Can a jeweler tell if a diamond is lab grown?


Author: Messi Jewelry–Lab Grown Diamond Manufacturers

Introduction: The Rise of Lab-Grown Diamonds

In recent years, lab-grown diamonds have emerged as a popular and more affordable alternative to natural diamonds. These diamonds, created in a laboratory environment using advanced technology, possess the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds formed over millions of years deep within the Earth. The increasing popularity of lab-grown diamonds has led to a critical question: can a jeweler distinguish between a lab-grown diamond and a natural diamond? In this article, we will delve into this fascinating subject and explore the various methods employed by jewelers to detect lab-grown diamonds.

The Anatomy of a Diamond

Before we delve into the techniques used to detect lab-grown diamonds, it is important to understand the structure of these precious gemstones. A diamond is composed of carbon atoms arranged in a lattice structure. This unique arrangement gives diamonds their incredible hardness, brilliance, and scintillation. Whether a diamond is lab-grown or natural, it possesses the same atomic structure, making it difficult to distinguish between the two purely based on their composition.

Growing Diamonds in the Laboratory: Methods and Techniques

To create lab-grown diamonds, scientists employ two primary methods: High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). In HPHT, a small diamond seed is subjected to intense heat and pressure, mimicking the natural diamond formation process. As a result, carbon atoms crystallize around the seed to produce a larger diamond. On the other hand, CVD involves placing a diamond seed in a vacuum chamber and introducing carbon-rich gases. The carbon atoms then gradually accumulate on the seed, resulting in the growth of a diamond.

Traditional Methods of Diamond Identification

Jewelers have long relied on a set of traditional methods to identify and assess diamonds. These methods involve examining the physical properties, such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. However, these traditional methods are not foolproof when it comes to distinguishing between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds can possess similar properties as natural diamonds, making it challenging to differentiate them using conventional techniques alone.

Advanced Techniques for Diamond Detection

In recent years, advanced technologies and specialized equipment have been developed to aid jewelers in differentiating lab-grown diamonds from their natural counterparts. While no method is infallible, these techniques significantly enhance the accuracy of diamond identification. Let's explore some of these advanced techniques below:

1. Spectroscopy: Revealing the Diamond's Secrets

Spectroscopy is a powerful tool that enables jewelers to analyze the interaction of diamonds with different wavelengths of light. This technique involves shining light on a diamond and measuring the resulting spectrum. By analyzing the spectrum, jewelers can identify unique properties of a diamond, such as its absorption and luminescence characteristics. Lab-grown diamonds may exhibit different spectroscopic properties than natural diamonds, allowing jewelers to detect and distinguish between the two.

2. UV Fluorescence: Shedding Light on Origins

Another method employed by jewelers is UV fluorescence. When exposed to ultraviolet light, diamonds may emit a characteristic glow. This fluorescence can provide valuable clues about a diamond's origin. Natural diamonds often exhibit a blue fluorescence, while lab-grown diamonds may display little to no fluorescence. By examining the diamond's fluorescence under UV light, jewelers can gain insights into its authenticity.

3. DiamondView: Peering into the Diamond's Soul

DiamondView is a specialized instrument that utilizes ultraviolet light to examine the internal characteristics of a diamond. By observing how the diamond reacts to this light, jewelers can discern specific patterns that may indicate whether the diamond is lab-grown or natural. DiamondView is particularly effective in identifying lab-grown diamonds based on their growth patterns and unique features.

4. Raman Spectroscopy: A Molecular Fingerprint

Raman spectroscopy is an advanced technique used to identify various materials based on their molecular composition. By exposing a diamond to laser light and analyzing the resulting scattered light, jewelers can obtain a unique molecular fingerprint of the diamond. Lab-grown diamonds may exhibit distinct spectral features that differ from those of natural diamonds, enabling jewelers to discriminate between the two.

5. Advanced Imaging: Peeking Inside the Diamond

Advanced imaging technologies, such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray imaging, allow jewelers to examine the internal structure and growth features of diamonds. These techniques can uncover subtle differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds. For instance, lab-grown diamonds may exhibit distinct growth patterns, metallic inclusions, or crystal irregularities that are not found in natural diamonds. Analyzing these internal characteristics using advanced imaging techniques helps jewelers identify the origin of a diamond.

A Word of Caution: Limitations and Constant Innovation

While these advanced techniques enhance diamond identification, it is important to note that they are not foolproof. Lab-grown diamond manufacturers continually innovate to overcome detection methods, creating diamonds that closely resemble their natural counterparts. As a result, the jewelry industry must continuously adapt and develop new techniques to stay ahead.


Advancements in technology have greatly improved a jeweler's ability to differentiate between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Techniques such as spectroscopy, UV fluorescence, DiamondView, Raman spectroscopy, and advanced imaging play a crucial role in the identification process. However, none of these methods alone can provide a definitive conclusion. By combining multiple techniques and taking into account various characteristics, jewelers can confidently determine whether a diamond is lab-grown or natural. As the jewelry industry evolves, it is certain that new detection methods will continue to emerge, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of precious diamonds for years to come. So, the next time you admire a sparkling diamond, you'll know that science and technology are playing a vital role in uncovering its true identity.


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