Diamond Learning

Coloured lab diamonds: a fancy fusion of art and science

Science and technology have given us many wonders, and coloured lab diamonds certainly make the cut. With equal sparkle and splendour as mined fancy coloured diamonds, laboratory grown coloured diamonds are luxurious and environmentally ethical.

In this guide, we’ll explain the growth process of coloured lab diamonds. We’ll also cover their quality, sustainability and how much they cost compared to mined diamonds.

What are coloured lab grown diamonds?

Coloured lab diamonds are diamonds, grown in a laboratory. First, scientists take a tiny fragment of a mined diamond. They place it in a mix of carbon and natural mineral elements, under harsh heat and pressure.

There, for several weeks, the tiny mined diamond “seed” grows into a beautiful, coloured diamond in the rough. Later, it is cut and polished into a stunning gem. This process recreates the way in which Mother Nature formed diamonds under the Earth’s surface billions of years ago.

Are coloured lab diamonds real diamonds?

Coloured lab diamonds are chemically and optically identical to natural, mined diamonds. They share identical properties when compared to their mined peers. The only difference is where they came from, and that lab diamonds are conceived in weeks, while diamonds found under the earth took millions of years to form.

How are lab grown diamonds coloured?

Coloured lab diamonds get their colour in the same way as earth-mined diamonds. A long time ago, coloured diamonds formed under the Earth under volcanic heat and pressure. Most diamonds that formed in this way became white (or colourless) crystals. However, in rare cases, a combination of mineral trace elements and extreme pressure gave some diamonds a distinct colour. Such as pink, yellow or blue.

In a high-tech laboratory, scientists can now recreate this natural process. They mix natural mineral elements into the carbon in which the lab diamond forms. Once these blend into the stone’s forming crystal structure, the colouring magic begins.

For instance, yellow colour comes from nitrogen trace elements mixed with carbon. Rich hues of blue come from boron. Finally, heat, pressure and irradiation cause diamonds to refract light in a gorgeous pink shade. The final colour tone is subject to the length of the heating, the temperature level and the natural mineral trace elements used.

How many colours of diamonds are there?

The world’s most trusted authority on diamond quality is the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). They classify fancy coloured diamonds into 12 pure hues: pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, brown, grey, violet, red, black and white. Coloured lab grown diamonds can be created to exhibit these same beautiful colours.

How are lab grown coloured diamonds graded?

Gemmologists grade coloured lab diamonds exactly in the same way as they grade coloured mined diamonds. They do this by assessing each diamond’s Four Cs: colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. Additionally, special attention is given to the purity and evenness of colour.

What are “fancy” coloured diamonds?

You might have heard the word “fancy” being used in connection with coloured diamonds. In simple words, a “fancy” diamond is any diamond that is not white (transparent).

Are coloured lab diamonds more affordable than mined diamonds?

Yes, coloured lab diamonds are more affordable than mined diamonds. To understand this, we first need to appreciate the rarity of coloured diamonds mined from the earth.

Did you know that roughly only 1 out of every 10,000 mined diamonds forms in colour? This statistic explains the sky-high value of mined coloured diamonds. Rich collectors who seek the rarest diamond colours can be found at gem auctions settling for record-breaking prices. Some buyers will even pay in the six figures for a single carat.

Luckily, coloured lab diamonds cost less than that. 

Firstly, lab grown diamonds are grown in a high-tech laboratory. This means that the perceived status of mined diamonds is waved off. It makes coloured diamonds more accessible to consumers.

Secondly, you have to consider the cost of mining. Drilling, labour and transportation overheads heavily influence the price of mined diamonds. 

The prices of coloured lab diamonds vary. Why? Remember, each diamond must be evaluated individually according to its Four Cs, exactly like we do with mined diamonds. The good news is that you can get around 75% more carats for your budget with lab diamonds, compared to mined diamonds.

Sustainable coloured diamonds that care for the planet

Buying coloured lab diamonds means embracing an ethical choice that empowers human lives while nurturing Mother Nature.

Lab grown coloured diamonds offer the same quality and dazzle as Earth-mined diamonds, minus the drilling, making them an ethical and environmentally conscious choice. 

Regarding energy use, mined and laboratory diamonds emit very different quantities of carbon. This means more than 55 kg of carbon per carat for mined diamonds. While lab grown diamonds only release 2.70 kilograms of carbon per carat.

Symbolism behind diamond colours

Diamonds have long symbolised luxury and beauty among countless civilisations. They’re believed to attract the wearer fortune and opportunity, which explains why many notable historical figures adorned them. Let’s look at some of the most desired colours and the meanings associated with them.

Yellow diamond colour meaning

The belief behind this colour is associated with fortune, joy, happiness, positive energy absorbed by the sun, and boosting a person’s creative thinking, well-being and self-awareness.

Pink diamond colour meaning

The colour pink symbolises womanhood, romanticism and deep affection for its beholder. Pink diamonds indeed execute these qualities when merged with a suitable jewellery design. The rosy hues breathe extravaganza with a sense of mystique, all thanks to the rarity factor of this colour.

Blue diamond colour meaning

The symbolism behind blue diamonds is associated with loyalty, trust, sophisticated elegance and purpose. It also promotes strength and unity, bounding couples more strong to endure any hardships in life. Hues can vary from a darker ocean blue tone to a more tropical, almost turquoise tint.

Concluding thoughts – are coloured lab diamonds for you?

Ultimately, what type of diamond speaks to you, depends on your lifestyle and how much you’re willing to invest. Lab grown coloured diamonds are sustainable and ethical, and more affordable than their mined counterparts. Yet they offer equal beauty, brilliance and charm. They are a luxurious and stunning choice when you’re next thinking about buying jewellery or giving a meaningful gift to someone special.

Shop Coloured Lab Diamonds

Beautiful, sustainable pink, blue and yellow diamonds