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Types of Diamonds

What is it that makes a diamond so special? Every single one is unique. From variations in cut, clarity, color, and carat to the shape and unique flaws, every stone has its own story to tell.

Zales offers jewelry made with all types of diamonds, including natural, lab-created, and a range of colored diamonds. Before you decide on the type of diamond that’s right for you, take some time to learn their differences.

At a basic level, there are two types of diamonds to choose from: natural and lab-created, which can be found in a range of colors beyond the typical white or clear. Natural and lab-created diamonds develop in different places on very different timelines; however, they share the same optical, chemical, and physical properties. Both types are evaluated on the 4Cs: color, cut, carat, and clarity.

Learn what sets these diamonds apart to determine the best type for you.

Natural Diamonds

Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds are formed over millions of years from carbon deposits that sit deep beneath the earth’s surface. These deposits were exposed to high temperatures and pressure, and eventually, a volcanic eruption forced them to the surface, where they were mined. Since they take so long to form, the supply of natural diamonds is finite, making them rare and valuable.

Before you decide if a natural diamond is right for you, learn more about its nuances and the importance of responsible sourcing.

Lab-Created Diamonds

Lab-Created Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds are made from the same material as a natural diamond but are formed in a controlled environment in a much shorter time frame. Since they are grown under supervision, lab-created diamonds come out colorless with few inclusions visible to the naked eye, which is the key to a quality stone. Zales uses only certified colorless lab-created diamonds with few to no inclusions in its lab-created diamond jewelry.

Rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces can all be made with lab-created diamonds, and since they are potentially unlimited (unlike natural diamonds), they are generally more affordable. Learn more about lab-created diamonds to determine if they’re right for you.

Colored Diamonds

Colored Diamonds

Natural and lab-created diamonds can also come in many colors, including black, pink, blue, yellow, and many more. As they develop, non-carbon atoms or changes in pressure can alter the clear or white appearance of the stone. Naturally occurring colored diamonds are rare, which makes them even more valuable.

From engagement rings to necklaces to earrings, colored diamonds are gaining popularity for their unique look. Learn more about colored diamonds and explore the types of jewelry they work well with.

More Diamond Resources

The 4Cs of Diamonds

The importance of carat, cut, color and clarity.

Responsible Sourcing

Read our 100% conflict-free promise.

Anatomy of a Diamond

Understand diamond characteristics inside and out to select the best stone.
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