Lightbox Jewelry Review – What is the Hype? (Updated 2024)

Lightbox Jewelry

USD 800
2.9

Price

5.0/5

Selection

3.0/5

Service

1.5/5

Features

1.0/5

People & Planet

4.0/5

Pros

  • Very low prices
  • Decent quality diamonds (ungraded)
  • No-frills shopping experience
  • 30 day free returns (if unworn)

Cons

  • Not possible to select diamonds
  • Not possible to inspect diamonds
  • No information about the environmental impact
  • No-features shopping experience
  • No-response service

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Welcome to our in-depth Lightbox Jewelry review, where we will discuss everything you need to know about Lightbox diamonds and their promise of bringing cheap lab-grown diamonds to the masses. Will they keep their promise, or is Lightbox Jewelry just hype?

Our team of diamond experts has spent weeks testing and evaluating Lightbox diamonds so you can find the answer. Read our in-depth review of Lightbox Jewelry to learn all you need to know.

Summary of Our Lightbox Jewelry Review

Lightbox Jewelry is a well-known lab-grown diamond jewelry brand created by De Beers Jewellers, who once controlled almost the entire global diamond trade and today sells nearly 30 percent of all mined diamonds!

De Beers argues that mined diamonds are better than lab-created diamonds for no reason other than a proclaimed and wildly exaggerated scarcity. In fact, mined diamonds are actually not very rare or special.

At the same time, De Beers wants to exploit the growing societal consciousness and environmental awareness that is driving sales of the more sustainable diamond choice of lab-grown diamonds.

In order to protect their lucrative sales of mined diamonds, De Beers created the Lightbox Jewelry brand to distance themselves from lab-grown diamonds while also profiting from the sustainable choice of lab-created diamonds.

Lightbox Jewelry offers lab-grown diamonds at a low price by taking several shortcuts to keep costs down. Continue reading our updated 2024 Lightbox Jewelry review to learn how and why (and why we have slightly increased their rating this year).

3 lab-grown diamond jewelers we like better than Lightbox Jewelry

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What do you think about Lightbox Jewelry?

Share your experiences with Lightbox Diamonds here or in the comments at the end of the review.

What Our Readers Think About Lightbox Jewelry

2.0
2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
Excellent0%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor100%
Terrible0%

Poor customer service

December 10, 2023

My issue was with the very poor customer service, not the products themselves (though it’s really put me off buying from them). Essentially, the parcel was being held by Fedex for customs clearance, which for over a week Lightbox insisted I had to provide. I kept telling them that THEY took care of the customs brokerage, and I had absolutely no information about it. Then unbeknownst to me, they sent me a second pair of earrings but never recalled the first shipment. So I was responsible for getting the second pair sent back to them. The whole fiasco took over a month.

I also spent hours on the phone with FedEx trying to get information that would help Lightbox clear the shipment.

Sparkle Lover

How we have reviewed Lightbox Jewelry

At LabGrownCarats, we’re experts in lab diamonds, and we have dedicated weeks of analysis to studying every aspect of Lightbox Jewelry—from its diamonds to its jewelry. Our commitment to the diamond industry is evident in our thorough reviews of Lightbox and its competitors. We take pride in presenting our findings, highlighting the pros and cons of Lightbox within the diamond industry.

Ranking criteria

We have evaluated and ranked Lightbox diamonds using the criteria below:

  • Price
  • Diamond inventory
  • Jewelry selection
  • Quality
  • Shopping experience
  • Customer service
  • Sustainability
  • Shipping and return policies

Why you should trust us

We’re the first and leading site in the US dedicated to lab diamonds. Our team of experts has a combined experience of over 75 years in the diamond and jewelry industries, allowing us to provide insightful and valuable reviews. We ensure our reviews are always current by updating them several times a year. Our top diamond specialist, Rolf Hartmann, led the review of Lightbox Jewelry with input from several of our other expert contributors, so you can trust us to provide the best and most trustworthy review of Lightbox.

The Story Behind Lightbox Jewelry

Before we start our Lightbox Jewelry review, it’s important to understand why the brand was launched and who owns it.

The diamonds are grown in the laboratories of Element Six. OK, so no big deal. Well, interestingly, both companies are owned by De Beers, probably the most widely known diamond mining company in the world.

Why are the ownership and supplier links a big deal? De Beers themselves have fiercely been fighting the advent of gem-quality lab-grown diamonds—perhaps to protect their legacy business. So, instead of missing out on the opportunity, they launched their own brand.

Now, De Beers is quite the marketing genius (next to building diamond cartels). They coined the now-ubiquitous phrase touting that “diamonds are forever”. And, not least, through clever marketing, De Beers created both the myths that engagement rings need to be diamond-ornate, as reported by the BBC. They also invented the rule of thumb that an engagement ring should cost two months’ salary (don’t do that, that is too much).

De Beers Ad - Diamonds are Forever and The Two Months' Salary Rule - Lightbox Jewelry Review

So what do they do when a new entrant (lab-grown affordable gem-quality diamonds) enters the markets and threatens to disrupt their market dominance? They cunningly decide to market lab-created diamonds as discount jewelry that is only suitable for cash-strapped millennials. At the same time, continuing to market mined diamonds as the real deal is only attainable for the well-off.

Luckily, you know better. Lab-grown diamonds are exactly the same as mined diamonds. You just save money and spare the planet in the process. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at their new lab-grown brand and ignore its ownership structure and raison d’être.

Lightbox Jewelry is Lab-Grown Diamonds Only

Lightbox exclusively sells jewelry adorned by lab-created diamonds, and they market themselves very strongly on the origin of their diamonds. They also emphasize the diamond creation process (learn more in our article on what lab-grown diamonds are) and the difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds.

But – while Lightbox repeatedly highlights the rareness of mined diamonds, they conveniently neglect to mention the differences in environmental and societal impact. Does someone have an agenda?

Lightbox highlights the merits of mined diamonds but forgets the benefits of lab-grown diamonds - Lightbox Jewelry Review

Lightbox Jewelry is Low-Cost (and Millennials) Only

As you’ll learn in our Lightbox Jewelry review, our verdict is that Lightbox is a low-cost, no-frills seller of lab-grown diamond jewelry. The Frontier or RyanAir of diamond jewelers, perhaps. And while that may be fine for airline travel, it might not be with diamonds.

Lighbox’s target audience is not the affluent or the typical De Beers customer. That’s exactly the point. The brand has been positioned cleverly to be at a very safe distance from this core customer base.

Instead, they have an entirely different demographic in mind: the younger generations, used to fast fashion and who have an increasing concern for the environment (yes, that’s a contradiction). It’s marketed at people who would not otherwise have bought diamonds, but probably a cheaper alternative but who will be sure to tell Instagram of their new best buy.

When the brand was announced, it was greatly hyped. For two reasons. One, it was launched by a staunch opponent of lab-created gem diamonds. And two, they promised to sell diamonds at $800 per carat (without the setting). That got the attention of both industry outlets and mainstream media. With one stroke of genius marketing, people started to view lab-grown diamonds as inferior to mined diamonds.

De Beers vs. the lab-created diamond industry: 1-0.

Is Lightbox Jewelry Legit

Lightbox Jewelry is owned by De Beers, one of the world’s largest mined diamond producers and jewelers. So, Lightbox Jewelry is a legit business. However, as we have found in our review of Lightbox Jewelry, their customer service is lacking, and they don’t offer independent diamond inspection and certificates, so you can’t be sure what you are buying (unless you trust Lightbox Jewelry to grade its own homework).

Why are Lightbox Jewelry diamonds so cheap?

Lab-grown diamonds are at least 30-40% cheaper than mined diamonds of the exact same quality. Lightbox Jewelry exclusively sells lab-grown diamonds, and that’s one of the reasons why they are cheaper than many other diamond sellers. However, they are not cheaper than many other lab-grown diamond sellers. In addition, Lightbox Jewelry does not provide independent third-party diamond inspection and certificates, so you can’t be sure of the diamond’s quality. For that reason, it’s hard to compare the quality and prices of Lightbox Jewelry diamonds. But there are certainly better places to buy lab-grown diamonds. Read why we think so in our Lightbox Jewelry review.

Next review, let’s examine the quality of their lab-grown diamonds.

In this part of our Lightbox Jewelry review, we’ll take a closer look at the quality of the diamonds and jewelry.

For this 2024 Lightbox Jewelry review update, Lightbox has introduced a “premium” tier called Lightbox Finest™ (yes, they’ve trademarked the term!). Lightbox Finest stands in contrast to their usual collection, now referred to as “Basic”.

And that’s actually something of an improvement in transparency. Because, as you’ll learn soon, the cheap diamonds at Lightbox Jewelry are indeed basic.

Selling 1-carat diamonds for $800 requires you either to reduce costs to the bare minimum or to lose money—or perhaps both. So, how do the diamond quality and the grading of the other 3Cs stack up?

How Lightbox Can Sell 1-Carat Diamonds for $800

First of all, Lightbox Jewelry does not let you select individual stones or even decide on what range of 4C diamond grades you want. This is a bit similar to what you would expect at a discount jeweler or when buying so-called fashion jewelry.

However, they do inform you that all of their diamonds fall within the below ranges. And, for 2024, they also include the diamond grades of their “Finest” collection.

Lightbox Jewelry Review - Diamond Clarity Scale
Lightbox Jewelry Clarity Grade (2024)
Lightbox Jewelry Review - Diamond Color Scale
Lightbox Jewelry Color Grade (2024)
Lightbox Jewelry Review - Diamond Cut Scale
Lightbox Jewelry Cut Grade (2024)

As you can see above, the grades they offer look good, especially for the “Finest” collection.

The lab diamond color and clarity grades are good. We would even argue that their “Finest” grades are too high for the average jewelry setting. Too high? Yes, as you can read in our guide to lab-grown diamond colors, we typically recommend opting for a lower grade!

Similarly, if the diamond is eye-clean, and particularly if you are shopping for a lab-grown fancy-colored diamond, you can also skimp a little on clarity grade.

However, as you will have learned from reading our lab-grown diamond guides, the lab diamond cut grade is below our recommended level. Colorless diamonds are all about the quality of the cut, and you should never compromise. That means you should aim for excellent or ideal cut grades.

Granted, Lightbox Finest™ does offer the “highest” cut grade. But, as you’ll learn soon, that grade doesn’t really mean anything since Lightbox Jewelry does not have its diamonds independently graded. So the Excellent cut grade that Lightbox boats about may not be the same as what GIA would label as Excellent, nor what IGI would call Ideal (confusingly, GIA and IGI do not use the same highest grade).

But for the sake of argument, let’s say we give Lightbox Jewelry the benefit of the substantial doubt. Then, their Finest™ collection is actually of decent quality. But, as you’ll soon learn, it is also expensive!

Lightbox Jewelry Basic™ (also, weirdly, trademarked) diamonds, while seemingly cheaper, are low quality. The cut grade (recall that it’s the most important grade) is only “very good”. Most people in their target demographic might not know better and think that very good is indeed very good.

It’s not.

So, in our updated review in 2024, the quality of Lightbox Jewelry diamonds is still poor. Interestingly, the diamond cut quality is now featured even more prominently, but we suspect that they have confirmed that the very good diamond cut grade confuses buyers into thinking that the quality is very good. And, if some of their shoppers happen to be informed, they’ll perhaps opt for the overpriced Finest™ diamonds.

Yes, it gets worse, as we shall learn next in our Lightbox Jewelry review.

Recall that independent laboratories grade diamonds and that their certificates hold the key to their value. Well, Lightbox Jewelry does not get its diamonds graded at independent laboratories.

Instead, they pinky-swear that when they say a diamond is a certain grade, then it is. And that you can, of course, trust them. Just like you can trust them to be honest about the differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds or how much to spend on an engagement ring (you can’t).

This is a big red flag.

If we give them the benefit of the doubt and decide to trust them, why not have their diamonds certified? Well, that adds cost. Just like a proper cutting of diamonds is very expensive. To reduce the price to the (in)famous $800 for a 1-carat diamond, they need to trim all costs.

Even their Finest™ diamonds, which supposedly sport the highest cut grade, may not be comparable to the highest grades at GIA, IGI, GCAL, or other independent grading institutes. Yes, Lightbox grades their own homework.

As you will have learned in our article about the future of lab-grown diamonds and their future value, the cutting process is a high cost that you cannot remove from the equation, which will ensure that lab-grown diamonds will always be expensive (albeit not as expensive as mined diamonds). But Lightbox Jewelry just did that.

This could also be another part of their marketing ploy to avoid putting lab-grown diamonds on the market that are just as sparkly as mined diamonds so that everyone can see that lab-grown and mined diamonds are no different. And make lab-grown diamonds seem less like mined diamonds by not grading them properly. Who knows. We think we do.

In this section of our Lightbox Jewelry review, we’ll examine the buying experience at Lightbox. It’s clear that it is tailored to the company’s target audience.

Younger people probably care more about having a diamond piece and probably the carat weight than the actual quality of the diamonds. They want a no-frills shopping experience where they do not need to question their own choices or even have to make any.

Again, compare the audience to that of a mall jeweler or a brand like Pandora. If you do, then the buying experience is actually pretty good. If you are looking for an easy way to upgrade your fashion jewelry with diamonds, Lightbox Jewelry helps you get there as quickly as possible—no questions asked.

And to be fair, if the alternative is a “fake” diamond, then we think that a Lightbox diamond is a clear upgrade. In that case, you may be fine with the limited brilliance from the inferior cut grade and that you do not get a certificate to back up the diamond grade claims.

Online Purchase Process and Features

Unlike jewelers such as Clean Origin and James Allen, as well as Ritani and Brilliant Earth, Lightbox does not have a section where you can browse their loose lab-grown diamond inventory. Instead, you shop for jewelry and pick what kind you want, carat weight, and diamond color.

As we pointed out above, you are not able to choose the diamond grades you prefer.

When it comes to jewelry pieces, their selection is limited to a few classic pieces and, otherwise, mostly fashion-type designs (such as their “statement” category). If you are looking for a 1-carat diamond ring, your choices are limited to fashion solitaire rings—not any classic designs suitable for (for example) an engagement ring. One reason may be that they caution against competing with premier diamond brands (such as their parent brand De Beers, who dreamed up the diamond-adorned engagement ring).

Lightbox Ring Selection with Lab-Grown Diamonds - Lightbox Jewelry review

If you search for 1-carat white diamonds, you’ll also be hard-pressed to find one. We failed, but we have heard that they are sometimes available (like getting concert tickets to Drake at Madison Square Garden at face value). Rumor has it that they want to avoid people swapping the 1-carat white diamond stones into an engagement ring setting—you know, the kind that De Beers tells you is supposed to cost you two months’ salary (not $800).

The selection of colored lab diamonds is limited to blue and pink, but they are readily available in all jewelry settings, and the colors are actually quite good.

Once you have narrowed down the jewelry type, you’ll be presented with an overview of the shapes and forms of that particular type (e.g., earrings). You are then able to filter based on price, carat weight, and diamond color.

Lightbox Jewelry Lab-Grown Diamond Filters - Lightbox Jewelry Review

Their selection of earrings is pretty decent at 0.5 carat (total weight), with a few classic designs. However, if you whittle your selection down to 1 carat (either 1 ct per earring or even total weight), you are limited to three designs, none of which have white diamonds available.

Lightbox Jewelry lab-grown diamond earring selection - Lightbox Jewelry Review

And that is basically it. Lightbox greatly limits your choices and thus also simplifies the buying process to the absolute minimum. Great if you don’t care too much, not so great if you do. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a quick (albeit not cheap) gift or want to show off diamond pieces to your friends but don’t otherwise really care about diamonds.

Lightbox Jewelry Review - Lab-Grown Diamonds at a low price has a price.
Even the jewelry box is designed to appeal to the millennial crowd and has an iPhone unboxing experience feel to it – albeit a little less premium.

For this updated Lightbox Jewelry review, we have once again tested their customer service by submitting them to various queries through all their customer service channels.

The customer interaction is, however, mostly limited to chatting through Facebook Messenger. Very on point, considering their target demographic (even if some probably have migrated to TikTok by now). But perhaps not everyone wants to connect their Facebook profile with a jeweler. At best, we find it a little limiting, and at worst, just plain annoying.

Response times vary from several hours to days—and even deafening silence. The experience could not be further from the instant replies you get when shopping at James Allen or Clean Origin. So, you will need to be patient.

You should also keep your technical diamond knowledge to yourself as their support only handles standard inquiries, most of which you can find answers to on the website anyway. Remember what we said about cost-cutting? We doubt you’ll run into gemologists on their chat (unlike what you can and should expect from your diamond jeweler).

Delivery and Returns

Compared to what we found in our previous Lightbox Jewelry reviews, in 2024, Lightbox Jewelry finally slashed shipping costs. But only for “standard” shipping, which takes 3 to 5 business days. The best places to buy lab-grown diamonds offer free overnight or next-day shipping.

And Lightbox Jewelry still charges $25 for overnight shipping. Also, not that shipping is by FedEx Secure, and it’s only secured up to the default $100 amount!

Lightbox Jewelry offers free returns 30 days after receipt of unworn jewelry. Unworn? We asked, and you are OK to try the jewelry on, but don’t prance around your home wearing it if you plan on returning and getting your full refund (maybe they’ll check your Instagram profile).

Return shipping is free, but shipping to you is non-refundable. This is not what you should expect.

They do not offer exchanges. Instead, they advise you to purchase whatever you originally wanted. In the meantime, you will be waiting for your original order to be refunded (hopefully swiftly). Apart from the added inconvenience and any cash-flow implications, that should be fine.

Pros and Cons of Lightbox Jewelry

Before we end our Lightbox Jewelry review, we will sum up our review findings in a list of the benefits and drawbacks of shopping for diamonds at Lightbox.

Pros

  • Low prices
  • Decent quality diamonds (according to Lightbox)
  • No-frills shopping experience
  • 30-day free returns (if unworn)

Cons

  • No loose diamonds or customization
  • No diamond inspection
  • No independent grading
  • No information about the environmental impact
  • No responses from customer service (sometimes)

Our Final Verdict of Lightbox Jewelry Review

Throughout our Lightbox Jewelry review, we’ve struggled to make sense of Lightbox. On the one hand, they are a real business catering to millennials with their no-frills, low-cost, lab-created diamond jewelry. On the other hand, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they are a marketing vehicle purposely trying to undermine and (wrongfully) portray lab-created diamonds as inferior to mined stones.

Judging them solely as jewelers, they excel in making the buying process easy and allowing more people to purchase diamond jewelry. While the experience at Ada Diamonds is similar to shopping at high-end jewelers (perhaps De Beers), Lightbox is the budget-friendly equivalent, where shopping is more like buying jewelry at your local mall.

So if you are looking for an upgrade to Pandora Jewelry (which has just launched its Brilliance collection in the US) and want beautiful, high-quality, but also budget-friendly diamonds instead of Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia, then Lightbox is a great option, and our rating of Lightbox Jewelry would be higher.

On the other hand, if you are serious about your diamond purchase and want to buy the perfect diamond for the best price, then Lightbox Jewelry is probably not for you. This is why our final verdict and rating in our Lightbox Jewelry review in 2024 ends at a woeful 2.9 out of 5 stars

Note that we have added 0.1 to their rating in 2024 due to Lightbox Jewelry becoming slightly more transparent with the addition of their Finest™ collection and for their free shipping.

Alternatives to Lightbox Diamonds

We highly recommend you check out Clean Origin (review) or Ritani (review), which offer similarly low prices but for high-quality diamonds. And they offer a huge inventory of certified lab diamonds that you can inspect in detail.

For the best guidance and support, we recommend our favorite, James Allen (review). For sustainably-rated diamonds, Brilliant Earth is the winner (read more in our Brilliant Earth review).

And for engagement rings, check out our best-rated places to buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings: Grown Brilliance or With Clarity.

You can read more about all the lab-grown diamond jewelers in our lab-grown diamond jeweler reviews section.

Read our lab-grown diamond buying guide if you are keen on learning more about how to shop for the perfect diamond (with a certificate). If you want to dive deeper into the world of diamonds to understand why a “very good” cut does not cut it or why you need an independent laboratory to grade your diamond, then take the plunge into our collection of easily digestible lab-grown diamond knowledge articles.

Rolf Hartmann, your lab-grown diamond expert
Lightbox Jewelry review by

Rolf Hartmann

Rolf Hartmann has decades of experience in the jewelry industry. He knows everything you need to know to find the perfect diamond. He’s an expert in lab-grown diamonds and has followed their exciting development from industrial usage to the incredible gemstone quality they are today. Rolf guides you to find the right diamond at the best possible price and expertly and transparently reviews all lab-grown diamond sellers.

Rolf Hartmann

Your lab-grown diamond expert

Our Editorial Review Process

At LabGrownCarats, we strive to help our readers find the perfect lab-grown diamond at the best possible price. We provide valuable resources such as educational guides, price analyses, product recommendations, and candid and thorough reviews of lab-grown diamond jewelers.

Our reviews are unbiased and not influenced by monetary or commercial considerations. We do not accept money for editorial content. We do not accept payment for editorial content and decline most requests for partnerships and paid content proposals. We only collaborate with a select few lab diamond jewelers that we wholeheartedly endorse.

Our stringent review process adheres to strict guidelines and evaluates all lab diamond jewelers under the same rigorous criteria. As a result, all of our reviews cover critical aspects, even those of the highest-rated jewelers. We recommend several lab diamond jewelers, but each for specific reasons. In our expert reviews and when suggesting the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds, we explain why we suggest a particular jeweler and what you should think about before making a purchase. This way, you can find the lab-grown diamond jeweler that is right for you. But make sure to shop around and compare lab diamond prices.

3 diamond jewelers we like better than Lightbox Jewelry
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2 Comments

  1. Please don’t buy Lightbox Diamonds. There are so many more certified and similar priced diamonds online. The 2 carat round cut standard diamond necklace I purchased looked like it came from a carnival. The cuts were easily seen and poorly made. Don’t waste your money.

    • Thanks for sharing your comment. It’s definitely problematic that Lightbox Jewelry certifies its own diamonds since you can’t trust the grading. We completely agree. You’re better off buying diamonds from places that use independent, reputable diamond grading institutes. All the diamond jewelers we recommend use GIA, IGI, AGS, or GCAL (most often IGI).

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