The short answer is no! Although lab grown diamonds are man-made, they still have the same imperfections as natural mined diamonds. Both lab-created diamonds & mined diamonds undergo a similar process during their creation - there are many variables which can occur in this process (both in nature & in the laboratory), which can cause the diamonds to have imperfections. These imperfections in both mined & lab created diamonds are graded by the 4C’s, cut, colour, clarity & carat weight.
In this article we will outline how mined diamonds & lab diamonds are created & why this process makes it extremely difficult to produce flawless diamonds in the laboratory. We will also discuss how a diamond is certified and graded - to ensure that you purchase a top quality diamond for your budget.
Natural diamonds are formed deep under the earths’ crust where carbon dioxide gas is present. This gas contains carbon atoms, which are the building blocks of diamonds. In nature, diamonds are created when the carbon dioxide gas is put under extreme pressure and temperature approximately 150-200km below the earth’s surface. In this extreme environment, the carbon atoms are able to bond together and crystallise, thus creating a diamond. Each carbon atom forms four extremely strong covalent bonds, which are bound to another four carbon atoms - resulting in one of the hardest materials known to man.
It was over 60 years ago when scientists started experimenting with creating diamonds in the laboratory. Their main challenge was to replicate & speed up the process in which diamonds are formed under the Earth’s Crust - to achieve the formation of covalent bonds between carbon atoms. When we see this pattern form between carbon atoms, this is what we refer to as ‘carbon crystallization’ - the formation of a diamond.
This diagram shows the carbon structure of both lab grown diamonds & mined diamonds; this special pattern of carbon bonding is what makes them identical. As you can see each carbon atom is bound by four extremely strong covalent bonds, this unique way of carbon bonding is what makes diamonds such an exquisitely beautiful & extremely durable material.
Lab grown diamonds have mostly the same flaws as a man made diamonds, which are graded by the 4C’s, cut, colour, clarity & carat weight. These are the four most important factors which determine the quality & price of both lab & mined diamonds.
Technically, flawless diamonds do exist - they are just extremely rare. When we refer to a diamond’s flawlessness, we are in fact referring to it’s clarity. Inclusions do occur in diamonds and are generally formed when a diamond grows too fast. A flawless diamond is essentially a diamond with no inclusions. The rarity of flawless mined & lab grown diamonds is what makes them the most expensive clarity of diamond. These inclusions occur when a diamond grows too quickly both in the laboratory and 200km under the earth's crust!
As you can see from the image, a flawless clarity diamond is completely free from inclusions, whereas the slightly included diamond does show some imperfections. We recommend opting for a diamond which has a clarity of SI1 or above, as this means the inclusions will be invisible to the naked eye.
Even if a diamond is flawless in clarity - it can still be imperfect in regards to its colour. The colour of lab grown & mined diamonds are graded from D to Z - with D being the most colourless. This means that D colour diamonds appear the whitest and brightest. Both lab diamonds & mined diamonds can contain trace elements, which can cause them to have a more yellowish or brownish warmth. The lower the colour grade of a diamond the more warmth it will have.
As you can see from the image, the D colour diamond is slightly whiter than the H colour. However the H colour is still a very pretty sparkling diamond. We recommend choosing diamonds which are graded H or above - to guarantee that your diamond is bright & white.
When you hear that a diamond is ‘D Flawless’ this means that the diamond is as white as it can possibly be and harbors no imperfections.
Each diamonds cut grade is unique - as they are each individually mapped and precisely cut to the highest possible standards. The cut of a diamond is a measure of how well it is able to reflect & refract light, therefore its ability to sparkle. A diamond with an excellent cut grade should sparkle more than lower cut grades. We recommend opting for cut grades of very good & above to ensure you choose a glistening diamond.
Both in nature & in the laboratory, larger diamonds take longer to create and are therefore are more rare & more expensive. In the laboratory, a 3ct man made diamond can take over a month to create, whereas smaller diamonds can take a matter of weeks. The larger the lab grown diamond the more expensive their cost, as they are much more difficult and time consuming to create.
Choosing your diamonds carat weight will be largely based on your budget. One of the benefits of choosing a lab diamond is that you can opt for a bigger diamond for your budget. For example, a 1ct lab grown diamond will cost around the same price as a 0.5ct mined diamond.
Fluorescence is an imperfection which occurs as a result of microscopic particles within the a natural diamond. These particles can glow under UV light and can occasionally cause the diamond to look cloudy in normal daylight. Fluorescence is one of the imperfections which only occurs in natural diamonds and does not occur in lab created diamonds.
Seeing as lab grown diamonds & man made diamonds are identical - and have the same flaws, they are graded in exactly the same way. Lab grown diamonds are sent to the same gemological institute as mined diamonds, where professional gemologists will grade them for their quality and provide each diamond with its own unique certificate. The diamond certificate will state its cut, colour, clarity & carat weight to give you a very good understanding of its size & quality.
All of our lab grown diamonds at Pure Carats come with a diamond certificate from a reputable independent gemological laboratory, to give you peace of mind that your diamond is of the quality that you expect.
Lab grown diamonds & mined diamonds are almost impossible to differentiate seeing as they are identical. One of the surest ways to tell a lab grown diamond apart from a natural diamond is by looking at its diamond certificate - this will indicate whether it is lab grown or not.
Although lab created diamonds are extremely beautiful - they are by no means flawless. There are many variables which occur in the creation of a diamond in the laboratory, which makes it extremely difficult to make them flawless. Some lab grown diamonds & mined diamonds do have a clarity grade of ‘flawless’, although it is very rare for a diamond to be perfect in every aspect of the 4C’s. If you are looking to purchase a lab diamond, we recommend reading about the 4C’s so you understand the quality of your diamond. Do remember each flaw in a lab grown diamond, makes it a completely unique piece of jewelry.
Check out our exquisite range of loose lab created diamonds available online and visible in 360HD, so you can see the diamonds flaws under magnification before making your purchase!
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