Lab grown diamond guide

What are lab grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds, sharing the same composition and optical properties as mined diamonds.
The one and only difference compared to a mined diamond is the origin. A manmade diamond is "grown" under controlled conditions in a laboratory, using advanced technology replicating the growing process of a mined diamond.
Lab-grown diamonds are made up of actual carbon atoms, arranged in the same characteristic diamond crystal structures as their natural counterparts. Thus, they perform and exhibit the same brilliance and sparkle as a mined diamond.
Every lab diamond we set is fully certified and accompanied by an industry standard GIA, IGI or GCAL grading report, including cut, colour, clarity and carat weight specifications.  

Ethical and Sustainable
The other major benefit of choosing a diamond grown in a lab is its ethical and sustainable credentials - one of the primary reasons for its growing popularity. Unlike traditional mined diamonds, lab-grown jewellery has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and all of the ethical implications that are often involved with mining practices are eliminated.
The statistic that an estimated 80 tonnes of earth are moved in order to remove a single carat of diamond is cast in stark relief when compared with the sheer quantity of diamond removed from the planet - there were on average 148 million carats mined in 2018 alone. That’s a lot of earth! The energy needed to produce lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, is a fraction of the size.
The ethical implications of mining are unfortunately another reason why some choose lab-grown diamonds. Some diamond mines employ workers in unsafe conditions and on low wage which, can sometimes provide funding for violent groups and conflicts. The Kimberley Process is a certification scheme aiming to prevent diamonds from entering the jewellery market and legitimises and funds these practices. Whilst the scheme has been a huge help in safeguarding, its ability to eradicate conflict diamonds accurately has been called into question, as the process only follows the diamonds until they are cut, with the remaining legs of the journey remaining unrecorded. Because lab-grown diamonds cut out the entire process surrounding mining, no such issues arise.
In fact, the traceability and transparency when purchasing a lab grown diamond is another major reason why some are choosing to buy them. As so many different people and processes are involved in traditional mining, there is a real issue when it comes to knowing exactly where a mined diamond has originated from. In some cases, diamonds are reset into new jewellery, adding further obscurity and a lack of transparency. This is not the case with grown diamonds - all diamonds that come to us from the lab are fully certified and easy to trace.

One of the significant differences when considering lab-grown and mined diamond is the price difference: lab grown diamonds cost around 30% less than their mined counterparts. All of our rings come with a 30-day returns policy, have a 12-month warranty, as well as free and insured global shipping.
How are lab-grown diamonds made?
We work with a number of different world-leading laboratories to source our high-quality lab-grown diamonds, all of which are accompanied by a GIA, IGI or GCAL certificate. The process is very similar to how mined diamonds are formed, where one takes place naturally within the earth's crust, and the other takes place under controlled conditions within a laboratory.
The lab-grown diamond manufacturing process replicates conditions which mimic the natural diamond creation process – where carbon is subjected to extreme temperatures and pressures.
There are two different methods used to produce lab diamonds: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Deposition (CVD).
HPHT: a diamond seed is added to a piece of carbon, this carbon is then pressured to over one million pounds per square inch and heated to temperatures in excess of 1,400 degrees Celsius. The carbon begins to form around the diamond seed which is then cooled.
CVD: similar to HPHT, a small diamond seed is placed inside a sealed chamber, which is heated in excess of 700 degrees Celsius and mixed with carbon gases such as methane and hydrogen. Through ionisation, plasma is formed resulting in carbon and a new diamond. Heat or irradiation treatments can then be used to enhance the diamond’s colour where required. Typically, either process takes less than a month to complete and after this, similarly to natural diamonds, cutting and polishing takes place to achieve that special sparkle.
Why should I choose lab-grown diamond?
Here at The Stone Lab, we believe this is an easy choice. Shop smart, save money and embrace ethical lab-grown diamonds.
Choosing a lab-grown diamond has a number of advantages over mined diamonds. The environmental impact is significantly reduced, where mined diamonds have a huge impact upon environments, landscapes and communities. It can take in excess 80 tonnes of earth to locate a 1.0ct diamond.
Whilst not all mining is exploitative, why take the chance? All our lab grown diamonds are certified and accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gem Certificate and Assurance Labs (GCAL) or a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificate. You can have complete peace of mind that no individual, family or member of your community have been displaced, violated or harmed whilst producing your ring.

Every lab-grown diamond we set is better value than a comparable diamond produced through mining. Simply put - you can choose a bigger or higher quality stone for your budget. Each lab diamond is graded in the same fashion as a mined diamond, utilising the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight.
Our lab-grown diamonds are an amazing option for those who still desire the classic and characteristic sparkle of a diamond ring. The advantages are huge, and the price difference alone should make it a consideration. The variety of options available when trying to decide on an engagement ring are vast and the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds and moissanite prove that a move away from traditional mined diamonds is on the horizon.
Common myths
Lab-grown diamonds are not as hard as the mined stones
This is untrue, as both diamonds have the same chemical composition. Both lab-grown and mined diamonds would score a 10 on the mohs scale of hardness (which measures the scratch resistance of a mineral). In fact, because diamond is the hardest substance on earth, diamonds used in manufacturing, drilling, cutting and grinding make up a large portion of the market whilst diamond jewellery only makes up around 30%. This sturdiness is one of the reasons why diamonds make great engagement rings, where they are utterly durable for everyday wear.
Lab-grown diamonds do not test as ‘real’ diamonds
Both lab-grown and mined diamonds have the same composition, so this myth is inaccurate. Only specialist equipment can be used to discern any difference and any contrast is not visible to the naked eye.
La- grown diamonds get cloudy over time
No, just like mined diamonds lab grown diamonds do not become cloudy. There can be a build-up of dirt over time, although this can be easily cleaned.
Lab-grown diamonds are yellow
This is false. When the technology was new and diamonds were just beginning to be grown, there was a yellow or brown colour to the diamond. In the last few years especially, science has significantly progressed, allowing for much fewer coloured gemstones.
How are diamonds graded?
Known as the 4 C’s, there are four criteria by which diamonds are graded and this is also the case for the lab-grown variety.
The first criteria on which a diamond is graded is on the cut of gemstone, which does not refer to the overall shape, but the proportions and ratios of a stone’s facets. All diamonds offered by The Stone Lab are ideally cut and all of our rings are crafted by our goldsmiths here in the UK, ensuring that your engagement ring is as beautiful as it can possibly be.
The second criteria on which diamonds are graded is their colour. The system that grades colour ranges from D-Z, and diamonds certified between D-F are described as colourless with only their brightness telling them apart. G-H are near colourless with no noticeable colour when viewed from above and only very slight colour visible when turned upside down, any sign of actual colour should only really start from I.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the number and size of inclusions that are present in the stone - a cheaper diamond is one which has a large amount of these imperfections. They are present in lab-grown diamonds as well because the process of growing a completely flawless gemstone is very difficult. The range over which clarity is measured begins at IF (internally flawless) and ends at I (Included), where there will be a number of inclusions spread throughout the stone. The majority of lab-grown diamonds are often graded VVS (very very slightly included) or VS (very slightly included) - making for an incredibly clear stone.
The last criteria on which diamonds are graded is their carat: referring to the weight of the stone and not its size as is commonly thought. Diamonds can actually look bigger or smaller depending on how they have been cut: a wide diameter stone which is shallow could have the same carat as a stone that is deeper with a smaller diameter. All The Stone Lab diamonds are cut to ideal proportions to ensure the maximum amount of sparkle and fire possible and come in a full range of sizes.
We are fully certified
All lab-grown diamonds offered by The Stone Lab come fully certified to international standards and are also accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gem Certificate and Assurance Labs (GCAL) or a Gemological Insitute of America (GIA) certificate, which includes the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight specifications.
The IGI is a global leader for jewellery assessment with vast amounts of experience and reach. Renowned for diamonds and coloured gemstones, they protect buyers by evaluating and grading finished jewellery. Our other assessor, the GCAL are also acclaimed worldwide for their unique suite of certification, identification and valuation for diamonds, gemstones, and jewellery. Finally, the GIA is a non-profit organisation and world leader in jewellery assessment and research. It is their grading system, the 4C's, which is universally used to examine diamonds and determine quality.