Are Colored Diamonds Created in the Lab or Naturally Formed?
By Space Coast Daily // March 3, 2023
There’s no doubt that traditional white diamonds have always held widespread appeal.
However, colored diamonds have also become a trendy choice for those who want to flaunt their one-of-a-kind style.
Lab-grown diamonds are also having a moment because modern fashionistas are looking for cheaper alternatives to gemstones that are mined from the earth. There is a lot of information in this article that will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of colored diamonds.
Lab Grown Colored Diamonds for Engagement Rings
Engagement rings and wedding jewelry are the first things that come to mind when one thinks about diamonds. So it’s no surprise that lab-created colored diamonds have made it to engagement and wedding celebrations.
Being identical to mined diamonds in terms of chemical properties, lab grown diamonds are increasingly preferred in engagement and wedding jewelry. Besides, new-age couples like being part of something unique and advanced.
Remember that lab created diamonds are an alternative to traditionally mined diamonds, and they’re created in a controlled laboratory environment. And as the demand for ethically sourced diamonds increases, lab-created diamonds are gaining popularity. This has continued to open up possibilities for consumers looking for eye-catching diamond jewelry.
Many celebrities have been setting the trend when it comes to wedding and engagement rings studded with colored lab-grown diamonds. Also, conscious millennials around the world are now going for lab-grown diamonds in their engagement rings.
Additionally, lab-grown engagement rings are more affordable, and as such, you can buy a much larger diamond for the celebration of love.
Colored Lab-Created Diamonds
Although colored mined diamonds are rare, finding lab grown colored diamonds is quite easy.
Diamond manufacturers can create diamonds in various colors. Let’s now find out what the variously colored lab-created diamonds signify. We’ll also discuss how fashion jewelry brands are using them:
- Blue diamonds. Carrying a regal and royal feel, blue-colored lab-created diamonds have been common among celebrities. From finger rings to lab-grown tennis bracelets, blue lab diamonds are suitable for various jewelry designs. Moreover, the color of lab-created diamonds is available in different shapes.
- Green diamonds. This color of lab-created diamonds symbolizes vigor and liveliness. Do you remember how Jennifer Lopez’s green diamond engagement ring set a global trend? This color of lab-created diamonds, however, is not only meant for rings. You’ll also find it in lab-grown diamond earrings, dangles, and necklaces.
- Pink diamonds. This color of lab diamonds has a vibe of sophistication and charm. It is also available in a variety of shapes, including:
- Emerald cut
- Orange diamonds are the rarest of mined diamonds. You can, however, find a range of orange-colored diamonds grown in laboratories. They look stylish when studded in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
You can create a truly unique look with the above colors in your diamond jewelry. Consider the color of the center diamond when selecting your piece of jewelry. This color must be matched with the other diamonds that have been used in the piece to create a cohesive look.
Matching the center diamond color ensures that every diamond has the same color grade. This allows the piece to have a consistent and beautiful appearance. You must also keep in mind that lab-created diamonds are available in fancy cuts and shapes. The shapes include emerald, marquise, round, and princess.
Lab created diamonds from Clean Origin come in a variety of hues and shapes. These hues range from classic white to blush pink and sky blue. The colored lab created diamonds are made by adding a gas mixture to the CVD reactor.
This is then combined with particular treatments at the conclusion of the synthesis process. This brings about a rich color that’s exceptionally expensive and rare in the natural world.
Aren’t Colored Lab-Created Diamonds Fakes?
Colored lab-created diamonds aren’t fakes. Historically, fake diamonds were basically glass-like. Glass is much less durable. It also has a lot less sparkle compared to well-cut diamonds.
Other diamond imitations, such as cubic zirconia and topaz gems, chip with wear. This is an issue you won’t experience with colored lab-created diamond jewelry. That’s because they’re just as durable and sparkle as naturally colored mined diamonds.
Note that there’s nothing wrong with choosing a diamond look-alike. Moissanites, for instance, are durable and an affordable alternative to diamonds. They look similar to diamonds, and only an expert will tell the difference.
How Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Made
Lab-grown diamonds are created in an artificial setting. This setting mimics how mined diamonds are made below the earth’s mantle.
There are two processes through which lab diamonds are manufactured in the laboratory. There are the Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) methods. These two methods are both effective when it comes to the manufacture of high-quality, authentic lab diamonds that are identical to mined diamonds.
During the CVD process, a minuscule slice of a diamond is placed into a chamber. Here, it gets exposed to carbon-rich gas pumped up to an extremely high temperature. In a matter of weeks, the carbon gas ionizes, and the particles stick to the original diamond slice. That is what occurs before it crystallizes into a fully formed diamond.
During the HTHP process, pure carbon is pressed within a metal cube. It also gets exposed to immense heat and pressure through electric pulses. This carbon eventually breaks down and crystallizes into a lab-grown diamond. Apart from the fact that it’s not visible to the naked eye, metal traces within an HPHT diamond are minuscule.
According to many experts, HPHT diamonds are of better quality compared to CVD-created diamonds. Note that CVD diamonds are fast-growing, an aspect that causes spotty internal marks and graining. In addition, CVD diamonds are known to have brownish undertones when produced.
This means that they must go through post-growth treatment to enhance their beauty. Lab-created diamonds are usually produced to a higher standard, and as such, they don’t require post-growth treatment.
Keep in mind that, just like earth-mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds go through a strict grading assessment during certification. This means that when buying diamonds, you can filter the search by the usual color, cut, and clarity standards. This will enable you to find a lab-grown diamond that’s just as beautiful and of top quality as the mined diamonds.
How Lab Grown Diamonds Get Their Color
These diamonds get their color from impurities and anomalies within the crystal structure. The impurities occur during the formation of the diamond. The impurities can also get introduced during the manufacturing of the diamond in a laboratory setting.
For naturally occurring diamonds, the most common impurities are nitrogen and boron, and they give a yellow and blue hue. The other impurities include iron, titanium, and chromium, and they can cause a diamond to appear yellow, green, pink, or red.
When diamonds are exposed to radiation, high pressure, or high temperatures, they can also change color. And unlike mined diamonds, the color of lab-created diamonds is controlled and manipulated during growth. By doing this, scientists can create diamonds in various colors.
Where Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
As you might have guessed, lab diamonds are manufactured in the laboratory. These laboratories are highly specialized and operated by skilled scientists and engineers. These experts use cutting-edge technology.
These lab-grown diamond laboratories are located around the world. You’ll find them in countries like the United States of America, China, India, and Israel. You can source lab diamonds from various reputable producers across the world. Some of these producers even produce and use solar energy to power or offset the production of their diamonds.
In a lot of ways, the production of diamonds is more sustainable than diamond mining. Lab-created diamonds take a great deal of energy to grow. The good news, however, is that technology keeps improving and becoming more efficient.
Lab diamond producers use renewable energy to power production. Natural diamond mines need large expanses of land to explore and excavate. After mining, it can take decades to become arable or usable again. But with man-made diamonds, their production only requires a relatively small amount of land, and this can go on without the need for land expansion.
Are Colored Lab-Grown Diamonds More Expensive?
Rarity impacts the price of your jewelry when it comes to diamonds.
Mined and lab grown diamonds in the D to Z range decrease in value as the color goes up. This happens with the most coveted and expensive stones in the colorless range. The opposite is true when it comes to fancy-colored diamonds, as a rich and pure hue comes with a higher price tag.
If you’re considering a mined-colored diamond for your next pair of diamond studs, the rarest and most valuable colors are saturated blues, pinks, and greens. And in many cases, even a slight color difference can have a huge impact on value.
Lab created diamonds have the advantage of consistency when it comes to coloring. There’s also the added perk of being less rare compared to mined diamonds. You must note that the value of lab-created diamonds is determined by factors such as:
- The cut
- The clarity
- The carat weight
A diamond pendant with high clarity, a good cut, and a high-carat weight is more valuable, regardless of its color.
Lab-created diamonds have different clarity grades that range from 13 to FL. And the clarity of the diamond affects its price. The higher the clarity grade, the more expensive your diamond engagement ring will be.
The size of your colored lab-created diamonds will also affect their value. That’s why larger diamonds are usually more expensive compared to smaller ones.
It’s important to note that lab created diamonds are still a relatively new product, and their market is still developing. It’s due to this that the price of lab-created diamonds continues to vary greatly. These prices are usually dependent on factors such as supply and demand. There’s also the quality and rarity of the diamond to be considered.
The Color-Scale of Lab Created Diamonds
The color scale of lab-created diamonds is similar to that of mined diamonds. The International Gemological Institute has a system for grading the color of diamonds. This system is known as the IGI Diamond Color Scale, and it ranges from D, which is totally colorless, to Z, which is either light yellow or brown.
When grading colored lab grown diamonds, IGI considers the color’s hue, tone, and saturation. That is what helps them determine its place on the color scale.
It’s recommended that you aim for an H grade or higher and try getting an E color or above. Remember that lab-created diamonds are affordable, and as such, you have no reason to compromise on color.
You must also ensure that the diamond is inspected under natural light and from the side. In yellow gold and rose gold settings, the color of the metal is reflected in the diamond. This gives the stone a deeper color.
Choosing the Right Color for Lab-Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds provide a wide range of colors and shades. Thus, it’s important that you understand the different color grades and how they can impact the value of your diamond pendant or stud.
The GIA color scale can be a helpful guide when choosing a lab-grown diamond. Usually, the diamonds on the lower end of the scale are less expensive compared to those on the higher end.
You must also keep in mind that even where two diamonds are involved and they have the same color grade, they can still have subtle differences in their appearance. When choosing a lab-created diamond, look out for a combination of price, quality, and aesthetics.
Apart from the color, you must also consider the diamond’s cut, clarity, and size. With such factors in mind, you’ll have the perfect colored lab-created diamonds to meet your fashion needs.
Lab-Grown Diamonds Color Difference
There are two ways in which lab-grown diamonds are manufactured. These are:
- Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
- The High-Pressure High-Temperature method (HPHT)
In 2016, GIA published statistics on the color of CVD diamonds. These colors have been examined since 2003. The report showed that among the D–Z diamonds grown with the CVD method:
- D-T people accounted for 21% of the population.
- 67 percent belonged to the G–J range.
- 10 percent belonged to the K–N range.
- 1% was in the 0 to Z range.
The above percentages have not significantly shifted over time. GIA analysts believe that CVD diamonds are subjected to HPHT treatment after they are manufactured to reduce colors, based on the spectroscopic analysis.
When the CVD diamonds of a lower color grade exhibit yellow or brown and HPHT treatment post-growth, it is ostensibly used to improve the color grade.
Does the Color of Lab-Created Diamonds Matter When it Comes to:
- The carat weight? You shouldn’t compromise on the color grade if you’re looking for a larger diamond or a bigger carat size.
The two most important factors when selecting a diamond should be the cut and the color. That’s because they are what affect the look and beauty of jewelry more than the carat and clarity.
So if you intend to buy a colored lab-created diamond that’s above 1 carat, a G or H color grade will minimize the appearance of yellow. But if you’re unsure about the carat weight, it would be best to pick a lab diamond with a color grade between G and J.
- The color of the mounting. You shouldn’t worry if your lab created diamond’s color grade isn’t a D, meaning that it’s colorless. That’s because when a stone is set in a ring, for instance, the diamond color becomes more difficult to detect.
Remember that the color of the mounting can emphasize the color of a lab-created diamond. Metal mountings cause yellow tints to appear more apparent. Yellow gold, on the other hand, makes it less obvious. Rose gold is similar to the yellow gold metal effect, although to a lesser degree.
If you buy a lab-created diamond with a color grade of K–Z, note that pink-yellow gold mountings serve to de-emphasize the yellow tint. The metal you choose for your jewelry also depends on your routine. Remember that metals are not all the same. So, based on your preference, the metal you go for may vary in shine, durability, weight, and cost.
Buying Tips for Colored Lab-Created Diamonds
While comparing diamonds, it’s crucial that you pay close attention to coloring. Apart from the IGI color grade, you’ll also want to review every diamond. It will be even better if you have the assistance of an expert.
You want to ensure that you take note of any noticeable tinting. And if the diamond doesn’t look white, you can be sure it’s not worth your money.
It’s recommended that you review various diamonds in the nearly colorless range of G–J. Look closely to see if there’s any tinting.
When evaluating diamonds to buy a wedding set, be sure to keep the ring’s setting in mind. Remember that the color of precious metals impacts how the diamond’s color is perceived. You may be in a position to buy a diamond with a lower color grade, like a J, if you go for a darker setting color.
The bottom line is that you’d like your diamond to look white in relation to the setting. It must also be the bright, white focal point of your engagement ring.
Understanding the Color Scale of White Diamonds
Some diamond jewelers allege that color is the second most important characteristic of a diamond’s quality. You might even get convinced to buy a diamond with the highest possible color grade. You must, however, be careful because this is nothing but a well-defined sales tactic.
The fact is that color plays a key role in the aesthetics and brilliance of a diamond. The differences between the color grading scales are usually very small. In fact, these differences are so small that you cannot notice them with the naked eye.
The differences between the diamonds in the G-J grades, for instance, are hardly perceivable unless it’s by an expert or by using a magnification tool. This is a very important point, as it ensures that you don’t waste money in an area that offers no additional value. Your money will be better spent in other areas, like the diamond’s cut quality.
Different Settings Can Mask a Lab-Created Diamond Color
Your setting can mask and even enhance the color of a diamond. For instance, even white-gold wedding jewelry can mask the diamond’s color. Assuming an I-color diamond is placed in a white gold setting, it can appear white even if it has a slight yellow tint.
Simply put, I-colored diamond jewelry only looks like an I color when next to a higher-graded diamond. In fact, it’s the comparison between diamonds that helps gemologists grade color. They place a diamond on a white, folded card next to the master diamond. This is done to compare and determine the color of the diamond.
How Fluorescence Interacts with the Color of Diamonds
Very few lab-created diamonds have fluorescence. This is in spite of the fact that some are enhanced with a medium or strong fluorescence. But what is fluorescence? It is how a diamond responds to ultraviolet light. It’s the UV light that makes whites whiter and black-light posters glow.
Strong or medium fluorescence generally dulls the brilliance of a diamond. However, it can make a lower color graded diamond appear whiter, similar to an N-colored diamond.
When it comes to the diamonds in the D–G range, it would be better to avoid strong fluorescence. If you need a stunning diamond stud at a lower cost, choose to go with a J or a K-colored diamond. Then confirm that it’s a strong blue fluorescence.
Final Take Away
If you are in the market looking for colored diamond jewelry, note that lab-created diamonds are a versatile and colorful option. As already mentioned, these diamonds are manufactured in a lab setting.
They also come in different colors, from traditional white to pink, blue, yellow, and many others. Lab grown diamonds are also eco-friendly and are more affordable compared to mined diamonds.
Colored diamonds can indeed be created in the laboratory. The color is created by adding specific trace elements during the manufacturing process. Hope this article helps you.