Frequently Asked Questions about Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Diamond versus Mined Diamond FAQs

Are Man-made, Synthetic, or Lab Grown Diamonds Real?

Yes. Laboratory-grown diamonds are not fake diamonds. Man-made diamonds are 100% carbon and have the exact same chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds. No jeweler can tell the difference between a natural and synthetic diamond. Lab created diamonds are grown by recreating the conditions underneath the Earth that result in diamond growth: pressure, heat, & carbon. Learn more about why lab diamonds are not fake.

Lab grown diamonds are not the same thing as diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia, moissanite, or a CZ with a diamond like carbon (DLC) coating. Learn more about lab diamonds vs diamond simulants.

Is a Cubic Zirconia (CZ) the Same Thing as a Lab Grown Diamond?

No. Diamonds are made entirely from carbon, whereas cubic zirconia contains zero carbon! CZs are much weaker than diamonds and have different light performance and patterning. Any jeweler can easily tell the difference between a diamond and an inferior diamond simulant such as CZ or moissanite.

Is a Synthetic Diamond the Same Thing as a Lab Grown Diamond?

Yes. Laboratory grown diamonds can be referred to as lab created diamonds, grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds, man-made diamonds, cultivated diamonds, or cultured diamonds. That being said, Ada Diamonds believes that synthetic is a scientifically inaccurate term for laboratory grown diamonds. 

Can a Jeweler Tell That a Diamond is Lab Grown? 

No. Lab diamonds and natural diamonds of the same quality look identical, even to a trained eye. Traditional jewelers' tools such as microscopes or loupes cannot detect the difference between a laboratory grown diamond and a natural, mined diamond.

The low-cost diamond testing tools used by many jewelers are designed to test between fake diamonds (CZ, moissanite) and diamonds. These cheap tools are rudimentary and are not able to accurately differentiate between mined and grown diamonds.

The gemological equipment needed to reliably determine if a diamond is mined or grown is quite complicated and costs over $10,000. The most accurate detection method, Photoluminescence Spectroscopy, requires deep freezing the diamonds to −320°F (−196°C)! Most jewelers do not own such equipment due to the high cost and complexity.

That being said, all of Ada's lab diamonds above 0.50ct are graded by third party, non-profit gemological organizations and certified as lab grown with a microscopic laser inscription. A jeweler can utilize a microscope and look up the unique ID of the diamond in a public database.

Learn more about the differences between lab diamonds and mined diamonds.

How Do You Grow a Lab Diamond?

By recreating the conditions underneath the Earth that result in diamond growth: pressure, heat, & carbon. 

Today, there are two methods of growing diamond gemstones: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) & Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Each process is best suited for certain sizes & colors of diamonds. Learn more about growing diamonds.

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Diamond?

It takes 7-10 days to grow a 1 carat lab diamond, and about a month to grow a 3 carat diamond.

If you try to grow a diamond any faster, the diamond crystal will fracture. Thus, there is a physical speed limit to how fast you can grow diamonds. 

Are All Lab Diamonds Flawless and Perfect? 

No. Because diamonds are grown by recreating the conditions of nature, lab grown diamonds have the same variations of color and clarity that exist in natural diamonds (the 4 C's).

While the average laboratory-grown diamond is better quality than the average mined diamond, lab diamonds still range across the color and clarity spectrum, just like mined diamonds. Ada Diamonds chooses to only work with diamonds that are H+ better in color and SI1+ better in clarity. Learn more about color and clarity of lab grown diamonds.

Are Lab Diamonds Cheaper than Mined Diamonds?

Six Prong Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Engagement Ring in Rose Gold

Yes. Lab created diamonds tend to retail at a 30-40% discount off of equivalent quality natural diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are priced based on their quality, just like mined diamonds.

We often get asked "how much is a 1 carat lab diamond?" and the answer is, it depends on the quality, just like mined diamonds. Ada will sell a 1ct white round brilliant for anywhere from $3,150 (near-colorless, slightly included) to $10,000 USD (perfect color, flawless). Learn more about lab diamond pricing.

Fancy-colored lab diamonds are significantly less expensive than fancy colored natural diamonds.  While a natural blue or pink diamonds can sell for millions of dollars per carat at auction, lab grown yellow, blue, pink, red, green, and black diamonds are only a small premium over the price of colorless lab diamonds.

Are Lab Diamonds Graded by Third Party Organizations? 

Yes. Nearly all of lab diamonds above 0.50ct are graded and certified by reputable non-profit gemological laboratories such as IGI, GCAL, EGL, or GIA. Most of the diamonds sold by Ada have been graded by IGI and we always recommend purchasing a lab diamond that has an independent certification. 

Ada will always share the grading report with any diamond we offer to our clients and those reports can be verified by looking up the ID on the grading organization's web site. Ada does not sell diamonds sight unseen; rather, we visually inspect every single diamond we sell for verification of its quality. If we believe a diamond received a liberal grading, we will not sell it.

Does GIA grade lab diamonds?

Yes. While GIA grades lab diamonds on the exact same 4 C's as natural diamonds, GIA censors that information before printing their lab grown diamond grading reports. Due to significant financial pressure and influence from the mined diamond industry, GIA has made a business decision to withhold grading information from the public. You can read our CEO's take on this unfortunate decision at this Medium post. If you believe this is anti-competitive and not in the best interest of the public, you can let GIA know with a concern report. We are hopeful that GIA, as the standard setter in diamond grading, will change their decision to censor their reports if enough consumers speak out. Learn more about lab diamond grading.

Can I Get a Lab Diamond Appraised and Insured? 

Yes. Laboratory grown diamonds are easily appraised and insured, just like mined diamonds. Ada's fine jewelry comes with a full appraisal and many of our clients choose to insure their jewelry from our insurance provider, Jeweler's Mutual Insurance.  Progressive jewelry appraisers, such as American Gem Registry, will gladly appraise lab diamond jewelry.

Can I Re-sell a Lab Grown Diamond?

Lifted Open Cathedral Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Engagement Ring

Yes. Just like mined diamonds, there is a re-sale market for laboratory grown diamonds. A purchaser of a lab created diamond can expect to resell their lab diamond at a similar discount to what they would receive for a mined diamond.

Ada Diamonds will gladly purchase laboratory-grown diamonds from the public through our Public Purchase Program. Furthermore, Ada offers a Lifetime Trade-In for our clients who would like to upgrade to a larger diamond.

Because lab diamond gemstone sales are relatively new, there are not as many outlets that will buy back a lab grown diamond, yet. IE pawn shops, diamond liquidators, and traditional jewelers many not yet buy lab diamonds; however, that is changing as the industry grows. For example, one of the largest online diamond brokers in the world recently started allowing sales of lab diamonds on its network.

It is important to note that both grown & mined diamonds do not increase in value over time, relative to inflation, and should not be considered a place to "park" your money.

Ada Diamonds advises our clients to view their lab diamond purchase as a luxury, discretionary purchase, not an investment. You should never expect to be able to sell your diamond for more or the same of what you originally paid for it at retail, whether natural or lab grown, relative to inflation. This is because retailers who buy your diamond from you have to be able to re-sell that stone for a profit. 

Do Lab Diamonds Change Color Over Time?

No. Laboratory grown diamonds do not fade, discolor or cloud over time. Learn more about lab diamond stability

Does Ada Diamonds Grow its Own Diamonds?

Fancy Yellow Lab Created Diamond Ring

No, Ada Diamonds does not grow its own diamonds. Rather, we purchase diamonds from diamond growers around the world, just as a luxury retailer of mined diamonds buys from diamond miners around the world. This allows us to offer our clients a wide spectrum of size, shape, and prices across a rainbow of both white and fancy colored lab created diamonds.

Because Ada is a leading retailer of exceptional lab grown diamonds, we often have access to diamonds that other retailers do not, allowing Ada to deliver the best of the best to our clients. Learn more about Ada's Concierge process.

Where are Lab Diamonds Grown?

Diamonds are grown all over the world in high-tech facilities staffed by scientists, engineers, and technicians. West to East, here are locations of significant diamond production:

  • United States

  • United Kingdom

  • Netherlands

  • Germany

  • Russia

  • Israel

  • India

  • China

  • Singapore

Ada Diamonds truly believes that it matters where your diamonds comes from and that the purchase of a lab diamond is an investment in the future. The cost to produce lab diamonds is much higher than the cost to mine them, as lab diamonds are produced in western nations where employees receive full benefits and clean, safe working conditions. Learn more about the production of lab diamonds.

Are Lab Diamonds Eco-friendly and Sustainable? 

Yes, it is sustainable to grow diamonds with abundantly available carbon and renewable energy. Growing diamonds is definitely energy intensive; however, the impact on the earth to grow diamonds is a fraction of the impact of diamond mining.

It requires approximately 250 kilowatt hours of electricity to grow a 1 carat diamond. That same amount of electricity could power the average US household for 9 days or allow you to drive a Tesla Model S approximately 700 miles.

Learn more about the energy consumption and environmental impact of lab diamonds vs mined diamonds and why diamond mining is becoming less sustainable every year.

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