Selecting the Perfect Diamond - A Buying Guide
Purchasing a diamond is a very personal experience. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making the right choices.
Learn about shape, lab grown vs mined diamonds, and the four characteristics (AKA "Four Cs") below and how each play an important role in deciding which variation is right for you.
Lab Grown Diamonds
What is a lab grown diamond?
Lab grown diamonds, also called lab created diamonds or man made diamonds, are diamonds that are created in a controlled laboratory environment. Lab grown diamonds have the exact same physical, optical, and chemical properties as earths mined diamonds. Lab diamonds have the same carbon atom crystal structure as natural diamonds, which gives them the same superior hardness and spectacular beauty. The only difference between lab grown and mined diamonds is how they are created.
When scientists create a diamond in a lab, they replicate how diamonds form in the Earth’s crust. Natural diamonds formed many years ago deep below the Earth’s surface. In the Earth, carbon atoms crystallize due to the intense heat and extreme pressure surrounding them, which creates diamonds. When scientists replicate this process in a lab, they use one of two methods: high pressure high temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
With the HPHT method, scientists start with a diamond seed, a tiny piece of a diamond. They then place this diamond seed into a controlled chamber and surround the diamond seed with pure carbon. Next, they expose these two materials to very high pressures and temperatures. These conditions cause the pure carbon to melt and bonds around the diamond seed. The carbon bonds to the diamond layer by layer, growing each day and eventually creating a lab grown diamond.
Read more about Lab Grown Diamonds here!
Lab Grown vs Mined
Often confused with the cut of the diamond, the shape of the diamond is the most important factor in finding a ring that fits your personality. Diamond shape refers to the geometric appearance of a diamond. Diamond shapes are categorised into two groups: round diamonds and fancy shape diamonds. Round diamonds, also known as round brilliant cuts, are the most traditional diamond shape. Fancy shape diamonds refer to any diamond that is not a round brilliant. Choose the shape that you like based on your style and you cannot go wrong.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance or sparkle. Each diamond is cut differently based on different factors like the shape and the characteristics of the diamond such as flaws, the natural coloration. Every diamond is cut with facets in mind and try to get the best combination of size, shape, and clarity from the rough diamond. To maximize light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable.
The clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from Fl, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is truly rare.
Carat is the unit of measurement for determining the weight of a diamond. A carat comes in at .2 grams. Carat weight is also divided into 100 points per carat to better represent the diamond's size accurately. A 1/4 (.25) carat stone can also be expressed as 25 points and mean exactly the same thing. When comparing a 1ct and 2ct diamond, it is important to remember that the 2ct diamond's size will not be double, only the weight.