Lab Grown Diamond – An Introduction To Grading And Its 4c’s
Lab grown diamond is assessed based on the same grading standards that are utilized in naturally extracted diamonds. Every piece of diamond acquires precise grades for cut, clarity, color, and carat. These are called the 4C’s of a diamond. So the bigger question is, who discovered the 4C's of a diamond? In 1953, the founder of the Gemological Institute of India, Robert M. Shipley, developed the 4C system. The 4C was designed to create a uniform and objective standard of diamond grading and pricing for gemologists and jewelers.
Although GIA supported the system of 4C, it did not grade lab grown diamonds for quite some time. It was only in 2007 when they started grading Lab Grown Diamond, just like natural diamonds. However, GIA only gave appropriate ranges for color and clarity for lab grown diamonds. In 2020, the Gemological Institute of America started grading man made diamonds just like natural diamonds. There was not much difference between the grading report of real and lab diamonds.
Who Was The Power To Grade A Lab Grown Diamond?
Currently, many major gem labs have the authority to grade lab diamonds. Gem labs such as the American Gem Society(AGS), HRD Antwerp, Gem Certification and Assurance Lab(GCAL), and International Gemological Institute(IGI) grade a Lab grown Diamond Manufacturer. However, the GIA is not the only institution responsible for the changing policies toward lab diamonds. In 2013, AGS stopped grading man made diamonds citing a lack of demand. However, it resumed its grading process in August 2020.
Lab-Grown Diamond: Do They Need A Grading Report?
Although lab grown diamond is grown in a controlled lab environment, some changes can still happen in their quality. Diamonds grown in the lab do not appear similar. Some particular lab stones differ in appearance from some other stones. Every consumer wants to get a fair return on their investment in such precious stones. A grading report of diamonds manufactured in labs helps them decide about their investment.
The recent changes in the policies of AGS and GIA suggest that there has been an increase in the demand for a lab grown diamond. The age-old perception of lab diamonds as “fake” or “cheap” has also changed a lot, mainly due to increased awareness among the population. The millennial population is attracted to lab grown diamonds, not because of their lower price, but their sustainability and eco-friendly alternative. Consumers want to get a fair return on the money spent by them. Thus, jewelers and gemologists must acquaint themselves with grading man made diamonds.
Grading Color Of Lab Made Diamonds
Lab-grown diamond comes in fancy colors or white (transparent) variations.
White Transparent Diamonds
As per the color grading system of GIA, the hue of all transparent white diamonds – whether lab grown diamond or real – is graded on a scale of D to Z. The scale of D to Z measures how transparent best lab grown diamonds are. Higher is the grade of a diamond, the closer it comes to being colorless. If there is a presence of yellow or brown tint in the gemstone, the lower is the grade of the stone.
The grading scale of the Gemological Institute of America is divided into five parts – Near colorless, colorless, Light, Very Light, and Faint.
- The grades G through J is covered under the near Colorless category. Except under close observation, these stones look colorless.
- The grades D, E, and F, are covered under the colorless category. Stones that possess the D grade are among the most colorless, even under a microscope, and are the highest on the scale. Stones with E and F grades are less transparent than D stones.
- The grades N through R are covered under the very light, and S through Z are covered under the light category. Stones belonging to the light category exhibit stronger brown or yellow tints. They look tinted even to naked eyes.
- The grades K, L, and M, are covered under the faint category. A Loose Lab grown diamond under this category will exhibit a yellow tint. However, these stones appear colorless or “set white” when studded in rose or yellow gold.
Colored Lab Diamonds
The color grading system of GIA uses a different scale to grade colored diamonds than the one used for grading transparent lab made diamonds.
GIA grades colored diamonds based on their tone, hue, and saturation. The dominant color of the stone is described by shade. The style explains the relative lightness or darkness of the rock, and the saturation gives the intensity of the stone's color. The description "color level" combines the description of the tone and saturation of the stone. It is available in a range of faint to very light, lightest, fancy light, light, intense, vivid, dark, and deep.
Grading Cut Of A Lab Grown Diamond
Large lab grown diamonds are cut similarly to natural diamonds. Rough man made diamonds are more consistent in shape and contain fewer imperfections than real diamonds. Diamond cutters can easily cut a rough Lab Grown Diamond to enhance its brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
The Grading Of Brilliant Round Cuts
The most popular cut in a transparent lab diamond is the brilliant round cut. The brilliant round cut enhances the bright fire and shine of a diamond. The GIA standards of grading a round cut natural, and man made diamonds are similar. The grades received by this type of cut are either excellent, fair, good, very good, or poor. Diamonds with the perfect cut will appear the brightest, finest, and have the most even patterns.
Grading Of Other Types Of Cuts
A Round-cut Lab Grown Diamond exhibit the brilliant shine of the stone whereas other cuts highlight the wide range of style a piece of jewelry can offer. Grading different types of cuts, such as emerald, cushion, or princess, is done differently than round-cut diamonds. Techniques to evaluate these cuts are dependent on a more subjective judgment of a stone’s performance and looks than precise judgment.
Grading The Clarity Of A Lab Grown Diamond
Diamonds made in labs are grown in a controlled environment, unlike naturally extracted diamonds. Thus, it is likely that they receive higher grades in clarity than naturally formed diamonds. But they can have some inclusions in them that can affect their grades clarity. These inclusions sometimes help in differentiating between natural and man made diamonds.
- Diamonds that do not have any inclusions even when placed under 10x magnification receive the highest grade. The highest clarity grade is F, the highly prized flawless.
- After flawless (F), the next highest grade is Internally Flawless (IF). The IF stones do not have any visible inclusions. They might contain some surface blemishes.
- After IF, the next clarity grade is VVS (Very Very Slightly Included). The VVS stone might contain inclusions that are hard to see even under 10x magnification.
- After VVS comes the VS (Very Slightly Included). These gemstones contain blemishes that are easy to see under 10x magnification. Most Lab Grown Diamond receives the VVS grade from GIA.
- The next clarity grade after VS is SI (Slightly Included). It has certain inclusions that are visible without magnification or under 10x magnification.
- The final grade level in clarity is Included (I). These gemstones contain obvious blemishes under 10x magnification or naked eyes.
The Presence Of Inclusion In A Lab Made Diamond
When diamonds are grown through the High pressure/High temperature (HPHT) process, it contains tiny, metallic inclusions. These inclusions are left behind by the metallic flex used to transfer the carbon gas onto the diamond seed. Although these inclusions are only visible under a microscope, they can still affect the diamond clarity. Similarly, when Carbon Vapor Deposition (CVD) method is used to grow diamonds in labs, it may have some black spots or graphite inclusions. The graphite inclusions are formed around the seed of the diamond as it grows.
Grading The Carat Of A Lab Grown Diamond
Compared with natural diamonds, a Lab Grown Diamond can reach large carat weights. Man made stones between 1 and 3 carats are more popular due to their affordable price. Compared with real diamonds, a Lab Diamond will cost less even though they are of similar weight and quality.
Diamonds grown through the HPHT process can reach up to 10 carats, with the largest ever diamond reaching 15 carats. CVD Diamonds can reach between 6 to 9 carats. However, growing a diamond of this size takes a significant amount of time and energy.
GIA was formed in 1931 and is the most common laboratory to examine and grade diamonds. GIA has set quite a standard for grading a Lab Created Diamond Manufacturer. With over 900 diamond experts worldwide, they help people worldwide with rating, grading, and analyzing diamonds of all sizes, descriptions, and shapes. GIA provides a grading report of lab diamond by grading the 4C of a diamond – cut, color, clarity, and carat. Thus, you can always trust a GIA-certified diamond as it is of a stated quality and assurance.
Read More: Complete Guide to Lab Grown Diamonds