The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Lab Grown Diamonds

Table of contents
  1. What is a lab-grown diamond?
  2. Naming
  3. How they are made
  4. HPHT (High pressure high temperature)
  5. CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition)
  6. How long does it take to grow a diamond?
  7. Colour varieties
  8. Certification
  9. Lab-grown diamonds vs similar colourless gems
  10. Conclusion

You are thinking about purchasing a lab-grown diamond, but you do not feel confident about the details of it. The gem looks identical to a natural diamond but is it a real diamond and will it retain its value?  

 I will explain to you all the important details about lab-grown diamonds and also how it compares to other gemstones of similar appearance.  

 To help you understand lab-grown diamonds I have compiled an easy to understand guide covering the following areas: 

  • What is a lab grown diamond?
    • Comparing the similarities to a natural diamond and identifying its composition
  • How they are made
    • Describing the two methods of creation
  • How long does it take to grow a diamond?
    • Stating how long the creation process takes and why the timing can vary
  • Colour varieties
    • List of all the available colours and the creation process to achieve the colour
  • Certification
    • List of the major gemological laboratories grading lab-grown diamonds
  • Lab-grown diamonds vs similar colourless gems
    • Comparison chart to help you identify lab-grown diamonds compared to other similar colourless gems

What is a lab-grown diamond?

A lab created diamond is a real diamond that has the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical, and physical properties of diamonds found in nature according to the Gemmological Institute Of America.

Below is an infographic showing the traits natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds share:


To help you clear the clutter of the many name’s lab grown diamonds come under, below is a list of the formal terms:

  • Lab grown diamonds
  • Lab created diamonds
  • Man made diamonds
  • Foundry diamonds
  • Less accepted name’s include:
  • Synthetic diamonds
  • Created diamonds
  • Manufacturer grown diamonds

How they are made

Lab grown diamonds are created using two methods:

  1. HPHT – High pressure high temperature
  2. CVD – Chemical Vapour Deposition

HPHT (High pressure high temperature)

Small diamond seed crystals are placed in a capsule together with a diamond powder starting material. High pressure and high temperature are then created within the capsule causing the diamond powder to melt into molten metal flux and crystalize on the diamond seed to slowly form the lab grown diamond. Referring to research from the Gemological institute of America (GIA-identifying-lab-grown-diamonds).

CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition)

A small flat diamond seed plate is placed in a vacuum chamber. The chamber is then filled with carbon gases. A beam of energy is used to break down the gas molecules into carbon atoms which then fall down towards the diamond seed plate creating the growth of the diamond. Referring to research from the Gemological institute of America (GIA-identifying-lab-grown-diamonds)

How long does it take to grow a diamond?

A few weeks to a month, depending on the size, equipment and desired characteristics of the diamond. For example, a larger diamond will take longer to create compared to a smaller diamond. Furthermore, to create diamonds of greater purity using HPHT longer time is needed.

Colour varieties

You can find lab grown diamonds in a variety of colours ranging from colourless, blue, pink and many more. Above is a picture to show you the colours and how they are created. Referring to research from the Gemological institute of America (GIA-identifying-lab-grown-diamonds)


Lab grown diamonds are graded by many of the leading gemmological laboratories. Here is a list of the most recognized laboratories issuing the certificate:

It is to be noted that GIA certificates issued for lab grown diamonds do not disclose exact colour and clarity grades. For example, if you have a diamond that is graded SI1, GIA will show on the certificate small inclusion as the grade rather than SI1.

• IGI (view certificate)

• GCAL (view website)

Lab-grown diamonds vs similar colourless gems

To help you identify the similarities and differences of lab grown diamonds compared to similar colourless gems view the table below.


Lab-grown diamonds are a perfect eco-friendly alternative compared to natural diamonds while still posessing the amazing sparkle of a diamond. If you have any questions about lab grown diamonds or would like more information on a particular area comment below.

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