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IGI Lab-Grown Diamonds: Are they legit?

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IGI Lab-Grown Diamonds review

Bottom Line Recommendation

While IGI’s standards for grading natural diamonds may not be as rigorous as GIA’s, the lab still employs a comprehensive grading system for lab-grown diamonds that’s widely respected. Both GIA and IGI have garnered trust within the industry, each offering distinct advantages.

In terms of cost, the price differential between IGI and GIA diamonds is usually marginal and can depend on the retailer. With GIA-certified diamonds carrying a modest 0.5% to 4% premium, the variance is hardly a deal-breaker. As long as you’re dealing with a reputable seller, either choice is sound:

Test yourself: Is this diamond natural or lab-grown?

Table of Contents

What are IGI lab-grown diamonds certificate in a nutshell

IGI lab-grown diamonds are simply diamonds created in the lab and certified by IGI (International Gemological Institute). These diamonds are backed up by an IGI certificate, which shows they have been tested and certified as authentic and of excellent quality by the institute.

It’s part of the efforts to rid the market of fake diamonds that have become widespread nowadays. Fake in the sense that they aren’t made in the lab, mined from the ground, or recycled from natural diamonds.

In other words, these are just objects made out of other substances or materials to look like natural diamonds or lab-grown diamonds.

Before delving further into IGI lab-created diamonds, let me say a little about the International Gemological Institute. This should bring you up to speed if you’ve never heard about it.

IGI's relationship with lab-grown diamonds

Who, what, and why IGI?

To begin with, IGI is an independent body that certifies precious metals, fine jewelry, and gemstones such as diamonds, including lab-created ones. Set up in 1975, this non-influenced organization has established its presence in different cities worldwide. Its headquarters are in Antwerp, Belgium. 

It’s arguably one of the largest independent labs in the world to certify the above commodities. For those who don’t understand IGI’s significance, the services of this organization can be quite helpful to gemstone dealers and buyers alike. 

For dealers of gemstones and jewelry, backing up your products with IGI certification helps you win buyers’ trust easily.

For buyers, on the other hand, insisting on buying only commodities accompanied by this certification can be a great way to avoid spending your hard-earned money on low-quality lab diamonds or counterfeits.

IGI and lab-grown diamodns

Lab-grown diamonds started gaining popularity around 2014. Sellers wanted to market them with a certificate to offer the exact same experience of buying a natural diamond. They looked for a legitimate lab that would agree to issue these certificates, yet finding one wasn’t easy.

(Keep in mind that the diamond industry is driven by money and politics…)

Lab grown diamond history google trends
Lab grown diamonds trend over time - Google Trends

IGI accepted the challenge and agreed to look at lab-grown diamonds as real diamonds, unlike other grading labs such as the GIA and AGS. Only years after, these labs followed IGI and started grading lab-grown diamonds.

Interestingly, the International Gem Society, reveals that people are gradually developing an interest in lab-created diamonds as time goes by. According to their website, “Interest in lab grown diamonds is surging, shows no signs of stopping.” 

Additionally, Edahn Golan recently revealed some quite fascinating sales data for lab diamonds for March 2022. Speaking to CNN, the independent diamond analyst pointed out that the data showed:

  • 63% increase in the demand for engagement rings made of lab-created diamonds compared to March last year.
  • engagement rings characterized by natural diamonds recorded a 25% drop in sales in the same period. 

According to him, the statistics were nothing compared to the even more mind-blowing stats for February 2022 compared to the same month last year. He revealed that the demand for engagement rings made from lab-grown diamonds increased by 80% while it decreased by up to 13% for rings featuring natural diamonds. 

Why IGI Lab-Grown Diamonds All Suddenly?

One may wonder why IGI lab-grown diamonds are suddenly starting to be treasured after years of these precious gemstones being undervalued. Well, there can only be one explanation; people are starting to realize their benefits

As said earlier, these diamonds are just as good in quality as their traditional counterparts. And in some cases, you’ll find that they are even better than natural diamonds. This is normally the case when the process of creating crystallized carbons is done in a better way. Remember that all diamonds are made up of crystallized carbon. 

In natural diamonds, carbon molecules have taken millions of years to turn naturally into crystallized carbon. In lab-grown diamonds, carbon molecules convert into crystallized carbon in 1-4 weeks within the lab. 

Secondly, people are starting to opt for IGI lab-grown diamonds because of the price. As said earlier, diamonds created in the lab are generally undervalued. As such, these diamonds are cheaper than their natural counterparts mined from the soil. Maybe it’s because they are less expensive to produce than the latter. After all, the resources required to make them can’t match those needed to mine diamonds deep below the earth’s surface. 

People who realize that lab-grown and natural diamonds have the same qualities opt for the affordable option. Who doesn’t want to save money or get a better diamond for the same budget?

sustainable diamonds price pros and cons

Thirdly, people are starting to embrace IGI lab-created diamonds to remain faithful to the spirit of protecting the environment. For years, many countries and organizations have been working hard to enlighten people about the dangers of environmental degradation. Similarly, much focus has been put on discouraging practices such as mining, a major culprit for this problem. 

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Certified?

The short answer is that not all lab-created diamonds are certified even though they should ideally. At this point, you may be asking yourself; how do I distinguish between a lab-grown diamond that is certified and one that isn’t? Knowing how to can be very crucial especially when it comes to shopping online.

The only way you can tell that the product is certified is if the vendor issues you with a certificate. If they just claim that the product is certified without being able to prove it, you know it’s all hot air. In that case, you should quit thinking of engaging with them further; otherwise, you’ll only get disappointed at the end of it all. After all, serious dealers of lab-created diamonds ensure that their commodities are backed up by a certification.

What is a lab-grown diamond certification? What Is An IGI Certificate?

The short answer is that it’s a document proving that a lab diamond has been tested and certified as authentic and a diamond of good quality. This is usually done by an independent organization such as IGI or GIA. Most importantly, the lab diamond certification describes different elements such as carat, color, clarity, cut, and many other elements.

Independent here means the entity certifies each diamond according to merit and that it doesn’t have a stake in the diamond. They charge a flat rate per grading and certification (there are different designs). It stands to gain nothing from the sale of the diamond.

Let me point out that there are different grading labs out there. We already covered the IGI and GIA. Apart from these two, we can find certifications issued by many small and medium organizations; however, many are sketchy and unworthy.

IGI Diamond Criteria: How are lab-grown diamonds graded?

After the creation process, lab diamonds come out in different qualities and grading is required to avoid ruining high-quality diamonds by mixing them up with low-quality diamonds. This is usually another essential job for gemological institutions like GIA or IGI.

Nonetheless, grading is usually done with the consideration of four diamond aspects commonly known as the “4Cs”; 

  • Carat Weight
  • Color
  • Clarity 
  • Cut

1. Carat Weight

A Carat is a weight measurement equivalent to one-fifth (⅕) of a gram. That means a 1 Carat diamond weighs 0.2 grams. 

Most importantly, the metric carat is split into 100 points, each equivalent to one-hundredth of a carat (1/100 carats, or 0.01 carats). Meaning the smallest unit of a diamond should weigh at least 0.01 carats. 

Before going further, allow me to explain something about mass and size as far as the grading of lab-created diamonds goes. You see, when the diamonds have been created in the laboratory, they are cut into equal sizes and maybe shapes before they are subjected to grading. Now, weight is mass and it doesn’t depend on size. While the cut diamonds are usually of the same size and shape, their mass(weight) is never the same. 

After weighing is done, the stones will be grouped according to their weights with those that weigh heaviest considered the best of all in terms of quality. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the diamond, the higher its value, and vice versa. Matter of fact, this is the most critical factor in the valuation of diamonds. 

2. Color

Color dramatically affects the quality of a diamond. And as a rule of thumb, the more colorless the diamond, the better the quality.

Evaluation experts normally use a professional color scale. It commonly orders diamond colors alphabetically from the letters D to Z. D represents perfect colorless diamonds. In contrast, Z characterizes a brown/yellow color. These are the colors by which the lowest quality diamonds are characterized.

While colorless natural diamonds are considered rare, colorless lab-grown diamonds are common and relatively affordable. This is because the lab has more control over the quality of the diamond.

F colorless with yellow and bluish tint
Comparing color grade

3. Clarity

The purer the diamond, the more the amount of light it reflects, resulting in maximum sparkle or brilliance. Unfortunately, diamonds, especially those that form naturally, contain impurities that ruin their purity. Lab-created diamonds will also contain impurities that affect the individual qualities of each piece. That’s why the clearest and purest diamonds will be graded above the rest in the lab.

As a side note, a low dirty SI natural diamond can be sold for double the price of a clean VS lab-grown diamond. I strongly recommend picking a VS2 grade minimum for your lab-grown diamond. From my experience, the IGI is very strict with clarity grading, so their VS2 diamond would usually be eye-clean.

4. Cut

The cut factor calculates the diamond’s cut quality, polish, and symmetry. Taking into account the measurements of the shape, it will affect the light performance of the diamond, which controls the amount of brilliance, fire (blue and yellow reflections), and sparkles.

IGI Certification: Why It's the Best for Lab-Created Diamonds

As said earlier, IGI certification is a vital document for diamond buyers and dealers alike. For buyers, it provides more confidence about the commodities’ authenticity and quality. For sellers, on the other hand, it makes the commodities more marketable and valuable and builds trust with their potential customers.

The Importance of IGI Certification

As said earlier, IGI certification is a vital document for diamond buyers and dealers alike. For buyers, it provides more confidence about the commodities’ authenticity and quality. For sellers, on the other hand, it makes the commodities more marketable and valuable and builds trust with their potential customers.


IGI lab-grown diamonds are diamonds created in the laboratory and certified by the International Gemological Institute. These are some of the best lab diamonds you’ll ever find as they are tested and proven by the world’s largest and most respected gemological lab. Their qualities are graded according to the carat, color, clarity, and cut. Whether you are looking for a high-grade lab-created diamond that costs more or a low-grade one that costs less, you want to start by considering IGI diamonds first.


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