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Lab Grown Diamonds Vs. Earth Created Diamonds: What’s the Difference?

Think you can tell the difference between earth created diamonds and lab grown diamond engagement rings? We’ll put you to the test with some of our best diamonds!

Lab grown diamonds vs Earth created diamonds

Although lab grown diamonds are created in a lab, they are real diamonds and have the same physical, chemical, and visual properties as earth created diamonds.

This striking similarity begs the question: Is it possible to tell the two apart?

You don’t need to be an expert to try and give it a go. We’re showing off some of our customers’ favorite custom-designed engagement rings. Some have lab diamond center stones, and others are set with mined diamonds. Keep scrolling to see if you can spot which is which.

Did you know that it takes earth made diamonds billions of years to form, whereas a lab grown diamond can be created in under 10 weeks? That’s right! Scientists have managed to recreate special chambers which replicate the exact environment needed for diamonds to form.

Another fun fact about lab created diamonds is they come in every shape, size, and color as earth created diamonds. While some fancy color diamonds are extremely rare, you wouldn’t struggle to find your favorite color as a lab diamond.

Any luck differentiating between the diamonds? Don’t fret if not. Even the experts can’t tell the difference between lab created diamonds and mined diamonds with the naked eye.

Let’s tally up your scores and see if you guessed correctly. For each set, we’ll go from left to right:

  1. Lab grown | Earth
  2. Earth | Lab grown
  3. Earth | Lab grown
  4. Lab grown | Earth

So, how’d you do??

What’s The Difference Between Lab Created Diamonds And Earth Created Diamonds?

If you found it difficult to spot the difference, just know you’re not the only one! Lab created diamonds are optically and chemically identical to earth created diamonds. The only difference between the two is their origin.

  • Earth created diamonds are sourced from below the earth’s surface.
  • Lab grown diamonds are created in simulated ‘below-ground’ conditions in a lab.

Getting The Best Diamond Ring For Your Buck

Modern-day consumers will be happy to hear that lab grown diamonds are generally more affordable than earth created diamonds, giving you a 30% larger stone for the same cost!

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. If you’re looking to maximize your budget without compromising on quality and sparkle, lab created diamonds are a great choice for you. 

Worth It? We Think So

There’s no doubt that earth created diamonds contain millennia of history, tradition, and romance. While these diamonds are the classic choice, lab grown diamonds are an affordable option and equally fresh. No matter what you decide, both diamonds hold their magnificent sparkle forever!

Final Thoughts

Were you able to tell our lab grown and earth created diamonds apart? Here’s the bottom line: Both are winners! Lab grown diamonds offer equal brilliance and sparkle as earth created diamonds. That being said, if you’re looking to maximize your budget without compromising on quality, a lab grown diamond may be calling your name.

Something sparkly catches your eye? At James Allen, we’ve got loads more jewelry up our sleeve. Browse our stunning assortment of wedding rings, tennis bracelets, men’s engagement rings, and more to spoil your significant other (or yourself!) today.

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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How To Figure Out Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are all the rage, but what exactly are they? Are they real? Are they like regular diamonds? And just how do they get their color? Read on to get all the answers and some inspo too!

Fancy Diamonds

In 2021, a new record was set. The largest, most valuable blue diamond was discovered in South Africa. It is larger, has deeper color, than the previous record holder, and this gem is flawless, with the highest color rating available by the GIA. A prize offered to less than 1% of blue diamonds.

The stone took over a year to polish and facet into the 15.10-carat step-cut diamond it is today and now The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond is valued at $48 million USD.

The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond

While THIS fancy colored diamond is out of reach for most of us here on the ground, getting your own fancy colored diamond is easier than ever. James Allen carries a variety of sizes and colors to choose from.

So get on board with the trend that is here to stay! From engagement rings to fine jewelry, fancy colored diamonds give that unique, personal edge to your bling. So get ready to sparkle, because embracing color has never been more in style.

What Exactly Are Fancy Colored Diamonds?

Essentially fancy colored diamonds are diamonds that feature a variety of colors. Diamonds normally come in an assortment of colorless options. Meaning that diamonds are either completely colorless all the way to a variety of light yellow.

How Do Fancy Color Diamonds Get Their Color?

While in traditional diamonds color is not desired, in fancy colored diamonds, color is EXACTLY what you want! From dark to light, color is what you are after. So how do they get their color?

These highly prized diamonds, similar to their traditional counterparts, get their color when they are formed. Intense heat and pressure during the diamond’s formation create trace elements that present themselves in a way to create either no color, or for fancy colored diamonds, brilliant color.

The strength of the color depends on the interaction of the trace elements. Whether you prefer a lighter pink or a brighter blue, it’s all about the carbon atoms.

Colored diamonds

The Colors Of The Rainbow

Fancy colored diamonds are available in every color you can think of: pink, blue, purple, green, orange, brown, black, and even red or gray. While traditional diamonds lose value as they gain color, fancy colored diamonds do the opposite.

The stronger the color, the higher the value. Similar to traditional diamonds, fancy colored diamonds gain value the larger the size. The most common colors are in the yellow family, which is great because they are often the most economical choice of fancy colored diamonds.

Fancy colored diamonds

Hue, Saturation, and Tone

Hue, saturation, and tone: what are they and what do they mean? Hue is the main or strongest color of the fancy colored diamond. Fancy colored diamonds can be one color but the hue is the strongest, followed by secondary colors and tints.

Saturation is just how strong the color, or hue, of the fancy colored diamond is. As in, how saturated is the color of the fancy colored diamond. A fancy colored diamond’s saturation can go from “light” to “intense,” all the way to “vivid.”

And finally there is tone. Tone is how light or dark the fancy colored diamond appears and is decided by the amount of brown, black, gray, or white color.

Hue, saturation, and tone all come together to determine a fancy colored diamond’s grade (light, fancy, fancy light, fancy intense, vivid, fancy dark, and fancy deep). Similar to their traditional diamond counterparts, fancy colored diamonds’ value and fit are not determined solely on their grade.

Different strokes for different folks, different grades for different fancy colored diamonds, for different engagement rings.

Engaging Color, Exclusive Style

Fancy colored diamonds are just as real as traditional diamonds and can be used in just as many ways. Fancy colored diamonds are a popular choice, especially for engagement rings and wedding rings. So how do you know which fancy colored diamond is right for you?

Fancy Pink Diamonds

Let’s start with fancy pink diamonds. Fancy pink diamonds have long been a favorite for those who love a burst of color. As part of the rarest of diamond colors, earth created pink (and red) fancy colored diamonds are an extraordinary find, with reports of only approximately 30 being in existence.

Get your very own fancy pink diamond engagement ring with James Allen!

Split Prong Cathedral Engagement Ring

Pink diamond
14K White Gold Split Prong Cathedral Engagement Ring

Fancy Blue Diamonds

Love of color is not specific to pink. Fancy blue diamonds make a beautiful, calming choice. Another rarity, fancy blue colored diamonds are thought to represent spirituality, eternity, truth, and devotion. Getting their hue from boron, with their resemblance of a clear spring sky or a sparkling ocean, it is no wonder fancy blue diamonds are so popular.

Check out this example of a Fancy Blue Diamond Engagement Ring!

Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Blue diamond
Lab-Created 1.37 Carat D-VVS2 Ideal Cut Round Diamond Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Fancy Black Diamonds

Or maybe you wanna go dark like the black diamond ring? Fancy black diamonds have a strong color intensity and sparkle with a metallic shine. These exotic diamonds are a darling of the fashion world.

Found only in a few locations, fancy black diamonds are thought to symbolize love and eternity, making them a fabulously unique way to adorn your finger. Get your own version from James Allen and start showing off!

Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Black diamond
14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Fancy Green Diamonds

Representing life, renewal, and growth, green is a great color for a fancy diamond. Fancy green diamonds are extremely rare, as they are created due to exposure to radiation. The radiation can come from groundwater or radioactive rocks near the earth’s surface.

Often pricier than their counterparts due to their rarity, green diamonds are a lively colorful choice for an engagement ring. And don’t worry, while the stone may get its color from radiation, it is totally safe!

Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

Green diamond
14K White Gold Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

Looking for another color of the rainbow to make your engagement ring stand out? Check out the many colors of fancy diamonds that James Allen has to offer!

Pros of Fancy Colored DiamondsPros of Traditional Diamonds
Showcase Unique StylePlentiful Choices in Clarity and Cut
Great InvestmentNumerous Affordable Options
More RareClassic Choice

Real Diamonds, Real Fancy

Fancy colored diamonds are not to be confused with gemstones (which also go great with diamonds). Fancy colored diamonds are just as much diamonds as their traditional counterparts.

The advantage is that you can express your personal style in a particularly unique way using color. Check out these examples below or create your own!

And let’s not forget fancy colored brown diamonds, better known as chocolate diamonds.

Bead Accent Pavé Trio Diamond Engagement Ring

In addition to their rarity and value, fancy colored diamonds are extremely popular. At once elegant and trendy, fancy colored diamonds allow you to add an extra level of personal expression. But don’t be fooled by the name, fancy colored diamonds are also good to wear everyday!

Pair with white gold, yellow gold, or platinum, James Allen as a variety of fancy colored diamonds to create the perfect engagement ring. Start shopping today!

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Sarah Axelrad

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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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: An Ethical Choice 

Lab grown diamonds are an ethical choice because they are guaranteed to come conflict-free 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

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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