Colored Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Rings – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Last Updated on March 13, 2023 by LabGrownCarats
In this ultimate guide to fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings, we tell you all you need to know about colored lab diamond engagement rings. We’ll explain what fancy colored diamonds are, how lab-grown diamonds are different from mined ones, how much you should pay for a colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring, and we will share our best tips on how to save on lab diamonds. Finally, we’ll advise you on what engagement rings to buy and the best places to buy colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings.
- How are fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds made?
- How rare are lab-grown colored diamonds?
- How much should you pay for a colored lab-grown engagement ring?
- How to choose a fancy color lab-grown diamond for your engagement ring?
- What is the best metal for colored lab-grown diamond rings?
- How to care for a fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring
- Where to buy colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings
SALES ALERT! Save when you buy at our best-rated lab diamond jewelers:
How are fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds made?
To produce the many diverse fancy diamond colors, scientists need to work with different types of impurities and elements. Some lab diamond colors are the results of the way light is absorbed and reflected due to a defect in the crystal structure.
When scientists create fancy color diamonds, they impart those elements by adding those to “colorless” diamonds with lower color grades unfit for selling in the colorless diamond market.
A concoction of extreme heat and impurities is what changes a low color-graded diamond into a beautiful lab-grown fancy colored diamond.
Treated colored diamonds vs. lab-grown colored diamonds
Though fancy color lab diamonds are technically “treated” to be colored, they are not the same as mined treated fancy colored diamonds.
The term “treated” refers to processes that have been done to mine gemstones to enhance them for better quality. With lab-grown fancy colored diamonds, treatments are usually done to improve color.
How rare are lab-grown colored diamonds?
Of all the advantages you get when buying a fancy colored lab-created engagement ring, rarity isn’t one of them. But the word “rare” can mean different things to different people.
Typically people equate rarity with value and value with money. So essentially, the rarer a stone is, the more valuable it is to resell. But lab-grown diamonds, even colored ones, don’t have much resale value. But if you love your colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring (and you will), you would not want to resell it, and resale value shouldn’t matter anyway, right?
Even natural diamonds don’t have great resale value, but some natural fancy color diamonds can keep their value. These are often put up at auctions and can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. But they also initially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we do not recommend investing in diamonds (you should rather invest in a productive economy).
Benefits of colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings
The ease of being able to create a colored diamond in the lab comes with a lot of benefits, but rarity, as mentioned, isn’t one. Rather, the benefits of buying a colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring are:
- 60-80% lower cost compared to mined diamonds
- Better diamond quality and more vivid fancy colors
- Not associated with the ethical issues sometimes linked to the mining of diamonds
- Lower or no negative impact on the environment, unlike mined diamonds
What we will say is that if you go with a fancy colored lab-grown diamond, you’ll be a rarity all on your own because you’ve selected a unique and stunning stone for your engagement ring. The likelihood of running into someone else with a lab-grown colored diamond engagement ring isn’t near as likely as a colorless one. But your colored diamond ring will be sure to attract attention!
Next, we’ll look at how much a colored lab-created diamond engagement rings costs and how much you should pay.
How much should you pay for a colored lab-grown engagement ring?
To find out how much you should pay for a fancy colored lab diamond engagement ring, we must first consider the diamond itself.
The bulk of the cost of your colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring will depend on how you’ve balanced the lab diamond 4Cs when picking out your loose diamond.
If you buy a colored lab-grown diamond with all the top grades, you’ll find yourself paying tens of thousands, depending on the color diamond chosen. But if you choose the lowest grades, you can pay $500 for a 1-carat fancy color lab-grown diamond.
You should also know that many retailers charge separately for your loose lab-grown diamond and the ring setting. Some places sell completed engagement rings that show you the full price. We always recommend that you pick the diamond yourself. The diamonds the store has paired the pre-set rings with tend to be of lower quality.
Instead, you should follow our guide to finding the perfect colored lab diamond and pair it with the ring setting you like.
The ring settings themselves will also impact the total price, though usually by much less. For example, if you’ve chosen a platinum engagement ring setting for your center stone, you’ll pay more than you would with a 14K or 18K gold ring setting. That’s because platinum is a more valuable and denser metal. It requires more platinum to produce a ring than it does for the same ring in gold.
Choosing a ring setting style is up to you, but it’s good to pick one that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you’re a nurse and want to wear your rings under your gloves, a high-profile cathedral setting isn’t going to be right for you.
And, very active (or maybe just a little clumsy), high-profile rings aren’t going to be your friends. But, if you rarely wear it outside your home or not when performing those activities, you can reduce the risk of damage.
Also, keep in mind that many ring settings are made by ring designers. These branded settings usually come with a premium price and cost more than a similar ring setting. So understand that when you buy a ring setting with a designer name, some of your budget also goes toward the brand name.
There are many things you can do to keep within the budget for the colored diamond engagement ring of your dreams. By balancing the diamond grades and choosing diamond shapes that appear larger, you can significantly reduce the cost of your ring.
How to choose a fancy color lab-grown diamond for your engagement ring?
Choosing a lab-grown fancy colored diamond is much easier than picking out a mined one. There are more saturated and ideal tones for colored diamonds that are lab grown because of the controlled environment they are created in. That means higher quality and better colors but at a much lower cost!
When choosing a loose lab-grown colored diamond, it’s a lot similar to selecting a mined fancy colored diamond. But there are a lot of aspects that are easier with colored lab diamonds.
Fancy colored diamonds (lab and mined) are graded similarly to colorless diamonds. They still follow the 4Cs of diamond quality. This worldwide recognized system is the standard for all diamonds, lab-grown, and natural diamonds alike.
If we were trying to determine the most critical factors of a colorless diamond, the lab diamond cut quality is usually the most important. But with a lab-grown fancy colored diamond, the most important factor is color!
Fancy diamond colors are assessed a lot differently from colorless diamonds. Instead of the typical DEF and GHIJ color grading scale, the color is assessed according to hue, tone, and saturation.
The tone of a lab-grown fancy colored diamond is how dark or light the stone is. For example, a fancy light blue lab diamond would have a soft blue appearance as opposed to a medium tone of fancy vivid blue tone.
The tone intensity names change according to the color of the diamond. Lab-grown black diamonds, white diamonds, and red lab diamonds only come in one intensity. But a blue or pink lab diamond can come in several intensities.
Colored diamonds may have tones/intensities of:
- Fancy Light
- Fancy Intense
- Fancy Vivid
- Fancy Dark
- Fancy Deep
Lab-grown colored diamonds often have a primary hue and a secondary hue, while other diamond colors have a pure hue with no modifying secondary colors.
The carat weight of your diamond can drive up its price quickly. That goes double for fancy colored diamonds. Mined fancy colored diamonds are so rare that you can pay thousands for one that is just 0.30 carats.
The reason why the carat weight drives up cost so quickly in mined fancy colored diamonds is that there’s a very slim chance a colored diamond will be fully saturated with intense color.
But when creating lab-grown fancy colored diamonds, scientists can control the impurities that cause the color. As a result, lab-grown diamond colors can vary from mined diamonds—for example, the hues of natural fancy color diamonds’ saturation are often much stronger.
Saturated lab-grown colored diamonds are pretty common, so they don’t drive up the cost as much when you increase carat weight.
Still, you have to consider which diamond color you are choosing. Some lab-grown fancy colors are more complicated to create than others. For example, purple lab-grown diamonds exist but aren’t sold by many retailers. This can drive up the cost per carat.
It’s possible to have a diamond with a considerable carat weight that looks unappealing. In a fancy color diamond, you want a decent-sized carat weight if you’re looking for a lab-grown fancy color stone.
You’re already saving a ton by choosing a lab-grown fancy colored diamond over a mined one. But if you’re pretty comfortable with the price you’re at with a lab-grown fancy color diamond engagement ring, there’s one more tip that can get you a little more bang for your buck.
The most popular diamond shape for a colorless diamond is a round diamond because of its exact proportions and brilliant display of white light and rainbow light. However, with fancy color lab diamonds, we don’t want all of that white light detracting from the colorful hues we paid so much for.
Fancy colored lab diamonds sparkle, but not in the way a colorless round brilliant diamond does. In the same fashion, round fancy colored diamonds don’t display color as well as other diamond shapes.
Additionally, round diamonds have a smaller face-up view than other diamond shapes, such as emerald cut diamonds, oval diamonds, or marquise diamonds. As a result, these shapes appear visually larger than a round diamond, even if they are the same carat in weight.
So, consider lab diamond shapes with a larger surface area and less light reflection, and look at alternatives to the popular round shape to save on your colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring!
Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are capable of producing diamonds with natural inclusions. Inclusions vary in size, type, and color and are the product of diamond formation and cutting.
Lab-grown diamond clarity (and mined) are graded as follows:
- Flawless (F)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2)
- Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2)
- Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
- Included (I1, I2, I3)
The higher the clarity diamond you buy, the more eye-clean your diamond will appear.
Inclusions can be white or black spots trapped in a diamond. Typically diamonds with dark inclusions tend to be lower on the clarity scale than those with white clouds or pinpoints. But clarity isn’t graded on how many inclusions are prominent, but how noticeable they are.
It’s pretty easy to notice larger dark mineral inclusions in your colorless diamond. And depending on if you’ve chosen a light tone or a darker-toned fancy color lab-grown diamond, they’ll be less noticeable.
Ultimately, your diamond’s clarity grade is entirely up to you. Clarity affects the visual beauty of your diamond, depending on where on the clarity scale your diamond falls.
But, if the color hues in your fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring are saturated throughout, people will notice the color, not any tiny black inclusions that can only be seen under magnification.
With clarity, you pick what clarity grade you like. If you don’t notice the inclusions, other people probably won’t either, and it won’t impact the beauty of your colored lab-created diamond engagement ring. Our tip for saving on a colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring is not necessarily to buy at the top of the clarity grade.
Just because the diamond’s cut isn’t as important as the color of a lab-grown fancy color diamond doesn’t mean you should disregard it. But because we’re not picking a colored diamond for its brilliance, they are often not graded.
With colorless round diamonds, you can have cut grades of Excellent/Ideal, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor cut. But with all other diamond shapes, we’re left with measurements and ranges to stay between a durable and level shape.
At the same time, a 360˚ view of the diamond online can help you choose a well-cut fancy colored lab diamond. That’s why we recommend you shop for your fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring online at one of our recommended best places to buy lab diamond engagement rings.
So, what you should do is eyeball your potential diamond to make sure all the corners (if applicable) and sides are proportionate to each other. You’ll also want to make sure your diamond’s girdle (outer edge) is the same width all the way around. Check for any divots or chips in the edges of the diamond, too.
If all looks good, then you’ve probably selected a well-cut lab-grown fancy colored diamond for your engagement ring. It’s always a good practice to only buy lab-grown diamonds from trusted retailers with an easy return policy in case you don’t love your lab-grown fancy colored diamond engagement ring.
What is the best metal for colored lab-grown diamond rings?
Most fancy colored diamond engagement rings either come already mounted into a setting, or you’re able to select your own setting to customize it. Regardless, you will be given the choice of a gold ring setting or a platinum ring setting.
Why not silver? Sterling silver isn’t recommended for bridal jewelry you’ll want to wear every day. Instead, most people choose a fancy lab-grown diamond ring as an engagement ring or wedding ring they plan to wear daily.
Sterling silver takes more upkeep and is much less resilient than gold or platinum. Most wedding rings come in either 14K gold or 18K gold.
Gold wedding rings may allow customers to choose between white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold. There shouldn’t be any price difference as long as the karat gold is the same.
Your fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring’s metal choice is entirely up to you and your personal preference. But if you’re not picky about what color metal to choose for your ring, there’s some color advice for you that can help accentuate certain diamond colors. Some contrast well with multiple colors, too.
Diamond colors that look best in cool colored metals like white gold or platinum engagement rings are:
Diamond colors that look best in warm-colored metals like yellow gold or platinum engagement rings are:
When choosing between a white gold engagement ring or a platinum ring, you have two great options. Platinum is more durable, which means the prongs of your ring setting are less likely to break or wear down than with a white gold engagement ring.
But on the other hand, platinum scratches are much easier than a white gold engagement ring. They’ll need to be polished to buff out scratches. In contrast, white gold rings need rhodium plating to maintain their silvery shine.
There are benefits and disadvantages to choosing certain metals over others. Maintenance, weight, and appearance should all be considered when choosing a jewelry metal for your colored lab diamond ring.
At the end of the day, you want a jewelry metal that suits your lifestyle and price range. But we highly advise purchasing your ring setting from someone offering a free lifetime warranty or a paid service warranty option (see our recommendations below).
And remember that service warranties are different from manufacturer’s warranties. Service warranties cover routine jewelry maintenance, like polishing or rhodium plating. Meanwhile, manufacturers’ warranties cover design flaws and defects, but there has to be a clear issue to use the warranty.
How to care for a fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring
There’s a huge misconception among jewelry buyers who think their engagement ring should last forever with no added effort from themselves.
Fine jewelry is expensive, of course. And typically, when you pay a high dollar amount for a product, you’ll expect it to last for quite a while. But with jewelry, you have to consider the materials it’s made of.
Yes, a certain element of craftsmanship goes into creating a quality piece. But engagement rings are made of soft, natural materials. Gold is actually too soft to be used in jewelry on its own, so it’s mixed with other metals to make it stronger to avoid wear and tear.
But gold does wear down. It scratches, dents, and gets knicks. People don’t realize how often they bump their hands on things throughout the day on a regular basis. This is aside from accidental knocks or drops.
Diamonds, however, are pretty resilient for daily wear. And lab-grown diamonds have the exact same hardness as mined diamonds. As a result, they’re nearly impossible to scratch, making them a perfect stone to wear daily for years. However, they do have one weakness in their structure – the edges. For that reason, we recommend protecting the edges of your diamond that are more vulnerable to accidental chipping.
The biggest thing you want to worry about when taking care of your fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring is the ring setting. If the prongs start wearing down, your lab-grown diamond won’t be secure and could fall out if not tended to quickly.
That’s why retailers ask you to get your engagement ring checked every six months. Tapping on each individual stone to see if they’re secure and checking if the prongs that grasp the diamonds are secure should be a regular practice. If you notice your prongs feeling rough when you run your finger over them, it’s time to get them re-tipped.
If you love white gold, that silvery color will start to fade over time. It’s natural for white gold because it’s coated in rhodium, which is not permanent. Rhodium plating is recommended to be done once a year, twice if you’re one of the unlucky people whose skin oils wear it down faster.
So, beware that when a retailer offers you a warranty, there’s more to it than simply selling “add-ons” or reaching a sales goal. It’s a necessary evil. Service warranties are your friends as long as they cover routine maintenance. All our recommended places to buy lab-grown diamonds include some level of service warranty. Just make sure to read each service warranty policy carefully to determine the service covered.
Aside from checking your stones and prongs, you should be cleaning your colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring regularly. Once a week, do it with a solution mixture of warm water and mild dish soap, using a soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) to brush away dirt gently.
Where to buy colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings
James Allen has a lot of options for you to create your own fancy color lab-created diamond ring. You can search through a pool of colored lab diamonds to select your center stone. All of their diamonds are certified and have 360˚ video.
They offer fancy color lab-grown diamonds in:
Best of all, James Allen offers a free lifetime warranty covering routine life maintenance.
Ritani is not only the cheapest place to buy lab-grown diamonds but also the cheapest for colored lab-grown diamond engagement rings! In addition, the selection of colored lab-grown diamonds is vast, and Ritani offers the ability to pick the diamond of your choice and customize your lab-grown diamond engagement ring.
They offer fancy color lab-grown diamonds in:
Ritani offers the best maintenance services free of charge! These include:
- Tightening of center or side stones
- A free ring resizing within the first year of purchase (US only)
- Yearly ring cleanings forever
- Free rhodium plating once a year
Lastly, Ritani stands out with its collaboration with jewelry stores, allowing you to see and inspect your fancy colored lab-grown diamond engagement ring in person before committing to buying.
Brilliant Earth has a reputation for its ethical values and the way they go above and beyond to offer customers the choice between traceable mined diamonds or sustainable and ethical lab-created diamonds. They also provide both natural and lab-grown fancy colored diamonds for engagement rings.
The diamond colors offered at Brilliant Earth are:
Brilliant Earth has many unique ring setting designs that would make perfect options for someone searching for a unique engagement ring. All of their settings are offered in 18K gold or platinum. The warranty plan offered at Brilliant Earth is a 3-year plan for a fee based on the total price.
Clean Origin is the place to go for lab-grown diamond lovers. They provide what they know best, and that’s lab-created diamonds (only). Clean Origin allows customers to choose between both colorless or fancy colored lab-grown diamonds. They also offer a selection of pink and blue diamond jewelry items in addition to their loose stones.
The lab-grown diamond colors offered at Clean Origin are:
Clean Origin offers a warranty, which is a one-time fee based on the total of your purchase. It covers all the routine maintenance needed to keep your ring in shape over the years. Additionally, they offer a 100-day return policy, unlike any other online diamond retailer!
When you choose a lab-grown fancy colored diamond engagement ring, you are choosing something that not many people have. More and more people have heard of lab-grown diamonds and all their benefits, but few people are aware of the added benefits of lab-grown colored lab diamonds compared with colored mined diamonds.
In fact, in many ways, they are better.
The colors are stronger and more saturated, and you can get a bigger colored diamond for much less than a mined fancy color diamond. Of course, they may not be as rare or hold the same resale value as inaccessible expensive mined color diamonds, but that shouldn’t matter!
Colored lab-grown diamonds give many people the option to have all the makings of a rare mined colored diamond but at a fraction of the price. But colored lab-grown diamonds are just as real and stunning as mined diamonds are.
Whatever reason you have for choosing a fancy color lab-grown diamond engagement ring, there’s no doubt you’ve chosen a stunning piece of jewelry you’ll love for years to come.