Lab-Grown Diamond Color: The Ultimate Guide

Have a question? Not sure which one is the right diamond?

contact us

Today we are going to cover how to pick the right color for your lab-grown diamond. It’s pretty different than natural diamonds, so make sure to keep reading.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Diamonds come in different colors which tells how valuable it is. Generally, diamonds with a slight brownish or yellowish tint are not desirable or attractive (unless you don’t mind). The basis is, the more colorless a diamond is, the more valuable and radiant it is. This is why color is not a factor to ignore while shopping for a diamond. Of course, you can compromise over the color grade to a certain degree to get a larger diamond with a better cut and clarity, but you need to know how to do it right (you’ll learn everything in this article).

One might think that lab-grown diamonds are perfectly white, but lab-created diamonds have their flaws too. Like natural diamonds, lab diamonds have a wide range of colors and clarities due to the lab’s level of technology. While some labs have the knowledge and the tech to produce colorless grades such as F, E, and D, other labs create lower grades such as J, I, and H.

What to know about diamond color

Here are four critical vital factors you should keep in mind while searching for the right color for your diamond:

  • Only a grading professional should determine the color grade of a diamond.
  • The color affects the value and price
  • The ring’s metal affects the appearance of the diamond’s color
  • Fancy colored diamonds such as yellow, pink, and blue have different grading system from colorless diamonds

As-grown diamonds vs. Treated diamonds: How it affects the color

This is one of the most important subjects to understand to make sure you’re not getting scammed.

There are two methods to produce lab-grown diamonds:

  1. High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) – usually creates colorless diamonds
  2. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) – usually creates grey and brown diamonds.

 

When buying a lab-grown diamond, make sure it’s:

  1. Marked as “as-grown diamond” within the certificate
  2. Try to stick with HPHT diamonds. Usually, HPHT is as-grown diamonds, CVD diamonds 99.9% aren’t.
HPHT lab grown diamonds diamond by James Allen
HPHT diamond by James Allen
CVD treated lab grown diamond by Brilliant Earth
CVD treated diamond by Brilliant Earth

Why is that important?

The HPHT process mimics the conditions in nature, which results in higher quality diamonds. Therefore, there is no need for post-growth treatment or color enhancement to make the diamonds appear better.

CVD diamonds, on the opposite, require post-growth treatment to enhance the diamond’s color since no one is interested in brown or grey diamonds.

As you can understand, HPHT diamonds worth more since the creation involves a higher cost, complex knowledge, and advanced technology. In fact, CVD treated diamonds worth around 50% less than HPHT as grown diamonds.

So, where is the risk?

Many diamond dealers know most customers are not aware of the difference, so they try to sell CVD-treated diamonds for the same price as HPHT as-grown diamonds.

Always check the diamond certificate; make sure they mention it’s HPHT and as-grown. If you don’t see it, skip to the next diamond. Don’t risk your money.

Lab-grown diamonds yellowish and bluish tint

We already know that some diamonds show a yellowish tint, but why is that? Well, it’s because these diamonds contain nitrogen. It can happen both in natural and lab-grown diamonds.

Be aware that you can find a bluish tint in some lab diamonds instead of the classic yellowish one. This is because such diamonds contain boron, which adds a bluish color to the diamond. In high colorless grades such as G and higher, the naked eye won’t see the bluish tint, and the diamond will appear as colorless.

The lab-created diamonds color scale

On your personal journey for the best diamond within your budget, it’s vital to verify what you are paying for. Every lab-grown diamond you consider buying should have a certificate from a respected lab, either from the IGI or GIA. This is because the IGI/GIAf provides particular grades for each diamond. To avoid getting ripped off or even getting scammed, make sure to ask for the certificate. When investing thousands of dollars, don’t gamble and stay on the safe side.

The IGI and the GIA have a diamond color grading scale that ranges from D to Z, where D is a completely colorless diamond, while Z is a diamond with a visible brown or yellow color.

Grade D

The highest color grade in the chart, completely colorless. The diamond doesn’t show any tint both under magnification and when inspected with a naked eye.

Grade E and F

In general, Lab-grown diamonds in this color range are almost as colorless as D grade. To the naked eye, they are similar. Moreover, an ordinary buyer cannot tell the difference between F-D diamonds. Although F, E, and D are considered colorless diamonds, sometimes an F can show a highly soft yellowish or bluish tint. Keep in mind, it’s completely safe and can’t be noticed with a naked eye.

F colorless with yellow and bluish tint
HPHT Lab-created diamonds

Grade G-H

HPHT diamonds in this grade are nearly colorless to the naked eye but do show a yellowish to bluish tint to some degree. CVD diamonds will deliver a stronger tint and even appear brownish or greyish.

H color and G color lab grown diamonds
HPHT Lab-created diamonds

Grade J-I

HPHT and CVD as-grown lab diamonds will show a soft yellowish tint, exactly like natural diamonds. Therefore, such a diamond can still be beautiful when mounted in the right setting (yellow gold or rose gold). However, a CVD lab-created diamond will show a solid brown or grey color, which is why I recommend avoiding it.

Sub-Grades: The key to success

Here are my 2 cents to make sure you pick the right color. This subject will turn you from an average diamond buyer to an intelligent buyer. Although some diamonds share the same color grade, for example, F grade: some F diamonds are brighter and colorless. On the opposite, some F diamonds show a stronger yellowish tint. This is true for all grades. To these sub-grades, we call “high F” and “low F” (or any other grade). This is why you can find some G colors that appear brighter and others that contain a lot of boron, which adds a robust bluish tint.


When searching for a diamond, always check the diamond from the side-view. This way, the diamond reveals its actual tint. Also, by putting both diamonds side by side from the side-view, you can compare their colors and pick the right one.

Lab-grown diamonds color: buying tips

  • Long story short, with lab-grown diamonds, aim to F grade minimum. Lab diamonds are so affordable; the difference between G nearly colorless and F colorless can sometimes be as little as $50 difference. It’s worth that extra step, trust me. You can get this 1.03 carat G VS1 for $1,950 or this beautiful 1.02 carat F VS1 for $2,000
  • Unless you are short on budget and can’t reach the carat mark you wish to get, there is no reason to compromise over color. The lowest color you should limit yourself to is H nearly colorless. Some show strong tint, but you might find a great deal when the research is done right.
  • Apart from validating the IGI certificate, have an expert on your side who can help you analyze each diamond keenly. A true expert can tell when a jeweler tries to pull off a trick to enhance the diamond’s color with strong lights or when the deal doesn’t give you good value for money.
  • Always inspect the diamond under natural light. Most stores use strong lights to make their diamonds appear brighter and hide their tint. What you see in the shop is not what you’ll see at home.
  • Always keep in mind the ring setting while choosing your diamond. Remember the color of the metal affects how the color of a diamond is perceived. Overall, the diamond should be the brightest main focal point and relatively white compared to the setting’s tint.

Matching center diamond color with side stones

If you plan to get a pave, halo, three-stone, or any other setting that involves side stones, there are two ways to make sure your center diamond stands out. The first option is quite simple, pick side stones that share a similar grade as the center diamond. For example, in this engagement ring, we can see a G center stone diamond with an H-G halo setting. The other option is to make sure the center diamond has the highest color grade and the accent diamonds have a slightly lower grade. For example, this engagement ring has an F color center stone, with an H-G pave setting. This ensures the center diamond stands out as the white sparkly and main focal point of the ring. Overall, make sure the colors of all the diamonds compliments each other.

Fluorescence of lab diamonds: how it affects the color

In short, fluorescence refers to the way a diamond reacts to ultraviolet light. In general, medium to strong fluorescence makes the brilliance of a diamond dull and hazy. While finding fluorescence in natural diamonds is very common, it is rare to see it in lab-created diamonds.

Does the color grade affect the price?

The price of a diamond is mainly affected by the 4c’s: carat, clarity, cut, and color. Therefore, the higher the grades, the higher the price. As discussed earlier, there is a color grading scale that ranges from D-Z, and diamonds are separated into 3 main groups:

  • The lower group shows tint.
  • The middle group is nearly colorless.
  • The highest group is colorless.

The price difference between nearly colorless diamonds (J-G) is not that expensive. Sometimes you can pay only $50 more and get a colorless F diamond. On the other hand, E-D grades are naturally more costly since it’s more complicated to produce them.

Lab diamonds Vs. Natural diamonds: Color price comparison

Let’s make a price comparison between natural diamonds and lab diamonds when the only factor we change each time is the color. All diamonds are 1.00 carat, VS1 with ideal cut.

Diamond Type Natural Diamond Lab-created Diamonds
I $5,170 $1,520
H $6,570 $1,930
G $7,140 $1,950
F $8,540 $2,000
E $8,700 $2,030
D $9,380 $2,280

Fancy Color Lab Created Diamonds

Yellow-colored lab diamonds are common and are accessible in several colors ranging from light yellow to vivid. The yellow shade comes from the nitrogen, which can be lab-controlled to make the desired yellow hue. These diamonds can also have an orange shade gotten from the solvent used in the growing process. If the lab diamond gets exposed to boron, it will have a blue hue ranging from pale to intense.

How to keep your diamond bright and beautiful

As much as your diamond is beautiful, you still need to put in some work to keep it this way. Because a diamond that is not well-cared for can become cloudy and dull after some time. It happens because of the build-up of dirt and oils from daily wear. However, there are many ways to keep your diamond sparkling brightly.

The first step in cleaning diamonds is choosing the appropriate cleaner products specifically designed to use those precious stones. For example, you should never use household cleaners or detergents that contain ammonia, as these chemicals could damage the stone’s surface with prolonged contact. Instead, it’s important to always select a gentle cleaner such as soap, water, or a unique jewelry cleanser (never solvents).

Secondly, you should pay close attention to how you store your gemstone when it isn’t being worn so it won’t get damaged.

  • Store it in a soft cloth bag or felt-lined jewelry box to avoid scratching.
  • Avoid exposing your diamond ring to chemicals and harsh cleaners at all costs! They can scratch the surface of your gemstone, causing irreparable damage.
 

Thirdly you should polish it regularly, which will keep its luster intact for years. Doing so also helps prevent any oxidation that may occur over time due to exposure to air. Finally, if you buy your diamond from my recommended supplier, you can go to any Jared or Kay stores and get a professional polish for free (for life).

Conclusion

Let’s sum it up to the key points when it comes to picking the right color for your lab-grown diamond:

  • Always ask for a certified diamond by the IGI or the GIA.
  • Try to get an F color and above, limit yourself to an H grade. Lab-created diamonds are so affordable, there is no reason to compromise over color that much.
  • Always inspect the diamond under natural light and from the side-view.
  • Remember that yellow gold and rose gold settings reflect their color into the diamond, which results in a stronger tint.
  • It’s always better to have an expert on your side. If you need help picking the right diamond within your budget, I am here (for free)
 

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or think about this subject!

Sharing is caring!

About the author: Yaniv Hadar

As a third-generation in the diamond industry, I’ve started my way in 2015 as a diamond photographer and seen hundreds of diamonds on a daily basis. Unlike other experts, I’ve had the opportunity to see any diamond you can think of: from the poorest to the rarest. Any size, any color. Using my knowledge and experience, I can show you how to pick the most valuable diamond for your budget while getting the most bang for your buck.

Check the daily recommended diamonds (before someone else orders it)

Do you want help picking the best diamond?

Top Rated by the Lab Diamonds Review

For a very limited time, take advantage of JameAllen’s 25% OFF Fall Sale!

:
:
: