In the market for a perfectly cut diamond for less? Introducing the True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamond collection.
Are you gearing up to pop the question to your significant other and still deciding on an engagement ring? If you’re been exploring our website, you may be familiar with our exclusive collection of True Hearts™ diamonds and our budget-friendly but brilliant lab created diamonds.
Good news: for the first time ever, it’s your chance to score the best of both with our brand new collection of True Hearts™ Lab Created diamonds. Curious? Keep reading to get the down-low.
What Are True Hearts™ Diamonds?
When looking for a diamond cut with perfect precision, proportions, and symmetry, look no further than a True Hearts™ diamond.
How do we get the best cut? Our True Hearts™ collection is crafted by the crème de la crème of diamond cutters and features a one-of-a-kind pattern that resembles hearts and arrows.
Just in case you were wondering, this exceptional cut also results in facet positioning that acts like tiny mirrors, which contributes to its off-the-charts sparkle.
Want to shine from ear to ear? Of course, you do! Enjoy our studding stud options, from the traditional four-pong setting to bolder designs like bezel and milgrain diamond studs. Each come in different metal color options and can be set with the diamond szie of your choosing.
You may be wondering: What is a lab created diamond and how is it different from earth created diamonds? We’re here to clarify a few points before you decide if a True Hearts Lab Created Diamond™ is right for you.
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.
Needless to say, producing the special carbon arrangement of earth-created diamonds is intense. We’re talking high heat and super high pressure. Plus, very few places in the world are capable of producing earth created diamonds.
Ready to shop True Hearts™ Lab Created diamonds? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!
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!
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:
Lab grown | Earth
Earth | Lab grown
Earth | Lab grown
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!
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!
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.
So you’re ready to pop the big question but you’re not quite sure where to start looking for that special sparkler…let us help you discover the best place to buy an engagement ring!
We’re going to try and give you a simple answer to that special question you’ve been asking yourself lately– where is the best place to buy an engagement ring??
If you’re looking to take the next step and begin your engagement ring shopping experience, we absolutely recommend starting online! Whether you’re looking for a classic solitaire engagement ring with no extra bits or bobs, or you’re looking for the perfect halo engagement ring set in your dream fancy shape diamond, we guarantee your preference is bound to be online, and in abundance!
It’s no surprise that online shopping has become a comfortable and convenient alternative to in-person shopping over the past few years. But does it take away anything from the ring shopping experience?
Let’s walk through the pros and cons of buying your dream ring online, and hopefully, you’ll come to agree that the best place to buy an engagement ring is from the comfort of your own home.
Engagement Ring Shopping
Engagement ring shopping is as exciting as it is overwhelming. Not only does it take some research but it’s a huge investment, and one you surely want to get right from the get-go.
Many online jewelry realtors understand the stress and unique needs of diamond engagement ring buyers, and so these same realtors are motivated to make sure your buying experience is incredibly easy and that you have every tool you’d need to make the perfect choice!
So what questions should you be asking yourself?
Special Services & Technology
What unique services will an online jewelry store offer you? You want to start by looking at their tech features. Are you able to do a free real-time diamond consultation and learn more about it and also have an up-close look at a particular diamond that has caught your eye?
When searching for the center stone for your engagement ring, it’s important that you not only have access to the different types of diamonds available to you but also easy-to-understand information about important factors to consider when choosing a diamond for your unique budget and preference.
Most online jewelry stores will have an education center filled with everything you need to know about choosing a diamond. You’ll likely also have access to expert and diamond jewelry consultants who are readily available to jump online with you to answer all your questions, help you pick out your diamond engagement ring, and allow you to view your diamond choices in 360° HD.
Online Engagement Ring Customization
Next, can you customize your engagement ring yourself? The short answer is yes! The best place to customize your engagement ring is online because you have the ability to see your creation form in real-time. You have all the tools available to mix and match different settings, metal colors, diamond shapes, etc.
Like our very own Ring Studio, online customization is taken to the next level. You are the main designer and creator, as opposed to telling someone in a store what you like and having them create it for you. You don’t need to settle for an engagement ring that doesn’t quite suit your or your partner’s style because you can design one that is the exact representation of what you want down to every minute detail.
Virtual Engagement Ring Try-On
Worried about being able to try on your ring and get that perfect ring size? To order engagement rings online is a daunting experience- but not one that isn’t without surety. Believe it or not, you’ll be able to do a virtual try-on. And when we say you’ll be trying on rings all day long, we mean it!
You can see what ring styles look good on you, which metals match best with your skin tone, and what size diamond or shape suits your finger best.
Online Ring Sizer
Next, you can determine your ring size in so many different ways using helpful tips and tricks. There’s even an app you can use to get an exact measurement. At James Allen, we offer free resizing, done in a timely manner- in case you have a special proposal planned!
Variety & Budget
When buying an engagement ring online, you’ll find you have a much wider variety of diamond and gemstone center stones available to you. While some people prefer the traditional natural diamond, the perks of investing in lab created diamond alternatives are growing exponentially.
Lab grown diamonds and earth created diamonds are optically and chemically identical. If you were to have both diamonds professionally inspected, you would find no differences. The only noticeable difference is the incredible price tag. A lab created diamond is by far the more budget-friendly option, allowing you to get the diamond you truly want, for less!
We can’t stress this enough. In-store operations have gemstone and diamond engagement rings available for you to browse and try on, but online stores really do have so much more to offer you at a personal level. Especially if you’re looking for variety or to customize a specific ring.
Fun fact: At JamesAllen.com we store hundreds of different ring settings and more than 300,000 natural and lab grown loose diamonds- in every fancy shape and color!
Shipping & Returns Policies
The best place to buy an engagement ring will certainly be one you can wholeheartedly trust to be fair and deliver on their promises. Most online jewelry stores have thorough shipping and return policies. It’s needed to ensure trust and long-lasting relationships with customers who have moved to purchase their jewelry online.
Looking at our process and policies, every engagement ring from James Allen is hand-crafted, methodically examined, and checked by diamond and jewelry experts to ensure the quality of a piece before it’s shipped via secure delivery methods. Every order includes Free WorldWide Shipping, and Hassle-Free Returns with 100% Money Back Guarantee within 30 days.
The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring FAQs
Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online?
The answer is yes. If you’re set on buying your ring online, make sure to do the proper research: choose a trustworthy vendor, verify their certification, read the return policy, and pay attention to the shipping details.
Can I return an engagement ring that I purchased online?
Usually yes, but it’s your responsibility to read through the vendor’s return policy before making a purchase from them.
Where should you not buy an engagement ring?
Always make sure you’re working with a reputable jeweler. Don’t buy an engagement ring from any vendor that cannot prove their legitimacy or if you can tell whether their site deals and special offers are too good to be true.
Is it cheaper to buy an engagement ring online or in-store?
Engagement rings are said to be 30-40% cheaper online than they are in physical jewelry stores. Because of the way diamonds are sold and distributed, diamonds are less expensive for online vendors.
We’re Here To Help
Finding the perfect engagement ring comes with stress, questions, and a lot of second-guessing. At James Allen, we offer you 100% free advice and will assist you in understanding the best diamond quality for your budget and unique preferences.
Contact our customer service team and chat with non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts 24/7 regarding any questions you have about buying an engagement ring online and the process around it.
If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a traditional diamond, you’ve come to the right place. We’re explaining the pros and cons of real diamonds and diamond simulants, so you can choose the right stone for you.
Note: At James Allen, we sell only U.S. Federal Trade Commission-certified true diamonds, which include both lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds.
What’s A “Real Diamond”?
The term “diamond” refers to a very specific stone: the crystalline form of carbon. While other forms of carbon exist, what makes a diamond special is its particular atomic configuration.
A carbon atom can bond with a maximum of 4 other atoms – and in diamond, all the available spots are taken by…other carbon atoms! That’s right, it’s carbon all the way. And this results in an extremely stable, super hard, super sparkling stone.
Lab Created Diamonds
The crystalline form of carbon we call “diamond” can be attained only through intense heat, constant pressure, and a good amount of time. Nowadays, we can achieve that in a lab in specialized machines that knock a few billion years off the cooking time. The result is a lab-made diamond that differs from an earth created diamond in name only.
If you were to look at both types of diamonds through a professional jeweler’s loupe, or if you were to inspect both diamonds on a molecular level, you would see no difference. The same result was achieved through very different processes.
Lab grown diamonds and earth created diamonds are optically and chemically identical, the only difference being their relative origins. And this difference in origin leads lab grown diamonds to flaunt a much lower price point.
Simulants, however, are not diamonds. They’re different minerals that bear a resemblance to diamonds. We’ll dig into two of the most popular diamond simulants: cubic zirconia and moissanite.
Diamond Simulants: Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite
Diamond simulants are various types of man-made stones that are synthesized for the purpose of being diamond lookalikes. These clear, sparkling stones mimic the beauty of a diamond, but at a much lower cost. However, they do display marked differences to both lab created and earth mined diamonds in non-visual traits.
Why does this matter? It’s important to remember that clarity is only one characteristic of jewelry stones. Color, resilience, and sparkle vary between these different stones; stones’ specific characteristics can greatly affect how you wear them in jewelry, and their lifetime cost to you.
What is cubic zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is arguably the most popular diamond simulant. It’s a man-made, crystalline form of zirconium dioxide.
How is cubic zirconia made?
In a laboratory, zirconium oxide powder is melted into various stabilizing agents at a super-high temperature of nearly 5,000 degrees F. When left to cool, this mineral mixture forms crystals, which can then be cut and polished into jewelry-grade stones.
What is moissanite?
Moissanite is a form of silicon carbide crystal that’s synthesized in a lab. The result is a clear stone that, on the surface, bears a striking resemblance to real diamonds.
How is moissanite made?
Moissanite occurs naturally, but it’s incredibly rare. Thus, all the affordable moissanite on the market today is created in a lab.
How to distinguish between a real diamond and a simulant diamond:
The standard measurement to determine a stone’s strength is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It describes a mineral’s resistance to being scratched and is measured from 0 (maximum softness) to 10 (maximum hardness).
Lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds:
Diamonds are the toughest stones out there. They score a maximum of 10 on the Mohs scale, meaning they can withstand absolutely anything you throw at them in your daily life. This durability is one of the reasons diamonds are the go-to stone for engagement rings, which are worn daily for decades at a time.
Because diamonds’ structure never changes, they can be passed on as family heirlooms. Both lab grown diamonds and earth created diamonds will last for, well, forever.
While moissanite isn’t the hardest mineral out there, it’s close. It scores a 9.25 on the Mohs scale. It’s more susceptible to scratching than diamonds are, but it still holds up extremely well to daily wear-and-tear.
Cubic zirconia is moderately hard. At an 8 on the Mohs scale, its resilience is comparable to that of other jewelry stones like emerald, beryl, and amethyst. Because it’s scratch-resistant, but not scratch-proof, cubic zirconia (particularly much-worn stones like those in engagement rings) often acquires many tiny scratches that cloud its appearance. When this occurs, a professional jeweler can recut the stone to restore its clarity.
How long do diamonds last? Well, you’ll never have to throw one out due to deterioration. As the famous De Beer’s slogan correctly claims, “A diamond is forever.” The oldest diamonds found have existed for nearly 4 billion years, and they’re holding strong.
You can rest assured that any diamond you buy, whether earth mined or lab created, can be comfortably passed down through the generations.
Though not as long-lasting as diamonds, moissanite will comfortably last for decades without any significant degradation in quality. However, since it’s a relatively newly recognized mineral, its exact lifespan is unknown.
Although discovered over a century ago, jewelry-grade moissanite crystals only began to be synthesized in the 1970’s and only became widely available in the 1980’s. Meaning, many couples getting engaged today with moissanite engagement rings were born before moissanite engagement rings became a thing.
Cubic zirconia is made for short-term wear. With daily wear, you can expect them to last less than 5 years. This means cubic zirconia is a great “for the time being” stone; you can wear it as a placeholder until you replace it with your dream diamond.
Be advised that contact with common chemicals will cause cubic zirconia to lose its shine, making it wearable for shorter periods of time. So make sure to remove cubic zirconia jewelry before doing daily tasks like putting on lotion, using cleaning supplies, or using hairspray.
Colorless isn’t the only option! Due to trace elements in their composition, diamonds can display a range of colors. Plus, diamonds’ color is permanent. It won’t change at high temperatures or fade over time.
Moissanite exhibits “thermochromism,” meaning that it is sensitive to a color change at temperatures above 150° F (65 C). These are usually temporary, but these heat-sensitive color changes can sometimes be permanent.
Cubic zirconia doesn’t change color when exposed to heat, but under UV radiation it can turn color, albeit temporarily. Most commonly, it turns yellowish, light green, or white. Indoors your stone will remain clear, but if you go outside on a sunny day it may change hue.
A diamond’s sparkle is largely thanks to two qualities: brilliance and fire.
“Brilliance” is a specific term describing a gemstone’s ability to return white light. It’s measured by the refractive index; a higher refractive index indicates a greater amount of white light reflected. The more white light reflected, the brighter the gemstone appears to the human eye.
“Fire” refers to a gemstone’s ability to return colored light, and is measured by the dispersion score. The higher a gemstone’s dispersion, the more it will display a rainbow of colors.
Lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds
Diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42 and their faceting pattern returns light remarkably. They’re strikingly bright, but not too much so. Its dispersion is relatively low, at 0.044, so diamonds remain quite bright, with only minimal colorful sparkle. The combination of this brilliance (reflected white light) and fire (refracted color) give diamonds a truly balanced and unparalleled sparkle.
Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index than diamonds, at 2.65, and thus appears incredibly bright under natural light. However, moissanite has crazy high dispersion: 0.104. This is why it reflects back a ton of colored light, leading to a “rainbow effect” that tends to overshadow its brilliance.
The rainbow effect tends to make moissanite look fake to the well-trained eye, and is especially noticeable under natural light and in larger stones. In short, moissanite can often appear “too sparkly” under certain lights.
With a refractive index of 2.15, cubic zirconia is the least brilliant of the bunch. Its lower score means that it reflects less light back to the eye, appearing duller than both diamond and moissanite under identical light.
It has a slightly higher dispersion than diamond, around 0.058, but isn’t very noticeable. Under natural light, it will appear quite white, but it will definitely lack the sparkle of either diamond or moissanite.
Diamonds come in every carat. At James Allen, we sell loose diamonds in a huge range of carat sizes: from petite diamonds in 0.20 carats, all the way to large diamonds that are upwards of a whopping 20 carats. Diamonds’ stunning bright white brilliance and minimal color dispersal look amazing in any carat weight.
Moissanite’s intense rainbow effect increases as the stone get larger. For this reason, it’s best to avoid large moissanite stones in jewelry. Stick with the smaller sizes; under 1 carat is best. Think: diamond for center stones, and moissanite for accent stones.
Cubic zirconia comes in as wide a range of carat sizes as diamonds do. While you can find cubic zirconia in as large a carat as you’d like, it’s best to choose an average-sized carat (around 1 carat) both to maximize the amount of light that hits the stone and to avoid the relatively dull shine that becomes obvious in larger stones.
Traditional diamonds are the most expensive choice. The process of discovering, mining, and shipping earth created diamonds is resource-intensive; the high cost of bringing them to market has helped diamonds achieve their luxe reputation.
Lab created diamonds
For when you want a real diamond, but want to pay 30% less. Because the process of creating a diamond takes significantly less time and resources than mining a diamond from the earth do, lab made diamonds cost significantly less than earth mined diamonds.
This is quite affordable compared to diamond, but it’s the more expensive of the diamond simulants. Moissanite costs about half of what a traditional diamond under 1-carat costs. As a traditional diamond increase in carat weight, comparable moissanites become relatively more affordable.
Cubic zirconia is the most budget-friendly choice. It costs next to nothing compared to a traditional diamond. While a colorless, eye-clean 1-carat diamond could cost thousands of dollars, comparable cubic zirconia will cost only a few dozen dollars.
You admire the billions of years of history contained in each stone
Choose a modern lab created diamond if:
You love diamond’s sparkle
You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
You want a large diamond at a lower price
Choose moissanite if:
You’re on a budget
You like small-carat stones
You’ll wear your jewelry intensively
Choose cubic zirconia if:
You’re on a budget
You’ll wear your jewelry carefully and not every day
You’re saving up for a more expensive stone
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 of beautiful options at James Allen.
Want to know how you compare to other ring shoppers? We can tell you thanks to this survey collaboration with SWNS.
When do I know I’m ready to get married?
Half of Americans in a relationship knew they wanted to marry their partner the moment they met. In fact, that statistic holds up across genders! 46% of women and 47% of men immediately knew that their partner was the one.
What about those who are skeptical of marriage? A third of respondents say that their current partner made them want to get married – that’s a quarter of women and half of men.
What does this mean for you? Well, there doesn’t seem to be much of a correlation between how long a couple dates and the strength of their marriage. Whatever feels right is right for you. It doesn’t particularly matter whether it takes months or years for you two to arrive at the altar. Your journey is your own, but the destination is the same for each married couple.
After the wedding, should I wear my wedding ring, my engagement ring, or both?
If you’re asking yourself, “How should I wear my wedding ring set?” then we’ve got news for you: there are no absolute rules regarding how to wear your rings! After the wedding, most Americans wear their wedding ring closest to their knuckle, paired with their engagement ring just over it.
Other ring options:
Wear your full wedding set, but swap the order: the engagement ring closest to the knuckle, with the wedding ring further down on your finger.
Wear only your wedding ring
If you like your wedding ring best, or if your engagement ring tends to get in the way in your day-to-day life, then you may want to wear your wedding ring exclusively.
Wear only your engagement ring
Do you like your engagement ring more than your wedding band? Then leave your wedding band at home! You’re still celebrating your relationship, just with more emphasis on your sparkling center stone.
Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on different hands
This can be a great choice for those whose wedding ring and engagement ring don’t sit flush. Or, on the other hand, your local tradition may dictate this. In Spain, for instance, the engagement ring usually goes on the left hand, while the wedding ring usually goes on the right.
Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on different fingers
Other than for style reasons, this choice is common for those whose fingers have changed size, particularly post-pregnancy. If this strikes a chord, remember that James Allen offers free ring resizing either via mail or in select Jared jewelry stores.
Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on the right hand
In some cultures, right > left. In fact, Catholic and eastern European tradition dictates that the wedding and engagement ring both be worn on the right hand.
All in all, only about half of respondents constantly wear their wedding rings and engagement rings together. The other half either wear only one ring or forgo wearing rings altogether.
The bottom line: you do you, boo.
How long should I save up for an engagement ring?
This is totally up to you. A quarter of Americans say they don’t believe there’s a set amount of time, while 65% of Americans believe you should save up for a year at maximum.
However, there’s no majority consensus. How do people determine how much a ring should cost?
You can set your ring budget by the amount of money you can save in a certain number of months
You can determine a budget independent of time constraints
You can find your dream ring and save up until you have enough to purchase it
Is it important to buy an expensive engagement ring?
71% of Americans don’t really care about the cost of the engagement ring.
What seems to be most important is that the ring suits the recipient. If your dream ring is priced higher than your current budget allows, there are plenty of ways to adjust your ring’s cost without compromising on appearance.
Compromise on color. The less colorless a diamond is, the more affordable it is. Save money on a diamond with a slightly yellow tint, then pair it with a yellow or rose gold setting. The warm jewelry metal will mask the diamond’s color and no one can tell the difference!
Should we share the cost of an engagement ring?
4 out of 10 couples share the cost of their engagement ring. An engagement ring is a big purchase! Not only can sharing the cost be a practical decision (and perhaps one that would allow for a more expensive ring), but taking this important journey together can bring a couple closer to one another.
Should I get a custom engagement ring or a pre-set engagement ring?
36% of ring shoppers prefer a customized engagement ring, while 26% would rather go with a pre-set ring.
Any of James Allen’s rings can be customized with your unique gemstone and jewelry metal. For additional customization with unique baskets, halos, and shanks, visit the Ring Studio.
What’s the perfect proposal?
Ring in the champagne glass? “Will You Marry Me?” written in the sky? An impromptu proposal at home?
71% of Americans prefer a traditional proposal, in which a partner gets down on one knee and pops the question. It’s traditional, but there are a thousand and one ways to do it! Customize your proposal to your hearts’ content.
Which proposal will suit the two of you?
Just the two of you vs. alongside friends and family
Proposal plans in motion for 2021? You might want to take notes.
With 2020 coming to a close, we’re looking forward to fresh starts and sparkling new styles in the year ahead. From the return of the classics to pops of color and a rise in personalized rings, the new year is set to have it all. People are raising their glow game with bright, bold choices to achieve that #winning ring selfie while staying true to what fits their unique personality. Keep scrolling for our predicted 2021 engagement ring trends.
1. Colorful Stones
We previously anticipated a rise in colorful gemstones back in 2020 and expect the trend to continue into the new year. Keep your eyes peeled for gemstones, especially sapphire and emerald. You can never go wrong by incorporating a birthstone into your chosen ring – it’s an expression of your unique style and creativity. And did we mention they’re absolutely breathtaking?
Following a year of challenges and uncertainty, people are all about keeping it simple (and sparkly!) in 2021. Solitaire rings not only spotlight the center diamond beautifully but seamlessly compliment every personality and style. We also predict an upward trend of split shank engagement rings, where the band beautifully splits into two on each side before joining the center diamond.
Today, more people are choosing to add their two cents into the ring-making process, with some couples even designing a ring together. In 2021, we’re predicting a rise in custom-made engagement rings and non-traditional styles. Speaking of customizing, we recommend adding a free engraving to your ring at checkout for an extra special touch. Need ring-spiration? Feast your eyes on some of our customer creations, then try your hand at designing your very own.
There’s no doubt that earth created diamonds contain millennia of history, tradition, and romance. But what about the new sparkle on the block? We’re referring to lab created diamonds of course – an equally dazzling and cost-effective alternative which we’re expecting to explode in 2021.
Lab created diamonds are optically and chemically identical to earth created diamonds and are generally about 30% more affordable. Plus, they look great with every ring, no matter what you choose.
Yellow gold engagement rings have gained serious traction in 2020 and show no signs of slowing down in 2021. This warm, luxurious metal pairs with almost any outfit, giving its wearer an instant boost of style and undeniable elegance. Why choose a yellow gold ring? Gold is yellow by nature, so the color of the metal stays vibrant and is easy to maintain, allowing you to keep your sparkle in tip-top shape through the new year and beyond.
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!
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.
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.
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.
One of the biggest upsides to lab grown diamonds is that they’re generally about 30% more affordable than earth created diamonds.
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.
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.
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 samefancy 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!
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.
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:
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.
2: An Ethical Choice
Lab grown diamonds are an ethical choice because they are guaranteed to come conflict-free since they’re not mined.
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.
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.
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.
Two budget-friendly stone choices – but one clearly comes out on top.
In their search for that perfect sparkler, ring shoppers who want to maximize their budgets inevitably end up checking all the different options. Moissanite has historically been a good option for wallet-wary shoppers, but it’s also worth noting that the surge in lab created offerings and the significant lowering of retail prices have made lab created diamonds an excellent, wallet-friendly option.
So yes – at first, lab created diamonds and moissanite can seem quite similar… and this can be an extremely perplexing issue! But you’ll soon find that they’re not similar. At all.
To put it bluntly:
LAB CREATED DIAMONDS = REAL DIAMONDS
MOISSANITE = NOT DIAMOND
“Ok,” you say.
“Tell me more.”
Lab created diamonds are real diamonds! They’re chemically, structurally, and visually the same as the earth created diamonds we all know and love. The only difference is that the high-pressure, high-temperature, diamond-creating conditions that usually take place deep underground are instead performed in a lab. Because it’s easier to create lab conditions than to mine diamonds underground, lab created diamonds can be significantly more affordable than earth created diamonds.
Moissanite isn’t a diamond, it’s a silicon carbide! It’s synthesized in a lab under a thermal growing process. This silicon carbide crystal is a completely different material that looks very similar to diamond but is still an imitation of the real thing. Moissanite is often marketed as a cheaper alternative to diamond, but it’s an inferior option given the pricing and availability of ‘real’ lab created diamonds. Moissanite doesn’t have anywhere near the same brilliance or clarity as a real diamond, and it has none of the fire.
Let’s size up lab created diamonds and moissanite over 6 traits:
1. COLOR PERMANENCE
LAB DIAMONDS A diamond’s color is everlasting. The lab created diamond you buy today will look exactly the same when you eventually pass it down to your grandchildren.
MOISSANITE Moissanite exhibits “thermochromism,” meaning that it is sensitive to color change at temperatures above 150° F (65 C). These are usually temporary, but these heat-sensitive color changes can sometimes be permanent.
LAB DIAMONDS Colorless to extremely colorful. Diamonds can exhibit a full range of colors, from intense fancy colors (canary, purple, pink) to completely colorless.
MOISSANITE Moissanites usually display warmer tints, often exhibiting slight yellowish or greenish hues.
LAB DIAMONDS Lab created diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42 and their faceting patternreturns light remarkably. The combination of their brilliance (reflected white light), fire (refracted color) and scintillation (surface sparkle) give diamonds their unparalleled true sparkle. Brilliant and sparkly!
MOISSANITE Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index than diamonds, at 2.65, and their faceting pattern is different, leading their brilliance to display a “rainbow effect.” The rainbow effect tends to make moissanite look fake to the well-trained eye, and is especially noticeable under natural light and in larger stones.
4. IDEAL SIZE
LAB DIAMONDS Lab created diamonds sparkle the same at any carat weight. Go big, go small, go whatever you like.
MOISSANITE Moissanite’s exhibits a “rainbow effect” which can look fake and is especially noticeable in larger moissanite stones. Stick with smaller sizes.
LAB DIAMONDS Diamond is the hardest stone (it has the highest rating of 10 on Moh’s hardness scale). It’s not susceptible to scratching.
MOISSANITE Extremely hard (9.25 on Moh’s hardness scale), but is still more susceptible to scratching than diamonds.
LAB DIAMONDS Diamonds are usually the more expensive choice. However, lab created diamonds are the affordable diamond option, allowing you to get a 30% larger stone for the same cost as earth created diamonds.
MOISSANITE Moissanites are a cheaper option, though buyers must take into account the lifetime costs of maintenance like jeweler cleanings. Moissanite’s value is mostly sentimental.
We at James Allen believe the overall resiliency, beauty, and affordability of lab created diamonds make them #1 choice for budget-friendliness. Moissanite simply doesn’t compare.
And now for our picks: pieces that show off all the sparkle of lab created diamonds. And after you’ve chosen your lab created diamond, ensure you’ve gotten the best deal by using our Diamond Price Match Guarantee and by chatting with our legendary customer service team.
Three-Stone Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring
“This is the most sparkly ring I’ve ever seen. I feel like a million bucks!” – Teresa T.