"They're both diamonds, they have the same chemical properties, the same physical properties."

— John King, Chief Quality Officer of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

Rather than selling diamonds dug out of massive holes in the Earth, Ada Diamonds proudly offers only laboratory-grown diamonds in our fine jewelry. Ada's diamonds are sustainably cultured by recreating the extreme pressure and temperature required to convert carbon into a diamond crystal structure.

Ada's diamonds have the same exact same crystal structure, chemical composition, optical properties, and physical properties as a mined diamond - carbon atoms arranged in a cubic crystal structure. Ada's diamonds are not fake, simulants, or cheap substitutes. Ada's diamonds are the hardest material on Earth and are approximately 10 times harder than sapphire and 100 times harder than cubic zirconia.

The process to grow diamonds is one of the most precise and difficult manufacturing techniques that humans have ever achieved. It took almost 60 years of effort to develop the precision to grow gemstone quality diamonds larger than one carat. 

Ada's diamond gemstones are graded on the exact same criteria as mined diamonds (the Four Cs), by the exact same independent gemological laboratories that grade Earth-extracted diamonds. Compared to mined diamonds, Ada's diamonds have fewer impurities and fewer defects in the crystal structure. Our white diamonds are greater than 99.99999% pure carbon. This makes Ada Diamonds whiter, brighter, and stronger than the vast majority of mined diamonds. 

How Do you Grow a Diamond?

To grow a diamonds, we are re-creating the conditions in nature. As a result, there are still variations in color and clarity. Not all lab grown diamonds are colorless and flawless. 

Diamonds can be grown in a lab in two ways. The first is called High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and the second is called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Each process is best suited for certain types, sizes, and shapes of diamonds.

High pressure, high temperature diamond production occurs when a diamond seed is packed into a growth cell with pure carbon (graphite). A diamond press then heats up that growth cell to 1500 degrees C and exerts 1 million psi (90,000 atmospheres) of pressure. As the cell rapidly cools it forms into a rough crystal: our favorite form of carbon, also known as diamond!

The Chemical Vapor Distribution method requires placing a diamond seed into a vacuum chamber, adding gasses, and microwaving. This creates a reaction that deposits more and more carbon on the seed, building the diamond up layer by layer.


Dispelling Common Misconceptions

MISCONCEPTION #1: LAB DIAMONDS ARE CHEAP to MAKE

This is the most common misconception and is completely false. De Beers self-reported costs to mine diamonds was $104 per carat (for rough diamonds) in 2015. The marginal cost to grow each diamond in a laboratory is many times the cost for De Beers and other mining operations to dig diamonds out of the earth, even if you ignore the fixed costs of the machinery required to culture diamonds in a lab. The costs to cut, polish, and grade diamonds is exactly the same, regardless of the origin: grown or mined. 

MISCONCEPTION #2: LAB DIAMONDS ARE ALL COLORLESS AND FLAWLESS

The process to grow diamonds in a laboratory is very similar to the geological growth process. The same types of inclusions and imperfections present in mined diamonds can also occur in lab diamonds. If the diamond crystal grows too fast, there can be minuscule cracks (feathers) in the diamond. There can also be small inclusions of trace elements or other growth defects that cause the diamond to be near-colorless or slightly included. Lab diamonds are independently graded on the exact same criteria as mined diamonds by the exact same independent gemological laboratories that also grade mined diamonds.

MISCONCEPTION #3: THEY ARE GOING TO FLOOD THE MARKET

There are approximately 25 million carats of diamond gemstones that are mined, cut, and polished every year, with billions of carats more in existing mines. De Beers estimates its current diamond reserves at 479.7 million carats.  To build production facilities large enough to generate one percent of the current mined supply would take hundreds of millions of dollars of capital expenditure to build the facility and tens of millions of dollars a year to run the facility. It will take many years before lab diamonds are anything but an extremely small portion of the total diamond market.

MISCONCEPTION #4: THEY REDUCE THE VALUE OF MINED DIAMONDS 

This misconception hinges on three incorrect assumptions:

  1. Diamonds are rare (see below)
  2. There will be enough diamonds grown in a labs around the world to reduce that rarity (see Misconception #3)
  3. That it is cheaper to grow diamonds than it is to mine them (see Misconception #1).

While mined fancy colored diamonds and large investment grade diamonds are quite rare, there are currently over one billion carats of diamond gemstones owned globally. Experts estimate that the Baby Boomer Generation in the United States owns over 500 million carats of diamond gemstones which will be inherited or resold in the next few decades. Ada believes the much larger threat to the value of mined diamonds is the recycling and resale of previously mined diamonds, a space that De Beers recently entered


An Investment in The Future

The purpose and main goal of the lab grown diamond industry is not alchemy; it is not to grow a 100ct cut and polished diamond. The main purpose of the lab diamond industry is for high tech applications of diamonds such as laser lenses, surgical knives, water purification devices, high pressure anvils, semi-conductors, and more. Those grown diamonds that are not perfect enough for high tech applications are cut and polished and sold to consumers as gemstones. 

When you purchase a lab grown diamond, you are investing in the future of humanity. Your purchase of a lab grown diamond directly funds research and development efforts to improve the use and efficiency of lab diamonds in the next generation of technological advancement and achievement.


Fancy Colored Diamonds

Ada offers lab grown diamonds in a rainbow of colors including pinks, yellows, blues, grays, reds, and black. Intentionally adding elements during the growth process helps to create these gorgeous shades. For example, adding nitrogen creates yellow diamonds; adding boron creates blue. What can we create for you? 

Commissioned Diamonds (L-R from top): Meaningful donor material is loaded into the graphite crucible and sent to Ada Diamonds. Over the course of several weeks, the diamond crystal grows in the diamond press. Once the diamond has reached the desired size, it is cut and polished and ready to be set. 

Commissioned Diamonds (L-R from top): Meaningful donor material is loaded into the graphite crucible and sent to Ada Diamonds. Over the course of several weeks, the diamond crystal grows in the diamond press. Once the diamond has reached the desired size, it is cut and polished and ready to be set. 

Ada Diamonds is proud to offer the ultimate personalization in bespoke high jewelry—commissioned diamonds grown from your meaningful materials.  Ada can process and purify any carbon-containing items, such as a bridal bouquet or graduation keepsakes, to high-purity carbon that is utilized to grow personally meaningful diamonds that brilliantly celebrate your finest moments and memories.

We call these cultured diamonds "Lavoisier Diamonds" in honor of Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry. Among his many 18th-century scientific achievements, he proved that diamonds were made of carbon.

You are personally involved in the growth of your Lavoisier Diamonds. Ada will ship you a small graphite container, called a crucible, that you fill with your meaningful materials such as flowers, photos, documents, fabric, wood, wine corks, and yes, even hair or cremated remains of a loved one. Return the crucible to Ada in the same packaging, and we will process and purify the material into 99.999% pure carbon.

Your carbon will then be inserted into a high-pressure, high-temperature diamond press and Ada will cultivate your Lavoisier Diamonds. Both colorless and fancy-colored diamonds can be grown in sizes as as large as five carats, and will be cut and polished to the shape of your choosing. Lead times for the Lavoisier Diamonds typically range from 12-16 weeks, depending on the complexity and quantity of diamonds commissioned. You can learn more about the technical details of the Lavoisier Diamond creation process in Ada's Education Section. 

After your diamonds are grown, cut into gemstones, and graded by independent geological laboratories, they can either be set into meaningful fine jewelry or delivered to you as loose gemstones. Lavoisier Diamonds have been set in bespoke jewelry, exquisite car interiors, and even home decor. The possibilities are endless and the diamonds are everlasting.

No two diamonds are exactly the same, which is what makes the process of finding the best diamond both an art and a science. Even though over one billion carats of diamond gemstones have been mined, cut, and polished in the last century, each stone has unique properties that determine the quality of its sparkle, fire, and life.

Ada Diamonds prides itself on sourcing the highest quality diamonds in the world and we avoid the mediocre diamonds that are sadly sold to many consumers. We don’t expect you to be a diamond expert, and we take seriously the responsibility or providing you with the best diamond possible. We refuse to sell subpar diamonds. 

To uniformly grade the quality of a diamond gemstone, independent gemological laboratories developed the 4Cs of diamonds in the 1950s:  Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. Ada Diamonds adheres to this standardized grading system and all of our diamonds larger than half a carat are objectively graded and certified by globally respected gemologists that grade both mined and lab diamonds.    

The better the cut, color, and clarity, the better the sparkle. The larger the carat weight, the bigger the sparkle.


Cut

The cut of the diamond is a measure of the quality of the shape, geometry, and finish of a diamond gemstone and are graded on a scale from Ideal (the best) to Poor. Ada's gem-cutting partners use bleeding edge equipment, such as robotic laser cutting machines, as well as decades of experience to ensure that Ada's diamonds have optimal brightness, fire, scintillation, and maximum light performance—to ensure that Ada's breathtaking diamonds are a cut above. Learn more about diamond cuts.


Color

A perfect diamond, with no impurities and no defects, is completely colorless. Impurities such as nitrogen decrease the purity of the diamond and cause undesirable yellow or brown tones in the diamond. The color of a diamond is graded on a range of letters from D to Z — Ada Diamonds only sells stones are that are independently graded as colorless (D, E, F) or near-colorless (G, H, I, J) and refuses to sell any inferior diamonds that are graded as faint-yellow (K, L, M) or worse. Learn more about diamond color.


Clarity

Clarity is a measurement of how many blemishes or inclusions are present in the diamond, which can be either micro-defects in the diamond crystal or microscopic foreign particles in the diamond. The lower the clarity of a diamond, the more imperfections in the diamond. Clarity is graded on a range from Flawless to Imperfect . Ada Diamonds only sells diamonds that are Slightly Included or better.  Learn more about diamond clarity.


Carat Weight

The carat weight of a diamond is a measurement of its weight.  One carat is exactly one-fifth of a gram (0.20 g). When a diamond is properly cut, the carat weight defines the size of the diamond, and larger diamonds tend to be more expensive. When it comes to smaller diamonds, an Ada Concierge may use the term “points” to discuss diamond weights with you. One point is one-hundredth of a carat (0.01). A “33 point diamond” would be one-third of a carat (0.33 carats).


CONSCIENCE

Ada Diamonds believes that there is a 5th C that a sophisticated consumer should consider when choosing diamonds — Conscience. Ada believes that 21st century diamond purchases should brighten the world, not just the purchaser's world. Learn more about the 5th C.


Independent Certification

Ada's diamonds of larger than 0.5 carats are all graded and certified by independent gemological laboratories. These laboratories are not affiliated with Ada Diamonds in any way, shape or form and grade our diamonds on the exact same criteria that they grade Earth-extracted diamonds. We work with three laboratories:

  • International Gemological Institute (IGI)
  • Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
  • Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL)

Many of Ada's fancy colored diamonds (blues, pinks, yellows) are graded by GIA; however, Ada's colorless diamonds are most commonly graded by IGI. The reason that we do not regularly use GIA for our colorless diamonds is that a grading by GIA will not be as specific as a grading by IGI or GCAL.  GIA will only say that a lab diamond is colorless, not D, E, or F color. GIA will say a diamond is Very, Very Slightly Included, but not VVS1 or VVS2. The lack of specificity is a business decision by GIA as a result of heavy lobbying by the Diamond Industrial Complex to keep GIA certificates less accurate for lab-grown diamonds.

If a GIA grading is important to you, we are happy to send a diamond of your choice to GIA to have it graded a second time. It normally takes them a few weeks to return the diamond along with their grading report. Below is an example of a diamond that was first graded by IGI and then by GIA.

1.0ct Ideal cut D color VS1 clarity from IGI

The same diamond as graded by GIA

Differentiation between Earth-extracted diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds is extremely important.

Ada agrees with the position of of the prestigious World Federation of Diamond Bourses that there are no problems with lab-grown diamonds as long as they are clearly disclosed. During the checkout process, every Ada customer acknowledges as follows:

I acknowledge that I am purchasing laboratory-grown diamonds that are proudly created by scientists above the Earth, not extracted or mined out of the Earth.

Ada Diamonds also strongly concurs with the world's leading diamond publication, Rapaport News, that there is a need for 4 Ds to separate lab and mined diamonds - Disclosure, Documentation, Differentiation, and Detection.  


Disclosure

Ada Diamonds only sells human-created diamonds that are grown in laboratories around the world. We publicly (and proudly) disclose that all of our gemstones are not of natural origin or extracted from the Earth, but are instead created and cultured by scientists in sophisticated laboratories.


Documentation

Every Ada Diamond larger than 1/2 carat is graded by an independent gemological laboratory that specializes in testing and grading diamonds, both mined and grown. These laboratories are located in Antwerp, Hong Kong, or the United States. Every larger diamond that Ada sells is permanently laser inscribed on the girdle with a unique identifier and the words 'lab created'. When your Ada Diamond(s) are delivered to you, you will also receive the grading certificate(s) of your diamond(s). These unique identifiers can be referenced on the independent laboratory's website at any time.


Differentiation

The mined diamond industry is quite worried about undisclosed lab diamonds being mixed into parcels of mined diamonds by unethical actors. Ada Diamonds shares their concerns and publicly commits to support efforts to avoid mixing mined and made diamonds.

Ada Diamonds has the opposite concern of the mining industry. While we are certain that our larger diamonds are of laboratory origin, we worry that smaller mined diamonds could end up in parcels of grown diamonds that we purchase from our suppliers, but we make every effort to ensure that even our smallest diamonds of 0.005 carats are lab-grown.


DETECTION

Because a laboratory-grown diamond is structurally and chemically identical to a mined diamond (a crystal made up of carbon atoms in a cubic structure), a gemologist or jeweler cannot tell the difference between a diamond that is grown in a lab and a mined diamond with natural light, traditional tools, or magnification.

The easiest way to identify a laboratory-grown diamond from a mined diamond is that it is too uniform and too pure to be of subterranean origin. There are scientific tools that can detect when a diamond was not created in the chaos below the Earth: high end laboratory microscopes with specialized ultraviolet light, polar filters, and trace element detectors.

As Ada grows, we plan to use the exact same detection tools that the mined diamond industry is using to ensure that no unethical actors mix mined diamonds into any of our supply chains.  


See Ada's collections of fine jewelry made with the best lab-grown diamonds