The availability of lab grown diamonds should mean two things to you:
1) More options for your diamond buying customers, and,
2) More special order diamond selling opportunities for you.
But to maximize your selling efforts—and to better serve your customers—it’s important that you are prepared with product knowledge and an understanding of how to best present options to your customers.
What is a “lab grown” diamond?
A lab grown diamond is a rough diamond born from a pure carbon crystal, or “diamond seed”. Placed in sophisticated, high cost machines, it is exposed to the same high pressure/ high temperature process (HPHT) that occurs with mined diamond formed deep in the ground over thousands of years. . . but in a fraction of the time. Once a lab grown rough diamond has reached its maximum growth, it can be cut and polished in the same process as a mined diamond.
Should lab grown diamonds be categorized as synthetic?
“Synthetic” is often used in describing a diamond or gemstone that does not come from a mine. We believe that term is inaccurate and can be confusing and lead consumers to think that lab grown diamonds are artificial or simulants. Lab grown diamonds are neither. The FTC has acknowledged that those terms can be misleading to consumers when describing a lab grown diamond. The FTC has noted that other terms such as “laboratory created”, “laboratory grown,” and “cultured” more clearly communicate the nature of the diamond. Though they are formed in a different environment, lab grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds.
How are lab grown diamonds different from those mined from the ground?
Lab grown diamonds are developed in a much shorter growth cycle than their mined counterpart that are formed over thousands of years. Every colorless lab grown diamond is classified as Type IIa—the purest type of diamond. Less than 2 percent of the world’s mined diamonds are pure enough to be classified as Type IIa. Beyond those two points, there is no difference between lab grown and mined diamonds.
Are lab grown diamonds a good option for my “green” customers?
Absolutely. Lab grown diamonds are grown in a controlled environment, meaning that each diamond results in a smaller carbon footprint and very little overall environmental impact.
Why is it significant when a diamond is designated as Type IIa?
The most beautiful diamonds you can offer your customers are those that are colorless or near colorless. Type IIa is the industry’s rating for a diamond that is almost or entirely devoid of impurities. The impurity referred to here is the presence of varying amounts of nitrogen than can cause diamonds to have some color presence. As a Type IIa diamond, lab grown diamonds are usually colorless or near colorless and are considered to be the purest form of diamond known to man.
Are lab grown diamonds certified for authenticity and specifications the same as mined diamonds?
Yes. Every lab grown diamond larger than .25 carat weight is certified by a leading independent gemological laboratory and has its origin laser etched on its girdle. You will find this feature particularly important and helpful in assuring your customers of a diamond’s authenticity when presenting the lab grown option.
Are there only colorless lab grown diamonds or are fancy colors available as well?
Lab grown diamonds are readily available in colorless as well as fancy color yellows and pinks.
Are lab grown diamonds available in the same size range as mined diamonds?
Colorless lab grown diamonds can grow in size up to 2.50 carats; fancy color lab grown are available up to 4 carats . . . so far. Production is trending toward a greater variety of sizes and colors in the production of lab grown diamonds.
Is the color and clarity grade of a lab grown diamond comparable to a mined diamond?
Lab grown diamonds are valued using the same 4 Cs as mined diamonds—Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.
Why would a customer consider a lab grown option?
Lab grown diamonds will appeal to any customer that may be concerned with the ethical and environmental benefits and the value of the diamond they select. Many people shopping for a diamond are pleased to have the option of choosing a diamond that is guaranteed conflict-free, sustainable and eco-friendly. For some, it may be the appeal of purchasing a diamond with a substantial savings on the purchase price. Another important reason is that it gives the customer options.