Shopping for diamonds has never been an easy process as they vary according to four characteristics, known as the four Cs. These characteristics are as follows:
- carat (mass)
To make things slightly a little more complicated, synthetic diamonds have reached the point that the un-aided human eye cannot distinguish whether a particular diamond is natural or synthetic. That said, this development has made things much better for anyone shopping for diamonds as shoppers now have a wide variety of choices across a wide variety of price points.
Diamond is the hardest element. It is comprised of carbon, and this carbon was transformed into diamond after being subjected to massive heat and pressure as the earth was evolving. After millions of years, the transformation from carbon to diamond
Regarding synthetic diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are also made of carbon, which is subjected to massive heat and pressure. Lab-stimulated diamonds, however, contain a variety of elements to impact hardness and reduce pores. Currently, the total time to transform carbon to diamond takes about two weeks.
Although you will not be able to readily tell the difference, your bank account will feel the difference because natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds are typically valued higher than lab-stimulated diamonds. Additionally, the two types of diamonds will also be insured for different amounts, so your insurance company will definitely be able to tell the difference.
Generally speaking, your opportunity to identify the difference and determine which is better for your purposes is at the jeweler’s gallery. A jeweler will be able to provide you all the tools and education to distinguish natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds from lab-stimulated ones. Of course, to ensure you are an active participant in that conversation, the questions you should ask pertain to the four Cs.
This characteristic will remain the same between all three types of diamonds. A natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond that are both sized at one-carat will have the same mass as a lab-stimulated diamond.
A lab-stimulated diamond will often be much more perfect than a natural or lab-grown diamond because a natural or lab-grown diamond will each consist of an irregular shape out of which a gem cutter must cut the finished stone. In other words, just like a natural diamond, a lab-grown diamond will have flaws, forcing a gem cutter to work around these flaws to arrive at the final shape.
Because two identical cuts can vary according to dimension, two lab-grown diamonds with the same cut will be different–just like two natural diamonds. A lab-stimulated diamond, however, will be much more artificial because of its perfection.
As with cut, a lab-stimulated diamond will be near perfect. In this case, it will be perfectly clear. However, a natural diamond as well as a lab-grown diamond will each exhibit various shades that can range from yellow to blue. These diamonds are then graded on clarity with the category of D being the clearest and Z having the most color.
Because lab-grown diamonds are composed of natural carbon and because this carbon can have other elements or flaws, the color of the final stone will vary just like that of a natural diamond. In fact, in many ways, the only difference in color between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond is negligible and must be graded by a jeweler.
Clarity refers to how many flaws are in a stone. Lab-stimulated diamonds are typically flawless whereas lab-grown diamonds have flaws just like natural diamonds. For instance, natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds might have internal nicks or flaws known as feathering that can disrupt the flow of refracted light as it travels through a stone.
These imperfections will show up as minuscule sparkles or spots. Sometimes, they can be seen as cloudiness. Flawless diamonds are categorized as FL. Diamonds with the most flaws are graded as included, level three (I3). These types of diamonds will have lots of inclusions that might make a stone appear cloudy to the naked eye.
Value versus cost
The value in a synthetic diamond is derived from its beauty and its color grading if it is a lab-grown diamond. Something else that increases value for some buyers is the fact that lab-grown diamonds are environmentally safe.
In terms of cost, lab-stimulated diamonds can cost 80 percent less than a natural diamond. Lab-grown diamonds cost about half of what a natural diamond costs. Anyone interested in a stone that is every bit as unique as a natural stone but half the cost should definitely consider lab-grown diamonds from Australia.