}

"Synthetic diamonds are diamonds. They’re not fakes. They have all the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond.”

-Stephen ­Morisseau, Director, 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 gemstones are diamonds that 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 our diamonds, we are simply re-creating the conditions in nature that result in carbon crystallizing into diamond. Because the process is very similar to natural growth, there are still variations in color and clarity of grown diamonds - not all lab grown diamonds are colorless and flawless. 

Diamonds can be grown 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 sizes, shapes, and colors of diamonds.

High Pressure, High Temperature

HPHT diamond growth occurs within enormous pressure cookers called cubic presses, which can be in excess of 70 tonnes. To grow a diamond in a cubic press, you carefully place small diamond seeds into the bottom of a growth cell, and then delicately layer additional carbon, in form of graphite, on top of the diamond seeds. You then place the growth cell into the center of the cubic press and heat the growth cell to 1500 degrees C  while simultaneously exerting 1 million psi of pressure on the growth cell, which is approximately 70,000 times the pressure at sea level! 

At that temperature and pressure, the graphite in the growth cell is melted into a liquid and then very carefully cooled into our favorite form of carbon, a diamond crystal. The seeds of the HPHT grown diamonds are clearly visible in the picture above.

CVD-Diamond-Growth.png

Chemical Vapor Deposition

CVD diamond production is quite different from HPHT growth in two major ways. First, the diamonds are grown in a vacuum instead of tremendous pressure. Secondly, CVD growth requires large, flat plates of diamond instead of small seeds. 

To grow a CVD diamond, you place diamond plates into a vacuum chamber, carefully inject a hydrocarbon gas such as methane, and use a high power microwave energy to break down the atomic bonds in the hydrocarbon gas. This separates the carbon atoms from the hydrogen atoms, and the resulting free carbon within the reactor 'rain' down on the diamond plates, vertically growing the diamond atom by atom, similar to the way that snow collects on a table. 

In the photo above, the red hot diamond plates are growing upwards as the carbon (yellow fuzzy area) rains down on the plates.


Common Misconceptions

There are many incorrect 'facts' promoted by the diamond industrial complex in order to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt about laboratory-grown diamonds. Click on each misconception to see why it is not correct.

  • Misconception #1: Lab Diamonds are Cheap to Manufacture

    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: All Lab Diamonds 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: Lab Diamonds 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: The Price of Mined Diamonds will be Reduced by Lab 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

  • Misconception #5: The Lab Diamond Industry Only Exists to Make Gemstones

    In fact, the main reason that the diamond industry exists is not to grow diamond gemstones but instead to grow functional diamonds for industrial, computational, health care, and scientific applications.

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.

The price of each of these functional diamonds is more than the prices of a diamond gemstone of the same size. Thus, only 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 fancy colors including yellows, blues, pinks, reds, grays, and black. Fancy colored diamonds are grown by adding trace elements to the growth cell during the growth process to create gorgeous shades of stunning color. For example, adding nitrogen creates yellow diamonds; adding boron creates blue. The ratio of the trace elements to the carbon in the diamond determine the saturation and tone of the fancy color.

Fancy colored diamonds are described and graded in three dimensions: Hue is color by common name such as yellow, blue, pink. Saturation is the weakness to strength of the color. Tone is lightness to darkness of a color. Learn more from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

Images courtesy of GIA

Images courtesy of GIA

 
GIA Fancy Colored Diamond Tone and Saturation Chart

Unlike mined colored diamonds, which are prohibitively expensive for all but the wealthiest of the diamond collectors, lab grown fancy colored diamonds can be commissioned to meet client demand. Thus, Ada's fancy colored diamonds are only priced slightly above our pricing of our white diamonds, and we can open up a whole new canvas of colorful brilliance for both bridal and fashion jewelry.

Make your own art from our brilliant diamonds

Our Diamond Concierges are delighted to help you select and purchase lab grown diamonds in sizes ranging from 0.01 to 10 carats, in an array of shapes, and in virtually every color in the rainbow. Our Concierges are advocates for our clients, filtering through our inventory of over ten thousand of diamonds grown around the world to find the best of the best to offer our clients.

After you submit an inquiry, a member of our Diamonds Concierge Team will provide you with a curated list of 4-6 options within your size, quality, or price range. Ada can commission the growth, cutting, and polishing of diamonds to your exact specifications if the perfect stone for you is not in our inventory.


Pricing

We often get asked "are lab grown diamonds less expensive than mined?" For the most part, the answer is yes! Similar quality white lab grown diamonds tend to be offered at about a 20-40% discount off of mined diamond pricing.  Lab grown diamonds are not priced like cubic zirconia, moissanite, diamond simulants, or any other inferior material. 

Much like mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds are priced based on their quality characteristics and can vary dramatically in price. For simplicity, Ada has broken down these quality levels into four categories: Premium, Recommended, Satisfactory, and Unexceptional (beneath Ada's standards). All of Ada's white lab diamonds are optimized for cut and brightness, will be eye clean (no visible inclusions to the naked eye), absent fluorescence, and of exceptional quality. If we wouldn't wear it, we won't recommend it. Your Diamond Concierge will try their best to show you a wide range of quality levels and prices within your specified size range if no price range is communicated.

Consider this guide a general range for prices within our three quality levels. This chart is for round brilliant, white lab diamonds only. Fancy shapes and fancy colored lab diamonds are priced differently. For 5+ct, please inquire. All prices shown are in USD.


1.0ct round brilliants of Ada's Quality Levels

No two man made 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, mined or lab grown, has unique properties that determine the quality of its sparkle, fire, and life.

Ada Diamonds prides itself on sourcing the highest quality lab 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 option possible. We refuse to sell subprime man made diamonds. 

To uniformly grade the quality of a diamond gemstone, independent gemological laboratories developed the 4Cs of diamonds:  Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. Ada Diamonds adheres to this standardized grading system and all of our lab 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. Click on the topics below to learn more.

  • CUT

    The cut of the diamond is a measure of the quality of the shape, geometry, and finish of a round brilliant 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 Internally Flawless to Included. 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 lab 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 same criteria that they grade Earth-extracted diamonds. We work with three laboratories: Gemological Institute of America (GIA), International Gemological Institute (IGI), and Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL).

Many of Ada's fancy colored lab diamonds (blues, pinks, yellows) are graded by GIA; however, Ada's colorless lab diamonds are most commonly graded by IGI. The reason that we do not regularly use GIA for our colorless lab diamonds is that over a decade ago GIA made a business decision to not grade 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. In the past, GIA has produced full specificity grading reports for some of the largest lab grown diamonds ever produced. However, for stones below 5ct, GIA has refused to offer full fidelity grading, despite heavy interest from sophisticated consumers. 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 lab 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.  

Guaranteed for life

Ada's created diamonds are the hardest substance on earth — ten times harder than a Sapphire or Ruby. A 10 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, Ada diamonds are extraordinarily resistant to heat, chemicals, and scratching. Furthermore, lab grown diamonds are less likely to chip than mined diamonds since they have less strain, defects, and impurities in their crystal structure.

Because of their quality, we guarantee that diamonds purchased from Ada will not fade, cloud, change color, or lose their brilliance in your lifetime.  If, at any time, you have any problems with your Ada diamonds, the Concierge team will be ready to assist you. If there is a problem, we will gladly exchange your diamond for a comparable size and quality diamond.