Organic vs lab-grown diamonds- How to Differentiate?

Choosing a suitable diamond is a matter of much deliberation and understanding of the design, cut, clarity, and several such features. Moreover, these days there are lab-grown diamonds as well which are nearly impossible to tell apart from organic ones. But a skilled diamond grader or expert can tell them apart with the right equipment. How can you differentiate these two types of diamonds? Here we have listed the different ways in which organic and lab grown diamonds are told apart.

How natural diamonds are made?

The difference lies in the way diamonds are created. Natural diamonds are formed deep inside the earth under extremely high pressure. The formation started at least three billion years ago. Due to volcanic activities, they come to the surface and lay in volcanic rock formations called kimberlite pipes. Only five percent of the kimberlite pipes have enough diamonds to mine that are economically feasible.

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Lab-grown diamonds are made by mimicking the extreme pressure and temperature experienced by organic diamonds. There are two methods of artificially growing a diamond. One method is the HPHT. It is produced in the laboratory under high pressure and temperature. Another method is CVD or Chemical Vapour Disposition. Here the molecules of a carbon-rich gas are broken down and then deposited on diamond seeds. As a result, square-shaped tabular diamond crystals are formed.

Lab-grown diamonds are created within a month or so. However, till now lab-grown diamonds are not much bigger than one carat but as the technologies are advancing, larger diamonds can be produced artificially in the future.

Diamond morphology

The best way to distinguish between lab-grown and organic diamonds is by checking their morphology. There will always be a significant price difference as well between the variants. Natural diamonds grow very differently than the diamonds created in laboratories. Natural diamonds are octahedrons in shape and grow in eight directions. Diamonds created by the HPHT method have a cuboctahedron shape and grow in fourteen directions. Lastly, the diamonds grown in the CVD method are shaped like cubes and grow in one direction.

GIA Certification

Whether you are buying an organic diamond or a lab-grown one, both can have a GIA certificate. The certificate has all details about the diamond’s origin, quality, cut, and clarity. Any reputable jewelry store will provide the GIA certification of your diamond jewelry with utmost transparency. To prevent any confusion, the GIA reports for lab-grown diamonds look much different from that of natural diamonds. The terms used for grading the lab-grown diamonds are also significantly different. While D-Z color grades are used for natural diamonds, for artificial diamonds there is a broader range. You come across terms like Colourless, nearly colorless, faint, very light, and light. The same goes for the clarity rating of the diamonds too. Whether you are buying cushion cut diamond engagement rings or any other diamond jewelry- it can be either made from organic diamonds or lab-grown diamonds. But when you take an informed decision about the type of diamond you can be sure about your investment.

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