Do Lab Created Diamond Have Grades? July 11, 2023 – Posted in: Blog
Natural diamonds often come in grades that determine their overall quality. The same holds through for lab-grown diamonds. So that’s a yes, lab-grown diamonds come with grades. Recognized institutions and authorities such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and International Gemological Institute (IGI) are responsible for grading all kinds of diamonds, whether lab-grown or mined.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Graded?
After a diamond is manufactured and all finishing has been applied, it goes through a grading process from a recognized gemological authority. The grading process involves examining and recording the key features of the diamond using the 4Cs.
The process will also ascertain the source of a diamond if it was created in a laboratory or mined from under the earth. A lab-grown diamond report from the GIA, for example, will also identify the growth process used for manufacturing the lab diamond.
Other details checked in grading include whether treatments are used after growth and what kinds of treatments are used.
All of these details are recorded in the grading certificate for the reference of jewellers and diamond buyers. Note that it is not the job of a jewellery store to grade a lab-grown diamond. The gemstone would have been graded before it becomes a marketable commodity.
The 4Cs are the most important grading parameters for any real diamond, including lab diamonds sourced from BIRON®. All diamonds with certifications receive specific grades for their colour, cut, clarity, and carat size.
Lab-grown diamonds either come as colourless or as fancy-coloured. Colourless diamonds are graded according to transparency using alphabets D to Z. However, these are divided into five major categories:
- Colourless: Grades D to F
- Near Colourless: Grades G to J
- Faint or Lightly Tinted: Grades K to M
- Very Light: Grades N to R
- Light: Grades S to Z
Fancy coloured diamonds, on the other hand, are graded based on their hue, tone, and saturation.
- Hue: Describes the prominent colour of the stone. E.g. blue, red, or pink
- Tone: the relative lightness (or darkness) of the stone
- Saturation: Describes the intensity of the hue
Using these properties, fancy coloured diamonds can be classified as Faint, Very Light, Light Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark, and Fancy Deep. These metrics will be assigned alongside the colour of the stone. E.g. fancy blue diamond.
In terms of cut, lab diamonds are first of all graded as round or fancy. Fancy cuts include all other non-round cuts including cushion or emerald cuts.
Using precise measurements, round cuts can be graded as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. For fancy cuts, there are no precise grading measurements and the judgment relies more on the stone’s finish and radiance.
Note that “fancy” is a term used for describing both the colour and cut of a diamond. A diamond can either be fancy cut or fancy coloured.
The clarity of a lab-created diamond is a measure of how much light passes through the diamond. The presence of inclusions and blemishes/flaws will affect the clarity of any diamond. The diamonds are examined under magnifying lenses to check for the presence, number, placement, and relief of the inclusions. Diamonds are then graded from flawless to included based on the metrics.
- Flawless (F): No inclusions visible up to magnification as high as x10.
- Internally (IF): No inclusions visible under x10 magnification. However, there may be surface blemishes.
- Very Very Slightly Flawed (VVS1&2): Contains inclusions difficult to notice under 10x magnification.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1&2): Contains inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification.
- Slightly Included (SI1&2): Contains inclusions that are easily noticed under 10x magnification.
- Included (I1-I3): Contains inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye.
The carat size is a measure of the weight of a diamond when finished. One carat is equivalent to 1/5 gram or 0.2g. Most lab-grown diamonds available for sale are between 1 to 3 carats in weight.
Real diamonds, including lab-grown diamonds, come with grades which are assessed through the grading certification using the 4Cs. It is therefore ideal for a lab-created diamond to come with a certification. Diamonds without certification are likely not the real thing or have passed through the wrong hands.
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