lab-grown diamonds

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, it begs the question: Is it possible to tell the two apart? Even expert gemologists can’t differentiate between a lab-grown and earth-created diamond with the naked eye. Are you willing to take up the challenge?

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.

1. 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.

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

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.

Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

2. Fancy Lab-Grown Diamonds

Do you like the fancy things in life? 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 bling 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.

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

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.

Petite Pavé Crown Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

3. 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.

Octagonal Baguette Double Halo Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

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.

Spiral Tension Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

4. 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.

Bow Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring with a lab-grown diamond

5. 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. 

6. 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.

Three Prong Martini Diamond Stud Earrings with lab-grown diamonds

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.

Halo Diamond Earrings with a lab-grown diamond

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.

Kite Set Solitaire Diamond Pendant with a lab-grown diamond

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.


Dazzled by our sparkling collection of jewelry? Here at James Allen, we’ve got loads more sparkle 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 catch your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

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Jarred Maram

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

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2021 Engagement Ring Trends: Our Predictions

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?   

Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - white gold comfort fit engagement ring with green emerald

Three Stone Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - rose gold three stone engagement ring with sapphire stone

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

2021 engagement ring trends - white gold split shank engagement ring

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - rose gold 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)

2021 engagement ring trends - rose gold custom pave halo and shank engagement ring

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - yellow gold petite pave engagement ring

Tapered Baguette Emerald Halo Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - 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

2021 engagement ring trends - white gold cathedral star engagement ring

Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring 

2021 engagement ring trends - yellow gold bow tie channel set engagement ring

Regal Frame Engagement Ring

2021 engagement ring trends - rose gold regal frame 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

East-West Oval Diamond Engagement Ring

East-West Oval Diamond Engagement Ring - Engagement Ring Trends 2021

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

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

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Jarred Maram

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

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

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

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

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

ORIGIN

The only difference between the two is their origin.

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

What’s a diamond? It’s just carbon atoms. But arrange them in a very particular structure, and you get the incredibly hard and beautiful stone we know and love. Producing this special carbon arrangement in nature demands conditions that are…intense. We’re talking high heat and super high pressure. Needless to say, very few places in the world are capable of producing earth-created diamonds. 

But technology has advanced to the point that we don’t always have to go digging for our precious stones; we can actually simulate the necessary extreme conditions in specialized pressure chambers in a lab. Lab-created diamonds are grown from tiny carbon “seeds” that develop in these chambers over months, as incredibly hot gases deposit carbon atom-by-atom onto the original seed.

Lab-created diamonds even develop their own unique characteristics (inclusions, clarity, etc) along the way, and once they’re fully grown they’re cut into the shape that suits their qualities best.

White Gold Pavé Halo Engagement Ring
with Cushion-Cut Diamond

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

Rose Gold Vintage Engagement Ring
with Princess-Cut Diamond

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

COST

Lab-grown diamonds are generally about 30% more affordable than earth-created diamonds.

Why?

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

Rose Gold Bezel-Set Pavé Engagement Ring

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

Two-Tone Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

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

VALUE

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

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

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

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

Rose Gold Leaf Bypass Engagement Ring

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

White Gold Tapered Pavé Engagement Ring

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

CUTS & COLORS

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

Colorful diamonds, like canary yellow ones, are quite rare. Their shocking hues are caused by trace amounts of non-carbon elements, like nitrogen. By adding these elements to a growing diamond in its pressure chamber, lab-grown diamonds take on the same fancy colors as earth-created diamonds.
Good news: any diamond can be cut into any shape. When it comes to diamond cuts, you truly are spoiled for choice!

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

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

White Gold Laurel Engagement Ring
with Cushion-Cut Diamond

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

JEWELRY

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

White Gold Bezel-Set Diamond Pendant

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

Yellow Gold Scroll Diamond Pendant

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

White Gold Princess-Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

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

Yellow Gold Martini Diamond Stud Earrings

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

Searching for more diamond reading? Read on below!

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

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Rachel Hoar

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

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Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Moissanite

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

White gold emerald-cut diamond three-stone engagement ring with lab-created diamonds

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

Pear-Cut Halo Engagement Ring

White gold halo engagement ring with a pear-cut lab-created diamond

“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

Round six-prong diamond pendant set with a round lab-created diamond

“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!

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Rachel Hoar

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

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