Lab-grown diamonds have been the center of debate ever since their emergence to the jewelry scene in the late 1950’s. Controversial as they are, lab diamonds are 100% the real deal. As a matter of fact, all lab-grown diamonds are classified by the highest of industry ratings.

Lab-grown diamonds have a DNA makeup that classifies them as something we call Type IIa in the diamond industry. Rewind a few (or more) years, and Type IIa diamonds were the rarest of stones, fetching a premium to non-Type IIa, which were typically mined diamonds.

Okay, wait a second...you may be thinking that this sounds like a whole lot of stuff you know a whole lot of nothing about. Hey Siri, What Does Type IIa Even Mean?

You know what, we’ll just take it from here.

Introducing Type IIa Diamonds

A ‘type’ of diamond refers to a way to classify the diamond based on their color and physical properties, according to GIA, the world’s foremost authority in gemology. There are four classifications when it comes to diamond types: Type Ia, Type Ib, Type IIa, and Type IIb.

The GIA states that Type lla is the only classification that implies that the diamond has no measurable amounts of impurities. Impurities can include other chemicals in the diamonds’ composition, such as nitrogen or boron. As we know and have discussed before, real diamonds are created of pure carbon. If a diamond is Type IIa, then there are no significant traces of other chemical impurities. The diamond is almost purely just carbon.

Still with us? Good! Let’s continue.

Diamond Types 101

Now that we know a little bit more about what Type IIa means in reference to diamonds, let’s discuss why this type is superior compared to the three other types; the Matcha of diamonds, the Whole Foods of diamonds, the Nordstrom versus Nordstrom Rack of diamonds...okay, okay, you get it.

As mentioned above, diamonds are classified as one of four types: Type Ia, Type Ib, Type IIa, and Type IIb.

Let’s take a quick second to very simply touch on how these diamond classification Types differ from one another.

Types Ia and Ib are the subcategories of the most common diamond classification: Type I. These classifications contain traces of nitrogen within their crystal lattice. Opposed to all carbon, nitrogen replaces some of the carbon atoms within the diamond makeup, therefore classifying as a type Ia or type Ib diamond.

Contrastingly, types IIa and IIb are subcategories of Type II diamonds, and may contain traces of boron within their crystal lattice. Since we’ve previously discussed that Type IIa diamonds are just about entirely carbon, that must mean Type IIb diamonds contain boron atoms, which replace some of the carbon atoms within the diamond lattice. Therefore, a Type IIb classification.

See, pretty simple! Bill Nye, who?

Let’s keep going.

Type IIa diamonds are nearly colorless; the presence of nitrogen within a diamond creates a yellow-ish hue (a.k.a, Type Ia and Type Ib diamonds might resemble a lovely hue of some kind of watered-down lemon lime flavored sports drink...just keepin’ it real here!). According to online diamond source CaratsDirect2U, a colored presence is due to the absorption of wavelengths of light. Therefore, a lack of this yellow presence makes for a nearly colorless diamond, nonetheless, a well sought after, very valuable stone.

Some color variations of Type IIa diamonds include gray-brown, yellow, pink, light blue, or light green. More often than not, the Type IIa classification of diamond is nearly colorless. But how?

Because science, that's how!

No but really, the diamond lattice containing its chemical makeup is arranged in a manner that allows light to pass through it, opposed to absorbing short waves of ultraviolet light wavelengths. Thus, appearing colorless.

A colorless diamond is the most sought after by customers, because of their beauty and sense of perfection due to nearly zero impurities. Afterall, the industry’s rating for a diamond is Type IIa. Colored diamonds are especially valued and unique and are often times considered collectable items. According to online diamond source CaratsDirect2U, “On average, a diamond that is certified as Type IIa is valued at between 2-3% more than the same diamond that is not certified as Type IIa.” And with good reason!

A Type lla diamond should always be high on your ‘must have’ diamond check list!

Okay ladies now let’s get in summarization!

Carat’sDirect2U, online diamond source and blog, featured a wonderful summary of diamond classification Types on an online article, which is summarized down below:

  • Type I diamonds are the most common, representing 98% of all natural diamonds. These have detectable traces of Nitrogen.

  • Type Ia diamonds contain clusters of Nitrogen atoms throughout the crystal structure of the stone and tend to emit a yellowish tone.

  • Type Ib diamonds contain Nitrogen atoms as singular atoms compared to clusters. These stones are 0.1% of all diamonds and emit a strong yellow, orange, brown and even green color tone.

  • Type IIa diamonds are the most valuable and consequently are very collectable items. They contain either very little or no Nitrogen atoms in the crystal structure of the stones. White stones are exceptionally colorless and fancy colored diamonds are often found with a brown, purple, or pink tone. They represent only 1% - 2% of all diamonds.

  • Type IIb diamonds contain elements of Boron within the diamond structure, often emitting a blue or gray tone. They represent only 0.1% of diamonds; consequently, they are also very valuable.

The Superior: Lab-Grown

Not to toot our own horn but...all lab-grown diamonds are classified as Type IIa diamonds due to their DNA composition. *Brushes shoulders off* After all, their composition is entirely created by experts within a laboratory. No outside (no pun intended) influences or impurities.

Did you know that less than 2 percent of the world’s mined diamonds are pure enough to be classified as Type IIa? A big thanks to M. Geller’s online blog about lab-grown diamonds, because now you do!

Mined diamonds form and crystallize, 100 miles deep into the earth’s mantle, for years and years on end. There is no control in their chemical makeup, or how each diamond gets crystallized. Geology.com explains an even more interesting take on mined diamonds, which states that diamonds can be formed in different areas, not just exclusively in the earth’s mantle.

Theories include the following areas where diamonds have naturally formed: the mantle, subduction zones, impact sites, even space. Differing areas of the earth can affect the formation of diamonds due to different sediment, chemicals, or overall growing environments. According to Geology.com, diamonds formed within the subduction zone of the earth can contain traces of seawater, carbonate rocks, or even particles of plant degree. Doesn’t sound like a diamond with zero impurities, now does it? Humans have zero say in how Mother Nature’s wonders are produced, after all.

In a controlled laboratory setting, however, we not only can reduce our carbon footprint and reduce the environmental damage caused by diamond mining, but we (more so highly experienced experts on the related subject, let’s be real) can completely control the chemical process of diamond creation at a much faster production rate, with no outside or environmental influences. Thus, no nitrogen, boron, sediment, or debri impurities caused by earthly fossilization.

Simply put, carbon atoms are placed into a high pressure/high temperature chamber. Over the course of a few months, those carbon atoms come together to form into a crystalized rough diamond.

Ta-da! Nothing but carbon atoms and science. Okay, maybe a bit more is involved but you get the idea. If you’re interested in learning more about the process of how lab diamonds are created, check out our previous journal about the brief history of lab-grown diamonds.

A natural mined diamond containing minimal chemical impurities and a nearly colorless appearance is an extremely rare occurrence. We could assume that for such rare diamonds that exist, their cost would be (probably is) astronomical! A perfect, colorless diamond created and mined naturally, after almost billions of years, being affordable to the public? Don’t know her!

Type IIa diamonds are a worthwhile investment, due to their unique flawless nature, especially those of stunning colors and large carat sizes. Should you be able to afford and/or get your hands on a Type IIa diamond (spoiler alert: you can!), they are definitely money well spent.

And now, Type IIa diamonds are the standard for HauteCarat.

That’s why our team takes such pride in our unique process and what we do. We’re able to offer affordable, gorgeous, and most importantly ethical Type IIa diamonds to customers who aren’t necessarily collectors or wealthy moguls... just every day, extraordinary women, bride-to-be’s, or boss babes who don’t need a man!

Now, you can’t necessarily say the same for mined diamonds. Which is why you should shop HauteCarat, like, yesterday.


“About Lab Grown Diamonds.” M. Geller. (View Online)

“Digging Into Diamond Types.” GIA. (View Online)

“Is Buying A Type IIa Diamond A Smart Investment?” CaratsDirect2U. (View Online)

King, Hobart M. “How Do Diamonds Form?” Geology.com (View Online)

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