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The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring 

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!

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? 

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

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.

14K White Gold Embellished Gallery Pavé Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

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. 

14K Rose Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring

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. 

14K White Gold Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

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! 

14K Yellow Gold Bow-Tie Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

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!

14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring

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. 

14K White Gold Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring FAQs

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

Happy shopping! 

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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Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created Diamonds: Everything You Need To Know

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.

Pair of tweezers and various fancy shaped diamonds

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. 

Real Diamonds

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.

Lab Created Diamonds

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.

Cubic Zirconia

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.

Moissanite

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:

Durability

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. 

Moissanite

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

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.

Lifespan

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

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. 

Moissanite

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

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.

Color

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

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

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

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.

Sparkle

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

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.

Cubic zirconia

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.

Ideal Size

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

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:

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:

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.

Cost

Earth-created diamonds

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.

Moissanite

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

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.

The Low-Down

Choose a classic earth-created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You admire the billions of years of history contained in each stone

Choose a modern lab created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You want a large diamond at a lower price

Choose moissanite if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You like small-carat stones
  3. You’ll wear your jewelry intensively

Choose cubic zirconia if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You’ll wear your jewelry carefully and not every day
  3. 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.

Keep up on your diamond reading:

  1. Diamonds: The April Birthstone
  2. How To Take Care Of Your Diamond Jewelry
  3. Earth-Created Vs. Lab-Created Diamonds
  4. True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds
  5. 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!

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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Are You A “Normal” Ring Shopper?

Want to know how you compare to other ring shoppers? We can tell you thanks to this survey collaboration with SWNS.

A picture of an engaged couple. The woman has her arms wrapped around his neck and is showing off her diamond ring.

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. 

A statistic answering the question: "When do I know I’m ready to get married?"

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

The time necessary to save up money is heavily dependent on both your budget and the price of your desired ring. And if your budget is inflexible, here are some options for lowering the overall cost of your ring!

Important: James Allen offers special financing options if you can’t fully afford your ring right now, but still want to get engaged ASAP!

How much should my engagement ring cost?

Just 15% of Americans believe an engagement ring should cost over $5,000. Why is this important? It means you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy an expensive ring.

If you want to splurge on an impressive ring, go for it! You can always add more diamonds to the basket and shank, upgrade to a more pricey diamond, or choose platinum as your ring metal.

On the other hand, you should know that smaller budgets are extremely common. Additionally, many people’s dream rings fall well within their ring budgets! 

If you’re operating within a smaller budget, have a look at our favorite affordable engagement rings. You and your wallet will fall in love!

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.

Ways to reduce the cost of your engagement ring:

  1. Choose a lab created diamond, which can cost up to 50% less than a traditional earth-created diamond.
  2. Go for slightly under full carats. For instance, the price difference between a .95 carat diamond and a 1.00 carat diamond is significant, but the size difference is not noticeable to the naked eye.
  3. Choose an elongated diamond shape, which appears large for its carat weight.
  4. Want a white jewelry metal? Go for white gold rather than platinum.
  5. 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!
A statistic answering the question, "Is it important to buy an expensive engagement ring?"

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.

Whether or not you share the cost of an engagement ring, here’s why we recommend designing your ring together.

A statistic answering the question, "Should we share the cost of an engagement ring?"

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.

A statistic answering the question, "Should I get a custom engagement ring or a pre-set engagement ring?"

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
  • A destination proposal vs. a proposal at home
  • Simple vs. extravagant
  • Impromptu vs. planned

Check out our Engagement Moments for proposal inspiration from real-life James Allen customers. And for some currently relevant inspiration, have a look at our list of 9 COVID-friendly proposal ideas.

More ring-shopping guidance to browse:

  1. Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts
  2. At-Home Proposal Ideas From TV & Film
  3. Engagement Ring Advice from Real Couples
  4. Engagement Ring Etiquette: 5 Big Questions

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

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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New Flex: True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds

In the market for a perfectly cut diamond, for less? You may want to scroll down.

Lab created diamonds

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 sparkling 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. Be sure to read until the end, because we’ve got a surprise in store for you.

1. What Exactly Are True Hearts™ Diamonds?

When you’re looking for a diamond cut with the most perfect precision, look no further than a True Hearts™ diamond – the premier choice for a diamond that sparkles like nobody’s business.

Why, you ask?

The answer is simple. Since cut determines a diamond’s sparkle, the best cut diamonds will give you the best sparkle. 

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. Now that’s what we call romantic! Just in case you were wondering, this exceptional cut also results in facet positioning that acts like tiny mirrors (cool!), which contributes to its off-the-charts sparkle (yay!). By the way, fewer than 1% of the world’s diamonds qualify as a True Hearts™ diamond. 

Still not quite sure of the difference between a True Hearts™ diamond and an earth-created diamond? Feast your eyes on two diamonds below so we can make things crystal clear. Both of these diamonds have VS2 clarity, the same D color and weigh 1.14 and 1.12 carats respectively. However, there is an $860 price difference between the two. Why? The diamond on the right is a premier cut True Hearts™ diamond. You can tell by observing the perfect internal reflection of arrows when viewed from above and hearts when viewed from below. The result? Perfect sparkle.

An added bonus of choosing a True Hearts™ diamond is that it can actually appear larger than other diamonds of the same size. Yep, you heard right. A superior-cut diamond will offer better angles and symmetry, which allows light to refract more effectively. Lesser cut diamonds will “swallow” their light, making them look smaller, in addition to giving off less sparkle.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Interested in purchasing a True Hearts™ round-cut diamond? Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Consistency in the hearts and arrows pattern. You should see eight hearts and eight arrows, and each should be the same size.
  • Even color saturation. Each red, black and white hearts and arrow pattern should exhibit similar color distribution.
  • Optical symmetry is key. A symmetrical hearts and arrows pattern will result in maximum light return. 

In addition to round cut, our True Hearts™ collection is also available in princess and cushion cuts. 

2. Earth-Created Vs. Lab Created Diamonds: The Low Down

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.

Thanks to technology, we no longer need to go digging for our precious stones. Scientists are now able to simulate the required extreme conditions using 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. The result? A diamond packing the same quality and sparkle, produced a billion times quicker.

3. Enter True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds

Now that you’re more familiar with our dazzling collection of True Hearts™ and lab created diamonds, we have some dazzling news to share. James Allen is now offering you a chance to get your hands on the perfect sparkle of our True Hearts™ diamonds, for less. If you’re looking for the same perfect sparkle of a True Hearts™ diamond, with the affordability of a lab-created diamond, you can get both with our True Hearts™ and lab-created diamonds

Our collection of True Hearts™ lab-created diamonds are optically and chemically identical to True Hearts™ earth-created diamonds. Each True Hearts™ lab created diamond contains the same perfect internal symmetry and proportions as well as the highest gem grading for cut and polish found in True Hearts™ earth-created diamonds. The only difference between the two is their origin.

Four Prong Pendant

This light four prong wire basket is designed to showcase the unique beauty of a round brilliant diamond of your choice. Truly a classic design that is perfect for any occasion!

14K White Gold Four Prong Basket Solitaire Diamond Pendant

Kite Set Solitaire Pendant

The finely crafted four prong wire basket pendant features a kite orientation to add a twist to the traditional solitaire necklace.

14K Yellow Gold Kite Set Solitaire Diamond Pendant

Halo Diamond Pendant

This beautifully crafted pendant showcases a halo of sparkling lab created round brilliant diamonds that elegantly frame the lab created center diamond.

14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Pendant

CALLING ALL DIAMOND LOVERS!

Ready for some good news? For the first time ever, JamesAllen.com is offering 10% off True Hearts™ Lab Created diamonds. It’s like getting the best of both worlds: a super ideal cut diamond at a super accessible price point. If you’re someone who loves the highest quality diamonds and saving lots of money, this one’s for you! Now you can buy any of these gorgeous engagement rings and get bang for your buck.

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

This French Cut pavé diamond engagement ring is created to maximize the amount of light that hits the diamonds from all sides. Custom tailored prongs are set into the shank of the ring, allowing a variety of bands to sit flush with the engagement ring. 

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring Round Center

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring

This gorgeous engagement ring features pavé set diamonds on the halo and along each side of the shank, highlighting the round cut center diamond or gemstone of your choice.

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

The knife edge design of this ring draws attention to the center diamond showcasing its brilliance without detracting from its beauty.

14K White Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

Ready to shop True Hearts™ Lab Created diamonds? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catches your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

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

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Earth-Created Or Lab Grown Diamonds: Can You Spot The Difference?

We’ve lined up earth-created and lab grown diamonds. Think YOU can spot the difference?

Earth Created Or Lab Grown Diamonds

Although lab grown diamonds are grown in a lab, they are real diamonds and have the same physical, chemical and visual properties as earth-created diamonds. With this striking similarity, begs the question: Is it possible to tell the two apart? Ironically, expert gemologists can’t differentiate between a lab-grown and earth-created diamond with the naked eye.

As you immerse yourself with our dazzling collection of engagement rings, anniversary rings, and gorgeous fine jewelry, we’ve highlighted jewelry featuring both earth-created and lab-grown diamonds. Think you know which is which? Take a moment to learn about lab grown diamonds on our website, then start scrolling.

Round Lab Grown Diamonds

Do you like to keep things straight-up classic? And by classic, we mean round. Our extensive collection of round lab grown diamonds comes in a range of sizes, starting from 0.5 carats. In the early days of diamond-making, labs were only able to grow small diamonds. However, as things continue to get bigger and better, so has your sparkle. In fact, we’ve got diamond sizes in excess of a whopping 5 carats!

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring

This gorgeous engagement ring features pavé set diamonds on the halo and along each side of the shank, highlighting the round cut center diamond.

14K White Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring

This brilliant knife edge diamond solitaire offers the best of both worlds with its classic appeal at a cost-effective price.

14K Yellow Gold Presentation Solitaire

Fancy Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds aren’t just reserved for those who stick to the traditional approach. We’ve got a wide range of shapes, including oval, cushion, princess, emerald, and more! If you prefer your engagement ring with a pop of color, our fancy color lab-grown diamonds come in a range of options like yellow diamonds, pink diamonds, red diamonds, and blue diamonds to name a few.

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

The knife edge design of this ring draws attention to the center diamond or gemstone, showcasing its brilliance without detracting from its beauty.

Petite Pavé Crown Engagement Ring

A vibrant pavé set diamond crown, featuring pavé accents on the prongs and gallery creates the perfect basket for the center diamond. The demure and feminine feel of this alluring ring is enhanced by the petite band.

14K White Gold Petite Pave Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

What’s The Actual Difference?

Have you been able to tell which diamonds are lab-grown? If not, don’t fret. They’re 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.

Thanks to technology, we no longer need to go digging for our precious stones. Scientists are now able to simulate the required extreme conditions using 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. The result? A diamond packing the same quality and sparkle, produced a billion times quicker.

Octagonal Baguette Double Halo Engagement Ring

Alternating baguette and round diamonds compose the elegant and striking inner halo, surrounded by an octagonal frame of round brilliant diamonds. The shank also features pavé diamonds on each side to exalt the splendor of this magnificent ring.

Spiral Tension Engagement Ring

This dramatic, spiraling tension-set solitaire ring allows you to fully view the beautiful diamond. Sleek and secure, it’s perfect for those who like an updated style with a classic feel.

Bang For Your Buck

Lab-created 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. 

Bow Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring

This beautiful tapered engagement ring design is channel-set with eight round shaped diamonds.

14K Rose Gold Bow-Tie Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Worth It? We Think So

There’s no doubt that earth-created diamonds contain millennia of history, tradition, and romance. While earth-created 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!

Have we made a strong case to go for a lab-grown diamond? If you’re ready, you can pick up a 1 carat lab created diamond starting at around $1,550. However, the price largely depends on its specifications. Remember, the 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) also need to be considered, as these all impact the overall cost of lab-grown diamonds. 

Lab Created Bling

Lab created diamonds aren’t only for engagement rings. You can choose from a wide selection of lab-created diamond stud earrings and pendants when you shop with us.

Three Prong Martini Diamond Stud Earrings

This three-prong martini setting is constructed to fit the exact size of the lab-created diamonds, which sit perfectly flush into the setting exactly as the Martini design was intended.

14K White Gold Three Prong Martini Round Brilliant Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings

Halo Diamond Earrings

These beautifully crafted earrings feature a halo of sparkling lab-created round brilliant diamonds that elegantly frame the lab-created center diamond.

14K Yellow Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings

Kite Set Solitaire Diamond Pendant

This pendant is designed to showcase the beauty of a round cut lab-created diamond. The finely crafted four prong wire basket pendant features a kite orientation to add a twist to the traditional solitaire necklace.

14K White Gold Kite Set Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Pendant

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.

Searching for more diamond deets? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catches your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

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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Woman holding an engagement ring with a sapphire gemstone

Most Popular Rings for 2021: Our Predictions

Proposal plans in motion for 2021? You might want to take notes. 

Most Popular Rings for 2021

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?   

Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

1.40 Carat Emerald Natural Green Emerald 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

Three Stone Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Three Stone Diamond Engagement Ring with Sapphire stone With Scroll Undergallery

2. Solitaire Engagement Rings

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.

Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Split Shank Double Claw Solitaire Engagement Ring

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

3. Personalized Creations

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.

Pavé Halo & Shank (Pear Center)

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo and Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

18K Yellow Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Tapered Baguette Emerald Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Tapered Baguette Emerald Halo Engagement Ring

4. Lab Created Diamonds

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.

Cathedral Star Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Cathedral Star Engagement Ring

Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring 

14K Yellow Gold Bow-Tie Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Regal Frame Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Regal Frame Diamond Engagement Ring

5. Yellow Gold Engagement Rings

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.

Milgrain Navette Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Milgrain Navette Engagement Ring

East-West Oval Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Yellow East-West Oval Diamond Gold Diamond Engagement Ring

Inspired by what’s to come in 2021? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catches your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, in the comments below or visit JamesAllen.com!

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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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

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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Moissanite vs. Diamonds

Two budget-friendly stone choices – but one clearly comes out on top.

Loose princess-cut lab-created diamonds and loose round lab-created diamonds on a pink background

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.

Loose princess-cut lab-created diamonds and loose round lab-created diamonds on a blue background

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.


2. COLOR

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.


3. SPARKLE

LAB DIAMONDS
Lab-created diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42 and their faceting pattern returns 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.


5. WEAR-AND-TEAR

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.


6. COST

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.


The Conclusion:

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.

Big, bright, and beautiful!

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

14K White Gold Three Stone Emerald And Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring

“This is the most sparkly ring I’ve ever seen. I feel like a million bucks!”
– Teresa T.

Pear-Cut Halo Engagement Ring

18K White Gold Pave Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

“I love my pear-shaped ring!! It is simple yet not understated at all.”
– Andy A.

Bow-Tie Princess-Cut Engagement Ring

White gold channel-set engagement ring with a princess cut lab created diamond

“A showstopper ring. It’s glam, class, and elegance all in one.”
– Swanson J.

Halo Pendant

Milgrain halo diamond pendant set with a round lab-created diamond

“The halo makes the center stone look much much bigger. It is very impressive.”
-Pi-Yu C.

Scalloped Pendant

14K White Gold Scallop Basket Diamond Pendant

“This is the best purchase I’ve ever made online!”
– Bing W.

Lab-created diamonds caught your eye? Read on to hone your diamond expertise!

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


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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