Lab-grown diamonds. Man-made diamonds. Whatever you want to call them, they’ve carved a niche for themselves within the world of diamond jewelry. Are they real diamonds you may ask? Well, yes. They are identical to naturally-formed diamonds on a molecular level, the only difference is how they came to be here. They share the same sparkle, the same cuts, the same brilliance.
While I will always prefer a natural diamond, lab-grown diamonds are undeniably impressive. And they have a number of distinct qualities:
So with the same optical abilities of natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can be quite appealing to many people. In contrast, a lot of diamond purists don’t like them as they’re not rare gemstones.
It’s a little like comparing fresh-roasted, organic, independent coffee, and instant coffee granules. But there’s always a place for instant coffee, as it’s inherently more accessible. Lab-grown diamonds exist to level the playing field, meaning that diamonds are no longer something only the very rich can afford.
Many of you may have found this article because you’re interested in purchasing a lab-grown diamond. You’ve done your research on the advantages and disadvantages and are now curious about where to find the best ones. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
I always feel like articles like this throw as many options at you as possible. I’m going to recommend the very best three, so that you don’t have to spend ages searching around.
Blue Nile has long been one of my favorite places to purchase diamonds from. Their range is truly vast, and you’re always sure to find something spectacular for a competitive price. They’re a market leader for online diamonds and their jewelry designs are beautiful.
While you can’t buy loose man-made diamonds from Blue Nile, you can purchase from a wide variety of lab-grown diamond jewelry. This line was launched in 2020 in partnership with LIGHTBOX, and includes a range of stunning earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
The LIGHTBOX Lab-Grown Diamond Round Solitaire Pendant Necklace from Blue Nile. Image credit: Blue Nile
With prices for their lab-grown diamond jewelry ranging from $600 to $1,400, Blue Nile has one of the most accessible ranges. They also offer engraving, complimentary ring resizing, a lifetime manufacturer warranty, and a flexible payment plan.
Brilliant Earth are arguably the most well-known when it comes to man-made diamonds. They have a dedicated approach to ensuring their wares are ethical, and so man-made diamonds are their specialty. My experience of shopping with them was incredibly streamlined — especially when it comes to designing your own engagement ring, which is an enjoyable process.
Their range of lab-grown diamonds is extensive. They come in many colors, shapes, and cuts, and are matched in their quality by the settings you can choose from. Their range of colored lab-grown diamonds is also very impressive, as the colors are vibrant and visually impressive.
This 1.26 Carat Round Lab Created Diamond is a compelling gemstone that would suit being adorned in any piece of jewelry. Image credit: Brilliant Earth
You can utilize Brilliant Earth’s virtual try-on app to get a feel for how a ring would look on your hand. When accessing Brilliant Earth through your phone, simply upload a picture of your hand and you can customize the ring while it sits on your finger.
They also offer a lot of professional guidance, and with lab-grown diamond prices starting around $300, it’s well worth considering Brilliant Earth as the place to buy from.
Another favorite of many is James Allen, who have a long history of supplying the best quality diamonds for the best prices. And their range of lab-grown diamonds is nothing to turn your nose up at.
Like others in this list, James Allen too have a customization feature on their site. I can’t stress how important it is for those looking for an engagement ring to use tools such as these. An engagement ring is not to be simply plucked off the shelf — it’s a highly personal item, and the more say you have over how the final product looks, the better.
And what to say of their man-made diamonds? They’re gorgeous. Take the Lab-Created 1.01 Carat Round Diamond below. With a VVS1 clarity grading, E color, and Ideal cut, it’s a very impressive diamond and would look perfect embedded in a high-quality engagement ring setting.
Image credit: James Allen
James Allen’s online range is supported by the inclusion of many high-definition 360-degree images of each diamond. Alongside their 24.7 customer service, it’s almost too easy to find a quality lab-grown or natural diamond in record time.
Any diamond search requires a list of things to look for. Is the seller reputable? Is their accreditation? Does the diamond come with certification attached? These are the questions any diamond buyer worth their salt will find out immediately.
When it comes to lab-grown diamonds, find out where the retailer sources their diamonds from. Do they get them from a manufacturer or do they create them in-house? Either is fine, but you want to make sure that their process is a trustworthy one. What you can search for is:
In terms of the diamonds themselves, remember that lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural ones, and so the same process for finding natural diamonds can be applied. Here’s a guide on how to buy diamonds online and recommendations for the best places to buy them from.
Finally, arguably the most important thing to look for is that the diamond has independent grading done by either the AGS, GIA, or IGI. With trusted certification like this, you can be sure that what you’re purchasing is exactly as described.
If you’re looking for bespoke advice regarding your diamond pursuit or about a diamond you’ve chosen but are still unsure about, head to the concierge service I offer here at Diamond Expert. I’ve decades of insider knowledge ready to share with you — all for free.
Whether you’re looking for a specialized diamond, like a lab-grown diamond, or are just looking for general recommendations, I’ve got the answers for you.