If you’re wondering how to choose a coloured lab diamond for your jewellery, this article is for you. In this post, we explain what coloured lab grown diamonds are. We also cover their origin, quality, sustainability, pricing, symbolism and which colour matches your skin tone.
Finally, based on these factors, we’ll help you pick the best coloured lab diamond for you.
Firstly, what are coloured lab diamonds?
Coloured lab diamonds are real, coloured diamonds. They are chemically, physically and visually exactly the same as pink, yellow or blue diamonds mined from the earth. Read more here about how coloured lab diamonds are grown.
Secondly, what are mined coloured diamonds?
While most earth-mined diamonds are white, Mother Nature occasionally creates them in other exciting colours like black, blue, yellow, brown or pink. The volcanic conditions which produce coloured diamonds are rare. Therefore, mined coloured diamonds are hard to find and very expensive.
What are “fancy coloured” diamonds?
So-called fancy coloured diamonds are, simply, coloured diamonds. “Fancy coloured” is the gemmological name given to any diamond that is not white (transparent).
Coloured lab vs. coloured mined diamonds
How do coloured lab-grown and earth-mined diamonds compare? Gemmologists consider both to be chemically, physically and visually the same. In other words, both are simply diamonds.
The main difference between the two types of coloured diamonds is their origin. Coloured lab diamonds are created within a few weeks in a high-tech laboratory, whilst mined coloured diamonds formed billions of years ago underneath the earth. For this reason, lab diamonds are sustainable and more affordable than their mined equivalents.
Since they are impossible to tell apart, consumer transparency is important. That’s why lab diamonds are inscribed with a tiny laser mark to tell them apart from mined diamonds.
How to choose a coloured lab diamond
How can you tell if a coloured lab diamond is of good quality? For this question, it’s best to turn to the experts. The Gemological Institute of America (The GIA) is the leading, independent authority on diamonds. In fact, they developed the famous method that everybody uses to evaluate diamonds: The Four Cs. GIA assesses the quality of all fancy coloured diamonds, whether mined or lab grown, in the same way:
1. Colour is the most important factor
When it comes to fancy coloured diamonds, GIA considers colour to be the most important characteristic. This is different from white diamonds, which are rated more highly for brilliance and fire. In a nutshell, the even and pure the colour of your fancy diamond is, the better.
2. Clarity comes second
“Clarity” refers to the presence of impurities or markings called inclusions inside a diamond. The fewer inclusions, the better the diamond’s clarity grade.
Just because a diamond is grown in a lab, does not mean it will be perfectly free of inclusions. Since the growth process of lab diamonds replicates the way in which Mother Earth formed diamonds, they too will exhibit these natural markings. After all, all lab diamonds are real diamonds.
When it comes to mined coloured diamonds, gem connoisseurs prize even a low clarity grade as long as the stone’s colour is attractive.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about this when it comes to coloured lab diamonds. You can expect a coloured lab diamond to be of a much better clarity and larger size than a mined coloured diamond of the equivalent price. This is because mined diamonds grow in around 6 to 10 weeks, which makes it cost-effective to select only the best diamonds from each batch.
3. Diamond shape is a matter of taste
As long as the rough diamond allows it, a skilled gem cutter can carve coloured diamonds, whether lab grown or mined, into any shape. Including round, princess, emerald, cushion and pear cuts, as well as creative shapes like hearts. Selecting a diamond shape is entirely a matter of taste. Read more about choosing the best diamond shape for you.
4. Carat size is the last consideration
Carat size refers to the weight of a diamond. It determines how big your diamond is. As with all diamonds, it’s recommendable to first choose the colour, clarity and cut you prefer. Once you have decided on those factors, then you can confidently spend your remaining budget on carats.
Final tips: which colour is best for you?
Fancy coloured lab diamonds typically come in the three most popular diamond colours, which are pink, blue and yellow. To choose the right one for you, you’ll want to consider two factors. Firstly, your skin tone, and secondly, the symbolism of the colour.
1. Determine your skin tone
There are two main skin tones: warm and cool. Take a look underneath your wrist where your veins are visible. If your veins are greenish, your skin tone is warm. If they look blueish, your skin tone is cool. When it comes to skin tone, pink and blue coloured lab diamonds are the easiest hues to match with any skin tone. Yellow lab diamonds tend to suit those with a warm skin tone.
2. Think about what the colour symbolises
Blue colour symbolises truth, wisdom and loyalty, and history often associates it with royalty. Pink is a colour that people link to love, enlightenment and kindness. Yellow symbolises energy, freedom and happiness.
In conclusion – How to choose a coloured lab diamond
In conclusion, if you’re wondering how to choose a coloured lab diamond, there are two things to remember. Firstly, let your personal taste guide you. Choose the diamond colour, shape and symbolism that most pleases you. If it’s a gift or an engagement ring, choose a style the wearer of the item would love.
Secondly, you can confidently expect to get a better quality and larger-sized coloured lab diamond for your budget, than if you were shopping for an equivalent coloured mined diamond. Therefore, as long as you buy your coloured lab diamond from a reputable retailer, rest assured your purchase will look stunning.
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