The one downside to diamonds is that like so many industries that produce valuable goods like designer handbags and fancy electronics, the diamond industry has fallen victim to counterfeit culture. Every day, many unsuspecting diamond jewellery lovers fall victim to swindlers looking to make a quick buck with deceit and lies by selling you a ‘diamond’ that is not at all real. And with technology being as advanced as it is, it is becoming harder and harder to tell whether a diamond is real—unless of course, you know what you are looking for. Luckily, there are methods out there to curb this counterfeit problem and determine whether your diamonds are real or not.
But what about lab-created diamonds? Sure, they share the same physical and chemical properties as traditional diamonds but do lab grown diamonds test real? Read on to find out how your lab grown diamond jewellery would fare in the diamond tester.
- Do Lab Grown Diamonds Test Real?
- Will Lab Created Diamonds Test As Real Diamonds?
- How Do You Test Lab Grown Diamonds?
- Will Lab Made Diamonds Pass the Diamond Tester?
- Can You Test If A Diamond is Mined or Lab-Grown?
Do Lab Grown Diamonds Test Real?
The most important thing to know about lab-grown diamonds is that they are real diamonds. The only real difference between lab diamonds and real diamonds is how they are produced. Mined diamonds for example are retrieved by diamond miners in the earth’s upper mantle in areas all over the world. They take millions of years to form and are the result of high pressures and temperature causing carbon atoms to bond together and crystalise.
Man-made diamonds, or lab-grown diamonds, are produced using a piece of a mined diamond (the diamond seed) in a controlled laboratory setting using one of two methods. The first method that is used to produce lab-grown diamonds is known as High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT). HPHT involves fusing the diamond seed to a piece of carbon and then exposing it to the same high pressure and high temperatures that an earth-mined diamond is formed in using specially designed equipment.
The other way lab-grown diamonds are produced is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or simply, CVD. CVD involves placing a diamond seed into a special sealed chamber that exposes it to carbon-rich gases such as methane and hydrogen along with temperatures upwards of 760 degrees celsius. From there, these gases are ionised and turned into liquid plasma, this causes the carbon to stick to the seed and thus a diamond is formed.
Learn more: how are man made diamonds created?
Will Lab Created Diamonds Test As Real Diamonds?
While the formation and retrieval processes of mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds are worlds apart, this is where their differences end. Mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds share all of the same physical and chemical characteristics. They are so akin to one another that even diamond industry experts would not be able to tell them apart under the naked eye.
But do lab grown diamonds test real? When put under observation with specialised technology that jewellers and diamonds use to test the authenticity of the stone, the machine has no way of deciphering what is a lab-grown diamond and what is a mined diamond. So in short, yes, lab-created diamonds test as real diamonds.
How Do You Test Lab Grown Diamonds?
One of the most common ways for testing the authenticity of mined diamonds or lab grown diamonds is with a specially designed device known as a Diamond Selector. Diamond Selectors are a small handheld device with a needle-like point at the end of it. To check the authenticity of your stone, these diamond testers require you to place your jewellery directly under the point and scan the item like a price-gun at a department store. If your diamond is authentic, the tester is designed to make a beep-sound or have a small light on the device flash red.
These testers are designed on the consensus that all gemstones conduct heat differently and therefore heat will pass through a diamond differently to how it would pass through cubic zirconia, crystals or moissanite. There are other testers that work in the exact same way as the Diamond Selector, however, instead of testing a diamond’s authenticity based on heat, they will use electrical conductivity.
As it currently stands, diamond testers are one of the most accurate tools for testing a diamond’s authenticity. However, that is not to say they are perfect. Diamond testers that utilise heat and thermal activity to detect whether a diamond is real or not can occasionally mistake moissanite for the real thing. This is because moissanite is made of silicon carbide, a semiconductor of silicon and carbon. The presence of carbon in moissanite means that moissanite generates a significant amount of heat in a similar pattern to diamonds and therefore can sometimes be picked up as real diamonds.
Fortunately, there is a way around this and that is by investing in a diamond tester that relies on electricity rather than heat to determine a diamond’s authenticity.
Will Lab Made Diamonds Pass The Diamond Tester?
So, because both earth-mined and lab-grown diamonds are formed from crystallised carbon, lab-made diamonds will pass any diamond tester they come across. Unlike simulant diamonds, like cubic zirconia and moissanite that are made from completely different minerals to diamonds, diamond testers will be able to recognise that lab-grown stones share the same thermal and electrical levels as mined diamonds and would therefore be able to highlight them as real diamonds.
However, like humans, diamond testers do sometimes make mistakes.
One of the cons of diamond testers currently on the market is that they can occasionally register High Pressure, High Temperature lab-grown diamonds as diamond simulants. This is because HPHT is a relatively old method used to produce man-made diamonds. Having been around since the early-1950s, HPHT lab-grown diamonds are slightly less desirable than CVD lab-grown diamonds (the method used to produce our very-own Luminesce Lab-Grown Diamonds), given that they tend to have a lot more imperfections.
These imperfections, which are referred to as inclusions, can not only affect the clarity score and value of an HPHT lab-grown diamond but can also impact its ability to be recognised as a diamond by diamond testers. This is because, while HPHT diamonds are absolutely real diamonds, the diamond testers can occasionally miss identifying these stones as moissanite or cubic zirconia. However, rest assured that with improving technology and the ability to treat impurities within these stones this is becoming less of a common occurrence.
Can You Test If A Diamond Is Mined Or Lab-Grown?
Although you cannot determine if a diamond is mined or lab-grown using a common diamond tester, since both stones are physically and chemically identical, there are machines out there that will be able to tell the difference between the two. The main device used to determine whether a stone is mined or lab-grown is known as a DiamondView.
Produced by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the DiamondView uses UV lighting to detect a diamond’s fluorescence, which is the diamond’s sparkle. The DiamondView will then determine what type of stone your diamond is with the colour that the machine’s UV lighting exhibits. With the DiamondView, naturally mined diamonds will generally display a blue hue under a longwave UV light and yellow under a short wave light. HPHT lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, display a yellow-greenish hue under both types of UV lighting.
Learn more: do lab grown diamonds have fluorescence?
With the DiamondView, lab-grown diamonds also exhibit phosphorescence, which is an afterglow that remains even after the UV lighting has been switched off. Phosphorescence does not usually occur in naturally mined diamonds.
Unfortunately, DiamondViews are extremely rare and expensive technology, so you likely won’t come across them at your local jewellery store. However, there is a low-cost solution that allows you to determine whether your diamond is mined or lab created and best of all, it can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Scientists have discovered that some lab-grown diamonds have magnetic properties due to having iron impurities and being grown in magnetic flux. It is because of this that many believe man-made diamonds, particularly HPHT diamonds, are somewhat magnetic. As a result, holding your diamond near a magnet may be able to tell you if your diamond is lab-grown or mined. If your diamond attaches to a magnet it is more likely to be lab-grown whereas if it doesn’t, then it is probably naturally mined.
So, there you have it. Do lab grown diamonds test real? Yes. Now you know your lab grown diamond rings will hold up in the diamond tester. That’s because lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds.
Learn more about why lab-grown diamonds are the future of diamonds on Luminesce. Be sure to also check out a huge range of timeless and one-of-a-kind lab-grown diamond rings, earrings, pendants and more online only at Luminesce Lab-Grown Diamonds. Sparkle now and pay later with Afterpay or one of our other finance options. Save on shipping with orders of $69 or more.