Many people purchase diamond jewelry to commemorate a special occasion, like their wedding or graduation, or to show how much they care about someone. However, it’s not always easy to tell if that beautiful piece of diamond jewelry was mined from the ground or grown in a lab – unless you know where to look. Whether you prefer real diamonds or lab grown diamonds, knowing how to check if your diamond is real or lab grown will keep you safe and secure with your next purchase. Here are three ways to check if your diamond is real or lab grown.
Buy From Reputable Vendors
Lab-grown diamonds, aka synthetic diamonds, are essentially real diamonds in every way except for how they were created. They’re essentially cut and polished earth-mined stones. The only difference with lab-grown diamonds is that they’re grown in a lab, not mined from deep within our planet. Because these two types of diamonds are exactly alike in all other ways—including price—the only way you can tell them apart by appearance alone is to know what type of diamond you’re looking at (yes, there are some very subtle differences). To be on the safe side when it comes to buying lab grown diamond bracelets or any other high-priced jewelry item, always go with vendors who have been around for more than a few years.
Know Where the Jewelry Is From
Jewelry makers will sometimes try to hide a lab-grown diamond by saying it’s from Canada, Australia, China, etc. A real diamond will always say that it’s from one of these places: Botswana, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. If your jeweler can’t tell you where your diamond is from – and you don’t know anything about gemology – go elsewhere. This isn’t just a warning for lab-grown diamonds; having your jewelry appraised before purchase is crucial for all types of jewelry purchases. You want someone who can spot fake stones; otherwise you might accidentally get ripped off.
Check Carat Weight
Lab-grown diamonds can come in a variety of colors and cuts, which makes it harder to spot fakes. But one of the easiest ways to check for lab-grown diamonds (if you’re worried about that kind of thing) is by simply comparing carat weight. Typically, lab-grown diamonds will be much smaller than real ones, due to their different chemical makeups. So keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t add up when it comes to carat size—that could mean your diamond isn’t real!
Know the Cut Style
The cut of a diamond has a huge impact on its sparkle and brilliance. Since lab-grown diamonds are grown in such a way that they retain their rough shape, they don’t need to be cut as precisely as mined diamonds. However, there are different levels of clarity when it comes to lab-grown diamonds, just like mined ones. Generally speaking, cuts for lab grown diamond rings cost less because they are not nearly as complex as those for mined gems. If you want something that looks more expensive than it actually is, go with a smaller lab-grown diamond and choose a very high cut grade. Very good quality cuts will make up for lack of size.
Look at the Clarity Grading
The clarity of your diamond directly affects its value. Real diamonds have inclusions and flaws; when cutting a real diamond, your jeweler will remove these flaws from sight, so they’re not visible once it’s set in an engagement ring. However, lab grown diamonds are cut differently. There are no physical blemishes to hide. Instead, they use high-pressure flames (not lasers) to make sure all imperfections are removed—which means that it’s even more important for you to pay attention to clarity when shopping for a lab grown diamond engagement rings!
Examine the Color Grade
Lab-grown diamonds can vary in color, but some labs are better than others when it comes to grading their stones. Unfortunately, there’s no uniform standard for grading lab-grown diamonds, so some labs may be more lenient with grading. A color scale of D-Z indicates a diamond’s purity and color quality; D being most colorless and Z having traces of yellow tints. The closer you get to D, the higher quality your stone will be.
Know Where It Was Made
Look at where your diamond was made. While most reputable retailers and labs will post their country of origin, some stores might not. If you can’t find any information about your diamond’s origins, that could be a red flag that it was lab grown. Unfortunately, there are few regulations around lab-grown diamonds right now so it can be hard to tell fake diamonds from real ones.
Examine Certification Reports for Genuine Stones
Some lab-grown diamonds are submitted to labs for certification and grading. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it may be tricky to tell if your diamond was created in a lab. A couple of things you can look out for: natural diamonds do not contain boron; all diamonds are rated on their color, which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (yellow); and finally, natural stones should list where they were mined—Australia or Canada, as an example—but lab-grown stones will not. If a stone does not have certification reports attesting its authenticity, keep looking for a stone that does.