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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

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

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

Princess Cut Vs Cushion Cut

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

Princess-cut:

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

Cushion-cut:

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

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

SPLIT-SHANK SOLITAIRE

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

14K Rose Gold Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

CATHEDRAL PAVÉ

Princess-Cut

Cushion-Cut

EMBOSSED BEZEL

Princess-Cut

14K Yellow Gold Embossed Diamond Engagement Ring

Cushion-Cut

14K Yellow Gold Arched Scroll Diamond Engagement Ring

CHANNEL-SET

Princess-Cut

14K White Gold Channel Set Round Diamond Engagement Ring

Cushion-Cut

14K White Gold Channel Set Princess Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

OCTAGON HALO

Princess-Cut

14K White Gold Octagon Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Cushion-Cut

14K White Gold Octagon Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

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

Read on…

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

Pin it & show off your diamond-cut style!

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Rachel Hoar

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

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Diamond Stud Earrings: The Essential Guide

Sparkle from ear to ear with a pair of handcrafted diamond stud earrings.

diamond stud earrings classic round cut four prong earring settings cover

Diamond Stud Earrings: Make Your Ears Pop!

Friends, romantics, customers; lend us your ears! 👂

As the first points of sparkle a person sees when they look at you, you’ll want to make sure your lobes are suitably lustrous. And there are no more elegant ear accessories than diamond studs, which make for a dazzling first impression.

Thanks to their ear-hugging design, these earrings appear to float on the earlobe as if weightless in space. Whether you opt for the classic basket or super-trendy martini style setting, you’re bound to be flushed with finesse.

Stud-y up on diamond stud earrings with our essential guide.

Diamond Stud Earrings: So Right and Yet So Prong

Diamond studs come in a choice of fab settings including pavé, martini, and basket, each offering varying degrees of comfort and style, as well as durability. To help you decide between them, let’s take a closer look at two of the more popular setting styles.

BASK IN A BASKET SETTING 🧺

Traditional four or six-prong basket settings afford a reasonably good fit. In these diamond studs, the diamond is set low in the frame, so it sits flat against the earlobe.

Four-Prong Earring Settings

18K White Gold Four Prong Stud Earrings

Timeless and stunning, round-cut diamond stud earrings add a classic elegance to any occasion.

Princess-Cut Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Princess Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

Another classic pair, these stud earrings feature a princess-cut diamond set in a light four-prong wire basket.

Scallop Basket Diamond Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Scallop Basket Diamond Stud Earrings

Designed to accent the beauty of the round brilliant diamond, these earrings feature six prongs and a scalloped basket.

Bezel-Set Diamond Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Bezel Diamond Stud Earrings

Well, well, well. Bezel-set diamond studs are sleek, clean, and oh-so-sturdy. They really are the perfect choice for wearers that lead active lifestyles: the bezel setting won’t snag on any fabric, and it’s arguably the most secure setting. Plus, it’s cute AF.

Pear-Shaped Diamond Stud Earrings

14K White Gold Pear Shape Diamond Stud Earrings

Gorgeous, elegant, and unique – pear-shaped diamonds are taking over the jewelry scene. These shining droplets stand out from the crowd of more common diamond shapes, especially when poised perfectly on your lobes.

Oval Diamond Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Oval Shape Diamond Stud Earrings

The trendiest diamond shape of the past few years is also one of the most flattering shapes for diamond stud earrings. Its curved edges and elongated form compliment every face shape and every wardrobe.

Emerald-Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

14K White Gold Emerald Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

The emerald cut is an in-your-face shape that shows off your diamond’s crystal clarity. It’s one of the earliest established diamond cuts. As such, these emerald-cut diamond studs boast an undeniable royal feel: bold, elegant, and confident.

MARTINI SETTINGS:
SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED 🍸

Named for their conical shape, which resembles a martini glass, martini settings are very in right now due to their super-flush fit. Their narrow bottom means that the diamond can be set even closer to the earlobe than standard basket-style settings. Not only do you get a well-balanced and comfortable fit, but the low profile reveals less metal and more diamond.

Three-Prong Martini Style Earrings

18K Yellow Gold Three Prong Martini Style Stud Earrings

These martini settings are constructed to the exact size of the center diamonds, ensuring that the stones sit perfectly flush with the settings.

Double Prong Diamond Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Double Prong Diamond Stud Earrings

The prong setting is a total classic. And the double prongs on these slices of bling add an understated pop of flair to a traditionally beloved setting. The minimalist prongs allow light to hit your diamond’s facets from nearly every angle.

Diamond Pavé Halo Frame Settings

14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings

Not your everyday diamond stud, this design combines the three-prong martini with a diamond pavé frame.

As a rule of thumb, the snugger the diamond is against the ear, the better. Besides looking more elegant and refined, a flush setting protects the diamond from undue wear and tear.

Diamond Stud Earrings:
A Word in Your Ear

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Shape Series: Princess Cut Diamonds

A popular alternative to the classic round cut, princess cut diamond provide maximum brilliance in a striking square form.

Princess cut diamonds

Looking for a diamond shape that’s a bit different, but that doesn’t stray too far from the traditional? With its clean, modern lines and intense sparkle, the four-sided princess cut is right on point.

Why Princess Cut Diamonds?

Before we begin, let’s address the square elephant in the room; princess cut diamonds do not resemble an actual princess. The proportions are way off! But semantics aside, princess cut diamonds are considered royalty among diamond cuts thanks to their exquisite beauty.

14K White Gold Channel Set Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Princess cut diamonds, like round cuts, are typically comprised of 58 facets that increase light dispersion for maximum fire and brilliance. In other words, they pack a tremendous amount of sparkle into a neat little square.

14K White Gold Etched Profile Solitaire Engagement Ring

Princess cut diamonds can be worn and enjoyed by all, owing to their neutral shape. However, they look particularly fetching on slender fingers, as their vertical lines delicately accentuate finger length.

18K White Gold And Rose Gold Parisian Engagement Ring By Verragio

Who Rocks Princess Cut Diamonds?

Celebs such as Solange Knowles, Kate Bosworth, Hilary Duff, Snooki, Aly Michalka, and Samira Wiley have been flashing all the right angles. Don’t be fooled by the shape of their stones, though – these women are anything but square!

princess cut diamonds celebrity engagement rings

The somewhat unconventional form of the princess cut diamond allows the wearer to express their bohemian, free-spirited side. And like the wearer, these diamonds sparkle well beyond their borders.

What to Know About Princess Cut Diamonds

When a diamond cutter transforms a rough diamond into a round cut, a good deal of the stone is lost. This isn’t the case with princess cut diamonds, which retain approximately 30% more of the rough stone. Carat for carat, you’re getting more diamond surface – and, therefore, sparkle – making it better value for money.

14K White Gold 0.50CTW. Channel Set Princess Shaped Diamond Wedding Band

Princess cut diamonds benefit from settings that protect their corners from daily wear and tear. You’ll often find them mounted as solitaires in four-prong settings, but bezel settings provide just as much protection. Whichever setting you choose, ensure that the prongs cover the diamond’s corners completely to avoid accidental chipping.

14K White Gold Princess Cut Diamond Eternity Ring

To really make your princess cut pop, try pairing it with complimentary side stones such as baguettes or tapered baguettes. Not only does this increase the amount of sparkle, it also draws the eye toward the center stone.

If symmetry is important to you – and it should be – check out our premier collection of ideal cut diamonds, True Hearts by James Allen™. Available in princess, round, and cushion cut, these perfectly proportioned stones simply ooze quality.

Browse True Hearts by James Allen™

Princess Cut Diamonds: The Cornerstone of Sparkle

It isn’t just rings that are fair and square. Princess cut diamonds are also available in a range of fine jewelry that’s at once classic and dramatic.

14K White Gold Princess Cut Diamond Solitaire Pendant
14K White Gold Princess Cut Diamond Stud Earrings

Enchanted by a princess? Find your princess cut diamond engagement ring.

Seeing princess cut diamond jewels at every corner? Let us know your favorite quadrilateral cuties in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Pin this image so you can look at these princess cut pieces square in the facet!

princess cut diamonds pinterest pin

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

Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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