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Earth Created vs. Lab Created Diamonds: A Guide

Lab grown diamond or earth-created diamond? We’ve got all the info you need to live your best sparkling life with the perfect diamond for you!

fancy shaped diamonds sitting on a pink surface

Lab created diamonds have become increasingly popular and are pretty much the new kids on the jewelry block. Like many new unknowns, people are a little skeptical at first when they hear about lab grown diamonds, but rest assured, they make for a perfect alternative to earth-created diamonds. Let’s start with some basic facts so you can decide with 100% confidence which sort of sparkle sets a twinkle in your eye.

What Is A Diamond 

Diamonds are carbon atoms. When they’re arranged in a very particular structure, you get the tough and beautiful stone we know and love. Producing this special carbon arrangement in nature demands conditions that are intense. We’re talking high heat and super-high pressure. Needless to say, very few places in the world are capable of producing earth-created diamonds.

A variety of loose fancy-shaped diamonds

The Key Difference Between Earth and Lab Created Diamonds

Earth created diamonds are sourced from below the earth’s surface, whereas lab created diamonds are created in simulated “below-ground” conditions in a lab.

To put it simply, their origin is the only difference between these two types of diamonds. 

Technology has advanced to the point that we don’t always have to go digging for our precious stones; we can simulate the necessary extreme conditions in specialized pressure chambers in a lab.

Lab created diamonds are grown from tiny carbon “seeds” that develop in these chambers over months, as scorching gasses deposit carbon atom-by-atom onto the original seed. Lab created diamonds even develop their own unique characteristics (inclusions, clarity, etc.) along the way, and once they’re fully grown, they’re cut into the shape that suits their qualities best.

Several diamond engagement rings with different settings

Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Diamond

Picking a diamond isn’t easy- there’s your budget to consider, your partner’s preference for cut, clarity, carat, and color, and its rarity factor. 

Cost 

One of the biggest upsides to lab grown diamonds is that they’re generally about 30% more affordable than earth-created diamonds. 

Why?

The diamond-growing process is less resource-intensive than the diamond-mining process. It simply costs less to grow a diamond in a lab than it does to mine a diamond from the earth, and those savings are passed along to diamond shoppers. That means that for the same cost, you can purchase a lab created diamond that’s 30% larger than an earth-created one but just as dazzling. 

14K White Gold Seven Stone Low Dome Basket Lab Created Diamond Ring (0.75 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)
14K White Gold Low Dome Basket Lab-Created Diamond Eternity Ring (2 CTW F-G / VS2-SI1)

Value

Earth-created diamonds are the classic choice. Lab created diamonds are the fresh choice. 

There is no doubt that earth-created diamonds contain millennia of history, tradition, and romance. They are one of nature’s most incredible products. Drawn from deep within the earth, these sparkling treasures have been proudly flaunted by generations upon generations – paving the way for you to carry on the tradition.

Lab created diamonds, on the other hand, are the next step in diamond history. Technically speaking, they’re brand new. But traditionally speaking, diamonds are diamonds forever. Lab created diamonds give their wearer a unique chance to create new memories. 

Both earth-created diamonds and lab created diamonds hold their sparkle forever, so they’ll be just as beautiful when you pass them on as heirlooms as they are when you wear them on a night out.

14K White Gold Four Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet (1.00 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)
14K White Gold Three Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet (3.00 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

Cuts & Colors

Both earth-created and lab created diamonds are available in nearly every shape and color – even fancy colors!

Colorful diamonds, like canary yellow ones, are quite rare. Their shocking hues are caused by trace amounts of non-carbon elements, like nitrogen. By adding these elements to a growing diamond in its pressure chamber, lab grown diamonds take on the same fancy colors as earth-created diamonds.

Good news: any diamond can be cut into any shape. When it comes to diamond cuts, you truly are spoiled for choice!

14K White Gold Four Prong Basket Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Pendant (0.50 CTW - F-G /VS2-SI1)
14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Pendant (0.50 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

GIA Certified Lab Created Diamonds

Like all earth-created diamonds, lab grown diamonds also come with their very own birth certificate (GIA Certification). 

Since lab-grown diamonds are optically and chemically the same as mined diamonds, they come with their own certification. Today, most lab created diamonds are certified by IGI, International Gemological Institute. Additionally, these diamonds are being accepted and certified by the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, which has developed sophisticated devices that are used to screen and identify the difference between natural diamonds and lab grown ones. 

14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings (0.50 CTW - F-G / VS1-VS2)
14K White Gold Four Prong Round Brilliant Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings (0.25 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

Should You Get a Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring

The short answer is, why not? Here are 5 reasons to choose a lab-created diamond engagement ring: 

1: Budget-Friendly

You’re able to maximize your budget and walk away with a bigger center stone for your engagement ring if you choose a lab created diamond. Furthermore, it might not even be about the size of the ring, but more about being able to get the diamond of your dreams for a third of the price. 

14K Rose Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring

2: The Ethical Choice 

Lab grown diamonds are definitely the more ethical choice and guaranteed to come conflict-free. Their environmental impact is minimal at best, with zero ecological damage since they’re not mined. 

14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring

3: Stress-Free Shopping Experience

Most online jewelry retailers with customization options, like our very own ring studio, allow you to choose your preferred center stone. That means you’re able to inspect your diamond options (often in real-time), and browse at your own pace. 

14K White Gold Marquise Diamond Accents Pave Basket Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Marquise Diamond Accents Pave Basket Engagement Ring

4: Lab created diamonds are REAL

This can’t be emphasized enough, both lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds have the same chemical, optical and physical properties. A lab created diamond is not a diamond alternative like moissanite, it’s the real deal. 

A variety of diamond engagement rings on a white surface

5: Unique

Lab grown diamonds are unique in their own right. Not only can they be cut and shaped to your heart’s desire, but they can be cut to absolute perfection. Our True Heart™ diamonds are a premier collection of perfectly cut diamonds, known for their flawless internal symmetry and proportions. 

Choosing the stone that suits your lifestyle is an important part of designing meaningful jewelry that will last you throughout your life. And if you choose to buy either lab created diamonds or earth-created diamonds, you can choose from 1000’s beautiful options at James Allen.

A variety of loose fancy-shaped diamonds on a white surface

Keep up on your diamond reading:

  1. How To Take Care Of Your Diamond Jewelry
  2. True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds
  3. Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Moissanite

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