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Yellow Lab-Grown Diamonds: The Definitive Buying Guide

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If you’re short on time, let’s dive right into the fascinating world of yellow lab-grown diamonds:

  • When purchasing a lab-created yellow diamond, I recommend choosing a trustworthy seller like this one. They offer 360-degree videos showcasing each diamond’s accurate color, ensuring you get exactly what you expect and can select the perfect shade to suit your taste. You can check their selected collection and get 10% off here.
  • These dazzling gems boast the same chemical and physical properties as their natural fancy yellow counterparts, with the key distinction being their origin.
  • While natural fancy yellow diamonds come in nine shades, each with its own color grade, lab-grown diamonds are created in controlled environments, producing mainly three popular colors based on market demand.
  • One major advantage of lab-grown yellow diamonds is the significant price difference—about 70% less expensive—compared to natural fancy yellow diamonds.

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

Table of Contents

What are fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds?

Fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds are captivating gemstones with the same chemical and physical characteristics as natural fancy yellow diamonds, which are treasured for their vibrant hue. The main difference between the two lies in their origin: while natural diamonds are formed in nature, yellow lab-grown diamonds are created in labs that replicate the same conditions found in nature.

These lab-grown diamonds have nearly the same qualities as their rare natural counterparts. They are produced through advanced technological processes such as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT).

They boast the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as mined diamonds, resulting in an appearance that beautifully mirrors natural fancy yellow diamonds.

In essence, fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds offer the stunning visual appeal of natural diamonds while providing an alternative created under controlled conditions in a laboratory setting.

The striking fancy yellow color of these lab-grown diamonds is achieved by introducing trace amounts of nitrogen during the growth process. Nitrogen atoms replace some carbon atoms in the diamond’s lattice structure, resulting in a yellow hue. These diamonds are available in different shades of yellow, ranging between six color grades, from fancy light to fancy dark.

The addition of nitrogen not only gives the gemstones their distinctive color but also assists with their rapid formation and growth. Typically, diamond formation in a lab takes around a month. Still, when nitrogen is added, it takes only one week to produce such a diamond.

How are fancy yellow lab diamonds created?

Fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds are created using advanced technology replicating natural diamond formation conditions. The two most common methods for producing these gemstones are Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT). Both processes yield high-quality diamonds with the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as natural diamonds.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) involves:

  • Placing a diamond seed in a chamber with a carbon-rich gas mixture
  • Heating the chamber to release carbon atoms
  • Depositing carbon atoms onto the diamond seed to form a crystal
  • Introducing nitrogen to achieve the fancy yellow color

High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) simulates conditions deep within the Earth:

  • Placing a diamond seed in a carbon-rich environment with a metal catalyst
  • Subjecting the mixture to extreme pressures and temperatures
  • Dissolving carbon into the metal catalyst and crystallizing it onto the diamond seed
  • Adding nitrogen during the growth process for the yellow hue
A rough lab grown diamond emerges from the CVD plasma reactor - Picture by Lightbox
A rough lab grown diamond emerges from the CVD plasma reactor - Picture by Lightbox

For the HPHT process, scientists follow specific steps:

  • Setting up an apparatus capable of generating high pressures and temperatures
  • Placing a metal piece and a carbon-containing material in a capsule
  • Powering the apparatus to melt the carbon material alongside the metal piece
  • Allowing the molten carbon mixture to flow to a cooling chamber with a diamond seed
  • Adding nitrogen atoms to the substance, which crystallizes into a yellow diamond after about a week

In the CVD method, key steps include:

  • Heating a mixture of hydrogen and methane gas in a vacuum chamber at low pressures
  • Transforming some hydrogen gas into atomic hydrogen for a stable diamond growth environment
  • Reacting atomic hydrogen with methane gas to form a highly reactive carbon-hydrogen substance
  • Incorporating a diamond seed crystal and nitrogen atoms into the gas mixture to produce a yellow diamond

Properties of fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds

Fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds appeal to those seeking unique and eye-catching gemstones with properties similar to, or even better than, natural diamonds. These lab-created diamonds possess remarkable properties, which include:

Color: The vibrant yellow hue is the most distinguishing feature of these diamonds. The yellowness depends on the production method used, either CVD or HPHT. Nitrogen atoms introduced during the growth process result in various shades of yellow, from fancy light to vivid yellow and to fancy dark.

Chemical composition and crystal structure: Fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical and cubic crystal structures as natural diamonds. These consist primarily of carbon with trace amounts of nitrogen, which is responsible for the diamond’s hardness and overall durability.

Hardness and durability: Ranking 10 on the Mohs scale, lab-grown diamonds are incredibly resistant to scratches and suitable for everyday wear. Due to their higher crystallization, purity, and orientation levels, they are even harder and more durable than their natural counterparts.

Refractive index and dispersion: Due to their highly controlled growth environment, lab-grown diamonds possess fewer flaws and inclusions, allowing light to pass through without hindrance from natural inclusions like clouds or feathers. Consequently, they display increased sparkle and brilliance. With a high refractive index and strong dispersion, these diamonds exhibit remarkable brilliance and fire.

Clarity: Lab-grown diamonds, including yellow ones, typically have fewer inclusions and blemishes compared to natural diamonds, resulting in a higher clarity grade and making them more visually appealing.

Cut: Same as with any other lab-grown and natural diamonds, fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds can be cut into all shapes and styles to suit different jewelry designs, with popular cuts including round, oval, cushion, and radiant.

Eco-friendly and ethical: Lab-grown diamonds are produced with minimal environmental impact and are conflict-free, ensuring ethical sourcing and production practices.

fancy color lab grown diamond igi certificate

How is a yellow lab-created diamond graded? The color scale

Like any other type of diamond, fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds are assessed and graded based on the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat). Yet, there is one main difference: the color scale determines the stone’s hue.

Fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds display a spectrum of shades, each with a unique appeal. The color grading system used by gemological laboratories, such as GIA, classifies these diamonds into nine categories based on their color intensity. Let’s delve deeper into each of these yellow diamond grades:

  1. Faint: These diamonds exhibit a subtle hint of yellow, often barely noticeable to the naked eye. Faint yellow diamonds are an excellent choice for those seeking a touch of color without overpowering their jewelry.
  2. Very Light: A step up in color intensity from Faint, Very Light yellow diamonds showcase a slightly more pronounced hue. These diamonds provide a delicate balance between color and clarity, making them a popular choice for many.
  3. Light: Light yellow diamonds boast a more noticeable color yet maintain a soft and elegant appearance. These diamonds are perfect for those who appreciate a subtle play of color in their jewelry.
  4. Fancy Light: With a stronger presence of color, Fancy Light yellow diamonds strike a balance between subtlety and vibrancy. This grade is ideal for those looking to make a statement without going overboard.
  5. Fancy: Fancy yellow diamonds exhibit a rich and captivating hue, making them a standout choice for those seeking a more eye-catching option. Their vivid color brings a sense of warmth and luxury to any piece of jewelry.
  6. Fancy Dark: The deep, intense shade of Fancy Dark yellow diamonds sets them apart from their lighter counterparts. These diamonds evoke a sense of depth and sophistication, making them an alluring choice for the discerning buyer.
  7. Fancy Intense: Boasting a bold and vivid hue, Fancy Intense yellow diamonds are perfect for those who desire a genuinely stunning gemstone. Their striking color instantly grabs attention, making them a showstopping choice.
  8. Fancy Deep: With a rich, saturated color, Fancy Deep yellow diamonds exude luxury and extravagance. These diamonds make a powerful statement and are perfect for those who wish to make a lasting impression.
  9. Fancy Vivid: The pinnacle of yellow diamond color intensity, Fancy Vivid diamonds radiate unparalleled brilliance and fire. These exceptional diamonds are highly sought after for their mesmerizing hue, making them a prized possession for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Different fancy yellow lab-grown diamond qualities

The production of fancy-yellow lab-grown diamonds varies across laboratories, thanks to the diverse technologies employed. Market demand plays a significant role in determining which color grades are primarily created. In nature, a diamond’s color varies unpredictably, falling anywhere within the nine-grade spectrum from faint to fancy vivid. Aware of the market’s preferences, labs focus on crafting specific color grades, such as fancy, fancy intense, and fancy vivid yellow diamonds, without expending unnecessary resources.

Fancy Vivid Yellow

fancy vivid yellow lab grown diamond

Fancy Intense Yellow

fancy intense yellow lab grown diamond

Fancy Light Yellow

fancy light yellow lab grown diamond

On top of that, there is a wide range of yellow lab-grown diamond qualities due to other factors (carat weight, clarity, cut) that make each diamond unique. The presence of internal inclusions or external blemishes impacts the stone’s clarity, with clearer diamonds boasting higher value. Clarity grades span from Flawless to Included and various subcategories in between.

SI1 clarity

VS1 clarity

Cut quality also significantly influences a diamond’s overall appearance, influencing its brilliance and sparkle. An expertly crafted cut optimizes the gemstone’s proportions, symmetry, and polish, resulting in a mesmerizing light display. Cut grades range from Excellent to Poor, reflecting the diamond’s aesthetic qualities.

Fancy yellow lab-grown diamond pricing

You might assume that fancy yellow diamonds would have a heftier price tag than their colorless counterparts. While this applies to natural fancy yellow diamonds, which can cost up to 40% more, it doesn’t apply to lab-grown diamonds. In the world of lab-grown gems, rarity isn’t a factor, making yellow diamonds as simple to produce as colorless J-F diamonds. Consequently, there isn’t a significant price difference based on color alone. The main factor that controls the price of lab-grown diamonds is the carat weight, taking into account all the 4cs.

Lab-grown diamond Pricing
1.00 Carat Fancy Light $1,110 - $3,600
1.00 Carat Fancy Yellow $1,690 - $3,760
1.00 Carat Fancy Intense $3,100 - $5,650
1.00 Carat Fancy Vivid $3,420 - $4,210

Fancy yellow lab-grown and natural diamonds pricing comparison

Comparing the prices of fancy yellow lab-grown diamonds with their natural counterparts can be tricky, mainly because most naturally occurring fancy colored diamonds have I1-SI2 clarity. In fact, finding higher clarities like VS2 or better is quite rare. On the flip side, as mentioned before, lab-grown diamonds often showcase exceptional clarity, thanks to advanced technology that enables the creation of impeccably clean gems.

1.14 Ct Fancy Vivid VS1 Lab Diamond $3,270

1.01 Ct Fancy Vivid VS2 Natural Diamond $10,720

1.15 Ct Fancy Vivid VS1 Lab Diamond $2,570

1.00 Ct Fancy Vivid VS1 Natural Diamond $11,800

3.51 Ct Fancy Vivid VVS2 Lab Diamond $31,570

3.22 Ct Fancy Vivid SI2 Natural Diamond $166,150

Buying tips: How to choose the perfect yellow lab-grown diamond

When searching for the perfect yellow lab-grown diamond, there are a few key factors to consider. These tips will help you find the ideal diamond that suits your taste and budget.

  1. First, set a budget and stick to it, as lab-grown diamond prices can vary based on factors like size, color, and quality. Next, pay close attention to color intensity, with shades ranging from faint to fancy and vivid. Select a hue that not only appeals to you but also complements the setting and your personal style. Be mindful of the price difference between fancy yellow and vivid yellow, ranging from $300 to $1,500.
  2. Begin by conducting brief market research, and remember to filter the options with your budget. Identify the diamond characteristics that matter most to you, such as carat, cut, and clarity. Assess which aspects you can compromise on without sacrificing beauty. The goal is to strike an ideal balance among all factors, ultimately finding the most stunning diamond within your budget.
  3. Clarity is another crucial consideration concerning the stone’s inclusions or blemishes. Aim for an eye-clean diamond with minimal imperfections, typically a VS2 grade, to strike a balance between clarity and budget, allowing you to allocate more towards carat and cut.
  4. The diamond’s cut significantly impacts its sparkle and overall appearance. Prioritize excellent proportions, symmetry, and polish by opting for an “Excellent” cut grade or higher.
  5. Lastly, carefully evaluate potential dealers to find those offering authentic, graded, and certified diamonds. Reputable certifications from organizations like GIA and IGI can provide extra assurance in your purchase.

Conclusion - My personal experience

Whenever someone inquires about buying a fancy yellow diamond, I first want to know the budget. It’s essential to determine your budget upfront. Balancing color with other factors, such as size and clarity, is crucial to finding your ideal gemstone with the perfect yellow hue and plenty of brilliance. I’d suggest following the buying tips mentioned earlier to make an educated decision.

Choosing a reputable seller is key, which is why I strongly recommend this one. This retailer offers 360-degree videos for each diamond, showing the precise yellow shade and ensuring you receive exactly what you expect. Their competitive prices make them a top choice for your diamond purchase.

If you need assistance in finding the perfect diamond, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Rest assured, you’ll be guided in the right direction.

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