Diamond certification refers to the assessment and evaluation of diamonds provided by an authorised and internationally accredited laboratory. The laboratories conceptualise their findings in a report which comprises all the physical and characteristic features of the single diamond. Apart from the important properties of the gemstone, the laboratories also analyse the performance of the diamond based on these properties. Hence, certification is an important part in the procedure of diamond purchase.
The authorization of Lab Grown Diamonds is similar to that of natural diamonds. Laboratories follow the exact methodology and medium as a part of the evaluation. However, they clearly demarcate the difference between a Lab-Grown diamond and a natural diamond in favour and for the ease of the customers. But how do gemologists differentiate between Lab grown and natural diamonds?
What is the difference between Lab grown and Natural diamond?
Although Lab Grown Diamonds and Natural diamonds share the exact same physical and chemical properties, there are certain minuscule and microscopic differences between the two. For example, most of the naturally occurring diamonds possess elements of nitrogen in their chemical composition despite being completely indistinguishable to lab grown diamonds in their physical form. Gemologists use this ‘lack of nitrogen’ in order to compare and establish the difference between a lab grown and a natural diamond. In a similar way, the crystal growth is also observed to be an important facet in understanding the difference between a lab created diamond and an earth-mined diamond.
Earth-mined diamonds also have a peculiar feature, that is, ‘trace elements. Sometimes lab created diamonds also comprise trace elements, but it is mostly unlikely to have trace elements playing a greater role as they do in natural ones. While a diamond encompasses 99.95% of carbon in its chemical form, the other 0.05% is attributed to the trace elements. Basically, trace elements are not a part of the chemical composition, but the presence of these atoms has a huge impact on the physical colour and the shape of the diamond. The catch here is, in the case of lab grown diamonds, the trace elements do not largely influence the physical properties of the diamond. Gemologists thus, also take this into account while assessing the difference between lab grown and natural diamonds.
As we can see, it is almost impossible to distinguish between a natural diamond and a Lab grown diamond with an unaided eye. Only with the help of highly specialised instruments and under controlled laboratory conditions one can assess, evaluate, grade, and certify diamonds. Hence, it is important that your diamonds are certified from reliable and authorised sources.
Lab Grown Diamonds Grading
The grading is based on the 4C’s of a diamond- Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat. As mentioned, a single diamond is individually tested and graded by the gemologist authenticated by the respective lab. Sometimes, a diamond undergoes more than one grading in order to attain the correct grade and certificate. The individual findings of single diamonds are further culminated into a report which comprises all the information regarding the diamond. This elaborate process is the most important part of purchasing and owning a diamond.
Authorities that grade Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab grown diamond certifications are provided by a number of internationally approved laboratories- International Gemological Institute (IGI), Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL), American Gem Society (AGS), and Gemological Science International (GSI). All of these laboratories use similar standards of grading scales and assessment in providing diamond certificates.
However, there can be minor differences in their reports due to a different measure and conception of a grade in a specified category. For example, one lab may consider a diamond to be an I, while another laboratory might grade the same diamond as a J. The reason for such a difference is that diamond gradings are subjective in nature and hence it is not preferred to compare the certifications of two diamonds graded in different laboratories. Otherwise, if the findings remain consistent, the assessment of both the labs is appropriate and reliable.
Why IGI Certification for Lab Grown Diamonds?
In the context of Lab Grown Diamonds, IGI certifications are usually preferred by most of the companies. We have a wide range of lab grown diamonds (that are certified by IGI. Although GIA is the most renowned and cherished grading authority worldwide for natural diamonds, IGI is recommended mostly for lab grown diamonds because IGI provides a more elaborate and peculiar range for the grading of diamonds. This enables a deeper understanding about the diamond, its features and characteristics in terms of both beauty as well as performance.
IGI certification consists of a number of things that allows customers to understand their diamond. This includes-
- A brief description of the diamond which includes its type and origin.
- The shape and cut of the diamond
- The 4C’s of diamond- the Cut grade, the Clarity grade, the Colour grade, and the Carat Weight
- The physical description of the diamond which includes all the sectional divisions of the diamond- the table, the crown height, the pavilion depth, the girdle, and the cutlet
- The finish of the diamond- the polish, symmetry, and the fluorescence
Certification of a diamond isn't a necessity in the process of purchase. The importance of certification is not just momentary, it stands for a diamond’s identification. It signifies a diamond’s predominant features that make it remarkably different from its counterparts. As a matter of fact, no two diamonds are the same. For this reason, diamonds have a ‘gem mark’ which is like their distinctive birthmark- unmatchable to any other diamond and hence making every diamond unique. As a consumer, knowledge about certification goes a long way in a better understanding your purchase and also enables you to make a smart and insightful decision.