3 major things to watch out for when shopping online for a lab grown diamond
Getting engaged? Congratulations! Now for the fun part – finding a diamond!
Unfortunately, shopping for anything online can be challenging, but if you are in the market for a diamond (especially one of the new, lab grown diamonds) there are definitely things to watch out for before you buy.
What is a lab grown diamond again?
Like diamonds mined from the earth, lab grown diamonds, according to the Federal Trade Commission, are carbon crystallized in the isometric system with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale, with a specific gravity of 3.52 and a refractive index of 2.42.
That’s a really scientific way of saying: There’s no difference – chemically – between a mined diamond and a lab grown diamond.
Lab grown diamonds are chemically, physically and optically the same as mined diamonds. They are not “stamped” out of a mold. Each lab grown diamond is unique, which is why it’s important to see what you are buying before you give over that credit card number!
Besides being eco-friendly and conflict-free, lab grown diamonds generally cost 50-75% less than mined diamonds too! But, they aren’t “free”, so having someone to help you pick out the best diamond for your budget is extremely important.
So here are 3 things to watch out for when looking at a lab grown diamonds on the internet.
1. Beware of diamonds that aren’t certified as lab grown diamonds
This is where a piece of paper is really important! Reputable retailers will only sell lab grown diamonds that have been certified by an independent laboratory (which is an assessment of a diamond’s 4Cs – color, clarity, cut, and carat weight – along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics and a graphic representation of the diamond’s proportions.) Think of it as your lab grown diamond’s pedigree!
Lab grown diamonds without certificates open up all kinds of warning flags. Which brings us to #2.
2. Watch out for fake diamond certificates
A certificate should NOT be from the seller – that’s a sales slip 🙂
A real lab grown diamond certificate will also not have the diamond’s price or value anywhere on the paper, and it will be from an independent laboratory like G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) or I.G.A (International Gemological Association).
3. Pay close attention for stones with diamond coating or plating
Because lab grown diamonds are still new to the jewelry industry, there’s a lot of terminology that some sellers will use… to their advantage. Words like lab-made, man-made, or synthetic diamonds.
The jewelry industry has seen many cases of sellers actually passing off diamond coated or plated cubic zirconia, or even totally synthetic material as a lab grown diamond.
True, lab grown diamonds are made by recreating nature’s process above ground. It’s pretty cool, too! The process combines technology and craftsmanship to produce larger, brighter diamonds at a lower price.
First, a high-quality, diamond seed is placed in a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) chamber, or greenhouse. Then, hydrogen is pumped into the chamber and ignited. Methane, which is the source of carbon for diamonds, is introduced, and the diamond is left to grow, layer by layer, for about 12 weeks.
After growing, the rough diamond crystal is ready to be cut. Here’s where the skill of the diamond cutter comes into play. Using techniques that have been around for generations, expert diamond cutters cut, facet and polish the gemstones.
Seeing is believing when searching for a lab grown diamond
Believe it or not, a pretty diamond – whether it’s mined or lab grown, is more than it’s size. It’s also about physics.
Yes, there’s a ton of science involved when diamonds are cut from the crystal. Angles matter people! To get the maximum brilliancy (or sparkle), diamonds have an optimal formula when it comes to cutting.
And that’s where having an expert in the field is helpful.
Let Scott’s help you find the perfect diamond
At Scott’s Custom Jewelers, we will find out what you’re looking for in terms of cut, color and budget (because even though lab grown diamonds are way less expensive, they’re not free!).
Then we’ll shop from our very cultivated, tried and true sources (we’re on our 4th generation of jewelers here) and bring in 3 or more lab grown diamonds, that fit all of your criteria. This way, you’ll be able to see each diamonds’ characteristics, and find the one that “winks at you,” as Scott’s grandpa used to say!