Jewelry Trends

Get Educated on the Different Types of Diamonds

Rachel Akmakjian

Author

Rachel Akmakjian

Diamonds are the most popular and sought-after gemstones in the world. We love them for their beauty, durability, and rarity. But not all diamonds are created the same way. So what are the different types of diamonds? There are 4 main diamond types everyone should know: mined or natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds, fancy colored diamonds, and treated diamonds. They all have different characteristics and price points. If you own diamonds or you’re considering buying one, especially a diamond engagement ring, you need to know the basics. We’ll lay out the four main diamond types and give you what you need to know before making such an important investment.

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What You Will Learn

Natural diamonds - stones mined from the earth

Natural diamonds form deep beneath the earth’s surface over millions of years. It takes intense heat and pressure combined with carbon to form a diamond. Diamond mines were first discovered in India sometime around the 4th century.  Today there are diamond mines in Russia, Botswana, Canada, and Australia.

Natural diamonds get a grade based on the four Cs: carat weight, clarity, cut, and color. These factors determine the value and quality of the diamond. The carat weight refers to the weight of the diamond, with one carat equaling 0.2 grams. Clarity refers to the number and size of inclusions or blemishes in the diamond, with flawless diamonds being the most valuable. Color refers to the presence of color in the diamond, with a colorless diamond or “white diamond” typically being the most expensive. Natural colored diamonds sometimes form in shades of pink, green, or yellow. These are also highly desired and valued for their rarity. 

One of the advantages of mined diamonds is their rarity. Natural diamonds are a finite resource, and their supply is limited. Many people feel this means that natural diamonds are just more special and valuable. However, the mining process for natural diamonds can be environmentally destructive. There are also concerns about labor practices and human rights in some diamond-producing countries. 

As far as pricing goes, natural diamonds are always going to be more expensive than lab diamonds because of their rarity. Factors like the 4 C’s, and what type of cut or shape you choose will all play into their final price point. 

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Blue, pink, and white diamond

Lab diamonds - real diamonds, man-made

Lab grown diamonds, also called synthetic diamonds or cultured diamonds, are relatively new in the long history of the diamond industry. Created in a laboratory setting, advanced technology replicates the natural process. The result? They’re virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds. A lab grown diamond has the same physical and chemical properties as a natural diamond. Even at a microscopic level, lab diamonds and natural diamonds have the same crystal structure. They are also graded based on the four Cs and can be used in jewelry the same way as natural diamonds.

The Ultimate Guide To The 4 C’s Of Diamonds | BriteCo™ 

One of the advantages of lab grown diamonds is their lower cost. Because they’re made in a lab, these diamonds are almost always less expensive. They’re also more environmentally friendly, as they do not require the same level of mining and excavation as natural diamonds. And you can have more peace of mind about the ethics behind their production. However, many people still feel that nothing competes with the value of a natural diamond. If you want a head-turning diamond for a much lower price point, then lab diamonds are for you. But if you want a piece of jewelry or engagement ring that’s truly one-of-a-kind, then you’ll need to shop for a natural diamond.

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Fancy colored diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are natural or lab-grown diamonds that exhibit strong color hues. These colors range from pale yellow or brown to intense shades of pink, blue, green, red, and even black. Fancy colored diamonds are graded based on the intensity of their color, with the most vibrant and intense colors being the most valuable.

Fancy colored diamonds are rare and highly sought after. They are often used in high-end jewelry and are popular with collectors. Jennifer Lopez’s latest engagement ring from Ben Affleck features a green natural diamond and Blake Lively sports a massive pink diamond in her engagement ring. The most famous fancy colored diamond is the Hope Diamond, a 45.52-carat blue diamond that is one of the largest and most valuable diamonds in the world.

Treated diamonds

If we can grow diamonds in a lab, can we make improvements to diamonds that came from a mine? Yep, that’s where treated diamonds come in. Treated diamonds are natural diamonds that have been treated in a lab to enhance their color or clarity. A process called heat treatment improves the clarity and color of diamonds. Fracture filling involves filling the cracks and inclusions in the diamond with a substance to improve its clarity. Gemologists can even change the color of a diamond using radiation.

Like lab diamonds, some people don’t like the thought of their diamonds being anything but earth-made and natural. They don’t want anyone but mother nature tinkering with the structure of their diamond. Before purchasing a diamond, it’s standard policy that any treatment will be made known to you. Obtaining a GIA grading report is the best proof that a diamond has not been altered.

Suggested Read: Types of Diamond Clarity | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

Insuring diamonds

Each diamond type is different, but they’re all diamonds and all diamond purchases need to be insured. Specialized jewelry insurance protects your fine jewelry from loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance

BriteCo’s affordable specialized jewelry covers up to 125% of your ring’s appraised value and its fast and easy to get started. 

Get an instant free quote for an affordable monthly or annual payment. Then all you have to do is upload the required documentation and you’ll be covered in minutes.  

Obtaining and maintaining comprehensive jewelry insurance is easy and affordable.

Also Check:

How Are Diamonds Cut? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
Demystifying Rough Diamonds: Your Guide to the Different Types of Rough Diamonds
Most Popular Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings
Largest Diamond in the World | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
8 Fun Facts About Diamonds

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.