10 Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Table of Contents
Finding The Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
When compared to earth-grown diamonds, the best lab-grown diamonds are the same in every way. They do have some noteworthy differences though, like being more affordable and certainly more ethical.
Though they’re created in a lab instead of the earth, the same amount of pressure is applied, only, it takes weeks instead of millions of years to make them. That’s one of the reasons they’re much lower in cost than their chemical twins, and one that means your purchase comes without mining, unfair labor, and war.
Need another reason? The best lab-grown diamonds look and feel like any other diamond does. It’s the cut and clarity that give a stone its sparkle, and with the right jeweler (like the 10 on this list), a jaw-dropping diamond piece can be on your finger, ears, wrist, or neck without the grand inquisition to find out where it came from.
Whether you’re looking to uplevel your diamond obsession or are considering buying one for the first time, this list of the best lab-grown diamonds is an excellent place to start.
10 Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
1. Clean Origin
Clean Origin deals in lab-grown diamonds only. All of their collection is glittering with lab created gems, but their sustainable approach doesn’t stop there. Consciously creating its jewelry, you’ll find that recycled precious metals are the only type they use.
Why just make one part of your business conscious? Clean Origin ensures that all that they offer is ethical, and while they haven’t found a way to recreate gold in a lab just yet, recycling means less strain on the earth and keeps things fair.
Clean Origin diamonds are certified by the IGI, GIA, and GCAL so you know they’re high quality. Shop their line of premade pieces like tennis bracelets or studs or design your own ring. Prices start at about $500 and go upwards of $50,000.
- Build your dream ring
- Certified by IGI, GIA & GCAL
- Offers a great selection of all jewelry
- 100% lab-grown selection
- Sustainable approach
2. James Allen
Those who love variety, sparkle, and classic style will love James Allen. The brand’s selection of the best lab-grown diamonds mirrors its earth-grown one. Most people flock to this brand because of its Ring Studio.
Helping you design your dream ring (who says it has to be for an engagement?) James Allen makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. From very good to True Heart quality, this brand is one of the highest in quality out there. You’ll find lab-grown diamonds in carats 1.0-6.38 on its site, with prices that go from $1,000-$50,000.
- Design your dream ring
- White, yellow & rose gold
- Premade pieces as well
- Wide range of cuts & carats
VRAI has a breathtaking selection of classic jewelry for the modern woman. Its pieces are high quality and super sparkling, featuring hand-chiseled diamonds that really help them shine.
Like other names on this list of the best lab-grown diamonds, VRAI takes their sustainability mission seriously. Producing their diamonds with renewable energy, if you’re looking for a brand that’s here to save the earth, this one is a great pick. The majority of VRAI’s pieces start at $1,000+.
- Produced with renewable energy
- Hand cut diamonds
- High quality pieces
- Create your own ring feature
4. Brilliant Earth
The common link between brands on this list of the best lab-grown diamonds? They all care about the earth. Brilliant Earth uses recycled precious metals and lab-grown or Beyond Conflict Free gems to ensure what they offer is ethical and responsible.
Brilliant Earth has a gorgeous selection of classic and modern earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces, plus the option to design your own ring. You’ll find pieces as low as $290 as well as diamond-decorated designs that go up to $176,000.
- Lab-grown & recycled diamonds
- Recycled precious metals
- Design your dream ring
- Transparent about sourcing
- Wide selection of jewelry
Lab-grown diamonds are the only type 12FIFTEEN offers. Every last design is accented with at least one diamond, and you’ll browse through an elegant collection of rings, necklaces, earrings, and more to find a piece that speaks to you. If you prefer, use the ring creator tool and design the ring you’ve always wanted.
12FIFTEEN has a reputation for fine quality, and we think you’ll love this line if you like timeless style. Their lowest priced piece is a sterling silver necklace with 0.06 carat diamond. A diamond covered tennis bracelet is their highest, at $9,495.
- Uses all lab created gems
- Wide selection of all types of jewelry
- Very affordable
- Build your own ring tool
The folks at Kimaï believe that “jewelry shouldn’t cost us the earth.” With a smaller collection than others on this list of the best lab-grown diamonds, the brand uses lab-grown diamonds only along with recycled precious metals to create sparkly, stand-out pieces.
Launched by two friends with families who worked in the diamond industry, Kimaï was born out of the need for change. Expect simple, modern pieces here with a luxe look. Prices range from $195 for diamond studs to $5,745 for an 18k solid gold necklace enrobed with gems.
- Handmade jewelry
- Uses recycled gold
- Simple, modern style
- Great selection of necklaces, earrings & rings
7. Blue Nile
When Blue Nile bought Lightbox a few years ago, it entered the lab-grown diamond scene. Before that time, the focus was on earth-grown diamonds and handcrafted gold pieces, but they always approached jewelry making from a small scale perspective.
Blue Nile’s line is smaller than others that landed on this list of the best lab-grown diamonds, but it has some excellent prices and designs that make things exciting. Prices start around $600 for a ¼ carat 14k gold ring and go up to $1,400 for a 1 carat diamond.
- VS clarity guarantee
- Small collection
- Colored diamonds
- Very good cut grade only
8. Or & Elle
Or & Elle is one of the more luxurious picks on this list of the best lab-grown diamonds. Created by a 4th generation jeweler, the brand uses the best parts of past jewelry making but gives them a 21st century update.
By looking at its collection, you wouldn’t know the only diamond they offer is lab-grown, and that’s one of the beautiful things about choosing lab-grown. Sparkly, glamorous, and luxurious in every way, Or & Elle uses recycled gold as well to up the ante. Rings start at $750 while an 18k gold pave diamond bracelet is $15,000.
- Recycled 18k gold
- Luxury designs
- Lab-grown gems only
- 4th gen jeweler
One of the first things we noticed about Ritani was its transparent approach. Showing you what their pieces cost versus how much they sell them for, the brand seeks to keep diamond buying and selling a fair trade from lab to finger. Ritani doesn’t just offer lab-grown diamonds, but their selection does stand out from its others.
Ritani is all about helping you find the right diamond, so they offer free chats with a non-commissioned gemologist to ensure you don’t miss out. Most of their diamonds fall in the 1.0-4.11 carat range, though you’ll find some more affordable options as well from 0.25+.
When choosing your favorite piece, you’ll have options for carat and which metal you prefer. 14K white gold 0.25 carat diamond studs start at $350.
- Offers all types of precious metals
- Tons of customization
- Free chat with a gemologist
- Transparent about pricing
10. Smiling Rocks
Smiling Rocks is a cool brand to finish up this list of the best lab-grown diamonds with. Worn by celebs, the line was created to make a positive impact and with every purchase, the brand will donate a whopping 3% to your choice of charity.
All the diamonds that Smiling Rocks uses are lab-grown and feature a laser inscribed Smiling Rocks logo on them. Certified by ESG, this transparent, responsible company is fun to shop with. Earrings range from $400-$10,000 while necklaces are $200-$19,000.
- Affordable options
- Donates 3% to charity
- Features an inscribed logo on every gem
- Unique style
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They have the identical chemical and physical properties to earth-mined diamonds. The only difference is their origin. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a laboratory, whereas natural diamonds are created by nature over millions of years.
In addition, lab-grown diamonds are also sometimes called man-made diamonds, cultivated diamonds, or synthetic diamonds. Yet all of these terms refer to the same thing: a diamond that has been created in a lab rather than in the ground.
Lab-Grown Diamonds: Creation Methods
The vast majority of lab-grown diamonds on the market today are made using one of two methods: high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
The HPHT method recreates the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed underground. It starts with a small diamond seed, which is placed in a chamber with carbon under high pressure and temperature conditions. The result is a rough diamond crystal growing around the seed.
The CVD method involves breaking down methane gas into its component parts: hydrogen and carbon. These elements are then deposited onto a small diamond seed in a low-pressure chamber, resulting in a thin film of carbon that gradually builds up around the seed until it forms a rough diamond crystal.
Both of these methods can be used to create lab-grown diamonds that are optically, physically, and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds.
Why Lab-Grown Diamonds May Not Be Good For You
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, but they’re not natural diamonds. They’re made in a laboratory by a process of superheating and cooling carbon. Lab-grown diamonds have the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as natural diamonds. However, they’re not as valuable as natural diamonds because they’re not as rare.
Additionally, lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds, but they’re not always a good deal. Keep in mind that the price of lab-grown diamonds depends on the quality of the diamond and its size.
How To Take Care Of Lab-Grown Diamonds
Because lab-grown diamonds are so new, there’s not a lot of information available on how to care for them. So, if you’re wondering how to clean your lab-grown diamond, here are some tips.
To clean dirt and grime from your lab-grown diamond, simply soak it in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Then, use a soft toothbrush to scrub the diamond gently. After that, rinse it well and dry it with a soft cloth.
If your diamond is particularly dirty or if it has build-up from body oils or perfume, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution. You can make a solution of one part ammonia to 10 parts water. Soak the diamond in this solution for a few minutes, then scrub it with a soft toothbrush. After that, rinse it well and dry it thoroughly.
Most importantly, avoid using harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, as these can damage the surface of your diamond. Ultimately, lab-grown diamonds are durable and low-maintenance, and with proper care, they’ll last a long time.
Lab-Grown Diamonds: Properties
Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as earth-mined diamonds. They have the same hardness (10 on the Mohs scale), refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, and visual appearance. The only way to tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and an earth-mined diamond is via advanced diamond-testing equipment.
Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs Mined Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are created through a process of sophisticated technological innovation. They’re physically, chemically, and optically identical to mined diamonds, yet they come with a host of benefits that make them a more attractive choice for many jewelry buyers.
For instance, lab-grown diamonds are eco-friendly, humane, and often less expensive than their mined counterparts.
The process of mining diamonds can be extremely damaging to the environment. It involves clearing large tracts of land, which can lead to soil erosion and habitat loss. Luckily, lab-grown diamonds don’t require any mining, so they have a much smaller environmental footprint.
In addition, the diamond industry has been criticized for its ties to human rights abuses. So, lab-grown diamonds provide an alternative that’s free from such concerns. Because they don’t come from the earth, there’s no risk of them being associated with conflict or exploitation.
Furthermore, lab-grown diamonds tend to be less expensive than mined diamonds—although the exact price will depend on the size and quality of the stone. Because they don’t require the same level of investment in terms of land and labor, lab-grown diamonds offer significant cost savings that are passed on to the consumer.
For all these reasons, lab-grown diamonds are an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a beautiful, responsible piece of jewelry.
How To Shop For The Best Lab-Grown Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds have quickly become a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry. Thanks to advances in technology, these man-made diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds, but they typically cost less.
When shopping for lab-grown diamonds, it’s important to keep the ‘4 Cs’ in mind. The cut, clarity, color, and carat weight all affect a diamond’s appearance and value. So, it’s best to work with a reputable jeweler to find a lab-grown diamond that meets your standards in all of these categories.
Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as diamonds that are mined from the earth. Lab-grown diamonds are also just as hard as natural diamonds, scoring a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
The main difference between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds is how they’re produced. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a laboratory using either high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods.
Natural diamonds, on the other hand, are formed deep within the earth over millions of years through a process of extreme heat and pressure.
Because lab-grown diamonds are produced in a controlled environment, they tend to be more flawless than natural diamonds. In fact, nearly all lab-grown diamonds fall into the ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ categories on the four Cs scale of diamond quality (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight).
So, if you’re looking for a diamond that’s stunning and pure, a lab-grown diamond may be the right choice for you.
What other names are lab-grown diamonds called?
Lab-grown diamonds are also known as man-made diamonds, cultivated diamonds, or synthetic diamonds.
How can I tell if my diamond is natural or lab-grown?
Despite their different origins, both lab-grown and natural diamonds share the same physical and chemical properties. As a result, it can be very difficult for even a trained jeweler to tell them apart.
The most reliable way to tell a lab-grown diamond from a natural one is through an assessment with specialized equipment. However, even then, it can be tricky to differentiate between the two.
So, if you’re curious about whether that diamond ring is natural or lab-grown, your best bet is to take it to a professional for an assessment.
Which lab-grown diamonds are the smokiest?
One popular belief is that because lab-grown diamonds are not exposed to the elements, they won’t become cloudy over time. However, this is not the case. Lab-grown diamonds can become just as cloudy as mined diamonds over time. The reason for this is that both types of diamonds are made of carbon.
Carbon is a naturally occurring element that’s constantly interacting with its environment. And when diamonds interact with their environment, they can absorb impurities which can cause them to become cloudy. Therefore, whether a diamond is mined from the Earth or grown in a lab, it can become cloudy over time.
You’ve read all about the best lab-grown diamonds, what’s next? By now, you know what makes these ethical gems so attractive and the benefits of choosing them over their earth-grown counterparts. Which brand you choose depends on your personal style, budget, and most importantly, if they carry a piece that speaks to you.
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