Green lab-grown diamonds: The complete guide
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Green Lab-Grown Diamonds – The Complete Buying Guide

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by Rolf Hartmann

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What are green lab-grown diamonds? 

Green lab-grown diamonds are precisely the same as green mined diamonds. Only their origin differs, but the process of creating green lab-grown diamonds is the same as what happens deep in the earth.

Diamonds mined from the earth can turn a beautiful green shade in two different processes. First, a diamond must have a flawed crystal lattice to turn green. Secondly, there has to be the presence of radiation.

So, how does radiation get into the ground, you ask?

Elements of uranium and thorium actually break down the crystal structure of a diamond. By eliminating the carbon atoms of a diamond, the radioactive elements leave behind vacancies in the crystal lattice. The vacancies allow green light to show through to make green fancy-colored diamonds. 

There are other processes where nickel, hydrogen, and nitrogen cause more complex defects to produce green diamonds. However, the radiation process has occurred in more than 50% of all green diamonds found so far.

The radiation process of creating green diamonds is an easy process to replicate in a laboratory environment. Scientists can produce lab-grown green diamonds of various hues by subjecting colorless diamonds to radiation levels. Just as it happened in earth, but much faster. And cheaper.

Which green diamond is lab-grown, and which is mined?

How rare are green lab-grown diamonds?

As noted, lab-grown diamonds are much easier to produce than mined diamonds. Mined diamonds have been formed over billions of years, and a lab-grown diamond can be produced in under a month. If that’s any indication of their rarity, you understand why lab-grown diamonds are much less expensive.

But remember that a diamond is a diamond regardless of being pulled from a mine or created in an advanced laboratory.

While most fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds are less rare than mined ones, lab-grown green diamonds are rarer than other lab-grown fancy colors. 

You’ll often come across lab-grown blue diamonds, pink diamonds, and yellow diamonds, both online and sometimes in-store. Part of that credit is due to Lightbox Jewelry, which produces a lot of green lab-grown diamonds (read our scathing review of Lightbox Jewelry). Still, green lab-created diamonds aren’t as readily available as most other colors. 

Now, if you’re talking about mined fancy green diamonds, green is one of the rarer fancy colors, too. So it isn’t necessarily the green color that’s the problem; it’s just that green diamonds don’t seem to come as saturated as other fancy-colored diamonds. 

In fact, green diamonds account for less than 0.5% of all diamonds found in the last 15 years. Moreover, pure green diamonds are even rarer at around 0.07%! 

Are green lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?

Yes, green lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds just as much as a mined diamond is real. A lab-grown green diamond has all the same properties and attributes as a green diamond that’s been mined from the earth. Its structure, brilliance, and durability are all the same whether the green diamond is created or mined.

Only advanced test can determine the green diamond color origin, similar to how distinguishing mined and lab-grown diamonds require advanced equipment.

What is the best shade of green lab-grown diamonds? 

Like many other diamond colors, a lab-grown green diamond can be pure green but most often has secondary shades of yellow or blue. Bluish-green diamonds are highly sought after for their aqua-colored appearance.

The apple green shade is typically the most valued shade of a green diamond, whether mined or created. Apple green is slightly darker than the lime green diamond shades, which are also in high demand. 

A key reason why one might gravitate to a lab-grown green diamond is because of its emerald-like green shades. These shades are prominently green with a darker tone.

Guess the lab diamond color?

On a lab-grown green diamond certificate, you’ll find green diamonds graded as the following:

  • Fancy light
  • Fancy
  • Fancy intense
  • Fancy vivid
  • Fancy dark green 

Why green lab-grown diamonds are worth the buy

Lab-grown green diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. Therefore, only the most knowledgeable about colored lab diamonds with the right equipment can tell them apart. That’s also why you should only purchase a larger green diamond if it comes with a lab-grown diamond certificate.

Some caveats might help you distinguish a green lab-grown diamond from a mined one if compared side by side. Lab-grown green diamonds are still pretty rare compared to the other fancy colors, so they may be more expensive than other lab-grown colored diamonds. There are not too many to pick from either, which can also contribute to their high price.

But on the other hand, lab-grown green diamonds are much more visually appealing than natural green diamonds. This is because they are fully saturated and tens of thousands less per carat than natural green diamonds.

In addition, lab-created diamonds are better for the environment and the ethical diamond choice. So not only will you save (or get a larger diamond), you’ll be doing everyone a favor by going lab-grown.

How much does a green lab-grown diamond cost?

They aren’t cheap by any means, but they give everyone a shot at owning one of the rarest diamond colors in the world for their lab-grown diamond engagement ring!

The cost of green lab-grown diamonds ranges from about the same as colorless diamonds up to twice as much (if you account for similar quality levels: with fancy-colored lab diamonds, color is more important, while colorless should range higher on cut or clarity).

You should be able to find a beautiful, fancy green lab diamond starting at $1,000 for a 1-carat diamond and up to around $2,000. See, for example, this pear-shaped fancy-vivid green lab-grown diamond from Ritani that costs $1,109.

1 carat fancy vivid green lab-grown diamond from Ritani
1 carat fancy vivid green lab-grown diamond from Ritani

However, as seen in the price comparison of green lab-grown diamonds below, prices increase rapidly with size. The reason is that creating large diamonds with uniform color throughout becomes significantly more difficult as the lab diamond caret increases.

Carat weightPricePrices seen at
0.5 carat$525-$1,010Ritani and Brilliant Earth
1 carat$900-$2,220Ritani and James Allen
2 carat$1,710-$3,520Ritani and James Allen
3 carat$11,080-$15,440James Allen and Brilliant Earth
All prices are of the time of writing. Lab diamond prices fluctuate and may differ from the above.

Tips for saving on green lab-grown diamonds

Green lab-grown diamonds are much, much more affordable than mined green diamonds. But you can save even more on lab-grown green diamonds by following the below advice:

  1. Go for slightly lower clarity and cut grades, which will be less expensive. Unlike colorless diamonds, the most important for lab fancy-colored diamonds is their color, hue, and saturation.
  2. Get a smaller diamond. Large fancy-colored lab diamonds are much rarer and thus much more expensive than smaller ones. As we saw above, this is especially true for green lab-created diamonds. So instead, picking a smaller diamond can both save you money and allow you to go up on color quality.
  3. Choose a less expensive color. While some fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds are less common (and more costly to produce), others are cheaper and more plentiful. For example, yellow lab-grown diamonds are typically much more affordable than green lab-grown diamonds but can be just as impressive.
  4. Buy green lab-created diamonds online at one of our recommended places to buy lab-grown fancy-colored diamonds, and you’ll both save and get a bigger and better lab-created green diamond.
  5. Save during sales and deals on green lab-grown diamonds. See our list of all of the best lab-grown diamond discounts!
  6. And, of course, buy a green lab-grown diamond instead of a green mined stone. Lab-grown diamonds are inexpensive compared to mined ones but 100% the same. Especially fancy-colored diamonds, such as green, are significantly cheaper. See how much in our price comparison of lab-grown diamonds vs. mined diamonds.

Where to buy green lab-grown diamonds

At LabGrownCarats.com, we review and compare lab diamond jewelers to help you find the best diamonds and the lowest prices. However, not all diamond jewelers carry fancy-colored, especially the rare green lab-grown diamonds.

We recommend Ritani, Brilliant Earth, and James Allen for lab-grown green diamonds because of their comprehensive selection of green lab-created diamonds and green lab-grown diamond jewelry. In addition, all three offer the lowest prices and a fantastic shopping experience. Read our reviews and see why they are the best places to buy green lab-grown diamonds.

In addition, Clean Origin sells green lab-grown diamonds at very affordable prices, but their selection is very limited. See the current inventory of green lab diamonds at Clean Origin.

Ritani has the cheapest green lab-grown diamonds, particularly up to 2 carats. Their inventory is extensive, and their service is impeccable.

Ritani has the cheapest green lab-grown diamonds, particularly up to 2 carats. Their inventory is extensive, and their service is impeccable.

James Allen has the largest inventory of green lab-created diamonds, ranging from 0.5 to 5 carats. They're known for their unparalleled shopping experience.

James Allen has the largest inventory of green lab-created diamonds, ranging from 0.5 to 5 carats. They’re known for their unparalleled shopping experience.

Brilliant Earth has the second-largest inventory of lab-grown green diamonds and is the only one that sells sustainable-graded lab-grown diamonds.

Brilliant Earth has the second-largest inventory of lab-grown green diamonds and is the only one that sells sustainable-graded lab-grown diamonds.

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