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Earth-Created vs. Lab-Grown Diamonds: A Guide

Lab-grown diamond – or earth-created diamond? Here’s all the data you need to live your best sparkling life.

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds set side-by-side on blue and pink backgrounds

Lab-grown diamonds are pretty much the new kids on the jewelry block. So let’s clarify a few points, so you can decide with 100% confidence which sort of sparkle sets a twinkle in your eye: classic earth-created diamonds, or cutting-edge lab-grown diamonds

ORIGIN

The only difference between the two is their origin.

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

What’s a diamond? It’s just carbon atoms. But arrange them in a very particular structure, and you get the incredibly hard 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. 

But technology has advanced to the point that we don’t always have to go digging for our precious stones; we can actually 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 incredibly hot gases 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.

White Gold Pavé Halo Engagement Ring
with Cushion-Cut Diamond

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold halo cushion-cut diamond engagement ring

Rose Gold Vintage Engagement Ring
with Princess-Cut Diamond

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: rose gold vintage floral diamond engagement ring

COST

Lab-grown diamonds are 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.

Rose Gold Bezel-Set Pavé Engagement Ring

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: rose gold pavé bezel-set diamond engagement ring

Two-Tone Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold and yellow gold diamond engagement ring

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’ll pass them on as heirlooms as they are when you wear them on a night out.

Rose Gold Leaf Bypass Engagement Ring

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: rose gold bypass diamond engagement ring

White Gold Tapered Pavé Engagement Ring

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold tapered pavé diamond engagement ring

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!

White Gold Milgrain Engagement Ring
with Princess-Cut Fancy Yellow Diamond

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold fancy yellow diamond engagement ring

White Gold Laurel Engagement Ring
with Cushion-Cut Diamond

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold cushion-cut diamond engagement ring

JEWELRY

Diamonds aren’t only for rings. Have a look at the pendants and earrings that can be set with either earth-created or lab-grown diamonds:

White Gold Bezel-Set Diamond Pendant

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold diamond pendant

Yellow Gold Scroll Diamond Pendant

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: yellow gold diamond pendant

White Gold Princess-Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: white gold princess-cut diamond stud earrings

Yellow Gold Martini Diamond Stud Earrings

lab-grown diamonds vs. earth-created diamonds: yellow gold diamond stud earrings

Searching for more diamond reading? Read on below!

  1. Lab-created Diamonds vs. Moissanite
  2. Princess Cut vs. Cushion Cut 
  3. Why Diamond Cut Matters Most
  4. How To Care For Your Diamonds
  5. Our Diamond Price Match Guarantee

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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The Last Dance’s All-Star Engagement Rings

Is Michael Jordan the GOAT? We know what we think after watching “The Last Dance,” but there’s no doubt about these basketball couples’ engagement rings: they’re clearly among the all-time greats.

We’ve binged “The Last Dance” and the truth is, we’ve got basketball on the mind. With no live sports currently in sight, who could resist revisiting those legendary plays? The giants on the court clearly don’t skimp on showmanship off the court, either. We’ve found NBA greats who have proposed with some seriously impressive bling. These NBA couples’ engagement rings are just like Michael: they turn it on, and never turn it off!

You’ve seen “The Last Dance,” now check out these NBA look-alike engagement rings:

Michael Jordan & Yvette Prieto

We love celeb engagement rings, but His Airness took proposing to the next level. The star of “The Last Dance” – proposed with a split-shank pavé stunner, graced with a clear-as-ice emerald-cut center diamond. Wow. Now that’s our kind of championship ring.

Split-Shank Engagement Ring
with Emerald-Cut Diamond

Scottie Pippen & Larsa Pippen

Scottie Pippen gifted more than a few diamond rings to his then-wife Larsa Pippen, and one of our favorites is definitely this unbelievably sparkly three-stone engagement ring with a HUGE 14 carat, pear-cut center diamond. And the best news is – you can score this lookalike for yourself.

Round-Cut Three-Stone Engagement Ring

Magic Johnson & Cookie Johnson

Magic & Cookie celebrated their 25th anniversary with a truly hefty ring featuring a 25 carat, emerald-cut center diamond. That’s one carat for each year of marriage. If you adore Cookie’s bling but, like us mere mortals, have your sights set on a diamond a few carats smaller, this lookalike ring is for you: the halo makes the center diamond look bigger than it actually is! 

Vintage Square Halo Pavé Engagement Ring

LeBron James & Savannah Brinson

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James proposed to high school sweetheart Savannah Brinson with a beautifully simple three-stone engagement ring. This star couple put their own unique twist on their engagement ring with diamond in a variety of trending shapes: a shining pear-shaped diamond flanked by two baguette-shaped diamonds for backup.

Pear-Shaped Tapered Baguette Engagement Ring

Steph Curry + Ayesha Curry

Another couple that goes way back is Steph and Ayesha, who first met each other in a high school church youth group. Excuse us for a second while our hearts melt. Ayesha’s diamond-encrusted engagement ring is totally #twinning with our sparkling Petite Pavé Crown ring.

Petite Pavé Crown Engagement Ring

Dwayne Wade + Gabrielle Union-Wade

This NBA/Hollywood power couple got engaged with a flat-banded solitaire engagement ring featuring a positively enormous, 8.5-carat cushion-cut diamond.

Fun fact: cushion-cut diamonds display impressive fire and, thanks to their many facets, hide inclusions particularly well.

Cushion-Cut Flat Edge Solitaire

Got that celeb craze? You’ll want to check out these star-studded lineups:

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Princess-Cut and Cushion-Cut Engagement Rings: Which One’s More Your Style?

These sparkling squares have earned themselves die-hard popularity among the engagement ring crowd. They’re beloved by everyone from divas to dreamers – so which are you?

There’s a reason (well, quite a few!) why princess-cut diamonds and cushion-cut diamonds are two of the most beloved cuts. In fact, after the round brilliant, they’re the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings.

Princess-cut:

  • The princess-cut diamond is bold and square/rectangular, with beveled edges that resemble a pyramid turned on its peak. 
  • The princess cut’s square shape takes up room, looking larger for its carat weight than other cuts.
  • The modern princess cut skyrocketed to popularity in the 1980s
  • Princess-cut and round diamonds begin as the same brilliant shape. To create a princess cut, cutters create sharp corners rather than smoothing out a diamond’s edges as they would for a round cut.
  • The number of facets can vary between individual princess cut diamonds, making each diamond undeniably unique. 

Cushion-cut:

  • The cushion-cut diamond is, as the name implies, pillow-shaped
  • Its squarish shape, rounded corners, and large facets combine to give off an air of soft elegance
  • The many facets of a cushion-cut engagement ring hide inclusions without sacrificing brilliance. In fact, word has it that the cushion cut’s large facets came from its predecessor, the Old Mine Cut, so that it could shine even in the low candlelight of the mines in which it was developed.
  • This classic goes way back – nearly 200 years!

So- bold and brilliant, or soft and romantic? Have a look at the five trending settings below and see whether princess-cut or cushion-cut best suits your personal style.

SPLIT-SHANK SOLITAIRE

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

CATHEDRAL PAVÉ

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

EMBOSSED BEZEL

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

CHANNEL-SET

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

OCTAGON HALO

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

Do princess-cut diamonds make you royally flush? Are you swooning over cushion-cut engagement rings? Read more below!

Read on…

Obsessing over one (or more) of the wedding rings in this post? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Pin it & show off your diamond-cut style!

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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A Match Made In Heaven: Cushion-Cut Halo Engagement Rings

Take classic glamour to the next level with a cushion-cut halo engagement ring.

The cushion-cut diamond has been beloved for over a century! With its rounded edges and soft square shape, the cushion-cut is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as couples throwback to the classics.

And what’s the perfect way to modernize a cushion-cut diamond? A halo! FYI: the now-obsessed-over halo engagement ring rose to popularity in the opulent Roaring Twenties as a glitzy way to show off a gorgeous center diamond.

A Cushion-Cut:

  • Shows off the clarity of your diamond
  • Radiates gentle grace and class
  • Gives engagement rings a romantic feel

A Halo:

  • Adds striking sparkle to any engagement ring
  • Draws attention to its center stone
  • Makes its center stone appear larger

Keep scrolling for our expert picks – the cushion-cut halo engagement rings at the crux of old-style charm and fresh glam:

Marquise Cluster

“The ring I purchased looks one-of-a-kind.”
– Michael A.

Navette Leaf

“The stone looks even bigger on my hand than expected!”
– Ashley T.

Side-stone

“SHE LOVES IT, I LOVE IT, WE LOVE IT!”
– Zachary K.

Tear Drops

“This setting makes a one-carat stone look like a two-carat!”
– Acon L.

Perfect Pavé

“I have never seen anything sparkle so much!”
– Mallarie P.

Regal Frame

“I could not be more pleased with my purchase!”
– Troy V.

Vintage Octagon

“My fiancee loved its antique yet modern look.”
– Brian M.

Split-Shank 

”All the diamonds are set perfectly and catch everyone’s attention.”
– Kyle K.

Curious about other popular engagement ring styles? Read more below!

Obsessing over one (or more) of the engagement rings in this post? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Shout out your style with this pin:

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Cushion Cut Diamonds with a Classic Glow

Cushion cut diamonds are the chic descendant of the historic old mine cut. A square shape with rounded corners, these pillow-shaped diamonds are a total dream.

cushion cut diamonds halo engagement ring

Browse Cushion Cut Diamonds

Why Cushion Cut Diamonds?

The cushion brilliant cut features 58 facets that reflect and refract light, carrying its antique romantic charm into the 21st century.

Fleur De Lis Pavé Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds art deco vintage engagement ring

Originally, cushion cut diamonds were designed to catch the beauty of candlelight in the 18th century (A.K.A. when every dinner was a candlelit dinner).

Princess Channel-Set Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds channel set engagement ring

Looking for a fancy colored diamond? Look no further than the cushion cut! Cushion cut fancy colored diamonds are especially vivid.

Cross Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds fancy color pink solitaire engagement ring

View Cushion Cut Diamonds in 360°

Who Rocks Cushion Cut Engagement Rings?

Almost every engagement ring featured a sparkling cushion cut diamond until the early 1900s. In the century that followed, cushion cut diamonds went through a gorgeous renaissance.

Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds solitaire engagement ring

Among those who have chosen cushion cut allure for their engagement rings? Celeb powerhouses including Sofia Vergara, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Biel, Kim Kardashian, and Bar Refaeli.

Cushion Outline Halo Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds halo engagement ring celebrity sofia vergara

Shop Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

What to Know About Cushion Cut Diamonds

Make sure the corners and sides of the diamond are symmetrical to achieve ideal sparkle! For surefire harmony, choose a True Hearts cushion cut from our premier collection of perfectly symmetrical diamonds.

Frame Halo Vintage Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds art deco vintage halo engagement ring

Standard or Modified Cushion Cut Diamonds?

Modified cushion cuts have an extra row of facets on their pavilion, which gives them a kind of “crushed ice” look. To the untrained eye, standard and modified cushion cut diamonds look mostly identical.

Petite Diamond Accent Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds tapered pave engagement ring

More Dreamy Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Baguette Three-Stone Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds baguette side stone engagement ring

Lotus Basket Pavé Engagement Ring

cushion cut diamonds knife edge pave engagement ring

Ready to cushion the glow? Create your Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring.

If you’re obsessed with one (or more!) of these rings, let us know in the comments below, or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Learn more in our diamond shapes blog series!

Pin this image to return to vintage sparkle:

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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