Lab Diamond Buying Guide

Top Tips & Facts

Your diamond buying guide and tips that matter.
Goodbye, mined. Hello, lab.

Diamonds are a prized adornment that have been the symbol of everlasting love for generations. Their sparkle, heirloom quality and durability make them the perfect choice for a center stone.

Ready to discover the new way of shopping for a diamond?

Lab Diamonds vs. Mined Diamonds

First things first: Lab grown diamonds are diamonds that have been grown in a laboratory, like flowers in a greenhouse. They are just as real as diamonds pulled from the earth and are optically, chemically and physically identical to their mined counterparts.

The real difference? Lab grown diamonds aren’t associated with the unethical practices that mined diamonds are. And at up to 50% less, there’s really no reason to buy mined. Not now. Not ever. 

Cue the 4Cs

No two lab diamonds are the same. Each one sparkles and delights in its own unique way. But with so many options, the 4C’s of Diamond Quality can be confusing.

For starters, we don’t let any quality below an SI2 clarity, J color or Good cut diamond leave our inventory. Because we take quality standards seriously. Are you ready to get serious about your quality standards?

Diamond Cut Grade

A diamond’s cut—often confused with diamond shape though very different—is important as it analyzes the way its facets interact with light. In other words, how sparkly do you want to go? Brilliance, fire and scintillation are some of the ways a diamond’s sparkle is graded.

At 12FIFTEEN, we use our own diamond grading standard. We only provide loose lab diamonds that are Good, Very Good, Ideal and Super Ideal. Anything less wouldn’t be the standard we hold for ourselves. You won’t find Excellent in our inventory as it’s slightly below Ideal and we prefer good, better and best.

A Super Ideal diamond is one that is absolutely perfect in every way. For some, there’s no better way to symbolize their love than with perfection.

Diamond Color Grade

Diamond color starts at D (colorless) and goes all the way to Z (visible color). We don’t sell anything less than a J. Why? Because that’s just not our standard.

We want you to be proud to show off the diamond color that makes the most sense to you. When nothing but near-colorless will do, we have your back.

Diamond Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the weight of a diamond. While some couples opt for a 1-carat diamond, with lab, you can get more bling for your buck.

Go bold and flashy for the same price, or choose modest and spend less. It’s really that simple.

Diamond Clarity Grade

Most diamonds, whether lab or mined, have inclusions and blemishes. Diamond clarity ranges from visible to the eye to completely flawless.

We don’t sell anything below Slightly Included so you can be confident in your diamond’s appearance.

Your Standards.

Your Choice.

At 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, we take quality seriously. Like guaranteeing our lab diamonds are the lowest price, serious. But it doesn’t stop there. 

We offer a variety of premium lab diamonds that are the best of the best. From grown in the USA to certified sustainable, we have a range of options to fit your needs—whatever your standards might be.

Lab diamonds grown exclusively in the USA.

We carry a curated selection of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) grown diamonds. Our USA grown “rough” lab diamonds are then sent to offshore facilities to be cut and polished to perfection.

We carry a selection of CVD lab diamonds that are grown, cut and polished in the USA.

These are some of the rarest and highest quality lab diamonds on the market. We know that to some, lab diamonds that are made in the USA give peace of mind knowing they are the most superior option out there.

Exclusive lab diamonds that are certified sustainable and grown in the USA.

Our selection of sustainable lab diamonds are certified 100% Climate Neutral and Sustainability Rated through Scientific Certification Systems Inc. (SCS). This means you don’t have to compromise on your standards. All the sparkle, without the ethical implications.

*Learn more about the sustainability guarantee here.

We carry a selection of lab diamonds sustainably created with zero emissions and grown in the USA.

We’re holding true to our word. That is, helping the world be a better place one diamond at a time. That starts with building a carbon neutral future. Our collection of Zero Emissions lab diamonds are certified by Natural Capital Partners.

*Learn more about the carbon neutral guarantee here

One-of-a-kind as grown diamonds.

Our selection of As Grown lab diamonds are free of post-growth treatments. These treatments enhance the color grade, diamond clarity and chemical composition using advanced technology.

While these treatments only help to create a more flawless appearance, some prefer treatment-free diamonds that are unique in their own way. As grown to be uniquely you.

Unique lab diamonds that are perfect in every way.

We use a precise cutting process to achieve an almost perfect round brilliant lab diamond when it comes to symmetry, fire, brilliance and scintillation. The result? Almost perfect lab diamonds that radiate a hearts and arrows pattern when viewed through a professional scope.

The perfect symbol to represent your heart.

Quality High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) lab diamonds.

Our HPHT diamonds are created under intense pressure and temperature—similar to that of a mined diamond. They are of the highest quality. So much so that many don’t even require post-growth treatment.

Their uniform and crystalline structure are as perfect as your love.

Quality Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) lab diamonds.

Our CVD diamonds are created using advanced technology. That means our manufacturers can grow diamonds in larger carat weights. Plus, each one is of the highest diamond quality so you can spend your time thinking about the important things—like planning your perfect wedding.

Your Key to Advanced
Diamond Measurements

At 12FIFTEEN, we go the extra mile. Why? Because we want you to be confident in your purchase. Advanced diamond cut measurements can help you make the right choice.

Measurements such as ratio and polish are helpful when understanding the full picture. After all, shopping for a prized adornment online can be challenging without knowing what to look for.

Here are some key measurements to know when considering the cut grade of your diamond engagement ring or piece of fine jewelry.

The length-to-width ratio (L:W) compares a diamond’s length to its width to show how the stone appears when viewed from a bird’s eye view. This is especially important when shopping for a fancy-shaped diamond—which is anything other than a round brilliant.

The ratio you choose is a matter of personal preference. While some individuals prefer an elongated diamond shape, others prefer a square shape.

Fluorescence refers to when a diamond emits a soft glow when placed under ultraviolet light—such as a black light.

In diamonds with a lot of fluorescence, there may be some interference with the flow of light which can be seen by the untrained eye. Though diamonds with no fluorescence through medium usually go unnoticed.

A diamond’s polish represents the degree of smoothness of each facet as determined by a gemologist.

Polish grades of Good or higher share a similar effect on brilliance. This means all are suitable for fine jewelry.

Diamond symmetry is how accurately the facets of a diamond align and intersect. If facets are misaligned, the diamond may poorly reflect light. 

At 12FIFTEEN, we make sure each of our diamonds reflects light properly.

A diamond’s table percentage represents the ratio of the width of the stone’s top facet in comparison to the width of the stone.

This is the largest facet of a diamond, making it one of the most important to understand. A good table should be balanced. If not, it could have issues refracting light.

Depth percentage is determined by dividing a diamond’s total height—from the culet to the table—by its total width.

Great diamonds are all about proportion. The more proportionate, the better a diamond will interact with light.

The girdle is the narrow section that separates the diamond’s crown from the pavilion. This is important for evaluating the thickness of a diamond.

Many retailers omit diamond girdle measurements, but we believe it’s important for determining the overall symmetry of a diamond.

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