conditions to form high-quality diamonds.

Natural diamonds, on the other hand, are formed over billions of years under immense pressure and heat deep within the Earth's mantle. Their creation is a natural geological process that makes each natural diamond unique.

Composition and Physical Properties

Both lab-grown and natural diamonds share the same physical properties, comprising pure carbon in a crystalline structure. This means they exhibit identical hardness, brilliance, and fire. Lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds to the naked eye.

Value Perception

The value perception between lab-grown and natural diamonds varies significantly. Natural diamonds are often viewed as rare treasures due to their age-old formation process, which can drive up their market value.

Lab-grown diamonds offer a more affordable alternative without compromising on quality or aesthetics. They appeal particularly to consumers looking for ethical and sustainable options. The cost-effectiveness of lab-grown diamonds makes them an attractive choice for those seeking high-quality jewelry at competitive prices.

Understanding these key differences helps in making an informed decision when selecting between lab-grown and natural diamonds, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your needs and preferences.

If you are interested in purchasing exquisite lab-grown diamond jewelry at competitive prices, North & South Jewelry offers a range of stunning options. For example, theirTiffany Floating Solitaire 2.20ct Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring or the elegant2.50ct Princess Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring  could be a great addition to your collection.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Choosing Lab-Grown Diamonds

Environmental Sustainability Advantages

Lab-grown diamonds offer significantenvironmental benefits compared to their natural counterparts. Traditional diamond mining is notorious for its substantial environmental impact, including land degradation, deforestation, and high carbon emissions. In contrast, producing lab-grown diamonds in a controlled laboratory setting minimizes these negative effects:

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Laboratory production requires less energy and generates fewer greenhouse gases.
  • Minimal Land Disruption: No need for large-scale excavation or habitat destruction.
  • Conservation of Natural Resources: Lower water consumption and no reliance on fossil fuels.

Competitive Pricing and Ethical Considerations

Choosing lab-grown diamonds also brings several economic and ethical advantages:

  • Competitive Pricing: Lab-grown diamonds are generally priced 30-50% lower than natural diamonds of comparable quality. This cost-efficiency stems from the ability to produce diamonds in a shorter time frame without the need for extensive mining operations.
  • Example: This 2.0ct Pear Lab Diamond Engagement Ring is an affordable yet stunning option for consumers. The cost of this ring with a natural diamond would go for $20K+
  • Ethical Sourcing: Lab-grown diamonds eliminate concerns associated with unethical mining practices such as child labor, unfair wages, and unsafe working conditions. These concerns have long plagued the natural diamond industry.
  • Example: The Gapped Diamond Ring, crafted with unique precision in 14K Rose Gold, exemplifies how you can enjoy exquisite jewelry free from ethical dilemmas.

By choosing lab-grown diamonds, you contribute to a more sustainable and ethically responsible jewelry market while benefiting from competitive pricing and peace of mind regarding sourcing practices.

How to Choose the Best Lab-Grown Diamond for Your Needs

The Role of Certification in Ensuring Diamond Quality

When choosing a lab-grown diamond, it's important to understand the significance of certification. Reputable laboratories have established certification standards that guarantee the quality of the diamonds they certify. Some well-known gemological laboratories include:

These labs are highly trusted in the industry for their expertise and unbiased grading.

Why Certification Matters

Certification involves a detailed analysis of a diamond's characteristics, including its cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. This ensures that you have accurate information about the diamond's quality and can make an informed decision when purchasing.

Choosing Certified Diamonds

When shopping for lab-grown diamonds, look for those that come with certifications from reputable laboratories like GIA or IGI. These institutions have strict processes in place to verify the authenticity and quality of lab-grown diamonds.

Where to Find Certified Lab-Grown Diamonds

Many online retailers offer lab-grown diamonds with thorough certification. For example, North & South Jewelry provides a range of lab-grown diamond options like:

Balancing Color and Clarity Preferences in Lab-Grown Diamond Purchases

When it comes to buying a lab-grown diamond, finding the right balance between color and clarity is key. Each person may have different priorities and budget constraints when it comes to these factors.

Understanding Color Grading

Lab-grown diamonds offer a wide range of color options. They can be graded on the traditional D-Z scale (which ranges from colorless to light yellow) or they can have fancy colors like blue, pink, and yellow. It's important to note that the color grading for lab-grown diamonds may be slightly different from that of natural diamonds due to the unique hues they can exhibit as a result of their creation process.

Decoding Clarity Grading

Clarity refers to the presence of any internal or external flaws in a diamond, such as inclusions or blemishes. Lab-grown diamonds undergo a rigorous clarity grading process using standards similar to those applied to natural diamonds. However, thanks to advancements in technology, lab-grown diamonds often have fewer inclusions compared to their mined counterparts.

Tips for Finding Your Ideal Balance

Here are some practical tips that can help you navigate your color and clarity preferences when buying a lab-grown diamond:

  • Consider Your Personal Preference: Think about how much importance you place on color versus clarity based on

Balancing Color and Clarity Preferences in Lab-Grown Diamond Purchases

Finding the right balance between color and clarity is crucial when selecting a lab-grown diamond. Here are some important factors to consider:

Certification Standards

Always ensure your diamond comes with a certification from a reputable laboratory. This verifies the authenticity and quality, providing peace of mind.

Color Preference

Lab-grown diamonds come in a variety of color grades:

  • D (colorless) to Z (light color): Most people prefer near-colorless diamonds (G-J) for their affordability and appearance.
  • Fancy Colors: Lab-grown diamonds also offer vibrant options like blue, yellow, or pink. These can be more affordable compared to their natural counterparts.

Understanding your personal preference will guide your choice.

Clarity Preference

Clarity impacts the diamond's appearance and value. The grading scale ranges from Flawless (FL) to Included (I):

  • Higher clarity grades (FL, IF, VVS): These diamonds have fewer visible inclusions but come at a higher cost.
  • Lower clarity grades (VS, SI): More budget-friendly options with inclusions that are often not visible to the naked eye.

Balancing your budget with your preference for clarity is essential.

Cut and Carat Weight

Don't overlook cut quality—it significantly affects brilliance. Prioritize an excellent or very good cut grade for maximum sparkle. Carat weight should align with your budget and personal style. Larger carat weights naturally increase cost but may require compromises in other areas like color or clarity.

For inspiration on how these factors come together in stunning designs, check out this beautifuldainty 1.80ct Round Lab Diamond Bella ring. The Bella utilizes a spaced diamond band style to create a unique design that sparkles on the sides and stays focused in the middle.

Alternatively, you can explore the elegance of theIrina (Secret Halo) 2.75ct Lab Radiant. This lustrous engagement ring features a stunning elongated lab created radiant diamond, set in our signature hidden halo + secret halo combination. This is a unique and modern setting that focuses on sparkle and only that.

Choosing a lab-grown diamond involves balancing these elements based on personal preferences and financial considerations.

Exploring Different Setting Styles for Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry

When choosing the perfect engagement ring with lab diamonds, the setting style plays a crucial role in showcasing the diamond's brilliance and beauty. Here are some popular setting options that can enhance the appeal of lab-grown diamond engagement rings:

  • Solitaire: Thisclassic setting features a single diamond, allowing the stone to take center stage. It's an ideal choice if you want to highlight the diamond's cut and clarity.
  • Halo: In this style, a central diamond is surrounded by smaller diamonds, creating an eye-catching halo effect. Thishalo setting enhances the perceived size of the center stone and adds extra sparkle.
  • Pavé: Small diamonds are set closely together along the band of the ring, giving it a continuous sparkle.Pavé settings are perfect for those who love timeless elegance, with unmatched brilliance.

Lab-grown diamonds offer versatility in suiting various jewelry styles, fromtimeless classics tocontemporary designs. Whether you prefer a minimalist solitaire or an extravagant setting like thisChristi 3D 3.25ct Lab Oval Diamond, these diamonds can adapt to any aesthetic.

When selecting a lab-grown diamond, consider important factors such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Ensuring your diamond meets certification standards from reputable laboratories guarantees its quality and authenticity.

The Future of Diamonds: Exploring the Rise of Lab-Grown in the Jewelry Industry

Lab-grown diamonds, also known as man-made or synthetic diamonds, are revolutionizing the jewelry industry. These gems are not only environmentally sustainable but also provide a canvas for creatingunique custom lab-grown engagement rings.

1. Sustainable Luxury

By choosing lab-grown diamonds, you contribute to a more ethical and eco-friendly future. These diamonds eliminate the environmental impact and human toll associated with traditional mining practices.

2. Custom Designs

One of the standout advantages is the ability to create bespoke pieces. Whether you're looking for a specific cut, color, or setting, lab-grown diamonds offer unparalleled flexibility. Custom lab-grown engagement rings can be tailored to reflect personal style without compromising on quality or ethical standards.

The rise of lab-grown diamonds signifies a shift towards more conscious consumerism, offering both aesthetic beauty and moral integrity.