Spotlight: A guide to blue diamonds

Blue-colored diamonds are incredibly rare, so it only makes sense that they’re a coveted shade for fashion-forward accessory wearers around the world. In nature, a blue diamond ranges from a faint blue hue to a richly saturated shade that almost seems purple. At Lightbox, our lab-grown blue diamonds are tonally aligned to a bright and crisp icy blue shade that is perfect for ear parties, stacking bracelets, and layering necklaces. That’s the beauty of Lightbox lab-grown diamonds. You get the same chemical properties as a natural diamond and the fun of finding your personal style in beautiful colors.

Shop our collection of blue lab-grown diamonds here and read on for the 4-1-1 on this coveted diamond shade.

What are colored diamonds?

Simply put, colored diamonds are a natural or lab-grown diamond with a hued body color rather than classic white diamonds.

Are blue diamonds real?

Yes, all colored diamonds are real in both their natural and lab-grown state. Just like with white diamonds, lab-grown diamonds share the same chemical makeup as natural diamonds, and they are optically identical. The biggest differences between natural and lab-created diamonds are how they’re made and their rarity. When it comes to colored stones, it is that rare quality that drives the price of natural stones higher.

Blue Diamonds vs. Sapphires

While blue diamonds are real diamonds—in both their natural and lab-grown iterations—they are not sapphires. Sapphires come in a rainbow of colors, their most common and well-known color is blue, which is why they are commonly confused with blue diamonds. However, sapphires are an entirely different gemstone than diamonds. 

To the naked eye, it can be hard to tell the difference between a sapphire and a blue diamond, since both stones come in a range of blue hues. To be sure, it’s best to have the stone examined by a certified gemologist or buy from a reputable supplier (like us!).

Colored gemstones vs. Colored lab-grown diamonds

Colored gemstones are great for costume jewelry and are commonly found in trendy multi-colored diamond rings and earrings. Adding brightly-hued accessories is a great way to express your mood or personal style. However, there is a difference between colored gemstones and colored lab-grown and natural diamonds. Colored diamonds made in a lab, like the ones at Lightbox, retain the quality of a diamond—like the eye-catching scintillation, fire, and sparkle—that is unmatched by a gemstone. This is the major point of difference between colored diamonds and colored gemstones. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how simulated diamonds compare to natural and lab-grown diamonds, check out this guide.

What is a blue diamond?

A blue diamond is a fancy colored diamond with a blue hue.

In nature, blue diamonds are extremely rare which makes them highly covetable and highly expensive. Their rarity comes from their location: some blue diamonds form at an extreme depth that is approximately four times deeper than most diamonds.

What Makes a Blue Diamond Blue?

According to GIA, the presence of boron impurities is often responsible for the color of natural blue diamonds. However, their color can also be caused by radiation exposure or associated with hydrogen.

Famous blue diamonds

The 45.52 carats Hope diamond is the most famous blue diamond in the world—and also one of the world’s most famous stones. 

Another eye-catching whopper is the 35.56 ct Wittelsbach Blue, which is one of the largest historic blue diamonds ever fashioned. It was stolen in Munich in 1931 and bounced between secret buyers and underground jewelry exchanges before it was sold at Christie’s in London in 2008 for £‌23.00 million USD, which at the time was a record price for a diamond at auction. 

Kate Middleton wears one of the most famous blue stones in the world on her ring finger. But did you know the center stone on her heirloom engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana is actually sapphire?

Lightbox colored diamonds

According to GIA, only 1 in 10,000 natural diamonds has a fancy color. This rarity drives the price up and up, which is why many people have turned to lab-grown diamonds that consistently produce gorgeous colors in a marketable quantity without the sticker shock. We love the idea of bringing the sparkle of a diamond to more people for any occasion. 

Lightbox colored lab-grown diamonds come in a variety of shapes, like a classic round brilliant, cushion, and princess, and they’re available in icy blue and blush pink. Each Lightbox stone is beautifully saturated and tonally aligned, allowing for jewelry stacking and curating a collection of your favorite colored stones. 

To learn more about Lightbox pink lab-grown diamonds, check out our full guide.

How Does Lightbox Make Colored Diamonds?

Lightbox colored lab-grown diamonds are grown in the same facility and with the same precise process as our white lab-grown diamonds. We achieve the saturated blue and pink shades by making intricate changes to the gas mixture that is pumped into the CVD reactor (that’s the machine that grows the diamonds from seed). In nature, diamonds take millions of years to form but our scientists can grow a one carat diamond in about two weeks. Once the growing process is complete, a post-growth enhancement is applied to the colored stones, and then it is sent for cutting, polishing, and finally hand-set into earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. After our quality control inspectors review each piece, checking to make sure the prongs are secure and the metal is polished to a shine, the jewelry is ready to be sold, styled by you, and worn with everything. 

How to style blue diamonds

Our lab-grown blue diamonds are commonly set in either 14- or 10-karat white gold, or 10-karat yellow gold. The icy blue tone of the stone pops against all skin tones and really shines against the high polish of the white gold. Choosing to pair a lab-grown blue diamond with yellow gold adds a hit of yellow that really pops against the saturation of the blue stone.

Are colored diamonds more expensive?

When it comes to diamonds, rarity impacts the price. 

Natural and lab-grown diamonds in the D-to-Z range decrease in value as the color goes up, with the most coveted and expensive stones in the colorless range. The opposite is true of fancy colored diamonds, where a rich, pure hue means a higher price tag. A good example of this IRL is a canary diamond. A vibrant yellow will be significantly more costly than a muted stone. 

When you’re considering a natural colored diamond for your next piece of jewelry, the rarest and most valuable colors are saturated pinks, blues, and greens. In all cases, even very slight color differences can have a big impact on value.

Lab-grown diamonds have the benefit of consistency with coloring and the added perk of being less rare than natural diamonds. This helps our 800 USD pricing per carat model operate successfully, allowing colored lab-grown diamonds to be a part of your styles story very soon. 

To learn more about other colored diamonds, read our guide to pink diamonds here.

  • Our environmental commitment

    At Lightbox we are big on transparency and our commitment to reducing the footprint of our stones is a huge part of this. See more on how we grow our stones with 100% renewable energy.

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  • Visit the lab

    Explore the Lightbox Lab in Portland, Oregon, home to our world-leading technology producing up to 200,000 carats a year, each one always VS clarity, very good cut and now 'grown in the USA'.

  • Lab-grown FAQs, answered.

    Our leading technology means our lab-grown diamonds are among the highest quality you can find. Learn more about the science behind the sparkle with our guide to lab-grown diamonds.