Are you curious about lab grown blue diamonds? Look no further! In this guide, I will provide answers to the following questions:
- What is the process used to create lab-grown blue diamonds?
- Is there a significant price difference between lab-grown blue diamonds and natural blue diamonds?
- What companies are known for producing high-quality lab-grown blue diamonds?
How Are Lab Created Blue Diamonds Made?
To create a lab-grown blue diamond, the process begins similarly to that of a natural blue diamond. As a diamond forms, it typically incorporates some impurities, which is why most of them have a brown or yellow hue.
However, when it comes to fancy colored blue diamonds developing, the impurity of boron has to be introduced, and the lattice structure should be flawed.
The presence of boron within a flawed diamond lattice produces deep blue hues. Authentic blue diamonds are incredibly rare as boron exists in 0.001% only of the crust of the earth.
In a lab setting, scientists can more easily control the different quality factors of blue diamonds within a chamber.
The creation process is the same as that of mined diamonds, except scientists introduce boron manually into the crystal instead of hoping for its natural occurrence.
Different Quality Factors of Lab Grown Blue Diamonds
Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat are the 4Cs of diamond excellence established by the GIA – Gemological Institute of America.
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Cut and Clarity
When purchasing a lab grown blue diamond, the cut is not the primary quality factor to consider. Although it affects the durability and sturdiness of the blue diamond, a fancy colored diamond brilliance is not dependent on the cut.
Unlike colorless diamonds, the most important quality factor for lab-created blue diamonds is not the cut, but rather the shape with a larger face-up view, such as oval cut, radiant cut, and emerald cut. A round cut blue diamond is not the ideal shape for a fancy colored diamond.
Clarity is equally a significant factor for all colorless diamonds, albeit not as much for colored diamonds. Inclusions, or impurities in the diamond, can impact the clarity of a diamond.
However, lab grown fancy colored diamonds have fewer inclusions since they are not exposed to other minerals during the growing process. In addition, lab-grown diamonds have differently shaped and less noticeable inclusions due to the manufacturing process.
While a low clarity grade, such as I1, may be undesirable for a natural colored diamond especially with a relatively lighter hue, it may be challenging to find a lab-grown light colored diamond with the same clarity grade.
In general, the importance of clarity is reduced for colored diamonds, especially for lab-created diamonds.
In the world of colored diamonds and blue diamonds is no exception, color is the preeminent factor determining their value. Gemologists evaluate a diamond’s color based on its saturation, tone, and hue.
Tone refers to the brightness or darkness of the diamond’s color. For instance, a blue diamond can have various tones, ranging from pale to deep.
Hue is typically the particular shade of color displayed by diamonds. Natural blue diamonds often have a purplish or greenish tint due to impurities present in the crystals. A pure blue diamond is a rarity and considered highly valuable.
On the other hand, lab-grown blue diamonds may exhibit a range of hues. As they are artificially created, they are not subject to the same impurities that affect natural diamonds. Thus, they can be precisely engineered to be a genuine blue or modified to exhibit purplish or greenish tints.
Saturation refers to the evenness of the color’s distribution. In other words, is the color evenly dispersed throughout the diamond? This is a crucial aspect of colored diamond evaluation and one of the reasons why fancy blue diamonds that occur naturally are so scarce and pricey.
The rarity of colored diamonds in general is compounded by the challenge of finding diamonds with the desired tone, hue, and saturation. Lab grown blue diamonds, however, offer more flexibility in this regard, as they can be precisely controlled during production.
If you encounter a lab-created blue diamond with poor saturation, it is not typical and not recommended for purchase.
Carat weight is not as significant a factor in determining the value of lab-created blue diamonds compared to other factors that are crucial in mined diamonds.
In mined diamonds, the rarity of fancy colored diamonds that occur naturally means that larger carat weights significantly increase their value. A prime example of this is actually the Hope Diamond, the world’s most famous blue diamond, which weighs about 45.2 carats which is valued at an estimated 350 million dollars.
While a lab grown blue diamond of a similar size would be expensive, it would not command the same astronomical price tag.
However, it is worth noting that finding smaller lab grown blue diamonds, particularly under 0.5 carats, can be challenging. Most lab-created blue diamonds tend to fall in the range of 1 to 3 carats or thereabout.
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How Much Do Lab-Created Blue Diamonds Cost?
The cost of lab grown blue diamonds is significantly lower than that of their natural counterparts. However, some buyers find them to be relatively expensive, particularly when compared to colorless lab-created diamonds.
For the most part, colorless lab-created diamonds typically cost 20-70% less than natural mined diamonds with similar grades.
Colored lab-created diamonds, on the other hand, can cost around the same as mined diamonds with equivalent grades. While this is not an absolute rule, it provides a rough idea of the pricing difference.
Compared to lab-grown yellow diamonds, lab grown blue diamonds are more expensive. Yellow diamonds are the one of the most common colored diamonds and, as a result, do not command high prices, except in larger carat weights with different canary intensities. Keep scrolling!
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To provide an example, a 2-carat square radiant cut blue lab-created diamond with SI clarity from James Allen costs $9,200.
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In contrast, a natural radiant cut blue diamond with VS1 clarity weighing 0.76 carats costs $371,000.
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Best Places to Buy Lab Grown Diamonds
Here’s a highlight of two of my preferred shops for buying lab grown diamonds.
Brilliant Earth is a company that prioritizes ethical diamond mining along with offering a range of lab grown diamonds. Their selection includes lab-created colored diamonds that come in shades of orange, yellow, pink, blue, green, and even a few red diamonds. They also offer relatively high carat weights and a repair warranty, although this warranty is limited and may incur additional costs.
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James Allen, on the other hand, carries a smaller selection of lab-created blue diamonds with IGI certification. While their selection is more limited with only about 9 options, they offer fancy shapes and vivid colors. They also provide a lifetime warranty for their ring settings, although their choices are not as varied as Brilliant Earth’s.