How to Buy a Lab Grown Diamond
There are so many good reasons to buy a lab-grown diamond. You might be planning a proposal, celebrating a milestone or rewarding yourself for a promotion. Your choice shows that you care about the earth and also that you know a good deal when you see one. Whether you are giving a sparkling gift or treating yourself, knowing more about buying lab grown diamonds can ensure that you get the most beautiful diamond for your money.
What is a lab grown diamond? It’s an actual diamond, just grown in a lab vs mined from the earth. Also called created diamonds, man-made diamonds, or synthetic diamonds, these high-tech innovations have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds. They are virtually identical because they are the same down to the atomic level. The only difference is origin. And, of course, price. Because lab grown diamonds don’t require the enormous investment to create huge mining operations in some of the most remote locations on the planet, buying lab created diamonds is much more affordable.
Loose Lab Grown Diamond or Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry?
There are two ways to buy lab grown diamonds. You can choose loose lab grown diamonds and then build a ring or other jewelry piece or you can choose completed pieces of lab grown diamond jewelry. Which is better? It depends.
For engagement rings set with a 1 carat lab grown diamond or larger, buying a loose lab grown diamond and building a ring gives you the most flexibility to choose the exact size and quality center diamond you want, looking at all the 4Cs of diamond quality. It’s important to choose a certified diamond with a diamond grading report from a respected lab like the International Gemological Institute (IGI). The grading report is an independent confirmation of the quality of your diamond.
At Carbon Atelier, we provide independent grading reports for all lab grown diamonds above 0.33 carats. Because we use the CVD process to expertly grow our lab diamonds, our color and clarity are excellent. You can expect colorless E-F lab diamonds or near colorless G-H lab diamonds with excellent clarity.
If you are choosing a one-carat lab grown diamond engagement ring or piece of jewelry set with a smaller diamond, it’s better to buy lab grown diamond jewelry. We provide independent grading reports for the diamonds in our jewelry also. Even when they don’t have grading reports, the small accent diamonds in our jewelry are grown in exactly the same way and sometimes even cut from the same rough as our larger diamonds. Occasionally, we use HPHT lab-grown diamonds as accent gems but we always match the quality of the center gems.
Should You Shop Online or In-Store?
Whether you are buying a lab grown diamond and building a ring or buying finished jewelry, you’ll find that buying lab-grown diamonds online will save you money. Online retailers don’t have the expenses of brick-and-mortar locations, including rent, insurance, and staffing. As a result, markups are lower at online jewelers. That means prices are lower for you.
You’ll also have a much better selection of lab grown diamonds to choose from online. Most jewelry stores have very few lab-grown diamonds in stock. They’ll have to order them to be sent from a supplier: that on-demand service adds to the cost of the lab diamonds they show you. We suggest you don’t take our word for it. Shop in a store, get pricing and quality information, and compare to the value you’ll get buying lab diamonds online.
Choose a Diamond Shape
The first step in buying a lab-grown diamond is choosing a shape. The most popular shape is the round brilliant. This diamond cut has the most brilliance of any diamond shape, returning the most light and sparkle to your eyes. Because the round brilliant is the most popular diamond cut, it’s usually the most expensive per carat.
The best round brilliant cut diamonds have what’s called an ideal cut: the angles and proportions are calculated for the best possible light performance. The details of the cut of your round brilliant diamond are included on its grading report.
Today oval diamonds and pear shape diamonds are becoming much more popular. The elongated silhouette and shallow depth of these two cuts make them look larger than the same carat weight round brilliant too. Along with emerald cuts and princess cuts, these fancy shapes add unique character even to simple engagement ring styles.
Certify Your Quality
The quality of your lab grown diamond is measured by the same 4Cs of diamond quality as mined diamonds: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. When you buy a lab-grown diamond of significant size, you should have the quality confirmed by a grading report from an independent laboratory like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). At Carbon Atelier, these certificates are included with every purchase of a lab diamond 0.33 carat and above.
Choose Your Color & Clarity
As the technology of creating diamonds in a laboratory has improved, it’s now possible to buy lab diamonds with the best color and clarity possible. At Carbon Atelier, our diamonds are grown using the CVD, or Chemical Vapor Deposition, process, which produces Type IIa diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are the purest diamond type with almost no trace elements in the atomic structure and exceptional color and clarity. Only 2% of natural diamonds are Type IIa. That’s why you can find lab diamonds that are colorless, with D-E-F color grades or near colorless, F-G-H color grades, that are the most prized. Lab diamonds with clarity grades of VS1 and above are preferred so there are no eye-visible inclusions.
Choose Your Cut
The angles and proportions of a cut diamond determine how well it reflects and refracts light into brilliance, sparkle and fire. Too shallow and a diamond won’t have the internal reflections that create brilliance. Too deep and light will be trapped darkening its brightness. Cut quality is one of the most important quality factors for diamond beauty. A well-cut diamond flashes and dances with light. During the las few decades laboratories have researched the combinations of proportions and angles that maximize brilliance and the amount of light that returns to your eyes as sparkle. Most lab reports now feature cut grades for round brilliant diamonds and princess cut diamonds. We recommend a cut grade of Ideal, Excellent or Very Good.
Many non-symmetrical fancy shapes, like ovals, emerald cuts, and pear shapes, don’t have a cut grade. Here, look for very good to excellent proportions and polish and an outline you find attractive. Some people prefer compact shapes and others are attracted to elongated proportions. You can compare the two by looking at different length to with ratios.
Choose Your Carat Weight
Once you’ve chosen the shape of your lab diamonds, you are ready to choose your carat size. The most popular size range is one carat lab grown diamonds but the affordable pricing of means that larger sizes are within reach. You may be surprised at how much a two-carat lab-grown diamond costs: it might even be priced around the same as a one-carat mined diamond! You don’t have to sacrifice the diamond size you really want. You can buy the lab-grown diamond engagement ring or lab-grown diamond stud earrings of your dreams.