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A Guide to Buying Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry: What to Know

Jewelry featuring lab grown diamonds has become a popular alternative to pieces featuring traditional, earth-mined diamonds. These gemstones have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. They’re also produced in the same wide range of sizes and colors. However, some of the biggest benefits that make them preferable to mined diamonds are their affordability and the fact that they are produced in a controlled environment.

If you are interested in purchasing lab grown diamond jewelry, such as bracelets or engagement rings, follow these tips and recommendations to find the ideal piece.

Understand The 4Cs of Diamonds

Unlike diamond simulants such as glass or zircon, lab grown diamonds are the only man-made alternative to natural diamonds that can replicate the 4Cs. The 4Cs describe a diamond’s quality and characteristics, which you can read on a grading report to assess its value and aesthetic appeal.

It’s important that you understand the 4Cs to evaluate the value and quality of any jewelry made with lab created diamonds, from lab grown diamond tennis bracelets to engagement rings.

●      Cut

A diamond’s cut refers to the overall quality of its shapes and facets. The more precisely a diamond has been cut, the more symmetrical and the better its light dispersion and scintillation. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a cut quality grading system ranging from Excellent to Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

●      Color

The color of all diamonds, including lab grown diamonds on bracelets and engagement rings, is rated according to the standard diamond color scale. The clearer and more transparent, the more desirable and the higher the value.

Color RatingDescription
D, E, F – ColorlessFully white and clear
G, H, I, J – Near ColorlessFaintly discolored, with a very light yellowish or brown hue at certain angles
K through Z – ColoredRatings near the top of this scale (K, L, M) may be referred to as “faint,” whereas ratings N and below may be referred to as light yellow. All diamonds in this category appear yellowish-brown; the further into the alphabet, the more intense the coloring.

●      Clarity

The clarity of a diamond references the number and visibility of defects inside the crystal structure. Like natural gems, the growth process of a lab grown diamond is not perfect and can sometimes result in two types of defects: blemishes, which are surface defects and inclusions, which are defects inside the diamond.

Clarity RatingDescription
FL – FlawlessNo inclusions or blemishes are visible at 10x magnification.
IF – Internally FlawlessNo inclusions visible, very small blemishes visible at 10x magnification
VVS1, VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly IncludedExtremely small inclusions visible at 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly IncludedVery small inclusions visible at 10x magnification.
SI1, SI2 – Slightly IncludedInclusions noticeable at 10x magnification but invisible or almost invisible to the naked eye.
I1, I2, I3 – IncludedInclusions visible to the naked eye. The higher the number, the more obvious and numerous they are.

●      Carat weight

Carats are a unit of weight equivalent to about 200 milligrams, so 5 carats equals 1 gram. The higher the carat count of a lab grown diamond on a ring, bracelet or other jewelry, the larger, heavier and more valuable it is. While lab created diamonds can be produced in any size, larger ones typically require more time to grow than smaller pieces, influencing its cost.

Decide on a Diamond Shape

Whether you are shopping for lab grown diamond engagement rings, bracelets or earrings, the shape of your desired diamond matters as much as its 4Cs. Lab created diamonds are available in virtually any shape, from classic round cuts to unique shapes such as triangles or hearts. Some of the most popular diamond shapes include:

  • The classic round cut, also called brilliant cut
  • Square shapes, such as the princess cut, asscher cut and cushion cut
  • Rectangular shapes, such as the radiant cut and emerald cut
  • Oval shapes, such as the classic oval cut and marquise cut
  • Unique shapes, such as the pear cut or heart cut

Evaluate the Metal and Side Stones

Whether you’re interested in lab grown diamonds on bracelets, rings and earrings or any other piece of jewelry, consider spending some time choosing the right metal and side stones. The right combination of diamond, metal and accompanying stones can make your piece more beautiful and better fit your aesthetic preferences.

  • Match the metal to the diamond’s color. White and silvery metals, such as silver, platinum and white gold, are an excellent match for a colorless diamond. Yellow gold and rose gold can enhance the appeal of a fancy-colored diamond like blue or pink.
  • Choose whether to add side stones. Additional or complementary side stones can add a little extra glitter to your jewelry, creating a unique piece that reflects your individuality. For instance, colored gemstones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds contrast beautifully with colorless lab grown diamonds on rings.
  • Consider the metal’s durability. Consider platinum or white gold if you intend on wearing the jewelry every day. These alloys have the highest durability and density, giving them the best resistance to wear and tear. Silver and softer types of gold are more suitable for occasional use only or on low-impact pieces like earrings or necklaces.

Find the Perfect Lab Grown Diamond

Technological advances have made lab created diamonds the perfect alternative to naturally mined stones. You can choose from a wide range of shapes, colors, clarities and carat weights, offering the same variety and beauty as natural diamonds for a fraction of the price.

So the next time you are planning on buying a lab grown diamond, choose a vendor that offers high-quality man-made stones, so you can enjoy the luxury of these sparkling gems without the guilt.

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