Handheld Diamond Testers Explained

One question we regularly receive is "Can a reputable jeweler tell the difference between a lab grown diamond and an Earth-extracted diamond"? The short answer is no, a jeweler cannot tell the difference with a loupe (10x magnifying glass) and regular lighting.

There are a few higher end tools sold by companies such as De Beers that use shortwave ultraviolet light and cross polar filters to determine the difference in crystal growth structure of a lab diamond versus a mined diamond (the lab diamond has much less strain in it's carbon crystal structure). De Beers' Diamond View tools costs over $50,000 and are mostly used by independent laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI).

That being said, there are plenty of readily available cheap tools on the market to test between cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamond. There are two types of testers that typical jewelers use.

Diamond Selector V2, Amazon.com

The first type of tool checks for thermal conductivity and is intended to distinguish between cubic zirconia and diamond.  All lab grown diamonds will be correctly identified as diamonds by thermal testers.

The second type of tool checks for electrical conductivity.  Moissanite is electrically conductive, while mined white diamonds are not, so this tool is usually used to distinguish between the two.  

All blue diamonds (both grown and mined) are electrically conductive due to the presence of boron in the atomic structure, and will incorrectly identify as moissanite on these testers. In addition, some but not all of Ada's white diamonds have trace amounts of boron, and may also be electrically conductive.  Thus a jeweler may incorrectly assume that an Ada Diamond is moissanite, but the result just means the diamond is electrically conductive.  

The reason that mined diamonds are not electrically conductive is that over 98% of mined diamonds have significant nitrogen impurities in the diamond crystal. Carbon is element #6 and nitrogen is element #7, so mined diamonds have extra electrons trapped in the crystal structure.  Boron is element #5, so lab diamonds that have no nitrogen and some boron have missing electrons in the crystal structure, which electricity can flow through. Thus some lab diamonds are electrically conductive.

This property is one of the amazing features of lab diamonds: these diamonds are semiconductors. Yes, you can build a computer on our diamonds! Many of our diamond suppliers are also growing semiconductor diamonds for researchers at leading institutions such as Harvard, MIT, and Cal Techto push the boundaries of computing.

For 21st century electronics, lab diamonds could be the perfect material. They are highly thermally conductive, which means diamond-based devices dissipate heat quickly and easily, foregoing the need for bulky and expensive methods for cooling. Lab diamonds can also handle much higher voltages and power than silicon. Electrical currents also flow through diamonds faster than silicon, meaning that diamond computers will be more energy efficient.

This is why we say that you'll soon need to rename the Silicon Valley the Diamond Valley and why we believe that our diamonds are #DiamondsoftheFuture!

Ada Diamonds on Sirius XM Measured Thoughts Radio

On February 13, 2017 Ada Diamonds co-founders Jason Payne and Lindsay Reinsmith were honored to join David Reibstein on Sirius XM Business Radio program Measured Thoughts, powered by Wharton Business School to discuss lab grown diamonds and why man made diamonds are the future of fine jewelry

Our founders discussed topics such as why laboratory grown diamonds are the ethical choice for someone seeking a conflict free diamond, how a 21st century business model is driving Ada's ability to say "yes" to each customer's specific interests and desires, and how lab grow diamonds will continue to become central to the jewelry industry.

You can listen to their segment above, and feel free to drop us a line on Facebook or Instagram with your thoughts about laboratory grown diamonds!

2016: Year In Review

To our clients and friends,

Ada Diamonds officially launched in 2016 and what a year it was! We could never have imagined the road ahead of us when we decided to create the world's first fully bespoke fine jeweler utilizing exclusively laboratory grown diamonds.

It's been our honor to assist our clients with creating some truly spectacular pieces of diamond jewelry this year. We’ve put together a mesmerizing video showcasing some of our favorites.

Ada Diamonds was also honored to participate in several events with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, including the NYC launch of Black Badge in March, and to serve as an Affinity Partner at the Concours D'Elegance Pebble Beach this past August 2016. Ada Diamonds ran a pop up jewelry boutique in the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars villa, sold Rolls-Royce Motor Cars monogram jewelry pieces commissioned by customers, and styled product specialists and executives in fine jewelry. Ada is proud to work with other luxury brands to enhance their high-end events.

Ada Diamonds' styling at the NYC launch of Black Badge

At the NYC launch of Black Badge

Jewelry Boutique at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars villa at Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance

Jewelry Boutique at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars villa at Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance

Coming out of our amazing experience at Pebble Beach, we were thrilled to be a part of the unveiling of Koenigsegg’s Agera RS Naraya, a custom super car featuring an 18-carat gold ‘Naraya’ nameplate with 155 diamonds (proudly furnished by Ada) , which won the top honor at this year’s Salon Privé Supercar Show held at Blenheim Palace.

Koenigsegg "Naraya"

Koenigsegg "Naraya"

Koenigsegg Naraya

Koenigsegg Naraya

In September, Ada Diamonds was the focus of an article in Fortune Magazine entitled “Man-Made Diamonds Are Now Better Than Mined. Here’s Why.” Our founders were also the focus of September cover story on laboratory grown diamonds and technology in the diamond business in trade publication Rapaport Magazine.

In October, Ada's stunning lab grown diamond jewelry was featured in a photo shoot for Nobleman Magazine and the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 103EX Vision Autonomous Concept Car.

In November, our founders were pleased to appear on The Wall Street Journal’s Lunch Break segment to answer the question “Are Diamonds Made in a Lab a Girl’s Best Friend?” (spoiler: yes!)

Also in November, we launched the Delicate and Strong Collections: our first two Ready-to-Wear collections featuring sustainable, conflict free lab grown diamonds available for immediate gifting.  Just in time for the holidays, Ada was also pleased to announce a new partnership with Affirm, a transparent and modern financing company to offer our customers another option for financing their fine jewelry purchases.

The Delicate Collection Necklaces

The Delicate Collection Necklaces

Rings from The Strong Collection

Rings from The Strong Collection

To wrap up an incredible first year, Ada Co-Founder Lindsay Reinsmith appeared on Varney & Co. to chat with host Stuart Varney about man-made diamonds and the future of fine jewelry.

This past year has been a whirlwind of exciting developments for Ada as we’ve established our company as a leader in the lab grown diamond business.  If you’re ready to inquire about building your own piece of lab grown diamond jewelry, inquire today with an Ada Concierge.

And to our loyal clients and friends, thank you!

-Jason & Lindsay, & Co-Founders

Channel Set Eternity Anniversary Band

In today's installation of the Design Series, follow along in this story of a gorgeous eternity band that we created to help a special couple celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. The customer learned about Ada Diamonds after reading a recent article in Fortune Magazine. When the couple contacted Ada, they were very excited about lab diamonds, saying "When we were shopping for wedding bands five years ago, we knew about 'blood diamonds' but were only vaguely aware of lab grown diamonds and we didn't even think to ask our jeweler. One thing that held us back from buying an anniversary band before was becoming more aware about the devastation of diamond mining. We had no idea there was such a great alternative!"

The customer's engagement ring was a style very similar to our Three Stone Channel Setting, and her wedding band was a Channel Set Eternity Band that she wanted to have us recreate to exactly match the original. Ada's Diamond Concierge provided a UPS label for the customer to submit their own rings in order to accommodate a perfect match. When the rings were received, Ada's designers replicated the wedding band using CAD (computer aided design) software.

Three Stone Channel Setting

Three Stone Channel Setting

Channel Set Eternity Band Rendering

Channel Set Eternity Band Rendering

As part of this service, Ada Diamonds also cleaned, restored, and re-plated the customer's rings.

Customer rings before restoration

The Diamond Concierge was able to match the existing diamonds with H color 2.0mm lab grown stones for the eternity band. In just a few short weeks, Ada delivered the completed set to the customer who was absolutely thrilled with the set. Ada's team had so closely matched the original wedding band, that the customer was unable to tell which band was the original and which was the anniversary band.

Engagement Ring After Restoration

Original Engagement Ring and Wedding Band after Restoration

Engagement Ring with Original Wedding Band and New Anniversary Band

Wedding Band Set without Anniversary Band

Wedding Band Set with Anniversary Band

We know the couple will treasure this beautiful set, and will return for special pieces in the future now that they have been so delighted by their experience with laboratory diamonds. Adding a second band is also an economical way to upgrade the entire set without replacing the original stone.


Ready to build your own beautiful creation? Sign up for a consultation with an Ada concierge today. We have over 100 collection pieces to choose from, or build from your imagination.

Ray of Sunshine: Basket Half Band Featuring Yellow Diamonds

In today’s installation of our Design Series we’ll give you the story of a unique and impressive engagement ring for a very special couple. With their wedding date fast approaching, the couple sought to buy a stunning wedding band for the bride instead of a traditional engagement ring.

Ada's French U Radiant Eternity Band featuring yellow diamonds in yellow gold

Ada's French U Radiant Eternity Band featuring yellow diamonds in yellow gold

The couple was very interested in incorporating yellow diamonds into their design, and actually showed the concierge a similar ring they had found in a store that utilized radiant cut stones. It was very similar to Ada's French U Eternity Band.

Getting the right shade of yellow was crucial. The customer had a very specific vision, and our concierge was determined to deliver. Ada's Diamond Concierge sent the couple videos of several different yellow diamonds. In the end, the couple decided that due to the large size of each stone (approximately 0.40ct each), that they would go with a half eternity band that used somewhere between 5-8 stones.

Loose Stones

The question of whether to go with 5 or 8 stones came down to comfort of the ring. Fortunately, the customer had already tried on half bands of similar sized stones and felt comfortable in her decision. They wanted all yellow gold with a French U setting and were sent these basic renderings so that they could compare.

Basket Half Band available today

Basket Half Band available today

After thinking it over, they decided they preferred to go with the eight stone version, but requested a more modern basket setting for the stones. Working with one of Ada's designers, they helped develop the Basket Half Band which we continue to sell today from Ada’s Bridal Collection. The Basket Half Band utilizes between 5 and 8 radiant cut diamonds. To make their ring extra unique and special they chose a two tone 18k yellow gold and platinum band. Once the final stones were selected, a rendering was generated for their approval and we proceeded with the fabrication of their ring.

Final rendering before fabrication

Final rendering before fabrication

The couple was absolutely delighted with the finished piece, delivered in time for their big day! And with such a gorgeous and special design, we know they’ll treasure it for a lifetime! This couple has since returned to develop a wedding band for the groom, as well as anniversary bands for the bride.

Finished ring on model

Finished ring on model

Ready to build your own beautiful creation? Sign up for a consultation with an Ada concierge today. We have over 100 collection pieces to choose from, or build from your imagination.

Cosmopolitan Bezel Necklace and Earrings

In today’s edition of The Design Series, we’ll walk you through the creation of a bezel set of lab grown diamond necklace and earrings for a customer’s anniversary gift.

This customer learned about Ada's lab grown diamonds through video featuring Ada’s founders on the Wall Street Journal’s Lunch Break segment. The customer had a 10 year anniversary approaching and had searched far and wide to find a custom piece of jewelry for his wife, but was frustrated that no one was able to deliver a custom piece on time for the occasion. After viewing the segment, the customer was really impressed by the technology and sustainability behind lab grown diamonds.

During his initial conversation with his concierge, he expressed a desire for a piece of diamond jewelry that was both timeless and contemporary. His concierge recommended our bezel set pieces in a modern white gold. The customer selected The Bezel Dangle earrings from our Daily Collection featuring bezel-set round brilliant diamonds in a drop setting. For the matching necklace, the customer was choosing between the Single Bezel Cosmopolitan Necklace or our Floating Bezel Cosmopolitan Necklace. After deliberating on both necklaces, he decided on the Single Bezel Necklace because he liked the way it slid along the chain and lay flat on the chest.

The customer’s Diamond Concierge worked with him to find matching pairs of diamonds for the earrings and a single stone for the pendant necklace. The customer selected a pair of 0.5ct H VS1 round diamonds for the earrings and a 0.85 I SI2 round diamond for the necklace. The Concierge shared videos of the diamonds with the customer and received his approval to proceed with the fabrication.

The Ada team was able to fabricate and deliver the finished pieces to the customer in under two weeks time. The most important thing for the customer: Ada we delivered to him exactly what he wanted and on time for the big day to delight his wife.

Creating stunning custom pieces to help our customers create brilliant memories is the what inspires our mission to brighten the world with sustainable, conflict free diamonds. Ready to design a custom piece of your own? Sign up for a consultation with an Ada concierge today. We have over 100 collection pieces to choose from, or build from your imagination.

NPR: Lab-Grown Diamonds Come Into Their Own

NPR has a great interview with two executives from respected non-profit research institutes IGI (International Gemological Institute) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Both IGI and GIA grade Ada's diamonds on the exact same 4 'C's as mined diamonds. There are two quotes from the article that I'd like to comment on:

International Gemological Institute (IGI) Executive Director, David Weinstein:

"I deal with diamonds all day long, for three decades," says Weinstein. "To me, diamonds aren't anything spectacular. It's hard to get me to say, Wow!" But lately he has been impressed by certain diamonds — those created in the lab. Under a bright light, he points out how colorless they are, and how, to the naked eye, they're indistinguishable from diamonds that took millions of years to form deep within the Earth.

Weinstein inspecting a diamond. Photo credit: Michael Rubenstein for NPR

Weinstein inspecting a diamond. Photo credit: Michael Rubenstein for NPR

Weinstein, an expert who likely has over 50,000 hours of hands on time with diamonds over his 30+ year career, is impressed with the quality of diamonds cultured by humans, especially the very high quality color.

His praise for our diamonds makes perfect sense to me, as diamonds cultured in the pristine conditions of laboratory are objectively superior to dirt diamonds dug out of the Earth.  Our diamonds have superior purity, superior crystal structure, and very rarely have any foreign material and significant defects that are common in the vast majority of dirt diamonds.

There's a reason that only laboratory grown diamonds are used for surgical knives, water purification, quantum computing, extreme-pressure research, high-end speakers, and many other cutting edge applications: Lab-grown diamonds are a cut above Earth-extracted diamonds.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, Tom Moses:

GIA doesn't favor one over the other [Lab-grown vs Earth-extracted]. "That's not our job," says Moses, "to determine what the right kind of diamond is for an individual." He says they just want to make sure that everyone's clear on exactly what they're buying, "so that the marketplace — and mainly the public — can make an informed choice."

I strongly concur with Moses. It is very important for customers to know the origin of their diamonds. Ada Diamonds proudly only sells lab-grown diamonds, and we believe that there needs to be 4 'D's to go along with the 4 'C's: Disclosure, Documentation, Differentiation, and Detection.

Ada Diamonds applauds the efforts of GIA, De Beers, and other companies in the diamond industry to develop tools to determine the origin of every diamond ranging from 0.01 carats to 100 carats, and looks forward to working with these tools to ensure that 100% of Ada's diamonds are cultured by humans, not dug out of the Earth.

-Jason Payne, Co-founder and CEO

Announcing Affirm Partnership for Transparent, Honest Jewelry Financing

Sample 3, 6, and 12 month payment plans for a $5,000 purchase and 10% APR

Sample 3, 6, and 12 month payment plans for a $5,000 purchase and 10% APR

Ada Diamonds is thrilled to launch a partnership with Affirm to provide a modern financing option for our brilliant diamond jewelry (as well as loose diamonds). Affirm is innovating and improving consumer finance in the same way that Ada Diamonds is innovating and improving fine jewelry. We believe that Affirm offers a far superior experience than the status quo in jewelry financing. 

Affirm is a Silicon Valley company that prides itself on clearly communicated, honest, and efficient loans. Affirm's founding team is made up of many of the early engineers that built PayPal. 

During the application process (applying does not affect your credit score),  you'll see what financing you are approved for and exactly what your monthly payment will be. You can choose to pay over 3, 6, or 12 months with rates from 10-30% APR. You'll also see the total amount of interest you'll pay. There are no other charges, fees, or costs. It's easy to set up auto-pay from a debit card or bank account, or you can pay every month via a simple website.

For couples with joint finances, Affirm may be an innovative way to give a surprise gift of diamond jewelry, without a credit card or bank charge ruining the surprise.

You can learn more about Affirm here, or reach out to a friendly Diamond Concierge to see if Affirm is the correct payment option for you. Currently, Affirm is only available for our Bespoke Collections; however, we do hope to offer Affirm for our Delicate and Strong collections in the coming weeks.