Pink Lab Grown Diamonds: What They Cost & How They’re Made

Pink Lab Grown Diamonds: What They Cost & How They’re Made

Pink diamonds are extremely popular, but incredibly expensive. Pink Lab Grown Diamonds are an alternative that brings all the function and beauty at a fraction of the cost.

How much do Pink lab grown diamonds cost? Pink diamonds can be difficult to create in lab settings. Because of that difficulty, and high-demand, they are more expensive than colorless diamonds, and even many of the fancy colored varieties. Cost ultimately depends on color quality, but in general, you can expect to pay roughly $6,000 per carat.

There are many factors that go into the cost of a pink diamond. We explore the drivers of cost and how pink diamonds are formed both in the laboratory and in the earth below.

How Long have Pink Diamonds Been Popular?

The first record of a pink diamond was the Noor-ul-Ain, which is still one of the largest pink diamonds that has ever been mined. Today, the famous gem remains the most prominent embellishment on a tiara that’s part of the Iranian Crown Jewels. That ornate headpiece, which also includes 324 other diamonds, is also known by the name Noor-ul-Ain.

This old and beautiful pink diamond, is believed to have come from one of the Kuller mines in the southern India. The gem likely remained in India until Delhi was raided and looted in 1739 by Nadir Shah and his troops. The diamond has remained in the Iranian Crown Jewels collection ever since. While the Noor-ul-Ain is famous among gem enthusiasts, it isn’t something that most other people have heard of.

In more modern times, the pink diamond that attracted a great deal of general awareness and attention is the 6.1 carat carat pink diamond that Ben Affleck presented to Jennifer Lopez when he proposed in 2002. That impressive ring was was reported online, on television, and in print media around the globe. It created a greater awareness of, and desire for, pink diamonds. That surge in demand for pink diamond that J-Lo’s ring kicked off, hasn’t subsided since.

Pink diamonds are a hot commodity in Hollywood, and for brides around the world. They add color and variation to the traditional engagement ring or wedding ring, and feel especially feminine.

Why Do Diamonds Turn Pink in the Earth?

Pink diamonds are beautiful, but their especially captivating because they’re so rare in nature. They’re also mysterious gems. Scientists have heated debates over theories about how these rare diamonds form, but in reality, they don’t really know.

Diamonds naturally come in a wide variety of colors. All colors that aren’t the traditional colorless (or white) variety, are categorized as ‘Fancy Colored.’ Fancy colored diamonds typically get their color from trace elements that become impurities in the stone. The most common color related impurity, is a yellowish hue that diamonds often get from Nitrogen. All yellowed diamonds, from the barely yellow, to the canary yellow owe their color to Nitrogen. Boron is the element that’s responsible for blue diamonds. Hydrogen is believed to be the cause of purple diamonds.

Pink diamonds are very different from all other fancy colored diamonds. Their color has not come as a result of impurities in the stone. There typically are no trace elements influencing color in pink diamonds. Again, the actual cause has baffled scientists for many decades, but the prevailing theory has to do with intense, over-the-top, pressure. Pink diamonds weren’t always pink. They probably formed as colorless diamonds initially.

In fact, pink diamonds belong to the rare Type IIa group. The same group that CVD (lab created) diamonds fall into. Type IIa diamonds don’t have Nitrogen impurities, so their color isn’t impacted by Nitrogen (which normally has a yellowing influence on diamond color). This type is pretty rare for earth-mined diamonds. It’s estimated, that only about 2% of all mined diamonds are Type IIa gems.

We all know that diamonds are formed in the earth under extreme pressure, but it’s believed that pink diamonds had pressure move to a whole new level. Scientists think that the multiplication of pressure could have been the result of seismic activity. That pressure pushed and stretched the stone in ways that left banding. Today, when pockets are found that contain pink diamond, their are pink sections and colorless sections side-by-side (banding), that again, is evidence of incredible pressured, stretching, and a resulting molecular change.

The vast majority of mined pink diamonds now come from one mine in Western Australia (the Argyle mine). They produce a massive haul of roughly 20 million carats of mined diamonds each year, however, it’s estimated that only about 200,000 carats of that annual volume represent pink diamonds. That supply (roughly 1%) represents 80% of the world’s annual supply of mined pink diamonds. When that mine is no longer producing, mined pink diamonds may become far more rare.

Two record setting earth-mined pink diamonds include the Daria-i-Noor and the ‘Pink Star.’

The Daria-i-Noor is the largest pink diamond ever mined. It tips the scales at a whopping 182 carats! This giant pink diamond is actually one of the largest cut diamonds ever recorded. It was originally mined in Vijayanagara, India, but is now part of the Iranian Crown Jewels collection.

The Pink Star is believed to be the largest vivid pink diamond in the world at 59.60 carats. This record setting diamond sold at auction in 2017 for more $71.2 million dollars (that’s roughly $1,200,000 per carat)!

Creating Pink Diamonds in Labs

It isn’t ONLY in nature that pink diamonds are difficult to make. They’re complex to make in labs too, but they are available, and do cost substantially less than the earth mined version of the stone. Because earth mined, naturally pink, diamonds are much more rare than lab grown versions, they’re also much more expensive.

Pink lab-grown diamonds are almost always created through the CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) method. CVD is an ultra low pressure environment (the opposite of how pink diamonds are believed to have formed in the earth).

Instead of deforming the lattice structure of the diamond (and therefore changing its color) through excessive pressure (something we don’t have the technology to do yet), irradiation is used to change the structure of the crystal lattice, which also changes the color.

Lab Grown Pink Diamond with a Round Brilliant Cut.

It’s important to realize that mined pink diamonds and lab created pink diamond have the exact same characteristics and properties. They look completely indistinguishable when they’re placed side-by-side. If you love the look of pink diamond, a lab created version will save you major money, without sacrificing either look or durability.

Turning Ordinary Diamonds into Pink Diamonds

It’s possible to take a normal colorless diamond, or even one with a slight tint of yellow or brown, and turn it into a pink diamond. In order to accomplish the transformation, the diamond would need to be in a loose form (not mounted to a ring). A lab would irradiate the colorless diamond and then expose it to intense heat through the HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) process.

The resulting color change is absolutely permanent. It isn’t a superficial change that only affects the surface of the gem, this color change penetrates the entire diamond. The treatment can be difficult to detect, but the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires manufacturers and retailers to disclose that the treatment was done. In fact, when graded a ‘treated’ diamond, laboratories like GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will inscribe the girdle with a notice that it’s an irradiated diamond. That inscription is so small, that it can’t be read, or even noticed, without 20x-30x magnification.

Diamonds that are yellowed or brown can be made more colorless through the HPHT process, and then either sold as colorless diamonds, or again, irradiated to produce a fancy color. In either case, the treatment ultimately makes the diamond far more desirable and valuable to the manufacturer.

Is it Safe to Wear a Diamond After Radiation Treatment?

If you think about it, all earth mined diamonds have been exposed to radiation, it’s natural part of the formation process deep in the earth. In fact, it can be the primary reason that some fancy diamonds, like green diamonds, end up with their coloring. Diamonds don’t have lingering ‘radioactivity’ following the treatment. They quickly become totally inert following the process.

How Color Impacts Cost

The value of fancy colored diamonds is based almost exclusively on just 2 factors: color and carat weight. Normally diamonds have 4 drivers of value (the 4 C’s): color, carat weight, cut, and clarity. It’s not that cut and clarity have no impact at all, but overall value it’s heavily weighted toward color and carat weight.

Color is arguably the most important driver of value for all fancy colored diamonds. For example, A two carat diamond with unfavorable color qualities (weak or uneven coloring) probably wouldn’t sell for nearly as much as a one carat diamond with rich, vivid, and even coloring.

Perfect clarity is an extremely rare quality to find a mined pink diamond. Because of the extreme pressure (far beyond that which normal diamonds are exposed to) that caused a deformation in their lattice structure (and their pink coloring), inclusions are extremely common. Lack of inclusions, would actually lead a gemologist to initially suspect that the diamond they’re examining isn’t a one that was mined from the earth.

Lab created pink diamonds can have very vivid and even coloring, but they’re also less likely to contain significant inclusions, and could be inclusion free.

There are multiple ways that the color intensity of individual pink diamonds can be communicated. The following terms are the most commonly used. They’re listed below in order from the the least intense to the most intense.

  • Faint pink
  • Very light pink
  • Light pink
  • Fancy light pink
  • Fancy pink
  • Fancy intense pink
  • Fancy vivid pink
  • Fancy deep/dark pink

GIA has their own scale for communicating color intensity. The Argyle mine has even developed their own simple 9 point scale to communicate the lightness or darkness of a pink diamond.

There are a couple of color related drivers for the cost of pink diamonds.

  • Vivid and consistent coloring
  • Color Treatment

The more vivid or deep and consistent the pink coloring, the more expensive a particular diamond is going to be. Diamonds with those desirable color qualities are rare, especially for earth mined diamonds. The value of a mined diamond with rare and beautiful coloring will be much higher when its color qualities are natural—meaning that the diamond hasn’t been treated to create, or enhance, the color.

Pink diamonds often include overtones of other colors too, and they also impact the value of the gem. It could be brown, purple, orange, or other colors that mix fairly evenly or unevenly with the pink to create a color combination. In such instances, you may see color descriptions such as Brownish pink, purplish pink, or orangy pink.

Purplish Pink Oval Cut Diamonds

There are three key aspects to the color quality of Fancy colored diamonds: hue, tone, and saturation. Hue refers to the main, or dominant, color. Tone refers to how light or dark the shade is. Saturation references the strength, or intensity, of the dominant color (the hue).

How Much Do Pink Diamonds Cost?

It’s really difficult to give a simple ‘rule of thumb’ answer to how much you can expect to pay for pink diamond, because the cost varies so much based on intensity and combination of colors. Having said that, we’ll provide some ballpark numbers on lab grown pink diamonds, and we’ll provide some cost examples for both mined and lab grown versions below.

Lab Grown Pink Diamonds Prices:

Diamond SizePrice
.5 carat$1,500
1 carat$6,000
1.5 carat$12,000
2 carat$18,000

You’ll notice that pricing isn’t always linear. The value of pink diamonds can climb quickly as size increases, or color quality improves. For example, a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that’s approximately .5 carats, could cost roughly $2.800, while a similar stone, with different coloring, might cost about half as much.

So, how does the cost of lab grown pink diamonds stack up against the cost of earth mined pink diamonds. Here are a couple of price comparisons for fairly similar diamonds that I just found online. While there’s a slight size difference with these diamonds, I tried to match the size, color, and other important aspects of value as closely as possible.

Pink Diamond Price Comparison (Earth vs Lab Grown):

TypeSizeColorClarity GradePrice
Earth Grown1 caratFancy Deep PinkSI2$300,100
Lab Grown1.45 caratFancy Deep PinkSI2$11,360

That’s a savings of $288,740, or 99.96%

Here’s another comparison:

TypeSizeColorClarity GradePrice
Earth Grown1.14 caratFancy Vivid PinkSI2$741,100
Lab Grown1.65 caratFancy Vivid PinkSI1$5,540

A savings of $735,560, or 99.99%

In general, you can expect to pay at least $60,000 per carat for earth-mined pink diamonds, though pink diamonds have sold for more than $2,000,000 per carat when they had exceptional qualities.

The Resale Market for Used Pink Diamonds

Diamonds typically aren’t a good investment for a typical consumer. You should buy your diamond because you like the way it looks, not because you expect it to turn a profit, or even break even, if you resell it in the future. Typically, you can’t break even on a diamond that you resell for many years, and even then, you’re actually taking a loss on the ring after adjusting for inflation in most cases.

Having said that, again, the surge in demand that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez ignited in 2002, hasn’t diminished since. There’s an intense interest in quality pink diamonds. I suspect that you would have a lot of interest if you tried to resell an attractive earth mined or lab grown pink diamond at a reasonable price. Again, no one wants to pay retail for even a slightly used ring, but given enough time, you could probably recoup what you originally paid.

Selling direct to consumer cuts out the middleman and avoids fees that can get heavy. Sites like Craigslist.com and Kagigi.com can be good starting places for resale. If you want to simplify the resale process, there are online consignment companies that will advertise and sell the ring for you. They typically want to retain 25-30% of the purchase price as a commission for the sale.

The Best Metals to Pair with a Pint Diamond

White metals tend to pair best with pink diamonds. You may want to consider White Gold or Platinum. It’s certainly also possible to mount a pink diamond to yellow gold, but the reflection of yellow, from the gold, can sometimes influence the perceived color of the pink diamond (making it look almost orangy pink).

The Most Popular Shapes and Styles for Pink Diamonds

Some of the most popular cuts for pink diamonds include:

  • Round Cut
  • Cushion Cut
  • Oval Cut
  • Emerald Cut

Popular ring styles for pink diamonds include:

Solitaire: This is any ring that only features one gem.

Halo (single halo and double halo): This style has a complete circle, or halo, of diamonds (or other gems) that completely surround the center stone. A double halo features two rings of gems that are side-by-side, surrounding the center stone. A halo can make your center stone appear larger. This can be especially useful with pink diamonds, because they’re typically more expensive—and are therefore often smaller.

Three stone: As the name implies, a three stone ring contains three diamonds. There’s typically a larger center stone that then has two smaller stones (one on each side). All three stones typically have the same shape. The two smaller stones are the same size, creating a balance and symmetry to the appearance. The color of all three stones can match, or they can balance and coordinate. For example, you could have a pink diamond center stone, with a colorless diamond paired on each side, or you could have a colorless center stone, with two smaller pink diamonds beside it.

How to Clean and Protect your Pink Diamond

Pink diamonds are an investment that you’ll want to take good care of, so their value and beauty is protected. Maintenance is mostly common sense, but I’ll share a few important tips on how to properly protect and care for a pink diamond.

Diamonds that have been treated, to change or enhance their color, should be kept away from intense heat. Extreme heat could potentially alter treated diamond’s color in the place where that heat is applied. Fortunately, we’re not talking about the kind of heat you might experience when climbing into a hot car on a blistering summer day (even in Phoenix), we’re talking really intense heat from a jeweler’s torch for example.

Because of that risk, you should always tell your jeweler that your diamond has enhanced color, before you have them do work on your ring. That should alert them to the fact that they will want to exercise care to avoid potential damage. Color treatment is a permanent feature, and treated diamonds are by no means fragile, but exercising precaution is always wise.

Consider insuring your pink diamond. Insurance coverage is easy to get for both earth mined and lab grown diamond rings. It’s also a fairly inexpensive way to get peace of mind. A policy will likely cost between $1 and $2 per year for every $100 of insured value. In other words, if your pink diamond ring is worth $5,000, your policy would like cost $50 to $100 per year (approximately $4 to $8 per month).

Finding a policy should be easy. You should probably start by contacting the agent or company that provides your homeowner’s, Renter’s, or auto policies. There are also some companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. You can compare policies and pricing to find the service that fits you best.

Once your ring is insured, you’ll sleep easier! If your ring breaks, or is stolen, you’ll get a check from insurance that should help you to replace it. My younger sister once accidentally dropped her diamond ring on a tile floor, and the diamond cracked. It apparently had an inclusion that made it weak in one area. Fortunately, she had insurance, and soon received a funds from her provider.

The insurance money provided my sister with options. She could replace her original diamond if she wanted to, or use the money in some other way. She ended up replacing the diamond with a simulant, and then applying the vast majority of the insurance proceeds toward paying down some debts.

Dirt and oils are a common part of your everyday environment. Without even realizing it, they begin to coat your diamond, eventually muting it’s sparkle. In order to keep your ring in top shape, you’ll want to clean it (or have it cleaned) regularly.

Diamond is a very sparkling stone when it’s cut well. It will keep sparkling through grime—long after many diamond simulants with similar coting have become completely lifeless. Still, washing your diamond properly will make it sparkle with a great deal of additional intensity that you didn’t even know you were missing.

To wash your ring, fill a bowl with warm soapy water. You can use a mild dish soap (Dawn is a popular choice) as the cleaning agent. Place your ring in the bowl, and let it soak for several minutes to begin loosening up some of the gunk. Once it’s done soaking, use a child’s soft toothbrush to lightly, but thoroughly scrub the diamond and setting from top to bottom. You’ll want to be sure to get under the diamond, and around each arm of the mount.

After scrubbing well, rinse the ring thoroughly to remove all remaining soap, and then dry completely. You may want to initially dry the ring, as much as possible, by dabbing it with a clean and soft towel. Because the towell can’t possibly reach all surfaces and areas, you should use a hairdryer on it’s cool setting to complete the drying process.

Your jeweler can also clean your diamond for you using an ultrasonic cleaner if you’d rather not scrub it yourself—or you could even purchase your own ultrasonic cleaner to keep and use at home if you’d rather. A decent home use cleaner should cost less than $50.

Related Questions:

Do Lab Grown Diamonds Have Inclusions?

Lab grown diamonds can have inclusions–just like earth mined diamonds. The inclusions found in diamonds formed through the HPHT process are different, and more numerous, than the inclusions found in CVD diamonds . Some lab diamonds, most commonly those created through CVD, are inclusion free.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds GIA Certified?

They can be certified by GIA, but other non-profit grading laboratories can also certify them. GIA doesn’t grade lab diamonds the exact same way that they grade earth mined diamonds, so many manufacturers choose to have their diamonds graded by IGI instead. IGI grades both types of diamonds identically.

Do Lab Grown Diamonds Last?

A Diamond’s hardness means scratch resistance and durability. It’s an important part of what makes diamonds last through generations. Lab grown diamonds have all the same characteristics for hardness and durability that mined diamonds have. In fact, they’re sometimes even harder than mined diamonds.

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The Largest Lab Grown Diamonds Ever: How Big Can They Get?

Technology in the lab grown diamond field is improving fast! New milestones are being reached for the size and quality of diamonds grown in laboratories that dot the globe—almost constantly!

Just how big can Lab Grown Diamonds get? Current technology and processes can produce jewelry quality diamonds, with excellent color and clarity, that are up to about 10 carats in weight. Growing much larger diamonds, will likely require significantly redesigned equipment. Industrial grade diamonds can be grown in excess of 150 carats.

Different manufacturing processes have unique challenges barriers to creating later gem quality diamonds. We’ll highlight those issues below.

Why Large Diamonds are Grown in Labs?

How big does the diamond on your finger really need to be? I saw a 9 carat diamond the other day, and it honestly looked a little over-the-top. It was a beautiful stone, and I could appreciate it for that, but do we need, or want, a diamond that’s 20 carats, 50 carats, 100 carats, or 200 carats for jewelry purposes? At some point, you can no longer lift your hand because your diamond is so cartoonishly large and heavy, that it’s not longer practical.

So if diamonds rarely need to be larger than 9 carats for jewelry application, why are manufacturers still trying so hard to push the boundaries of what’s possible regarding size (while still delivering quality)? There are several reasons that there seems to be a race between various manufacturers to set know records for the size of high-quality gem-grade diamonds.

  • Publicity and bragging rights
  • Advancement of the product and the industry
  • For use in industrial applications

Publicity is important. Exciting news about significant advancements can be reported on the news, in newspapers, magazines, and across the web. That helps spread awareness about the industry, which is valuable and important.

Publicity also creates specific brand awareness. The lab grown diamond industry has a lot more competitors than it did 10 years ago. Some of those competitors are here in the US, others are scattered around the globe.

Industrial demand for diamonds is diverse, but an extremely common application, is the tipping of drill bits and saw blades. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known to man, so it cuts through normally hard and difficult materials that other metals and materials just can’t

The Largest Lab Diamonds Ever Made

There are two main processes that are commonly used to manufacture diamonds.:

HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature):

This process mimics the forces of the earth, applying intense heat and pressure to create a diamond in just 6 to 10 weeks. This is the oldest, and most widely adopted, technology used to manufacture diamonds. It requires a lot of power to achieve, and maintain, the heat and pressure needs of the process.

In 2015, a Hong Kong lab grown diamond manufacturer announced that they had created a diamond that was impressive for both size and quality. It was a record 10.02 carat HPHT diamond that was graded as having coloring of ‘E’ and clarity of VS1.

CVD (Carbon Vapor Deposition):

This approach is quite different. It utilizes low pressure, not high pressure. Diamonds are formed in a vacuum chamber. Carbon-rich gasses are continually fed into the chamber. Heat or microwaves are then used to cause the carbon to separate and fall on a diamond seed that’s on the substrate below. The diamond grows slowly with each particle that falls and bonds to the growing seed.

In 2018, WD Lab Grown Diamonds, out of Maryland, raised the bar in the industry by a wide margin. They announced that they had produced a CVD diamond that weighed in at a whopping 9.04 carats. Here again, it wasn’t a situation where they compromised on quality to achieve quantity—the record setting CVD diamond touts an I color grade, VS2 clarity, and an Ideal cut!

The Best Process for Growing Large Diamonds

For a long time, HPHT was far ahead of CVD in terms of the bounds of achievement. The HPHT process, for example, was capable of producing much larger gem quality diamonds. Over the past few years, however, CVD has made great progress in closing that gap. Over approximately the last year, the size of the largest CVD diamond grew by approximately 50% (from 6 carats to just over 9 carats).

While the HPHT process has still produced the largest jewelry grade diamond to date (at a little more than 10 carats), it’s difficult to say that they have a significant edge over CVD when it comes to the size of diamond that each process is capable of producing. I recent trends continue, it’s believable that a 10+ carat CVD diamond could be produced by a lab in the not too distant future.

There are limitations to our current technology that just mean that our processes and machinery will need to be adapted before we can grow jewelry grade diamonds in laboratories that are much larger than our current achievements.

The HPHT process applies incredible pressure to a diamond as it grows. That pressure is carefully controlled. It’s a critical part of the growing process. The presses used during the growing process aren’t able to focus the same amount of intense pressure to an object of any random size.

Imagine squeezing a marble between your thumb and index finger. You can bear down on the marble pretty hard. Now, imagine that someone switched the marble out for a golf ball. Does that change the pressure that you could squeeze that object with, using the same two fingers? Now, imagine that the swapped the golf ball for a pool table ball, and later with a basketball. Your ability to apply the same kind of intense pressure would change as object size changes.

The CVD process has an entirely different set of challenges. Since it grows diamonds in an ultra low-pressure environment, the main challenge becomes control of growth pattern. Instead of building in a structured way that would maximize the usable size of the diamond being grown, the CVD process can see crystal formation shooting off in a new random direction. The risk is particularly high when forming an exceptionally large diamond.

Keep in mind, that what we’re talking about here is production of gem quality diamonds. CVD technology is already capable of growing much larger diamonds for industrial application. At the moment though, there’s a tradeoff of quality when you go for too much quantity. Real progress is being made when we can achieve quantity without sacrificing quality (color, clarity, and the ability to achieve excellent cut).

How Costs are Impacted as Diamonds Grow Larger

Both the speed and cost of diamond growth aren’t linear and consistent. Diamonds tend to grow more slowly as they get larger. Diamonds up to about 1.5 carats are pretty standard for today’s labs. When they go much beyond that mark, the growth process can slow, and it also becomes more expensive.

Even with the added cost and difficulty, however, large gem quality diamonds represent large savings for those in the market to buy them. In 2016, for example, one manufacturer in the US produced a 6.28 carat Cushion Cut diamond that had a color grade of ‘J’ and clarity of VS2. It’s estimated, that an earth-mined diamond of similar size and quality would cost roughly $100,000. The manufacturer had plans to price their lab grown gem at $52,000, a savings of approximately 50%.

The Pace of Change is Accelerating

Synthetic diamonds have been pursued since the 1940’s. The unique properties of diamond have significant application and value in industry. Their hardness can be used to assist with drilling and cutting. It can also make a effective abrasive agent. They have high electrical resistance and excellent optical transparency that makes them useful in a wide range of mechanical applications.

The multi-national power house, General Electric, uses industrial diamonds in variety of ways many of the businesses they operate. A less expensive lab created diamond would really benefit their business, so in the early 1950’s, they continued the work of past contributors, and were soon making real progress. It was 1955 when then they told the world about their first synthetic diamond. It wasn’t something ready for wedding rings yet, but it could meet industrial needs.

It turned out to be more than 40 years before technology and learning progressed to the point that men were able to make diamonds were really suitable for jewelry applications. It took roughly 30 more years for the color, clarity, and carat weight capabilities of technology to start to really catch up earth mined diamonds, in a way that makes the two visibly indistinguishable, and on par regarding all points of quality and durability.

Around 2008, just as technology was starting to get really good with lab diamonds, Ulrich Boser, a writer, became interested in developments with lab-grown diamonds. He recorded the following experience in an article he wrote for Smithsonian magazine. It really captures the incredible nature of what has been achieved with man made diamonds.

He borrowed a .38 carat man made diamond with a princess-cut, and took it to a trusted contact in a downtown Boston jewelry store. Ulrich was interested to see if the lab grown diamond quality was really as good as some people believed it to be. In his article, he records the experiences and verbal exchange. He said,

“With a pair of tweezers, he brings the diamond up to his right eye and studies it with a jeweler’s loupe, slowly turning the gem in the mote-filled afternoon sun. ‘Nice stone, excellent color. I don’t see any imperfections,’ he says. ‘Where did you get it?’

‘It was grown in a lab about 20 miles from here,’ I reply.

He lowers the loupe and looks at me for a moment. Then he studies the stone again, pursing his brow. He sighs. ‘There’s no way to tell that it’s lab-created.”

Over the past decade, our manufacturing capabilities have seen incredible change! Things are possible today in terms of size, color, and quality that weren’t possible just 10 short years ago, or even a couple of years ago! The pace of discovery and advancement is accelerating. New competitors are entering the market, and costs are falling as technology improves.

Where will lab created diamonds be in another 10 years? It’s hard to say, but based on the current rate of change, and the speed of adoption, they should be much more commonly purchased and given. Chances are, that we’ll achieve significant milestones without having to wait 30 years, or even 10 years for them. With almost daily progress, we’ll likely see an almost steady flow of exciting refinement and development. Lab diamonds are sure to become both bigger and better in the not too distant future.

Related Questions:

Can you insure a lab grown diamond?

Insuring a lab grown diamond is just as easy as ensuring an earth grown diamond. You can get a separate policy for the ring, or you can add it as a rider to you homeowner’s or renter’s policy. In general, insuring a diamond ring should cost roughly $1 – $2, per year, for every $100 of insured value.

Where Can I Sell My Diamond Ring For Cash?

Reselling directly to another individual for an upcoming marriage or anniversary, will generally work best. Avoid Pawn Shops. They will almost certainly offer the least for your ring. Jewelers may not be willing, or able, to pay much either. They can get great pricing and terms through their suppliers.

How Does a Diamond Get its Color?

Trace amounts of various elements become contaminants within the stone. The most common, is Nitrogen, which can cause a yellow hue. Boron causes gems to take on blue coloring. Hydrogen creates purple diamonds. Certain ‘treatments’ can also be performed in lab settings to introduce color artificially.

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6 Ways You Can Tell a Lab Grown Diamond From a Natural One

6 Ways You Can Tell a Lab Grown Diamond From a Natural One

Want to avoid getting ripped off when you buy your next diamond? This article will outline specific methods for learning whether a diamond was grown in the earth or created in a lab.

How can you tell a lab grown diamond from a natural one? Earth-grown diamonds and lab-created diamonds are visually identical. In fact, even under magnification, the two are completely indistinguishable. The best way to positively identify man made diamonds, is through testing with highly-specialized machines. Magnetic testing can sometimes also be revealing.

What indicators can specialized machines look for? What tests can be done without complex and expensive machinery to identify lab diamonds? Keep reading, we’ll address all that, and more, in the remainder of this article.

Both Man Made Diamonds & Mined Diamonds are Visually Identical

It can’t be overstated that lab grown diamonds have an appearance that’s visibly identical to earth mined diamonds. It’s not just similar (as it is with simulants) it’s identical. That’s because simulants are not actually diamond (they aren’t made entirely of carbon) but man made diamond is.

How hard can it really be to tell the two types of diamonds apart? I recently read a story about a journalist that purchased a synthetic diamond. He took the ring to several well-respected jewelers in the area. After looking at the ring through a loupe and a little small talk, most of the jewelers offered to buy the diamond from him.

The amount they were willing to pay would have represented a significant loss if it had been an earth mined diamond (because they’re significantly more expensive). Since he bought it at a much lower price, as a man made diamond, the offer was only a little below his actual purchase price. They were enthusiastic about buying the ring, until he surprised them with the fact that it was lab-grown. One of the jewelers had owned his store for more than 40 years, and he couldn’t even tell after inspecting the ring carefully.

What does that experience tell you about just how identical synthetic diamonds are to earth grown diamonds? If you can’t rely on a simple visual inspection, what can you do in order to know?

Tests You Can Do on Your Own

We’re going to start with the method that’s the most low tech. This is one that you could easily conduct wherever you need to. Before launching into the technique, I want to quickly remind you that there are two different ways that diamonds are created in laboratories.

HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature): This process is much older, so it’s the most common method of manufacturing today.

CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition): This newer process uses much less power, and has several other advantages. While it’s currently the less common method of production, that will likely change over time.

1. Grab a Magnet

Believe it or not, man made diamonds produced through the HPHT method often have a trace amount of Iron or Nickel in them. They’re left in a cluster of tiny pin-prick inclusions. Those inclusions are sometimes enough to cause the diamond to be drawn to a magnet.

You’ll need something stronger than your average refrigerator magnet for this. Find a strong Neodymium magnet for best results. You can actually buy a Neodymium magnet in most hardware stores. You can also find them online. The magnet will most likely cost you less than $8 (US). This one from Amazon would be ideal in terms of strength, size, and cost.

There are two ways that you can test magnetic attraction in diamonds:

Touch the magnet directly to the diamond and see if you can lift the gem off the surface that it’s resting on. The strength of the attraction is heavily dependent on where the metallic inclusions are located, relative to the magnet—so you may need to test the magnet on several surfaces around various parts of the diamond before knowing just how attracted it is (or isn’t). You may not notice an attraction on one side of the diamond, simply because it’s far away form a small inclusion that would become evident if the magnet were moved closer.

Float the diamond on something very small and light a bowl of water. Move your magnet very close to the diamond and see if it’s drawn toward the diamond. The float test is a good way to pick up a weaker magnetism. Could even try touching the magnet very gently to the surface of the diamond, and then slowly pulling the magnet away from the diamond. If the diamond follows the magnet, it’s evidence of a magnetic attraction.

What are the weaknesses of magnetic testing?

Not all HPHT diamonds will show noticeable magnetic attraction. Diamonds smaller than .5 carats are less likely to have a magnetic attraction than those that are larger than .5 carats. Even among larger HPHT diamonds, not all will have enough metallic inclusion to make them react to a magnet.

CVD diamonds are formed through entirely different technology, so like earth grown diamonds, they’re magnetically inert (they’re never magnetic).

This means that a strong magnet can identify some portion of lab created HPHT diamonds, but it would also miss a portion (at least 40% of them) according to one study, along with all of the diamonds produced through CVD.

Another difficulty for the average consumer, is that you would need to test each diamond as a loose stone, rather than testing it while it’s mounted in a ring. The reason for that is simple: the metal used in an engagement or wedding ring adds a lot of weight. That added weight would make it nearly impossible for you to lift or move a diamond with a magnet.

2. Look for an Inscription Along the Girdle of the Diamond

Lab Created Diamonds often have an incredibly small inscription on the girdle of the diamond that labels it a Lab Grown. It’s something that’s impossible to see without serious magnification. A standard jeweler’s Loupe is a 10x magnification. You need at least 20x magnification, but more commonly 30x magnification, to be able to see the inscription.

A diamond’s ‘Girdle’ is the widest part of the diamond. The inscription size of the lettering will correlate to the size of the girdle. A very thin girdle will have extra small lettering, which is where the 30x loupe becomes a must have.

Whenever most large grading labs certify a lab grown diamond, they inscribe the girdle, to mark it as lab grown, if that hasn’t already been done. If it’s there, you’ll immediately know that you’re looking at lab grown diamond. If it isn’t there though, that’s not sufficient proof that it’s not lab grown—not all lab grown diamonds are inscribed.

Where do you find a 30x Loupe? You may be able to visit a local jeweler and just borrow theirs for a moment while you’re in their shop, or better yet, you might want to just buy one online, so you can have it handy whenever you might need it. The instrument will likely cost between $10 and $50 depending on the brand and where you buy it. I recommend this one from Amazon. At less than $15, you can’t go wrong with this sturdy 40x magnifier.

Tests That a Jeweler Can Do For You

If you decide not to buy or borrow a loupe, you might just ask a local jeweler to check for an inscription for you. If he has the equipment available, he could potentially run another test for you while you’re there.

3. Use a Type IIa Testing Machine

Diamonds are grouped and classified by ‘type.’ There’s a type I (type 1) and a type II (type 2). They’re then broken down even further in type Ia, type Ib, type IIa, and type IIb. The type that a particular diamond belongs to depends on the trace elements that can be found in it, and the arrangement of those atoms within the diamond. Each type has its own unique tendencies and characteristics.

Type IIa means that there’s very little, if any, nitrogen in the diamond. Nitrogen is the element that gives many natural diamonds and HPHT created diamonds their yellowish hue. Here’s what’s interesting—many lab created diamonds (particularly those created through CVD) belong to type IIa, but very few (less than 2%) earth grown diamonds are type IIa. That means that if your local jeweler has a Type IIa testing machine, you could have a good indication of whether a particular gem is lab created or not.

If it reveals that the gem is type IIa, that doesn’t prove that it’s man made (because again, some earth mined diamonds also fall into that type), but it means there’s a very high probability that it’s man made. Typically, at that point, you would have to send the diamond to one of the large diamond grading laboratories for further testing with highly specialized machines that can give you more definitive results.

If you’re in the market for a Type IIa tester, this is the one that I recommend. It’s a brand with a solid reputation, and Amazon offers it for less than $600!

Tests That a Lab Can Do For You

4. Check Fluorescence

Large labs have access to very expensive machinery that’s specially designed for distinguishing between lab created diamonds and mined diamonds. Some of the machines they have access to could cost as much as $100,000. That’s we’ll outside the range that most jewelers could justify keeping on hand, so when they have a question that their less expensive diamond testing machines can’t answer definitely, they refer it to one to the major labs for further testing.

One machine that’s often used, is the DiamondView which was invented by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The DiamondView is capable of testing diamonds in a number of ways that help them to accurately determine its origins as either natural or lab grown.

One of the first things they do, is bombard the diamond with special light waves that cause the diamond to fluoresce (or glow). Lab created diamonds tend to fluoresce much more brightly than earth mined diamonds do. That’s one early indicator. Another is the color that each stone returns as the light waves hit it. Natural diamonds are typically blue. Lab Cultured diamonds made through CVD fluoresce in bright orange. Those made through HPHT will fluoresce in a shade of off-blue (like a turquoise) most commonly.

5. Evaluate Growth Patterns

While the diamond is still lit up with Fluorescence and under magnification, the operator of the DiamondView machine will look for growth patterns that are indicative of lab grown diamonds. Diamond actually have a grain in them, that’s much like wood, there are grain patterns that can be evaluated with specialized equipment, that will tell the observer something about how the diamond formed.

Earth-grown diamonds formed deep within the earth over the course of millions of years. Synthetic Diamonds are generally formed in just 6 to 10 weeks. It’s no wonder that they don’t show the exact same graining and grown patterns in both cases. Specific grown patterns that are typical of man made diamonds is a confirming indicator for the operator of the DiamondView machine.

6. Look at Phosphorescence

Finally, the DiamondView operator will turn off the UV waves that they had been using to create Fluorescence, and see if there is an residual light emitted from the diamond (Phosphorescence). Not all diamonds fluoresce. For those that do, the color, duration, and intensity of that light tells them important things about the gem.

Phosphorescence can actually be used to as an indication of where a particular gem is synthetic in some cases, but because precise Phosphorescence qualities are often unique, it can also be used to positively identify diamonds that are lost or stolen.

How Can Everyday People Tell That a Lab-Grown Diamond Wasn’t Earth Grown?

Based on all that’s been discussed here, consider this—if it’s this technical and difficult for professionals to distinguish mined diamonds from lab diamond, your friends, family, and acquaintances have no chance. A lab cultured diamond looks just a beautiful, lasts just as long, but can cost at least 40% less. It’s not imitation diamond, it’s actual diamond, just from a different source. Where’s the downside?

Related Questions:

Do Lab Created Diamonds Test as Real Sometimes?

Jewelers could potentially misidentify a diamond with their more limited and inexpensive testing devices. Because of the specialized and sophisticated equipment that grading laboratories have access to today, however, it’s highly unlikely that they would misidentify a lab created stone that they evaluate.

Do Lab Created Diamonds Hold Value?

Jewelry-grade diamonds don’t hold their value well in general, and typically are not sound investments. The resale discount percentage that’s demanded by a buyer is generally consistent for lab grown and mined diamonds. In both cases, a seller will likely fare best by selling directly to another individual.

Does GIA Certify Lab Created Diamonds?

GIA will certify lab-created diamonds. The stone typically can’t be mounted to a ring when graded. The total cost should be $125 or less, depending on the size of the diamond. Smaller diamonds could be less than $70. GIA issues a special report for ‘Synthetic’ Diamonds that uses fewer grading categories.

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Man Made Diamond Eternity Bands: Meaning, Price, & Options

Man Made Diamond Eternity Bands: Meaning, Price, & Options

Man Made Diamond Eternity bands are timeless and beautiful, but understanding when to give them, how they should be worn, and the options that are available is important.

Why choose a man made diamond Eternity Band? Both the look and symbolism of Eternity Bands is beautiful. They provide a sparkling row of identical small gems that wrap around a ring in an unbroken circle. Multiple diamonds, even small ones, can get expensive. Man made diamonds significantly reduce costs without giving up quality or durability.

In the remainder of this article, we’ll explain when to give, what to buy, and how to wear a diamond eternity ring.

What are Eternity Rings Given For?

Eternity rings display an unbroken row of small gems (often diamonds) that wrap all the way around a ring without interruption. Some people refer to this type of band as an ‘Infinity Ring’. This style is said to represent eternal love.

An Eternity Ring is typically given after marriage, to celebrate significant events like milestone anniversaries or the birth of a child. They’re easy rings to wear with almost any outfit. They pair well with a nice dress or blue jeans.

The eternity style is elegant and eye catching, because sparkles dance from all sides of the ring as light exposure shifts. Women that love the look of diamond, but want a lower profile ring that won’t stand tall off of their finger tend to love this design.

Man Made Diamond Eternity Ring

These bands are easy to mix color into for those that want something over than colorless diamonds. Sometimes a gem like ruby, sapphire, or some other colored stone are interspersed in the ring with even spacing (diamonds and rubies might alternate all the way around the ring for example).

Eternity Bands provide brides with a way to get more total carat weight on their ring for less money. Large diamonds are much more difficult to find than small diamonds. Small diamonds, typically those weighing .18 carats or less, are referred to as melee diamonds. Melee stones are typically used as decorative accents around larger stones.

Demand for larger diamonds has grown in recent decades. In fact, a study of 14,000 engaged or recently engaged couples found that the average center stone is 1.2 carats. That’s a great deal larger than the average several decades ago. The average ring has a total carat weight of 1.8 carats. That means that the average ring is about .6 carats of Melee stones on it as additional embellishment.

De Beers began designing and promoting Eternity Rings to address an oversupply issue they had with Melee diamonds. Their specific focus for the product, was married women. The ring was supposed to be used to celebrate advanced anniversaries and mark other special occasions for that demographic. That use case, opened a new market for De Beers without  cannibalizing the sale of larger stones for new brides.

Marketing messages conditioned Men to use the gift of a diamond eternity band as way to prove themselves while expressing love and gratitude. For example, one particular De Beers ad campaign said, “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.”

Because smaller, less valuable, stones are being used for Eternity bands, the overall price per carat is typically quite a bit lower. Using man made diamonds instead of natural diamonds brings the cost down a lot further still.

The Potential Downside of Eternity Bands?

When the gems that encircle the the ring are too large, it can become less comfortable for some people to wear. Larger stones can rub against neighboring fingers. They’re also more prone to snag or catch on things than infinity bands with smaller stones.

Because gems line the full circumference of the ring, it’s a little harder to keep the stones from making contact with hard surfaces. When you’re wearing a standard solitaire, your diamond sits on top of your ring, safely out of contact with most of the things that you contact with your hands.

Since an Eternity Band has diamonds on all sides, some of those diamonds will make contact with nearly everything your hand comes in contact with. Fortunately diamonds are incredibly scratch resistant, and man made diamonds absolutely equal to earth-mined diamonds in terms of durability. In some cases, they’re even harder than mined diamonds.

If you’re concerned about any of these issues, but like the look of larger diamonds set in a row, you may want to explore a ‘Half Eternity Ring.’ The Half Eternity Ring has diamonds paved across the top of the ring, but not across the bottom portion.

How to Wear an Eternity Band

Many people wonder about the proper way to wear an eternity band. They want to know which finger it should be worn on, which combination of rings are alright to wear together, and which order those rings should be in. There are several different options.

You’ll typically wear your wedding ring on the ‘ring finger’ of your left hand (that’s the one that’s immediately to the right of the little finger, or ‘pinky,’ of your left-hand). That ring generally goes on first (nearest to your heart). The next ring that you would place on that same finger, is your engagement ring. You could then either stack your Eternity Band as the third ring on that same ring finger if it fits well visually and is comfortable, or you could wear it on the corresponding finger of your right hand.

Even though those suggestions are the most traditional approaches, the truth is, that there are no ring police. I’ve seen people wear many combinations of rings in various orders and various fingers. I’ve never observed anyone stopping to question or correct someone on their choice of placement. Ultimately, you need to wear your rings in a way that’s comfortable, and that suites the width and design of your particular rings well.

Wearing an Eternity Band Instead of Your Wedding or Engagement Ring

If you like to keep things simple, and don’t want to wear multiple rings, you can certainly wear your Eternity Band on the ring finger of your left hand in place of one, or both, of your other rings. Some women also choose to do this because the low profile of the Eternity band works better for their daily routines and activities.  

How to Wear an Eternity Band

The ring on your left hand reminds you of your spouse and the vows you’ve exchanged. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much which of your rings you choose to wear on a given day as a visual reminder of that love and commitment.

Main Style Options

Aside from differences in metal options and diamond shapes, Eternity Bands come in two main varieties: Shared-Prong Settings and Channel Settings.

A Shared-Prong Setting uses prongs around every diamond to secure the gem to the ring. The set of prongs in between neighboring diamonds, helps to secure the diamond on both sides (thus the name ‘shared prong’). The prongs leave exposed sides, which allow as much light as possible to enter each diamond. Because of this, Eternity Bands with prong settings naturally have more sparkle.

The Channel Setting fits diamonds side-by-side in a channel that’s cut into the metal band. The channel walls hold the diamonds securely in place. Channel set diamond Eternity Rings are more smooth and modern looking. Because the side walls block some light, this band style won’t sparkle quite as much as intensely as a prong set version might.

Typical Cost for an Eternity Ring

The main determinants of cost, will be the type of metal that you select, and the size of the diamonds that line the ring (the carat weight, or CWT). You can find a style to match almost any budget.

I compared costs with two reputable retailers for a 14K White Gold Eternity Band with a total of 2 carats of diamond weight on the ring. The rings that I found seemed to be extremely similar in terms of design. The earth-mined version was $4,070. The lab-grown version was $1,699. That’s a savings of 58% on the lab grown version of the ring!

Man Made Diamonds

The savings realized when you buy a lab created diamond eternity band are significant, but it’s important to realize that those savings really come without sacrifice, because man made diamonds are, in fact, actual diamonds.

Lab diamonds are just as scratch resistant and durable as earth grown diamonds. They also have all the exact same characteristics regarding refraction and their capacity for fire and brilliance—they’re visually indistinguishable.

No one would be able to took at your ring and tell that your lab cultured diamonds aren’t earth mined diamonds based on appearance (not even a jeweler or gemologist). Because of that, the savings that you can realize from man made diamonds is really remarkable!

Related Questions:

Can You Resize Eternity Bands?

You typically can’t decrease the size of eternity bands, because the gems are arranged so tightly, side-by-side, all the way around the ring. Increasing the size is also problematic, because gaps are created between diamonds that loosen settings. Loose settings could lead to lost diamonds.

Is an Eternity Ring a Promise Ring?

An eternity band could be used as a promise ring, and could be worn on any finger of either hand. If the ring serves as a pre-engagement ring, it would often be worn on the ring finger of the left hand. Promise rings signify love and commitment, but can hold a variety of more specific meanings as well.

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Man Made Diamond Hardness: Will it Scratch, Chip, or Break?

Man Made Diamond Hardness: Will it Scratch, Chip, or Break?

Before splurging on a beautiful diamond for an engagement ring or wedding ring, you want to be sure it’s going to last—that it’s hard enough to resist daily wear.

How hard is man made diamond? Diamonds are the hardest known natural material. They are rated a 10 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, and are much harder than all other gems and simulants. Hardness provides scratch resistance. As softer gems gather scratches, they impact the light flow within the stone, making the ring appear lifeless.

While diamonds are extremely scratch resistant, they aren’t scratch proof. There are also other important considerations that go beyond scratch resistance that should be considered. We’ll cover all that, and more, in the paragraphs that follow.

The Hardest Natural Material

No naturally occurring material is harder than diamond. Because of that, diamond has been used in a wide variety of industrial applications for many years. In fact, US Synthetics is one of the major manufacturers of diamonds for those specific applications. They provide the diamonds that are used on drill bits, saw blades, and for other similar application.

Diamond can, essentially, cut through anything that’s softer than it is. Because it’s harder that everything else, it’s very effective for drilling or cutting through various materials like stone that could get in the way of a project.

Man made diamond is just as hard, and sometimes even harder, than diamond that was mined from the earth. If diamond is so hard, then how can it not be completely scratch proof? Scratching doesn’t only have to do with hardness, it also has to do with force.

Here’s a simple illustration. Imagine very lightly dragging a diamond ring along a brick wall. Will it get scratched? I would hope not. Now, imagine applying force to the ring and grinding it against into the wall with all your strength as you walk along the wall.

Would you expect to see any difference in the amount of scratching between the two rings? Yeah—the could force (pressure) that’s used to take a real difference.

As you go about activities around your home or office, a diamond ring will be a lot more durable and resistant to accidental bumps and scrapes that could seriously scar softer gems.

Measuring and Communicating Hardness

Mohs Scale of Hardness is a tool that’s used in gemology to communicate the relative hardness of something. What do I mean by “relative” hardness? I mean how hard it is compared to different type of material.

Do you remember how I spoke about the ability of diamond to burrow through stones and obstacles because it’s significantly harder? Well Mohs Scale of hardness essentially tells us which minerals are capable of scratching other minerals.

In 1805, Friedrich Mohs was a Chemist that was studying rocks. He became interested in observing which rocks were capable of scratching other types of rocks. He eventually gathered 10 elements and started performing scratch tests with them. Once he determined which elements were hardest (the most scratch resistant), he arranged them in order of hardness, with the softest materials on one side of the scale, and hardest at the other.

Talc (the stone that Talcum Powder comes from, was softest. Talc was rated at 1. Diamond was as the other end of the list as the hardest material, with a perfect rating of 10. All other elements fell somewhere between 1 and 10, depending on how hard they were.

Here’s a list of the original 10 elements that Mohs tested, and their ultimate home on the scale (rating).

Mineral
Hardness
Talc
1
Gypsum
2
Calcite
3
Fluorite
4
Apatite
5
Orthoclase
6
Quartz
7
Topaz
8
Corundum
9
Diamond (Either Mined or Man Made)
10

Once you know how hard elements like gold and diamond are, it’s interesting to gain a little further perspective by comparing them to the hardness of other materials that you’re already familiar with.

ItemHardness
Fingernail2.5
Copper Penny3
Common Nail4
Glass5.5
Knife Blade5.5
Steel File6.5
Masonry Drill Bit8.5

Every physical item that your ring could come in contact with in your daily life could have a hardness rating applied to it, based on the materials that it’s made of.

It’s important to understand that the numbers in Mohs Scale of Hardness aren’t evenly spaced. Because of that, the numbers can be misleading. For example, a stone that’s rated a 5 isn’t necessarily half as hard as diamond (at 10). In fact, I’ve been told that the total difference in hardness for the stones ranging from 1 to 9, is less than the difference that’s between 9 and 10.

It’s a “relative” scale. It really just shows which materials are harder than other materials, but it doesn’t clearly communicate exactly how hard they are. Someone that buys a stone with a hardness rating of 8.5, for example, isn’t getting a gem that’s just a little less hard than diamond—it’s going to be significantly softer, and therefore, much more susceptible to wear and other damage.

The Everyday Implications of Hardness

So what does all of this mean? Well, the softer your stone, the more you need to baby and protect it. If the stone on your wedding ring isn’t harder than the items it accidentally strikes and rubs up against as you walk and use your hands everyday, then you’re ring will begin to accumulate scratches. Fortunately, a diamond is going to harder than almost anything you encounter in your everyday activities.

Hardness Isn’t Everything

If durability is important to you, then you need to beyond hardness as the only thing you give consideration to. Again, hardness equates to scratch resistance, but want about the gem’s ability to absorb an impact without chipping or breaking? The ability to absorb an impact is referred to as toughness. Here’s the bad news, super hard materials are also commonly very brittle—they have high hardness but low toughness.

A gem that has low toughness might crack, break, or chip if it’s dropped on a hard surface (like a sidewalk or a tile floor) or if it’s struck by a hard item (like a rock or hammer). Diamonds aren’t terrible in terms of toughness, they’re rated fair to good, but it’s one area where they do take a back seat to a number of other types of stones.

My little sister (two years younger) had an unfortunate incident with her ring several years ago. It fell, and the impact cracked her diamond. It completely ruined the the stone. She wouldn’t have been able to afford a replacement diamond at the time, but fortunately, she had insured the ring as a rider on her renter’s insurance policy. The insurance company cut a check, and she was able to repair her ring.

If you’re concerned about a possible crack, chip, or break on day, you may want to talk with your insurance agent to see how much it would cost to insure your ring. That coverage should be pretty inexpensive.

Hard impacts can affect individual stones in unique ways. Not all diamonds would crack if they took the exact same fall and impact that my sister’s diamond encountered. This is because inclusions can create weak points in diamonds. A diamond with a large inclusion in a particular position might break when dropped if the impact point causes the weak spot to fail. The same diamond dropped from the same height, onto the same surface, but impacted at another point that doesn’t cause the weak spot to fail might survive the fall in tact.

Man Made Diamonds are Forever Stones

We’ve all heard the marketing slogan ‘Diamonds are forever.’ Well, it’s true, they can be forever stones, but they aren’t the only ones. While Moissanite, for example, isn’t as hard as diamond,  it is considered a ‘Forever’ stone.

In this context, forever means that the stone is hard enough that it will resist scratches and continue to look beautiful for many generations. It can be handed down to children and grandchildren as a beautiful and sentimental link to the past. Both earth-mined diamonds and man-made diamonds are equally durable in this regard.

Related Questions:

Can You Tell the Difference Between Man Made Diamonds and Mined Diamonds?

There’s no way to visually differentiate a man-made diamond from an earth-mined diamond. Even trained professionals, like Gemologists and jewelers, can’t visually distinguish the two. In order to get positive identification, these diamonds typically need to be tested with sophisticated electronic equipment.

What’s the Price of a Synthetic Diamond?

A quality 1 carat synthetic diamond will costs roughly $2,800, depending on the retailer and the characteristics (such as cut, color, and clarity) you choose. In contrast, a similar mined-diamond, will likely cost $5,000 or more. That’s a savings of 44%, but your savings could ultimately be higher or lower.

Is Moissanite a Man Made Diamond?

Moissanite is man made, but it’s not diamond. Still, it is the hardest non-diamond stone available. While Moissanite isn’t identical to diamond, it is quite similar, as far as simulants go, and it’s much less expensive.

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