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Do We Have to Remove a Diamond from its Setting to Detect If It's a Lab-Grown Stone?

We get a lot of inquiries regarding the possibility of testing a faceted (fully cut) diamond that has already been mounted onto a metal setting. People often ask if they need to remove their diamonds from the gold or platinum mounting first before setting an appointment.

Our laboratory's current setup of instruments allow our gemological staff to properly test *most diamonds for natural identity confirmation without requiring removal from setting. There may be rare exception cases where certain types of mountings or settings would cover the stone too much- however for the vast majority of natural diamond jewelry, yes we can perform identity detection tests on stones without the need for unmounting procedures.

Our spectrometric instrumentation is supplemented by microscopic evaluation, color-master comparison and many other applicable instrumental tests such as LW and SW UV observation. Lab-grown (or man-made) diamonds by the way, are not the product of gemological labs. They are called 'lab-grown' because they are manufactured by private companies through joint factory lab projects that require high grade machinery to artificially grow the stones. Gemological labs do not grow, buy, sell or endorse lab-grown diamonds, our only function is to detect them using existing research and scientific instrumentation, in order to help the public gain better knowledge on their item.

Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are chemically diamond. They are both essentially made up of carbon, and the main differences that the trade is concerned with is the proper disclosure of one from the other. Natural diamonds cannot be grown, and can be separated from man-made diamonds. Their value is different (higher) on virtually all international markets, but the value of lab-grown diamonds is still significant as well. CVD and HPHT lab-grown diamonds are much more valuable compared to diamond simulants such as moissanite and cubic zirconia.

Standard pen-hold jewelry testers, diamond testers (thermal conductivity testers) and moissanite testers will not be able to separate lab-grown diamonds from natural diamonds. It is important to note this when dealing with the purchase or sale of a diamond from absolutely anyone, including friends, pawnshops and jewelry establishments. Have the proper testing done to make sure your diamond is exactly what a seller describes it to be (whether that be a natural stone or a man-made stone, both are valid products of the jewelry trade).
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