We test all recommended products and services independently and exhaustively. If you buy through our links, we might receive compensation. Our recommendations are not influenced by monetary considerations. Learn more.
In this guide to buying the best lab-grown diamonds, we will teach you all you need to know to find the perfect lab-grown diamond at the best possible price.
We’ll explore what makes lab-grown diamonds the best, how to evaluate lab-created diamond quality, and what aspects of lab diamonds matter the most. You’ll discover how quality impacts diamond prices and learn how to buy the best lab-grown diamonds. We’ll end by suggesting the best places to purchase lab-created diamonds and jewelry and the best places for lab-grown diamond engagement rings.
Let’s start our guide to the best lab-grown diamonds by understanding what lab-created diamonds are.
- Understanding Lab-Grown Diamonds
- Evaluating Quality to Find the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
- The Benefits of Choosing Lab-Grown Diamonds
- Top tips for finding the best lab-grown diamond
- Where to Buy the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
- Our Recommended Jewelers for the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
- How to Care for Your Lab-Grown Diamond
- The Future of Lab-Grown Diamonds
- FAQs About Buying the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Understanding Lab-Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds, also known as lab-created or simply lab diamonds, are not some sci-fi fantasy. Lab-created diamonds have been around for quite a while now. Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one of the world’s most respected diamond grading organizations, has studied them since 1940 when General Electric and researchers explored the possibilities of creating diamonds in a laboratory.
The term ‘lab-grown’ might make you think these gems are fake. But don’t be fooled. These sparklers share the same physical and chemical properties as their natural counterparts mined from Earth. Lab-created diamonds are not a diamond alternative like Cubic Zirconia. Lab-grown diamonds are natural diamonds.
The Making of the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Making lab-grown diamonds is like baking a cake – but instead of flour and eggs, labs use carbon atoms under high temperature and pressure conditions similar to those deep in the Earth where natural diamonds form. This process is called High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT).
Another and recently more popular method uses Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). It involves breaking down gas molecules into carbon atoms that attach to a tiny diamond seed until it grows big enough to cut into jewelry-grade stones.
Identifying Lab-Grown Diamonds: The Eye Can’t See What Science Can Reveal.
It’s impossible to tell if a diamond is natural or lab-made just by looking at it; only trained experts and specialized equipment can make this determination. It requires specialized machines and skilled gemologists since lab-grown and mined diamonds are essentially the same. For instance, GIA grades every diamond – natural or lab-created – for its Four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.
Besides their origin story – one from deep within Earth over billions of years versus weeks or months in a lab – lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. However, they may have different growth patterns and trace elements that can be detected through scientific analysis. To identify lab diamonds, they look for telltale signs of lab growth, such as metallic inclusions (tiny bits of metal trapped inside) that wouldn’t occur naturally.
Lab-grown diamonds aren’t sci-fi or fake but real gems identical to natural ones in physical and chemical properties. Made using carbon atoms under high temperature and pressure, they’re indistinguishable to the naked eye from mined diamonds. Only pros with specialized machines can spot differences like unique growth patterns or trace elements.
Evaluating Quality to Find the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
When choosing the best lab-grown diamonds, four factors stand out: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Let’s dig into each one.
The cut of a diamond doesn’t just refer to its shape but also how well it has been cut from its rough state. This is what gives a diamond its brilliance and sparkle. The better the cut, the more your diamond will shine under light.
A high-quality lab-grown diamond should be cut precisely. If not done correctly, light can leak out, resulting in less sparkle.
Keep an eye on symmetry as well; perfect alignment allows for maximum light reflection, which means more fire and brilliance.
The best lab-grown diamonds will always have the highest possible cut grade. The best lab-grown diamond cut grade is either Excellent or Ideal, depending on the grading institute.
Diamonds come in many colors, but when we discuss grading them, we look at their lack of color – or how ‘white’ they are. According to GIA’s D-to-Z Color Scale, D signifies completely colorless, while Z indicates noticeable yellow or brown tinting.
In terms of lab-grown diamonds, though, you’ll find most range between D (colorless) and J (near colorless).
Colorless diamonds, graded D, E, and F, are the most expensive. But it is very hard to distinguish colorless diamonds from near-colorless, graded G, H, I, and J. We recommend saving money and going for a near-colorless lab diamond. This will allow you to pick the highest cut grade and get the best lab-grown diamond.
The clarity refers to both internal (inclusions) and external (blemishes) flaws present within or on a diamond. Fewer imperfections mean higher clarity. The GIA grades clarity from Included cases where blemishes are visible with the naked eye up to Flawless grade, where no inclusions or blemishes are visible under 10x magnification.
Most lab-grown diamonds fall within the VVS (Very Very Slightly Included) or SI (Slightly Included) categories. These have minor inclusions not visible without magnification, making them a good value choice for those who want a balance between beauty and budget.
We recommend buying a lab diamond graded between VS2 and VVS1, which will have excellent quality and the best diamond value. You may be lucky to find an SI-graded lab diamond with very few inclusions, but you must invest a lot of time assessing it. A safer bet will be VS-graded lab diamonds.
Wrapping up, we focus on carat weight. This is what usually pops into people’s minds when thinking about diamond size. But it actually tells us the diamond’s weight, not its dimensions. One carat equates to 200 milligrams in weight. Yet remember, two diamonds of identical carat may look different based on their cut.
That is why we recommend first focusing on the other four Cs and then determining the desired carat weight based on your available diamond budget.
Summary of lab-grown diamond quality
When on the hunt for the best lab-grown diamonds, remember to focus on four crucial aspects: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. A superb cut guarantees that desired sparkle; colors leaning towards ‘whiter’ secure a higher position in the D-to-Z scale; having fewer imperfections signifies superior clarity; and don’t forget – carat is all about weight rather than size. Striking a balance among these factors can lead you straight to a diamond that truly shines.
The Benefits of Choosing Lab-Grown Diamonds
So, why should you consider lab-grown diamonds? The answer lies in their ethical sourcing, environmental impact, and cost-effectiveness. These advantages give them an edge over natural diamonds.
In addition to being financially accessible, lab-grown diamonds have several other advantages over their mined counterparts. They are eco-friendly as they require less water and create less waste; ethically sourced because no mining means no human rights abuses; and identical in physical properties to natural diamonds – so you don’t compromise on sparkle!
Ethical Sourcing: No Blood on These Gems
You’ve probably heard the term’ blood diamond’. It refers to mined gems linked to human rights abuses or conflict zones. With Human Rights Watch reporting severe issues in many mining regions, it’s still an issue today.
Lab-grown diamonds offer a clear conscience because they’re not dug out of the Earth but made above ground in labs under strict regulations. This ensures your sparkling gem is 100% free from social or political baggage.
Saving Mother Earth One Diamond at a Time
Diamond mining can cause severe ecological damage due to deforestation and soil erosion. A report by Environmental Justice Atlas shows how communities are devastated by these practices.
In contrast, creating lab-grown diamonds results in significantly less waste and carbon emissions compared to traditional mining methods. So, while you’re flashing that beautiful rock on your finger, you’re also doing Mother Earth a favor.
Your Wallet Will Thank You: Cost-Effectiveness Explained
If you think going green means shelling out more greenbacks, think again. Lab-grown diamonds can be up to 60-80% cheaper than their natural counterparts.
This is because the lab process is more predictable and less resource-intensive than mining. So you get all the dazzle without burning a hole in your pocket.
A Diamond Is Forever: Quality and Durability
Regarding durability and quality, lab-grown diamonds hold their own against mined ones. The GIA has verified that lab-created diamonds possess the same physical and chemical characteristics as mined ones. So you can be confident that your lab-grown diamond will stand the test of time.
Summary of lab-grown diamond benefits
Considering lab-grown diamonds? Here’s why you should. They’re ethically sourced, so no ‘blood diamond’ worries here. Plus, they’re better for the environment and your wallet – less waste and up to 80% cheaper than natural ones. And don’t worry about quality; these gems are just as durable and dazzling.
Top tips for finding the best lab-grown diamond
Lab-grown diamonds are an excellent choice when purchasing a beautiful, high-quality, and sustainable piece of jewelry. These gems offer all the brilliance and sparkle of mined diamonds without the environmental impact or ethical concerns. However, like any significant purchase, buying a lab-grown diamond requires some knowledge and research.
Understand What Makes A Diamond High-Quality
You must understand how diamonds are evaluated to find the best lab-grown diamonds. The quality of both mined and lab-grown diamonds is determined by four main factors: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight (known as 4Cs). It’s essential to understand these characteristics when shopping for your perfect gemstone.
- Cut: How a diamond is cut affects its ability to reflect light. Look for stones with Excellent or Ideal grades only for the finest lab-grown diamonds.
- Color: Lab-created diamonds can range from colorless (the most desirable) to yellowish. Color grades D through F are considered top-tier but are expensive. Aim for GHI or J grades instead and get the best lab-grown diamond.
- Clarity: This refers to internal or external flaws — known as inclusions or blemishes, respectively — that can affect a stone’s appearance. Lab diamonds graded VS or VVS are the best value and quality.
- Carat Weight: While larger diamonds may be more impressive at first glance, they’re not necessarily better quality than smaller ones. Let your budget decide the weight, but only after finding diamonds with the above best diamond grades.
Purchase From Reputable Retailers
You want assurance that you’re getting exactly what you pay for when investing in a diamond – whether natural or created in a laboratory environment. Therefore, always buy from reputable retailers who provide detailed information about their products, including certificates from respected gemological institutes such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
Consider Your Budget
The cost of lab-grown diamonds varies greatly depending on their quality and size. However, they’re generally more affordable than mined diamonds; you can expect to save between 60-80%.
Where to Buy the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Purchasing lab-grown diamonds can feel daunting, but with the proper guidance, it doesn’t have to be. No matter your shopping preference, we have you covered.
Let’s explore some of the top places to buy these sparkling gems.
The Online Market: Convenience at Your Fingertips
If convenience is critical for you, buying lab-grown diamonds online might be your best bet. Numerous trustworthy online diamond jewelers offer high-quality, lab-grown diamonds.
One of the benefits of shopping for the best lab diamonds online is that you can easily compare thousands of diamonds at once. You can filter and sort based on your requirements, and some online jewelers, such as Ritani, will even recommend better diamonds.
Another pro of buying diamonds online is that you can inspect the stone in detail by studying the high-definition images and 360-degree visuals. You can also find all relevant diamond information, and the best jewelers offer direct access to the diamond certificates, which will tell you about any flaws and where to find them.
James Allen offers the best diamond inspection features, but all our recommended lab diamond jewelers will give you access to HD images, certificates, and everything you need to evaluate the diamonds to find the best stones.
If you are looking for sustainable diamonds, Brilliant Earth offers an extensive collection of ethically sourced lab-grown diamonds that cater to different tastes and budgets.
In-Store Shopping: A Personal Touch
For those who appreciate seeing and touching before purchasing – physical stores remain a good option when looking for quality synthetic diamond retailers.
Ritani has a different setup, collaborating with local jewelers and allowing you to see the diamonds in person before you buy.
Our Recommended Jewelers for the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
A few names should be on your radar if you’re searching for the best lab-grown diamonds. These companies have made their presence known by offering premium, responsibly sourced diamonds comparable to the finest natural stones.
Ritani review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ritani tops our list of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds because of their market-leading low prices and price transparency, the most extensive inventory of lab diamonds, customization options, and jewelry store partnership. That makes Ritani one of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds.
Summary of the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds
Looking for top-notch lab-grown diamonds? Check out Clean Origin’s low-priced lab diamond jewelry, Ritani’s customizable rings, James Allen’s fantastic shopping and service, or Brilliant Earth’s ethical and transparent sourcing. These brands have aced the game of creating high-quality, ethically sourced stones that give natural ones a run for their money.
How to Care for Your Lab-Grown Diamond
Caring for your lab-grown diamond isn’t rocket science, but it does need a little TLC. Like its natural counterpart, a lab-grown diamond is tough—it’s the hardest substance on Earth, but that doesn’t mean you should treat it like an indestructible superhero.
Cleaning Your Lab-Grown Diamond
To keep your lab-grown diamond sparkling, regular cleaning is key. But before you start scrubbing away with whatever’s at hand, let me share some wisdom from our personal experience. You don’t want to end up like me, who once thought toothpaste was an excellent cleaner (spoiler alert: It wasn’t).
The safest method is simply using warm water and mild dish soap. Soak your jewelry in this mixture for about 30 minutes, then gently clean it with a soft brush (GIA recommends an unused toothbrush). After soaking in the warm water and dish soap solution, rinse your jewelry with running warm water and dry it completely with a lint-free cloth.
Avoiding Damage During Wear
You love showing off that bling—we get it. But wearing your diamonds during rigorous activities or when working with harsh chemicals can potentially damage them or their settings.
- If you’re hitting the gym or doing any strenuous work around the house (like moving furniture), leave those diamonds behind.
- Beware of chlorine bleach – yes, even household cleaners – as they can discolor mountings and eventually weaken them, causing potential loss of stones.
Note: If accidental exposure occurs, remember our handy cleaning tips above.
Safe Storage of Your Lab Grown Diamond
The best place for your lab-grown diamond when you’re not wearing it is in a fabric-lined jewelry box or case with compartments. This isn’t just to make them feel special—it helps prevent scratches and damage from other jewelry pieces.
- If storing multiple items together, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper.
- Avoid extreme temperatures – both heat and cold can adversely affect the metal parts of your jewelry.
Summary of lab-grown diamond care
Looking after your lab-grown diamond isn’t complex. Regular cleaning, cautious wear, and safe storage are crucial. Clean with warm water and mild dish soap, avoid wearing during strenuous activities or when using harsh chemicals, and store in a fabric-lined box to prevent damage.
The Future of Lab-Grown Diamonds
With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, the future of lab-grown diamonds looks bright. The possibilities are exciting and vast – let’s take a closer look.
Tech Advancements in Diamond Creation
Innovation is at the heart of lab-grown diamond production. Scientists continue refining techniques for creating these gems, leading to more efficient processes and higher-quality results. Some researchers have even begun experimenting with new methods that could revolutionize how we make diamonds altogether.
A fascinating development is microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD), which promises faster growth rates and better control over impurities. This might not sound as thrilling as a Hollywood blockbuster but believe us, it’s big news in the world of sparkly rocks.
Consumer Attitudes: A Growing Preference for Lab-Grown Diamonds
People today care about where their products come from more than ever before. There’s a growing awareness around ethical sourcing issues associated with natural diamond mining – this isn’t just restricted to your hipster friend who insists on organic everything. As consumers become increasingly conscious shoppers, they show greater interest in ethically produced alternatives like lab-grown diamonds.
Research suggests that younger generations particularly prefer manufactured stones due to their lower environmental impact and absence of conflict-related concerns compared to mined counterparts.
Potential Impact on the Natural Diamond Industry
As manufactured stones become more favored, the natural diamond industry will likely experience a dramatic shift in market share. But how much of an impact can we expect? Some experts predict a significant shift in market share over the next few decades.
However, others argue that natural and synthetic diamonds cater to different markets. The former is valued for its rarity and historical significance, while the latter is appreciated for its ethical sourcing and cost-effectiveness.
Summary of the future of lab-grown diamonds
As tech advancements surge, lab-grown diamonds’ future shines bright. New techniques like MPCVD promise faster growth and fewer impurities. With consumers increasingly valuing ethical sourcing, the appeal of these manufactured gems grows, too. However, this could impact the natural diamond industry and potentially saturate the market – so hold tight for a sparkly ride.
FAQs About Buying the Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Which diamond lab is the best?
What is the best lab certification for lab-grown diamonds?
Are laboratory diamonds worth anything?
Are lab-grown diamonds recommended?
So, we’ve unraveled the mystery of buying the best lab-grown diamonds. We’ve delved into their creation, dissected quality factors, and explored top brands offering the best lab-grown diamonds.
We’ve also discovered why they’re a game-changer: ethical sourcing, less environmental impact, and cost-effectiveness. A trifecta that’s hard to beat!
Are you taking care of these sparkling beauties? We’ve got you covered with pro tips! Plus, finding your perfect gem is easier than ever – online or in-store.
The future shines bright for lab-grown diamonds. As technology advances and attitudes shift… who knows what’s next?
What’s certain, though? The journey has just begun for these scientific marvels – this is where sparkle meets science like never before!