What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are created in laboratories, as the name implies. They are not mined or extracted out from the earth. lab grown diamonds take only ten to fifteen days to form depending on their color, carat, etc. They are made of real carbons, just like in real diamonds. However, lab grown diamonds are made with perfection and intricacy to mesmerize and soothe your soul. Even jewellers cannot distinguish between man made diamonds and real diamonds. Physically and chemically, they are identical.
So The Real Question Is, Do The GIA Grade Lab Grown Diamonds?
Since 2007, the GIA has been grading lab grown diamonds. However, the reports presented by the GIA for lab diamonds are not in sync with the mined diamonds. The GIA offered a full grading report only for real diamonds. For lab grown diamonds, they only graded their color and clarity range, making it very hard for companies to set a price for their customers. Due to this, grading reports for laboratory diamonds mostly came from IGI or GCAL. However, GIA will only provide full color and clarity grading for lab grown diamonds with the policy change announcement.
History Of The Grading Policy
GIA had the policy of providing a full graded report only to diamonds mined from the earth. However, the new announcement in the summer of 2020 for changing their policy changed the diamond industry. Non-profit educational and research organizations have finally taken baby steps in accepting man made diamonds. The policy switch of GIA gives the proper recognition to lab grown diamonds and helps consumers explore the complicated world of diamonds.
The Grading Policy Of GIA-
Man made diamonds came into existence in the late 1900s. However, it is only in recent times that they have gained popularity in the jewelry industry. As a result, the GIA started grading lab grown diamonds in 2007. At first, GIA offered lab diamonds reports only for recognition purposes instead of providing a full grading report to its customers. However, both man made diamonds and mined diamonds are so similar that even an experienced gemologist could not distinguish between them. So, lab diamonds are sent to GIA to examine and approve their origin.
The Difference In The Grading Policy
However, the reports offered by the GIA for lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds were not similar. There was a stark coloring between both of them. For lab created diamonds, they were only grading their colour and clarity categories, unlike for the mined diamonds where they were offering a full grading report. However, the grading house IGI has offered a full grading report to lab created diamonds since 2005. For example, let us take a diamond that IGI has graded as 1.00 carat round brilliant, G color, SI1 clarity. The GIA will grade the diamond as 1.00 carat round brilliant, near colorless, and in the SI clarity range for the same lab-grown diamond.
A diamond grading report is useful to both sellers and customers. It has multiple uses. So the more detailed and specific a report is, the more it is useful. Due to this very reason, many companies prefer grading their man-made diamonds from IGI rather than sending them to GIA. Grading lab grown diamonds in only clarity and color range rather than providing in specific range made it very difficult to price them. It created a problem for both sellers and customers. A precise, specific grade can be anywhere between G to J. Diamonds in this range are very different from each other both in terms of price and rarity. Due to this very reason, up until now, mostly grading reports for lab grown diamonds came either from IGI or GCAL.
Revised Policy Of GIA
In the summer of 2020, GIA chief executive Susan Jacques declared that the lab grown grading policy is being revised. GIA declared that it would be providing a full graded report in color and clarity for lab created diamonds, but the reports will only be available online.
Jacques declared that they are acknowledging the demand of the customers. GIA wants to ensure that consumers are fully educated and that their trust in gems and jewelry is protected. Jacques acknowledged that with the growing popularity of lab diamonds, a new evolution is emerging in the diamond industry. GIA has always acclaimed that they are strictly an educational and research organization and are not interested in any particular industry. The change in their grading policy further supports their claim that they are there for information purposes and are willing to change to meet the needs of the consumers.
Recent Grading Policy Of GIA
In recent times, GIA has been engraving their diamonds with the GIA report number in both real and lab grown diamonds. However, they will not provide any origin or growth properties on the lab grown diamonds. They will consider adding these points in the future, but the specifications related to origin or growth properties are more trade-related. These specifications are not very familiar to customers. A lab grown diamond report will not be similar to a mined diamond to promote clarity and authenticity in the diamond industry.
What Are The Benefits That A Customer Will Enjoy
Buying a diamond is already a very overwhelming experience for a consumer. A customer can get very confused and skeptical about keeping track of many grading policies. The amendment of the GIA policy proved very beneficial to both sellers and consumers. The revised policy will provide uniformity to consumers. Providing different reports for lab diamonds and mined diamonds by the same company using the same scale and criteria, a consumer will be reassured and treat both of them as diamonds no matter what their origin is.