How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Inspected For Quality Assurance?

Lab grown diamonds have become more popular in recent years because they are often seen as an eco-friendly alternative to mined diamonds. But are lab grown diamonds as good as mined diamonds? Do they look the same? How are they inspected to ensure their quality? These questions and more will be answered below.

Introduction

Diamonds mined from the earth can show signs of wear and tear which can affect their overall quality. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, have been created in a controlled environment and will have a higher level of clarity and brilliance. These qualities make them perfect as an engagement ring or as a gift to commemorate a milestone event.

However, some people may be concerned about how they’re inspected before they buy one. To clear up any confusion here is all you need to know about the diamond’s inspection process! The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has established guidelines for grading these types of stones.  The color scale ranges from D to Z with D being the most brilliant while Z shows no hue at all. Other factors that contribute to a diamond’s grade include size, symmetry, shape and weight; which are also graded using letters with A being the highest quality and K being the lowest grade.

The Four C’s Of Diamonds

One of the most important things that you need to know about a diamond is its cut. This refers to how well the diamond has been polished and it’s precision in reflecting light. Lab created diamonds with a high cut grade will be more brilliant and fiery than those with a lower grade. The second thing you need to be aware of is the diamond’s clarity, which can be categorized as follows:

  • Flawless – No inclusions or blemishes visible when viewed under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS) – Minute inclusions under 10x magnification • Slightly Included (SI) – Inclusions that are visible to the naked eye but not easily seen under 10x magnification

Carat

Lab-grown diamonds have been around for several years, and have become a popular alternative to mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a laboratory by replicating the processes which occur naturally deep within the earth over millions of years. The growth process starts with a small diamond seed, which is placed into an oven at high temperature and pressure. The high heat and pressure cause the diamond to grow layer by layer until it becomes large enough to be cut and polished into a gemstone. Lab-grown diamonds are graded on four main criteria: carat weight, colour grade, clarity grade, and cut grade. Carat refers to how heavy or light the diamond is – not what its size is like compared to other gems.

Cut

Lab-grown diamonds are created from a diamond seed, which is a tiny piece of a mined diamond. The diamond seed is placed inside a high-temperature, high-pressure chamber and the jeweller can control the growth process. This process takes about six months to complete and the finished product will be much larger than the original seed. When it comes time to inspect the finished product, two major steps need to happen: cut grading and colour grading.

Lab created diamonds have nearly identical chemical compositions and structural makeups as mined stones, so they’re graded on their clarity and how well they’re polished.

Clarity

Lab grown diamonds are created in a laboratory and can be made of any type of gemstone. They can be made to look like any colour diamond, but they must have the same physical properties as their mined counterparts. This means that to inspect lab-grown diamonds, gemologists need to compare them to natural stones in every way possible: size, shape, colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. 

The most important aspect that needs inspecting is the clarity of the stone. Lab-grown diamonds should have the same clarity level as their natural counterpart or lower so they do not appear artificial. This is achieved by placing it under a microscope and examining the surface. Any irregularities will show up because the crystallization process cannot produce perfect crystals. If the structure of a lab-grown diamond is too good, then there may be an impurity present in it. A significant amount of blue light reflecting off the surface might indicate this condition.

The second major component examined is the brightness and fire of the jewel because these attributes affect how much light bounces off when placed against something else (like a white paper). There are three levels at which these characteristics are judged: dazzling, bright or faint/dull.

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