There are many reasons why Lab Grown Diamonds are an ideal choice for purchasers—their durability, physical appearance and the fact that they tend to be more eco-friendly than mined diamonds are just a few that come to mind.
As Lab-Grown Diamonds cost a lot less than naturally-mined diamonds, they are becoming the favourite among shoppers. This includes couples looking for more affordable engagement rings, individuals looking for better-quality diamond jewellery that won’t break the bank, and those who simply want diamonds for less.
But how much cheaper are lab-created diamonds? And why are they cheaper than mined diamonds? Read on to find out why lab-grown diamonds might just be the better solution for your wallet.
Cost Of A Lab Grown Diamond Overview:
- How Much Cheaper Are Lab Created Diamonds?
- Are Lab Grown Diamonds Worth Anything?
- How The 4Cs Of A Diamond Impact Cost
- Why Are Man Made Diamonds Cheaper?
- Lab-Grown Diamonds Price vs Natural Diamonds
How Much cheaper Are Lab Created Diamond?
According to a 2019 Forbes article, depending on their quality, the cost of a lab grown diamond is around 40 to 50 per cent less than an earth-mined diamond. When shopping for a diamond, you could probably get yourself a nice one-carat Lab Grown diamond for around $1,500 to $8,000. Naturally-mined diamonds, on the other hand, will likely set you back between $2,500 and $18,000, sometimes even more if it’s a super, high-quality diamond.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Worth Anything?
Much like earth diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are graded based on their appearance using the GIA scale, which in turn helps determine the diamond cost. Developed by the Gemological Institute of America, the GIA scale is the industry standard when it comes to the diamond market. The GIA scale relies on the four C’s to grade a diamond; they not only help to determine a stone’s condition but also its value.
How The 4Cs Of A Diamond Impact Cost
The 4Cs of a diamond stand for cut, colour, carat and clarity:
The cut of a diamond refers to the style or design guide used for shaping a diamond when it is polished. There are lots of different diamond cuts out there, many of them have completely different symmetry which affects the way they sparkle. The diamond cuts that are the most valuable and sought after are often the ones that reflect the most light. Much like naturally mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are polished into a multitude of different cuts—all of which can have an impact on how luminous they are.
The colour is perhaps the most obvious one, as it refers to the hue of the stone itself. While white diamonds are arguably the most common, diamonds can come in all shades of the rainbow including yellow, pink, blue, black, green, orange and more. Normally the rule with coloured diamonds is that the more vibrant they are in colour, the more valuable they will be. This pales (pun intended) in comparison to colourless diamonds which are generally more valuable the clearer they are.
With lab-grown diamonds, you tend to have more control over something that would otherwise be naturally occurring in mined diamonds, particularly coloured diamonds. Exceptionally rare, a richly coloured, naturally-mined diamond would likely cost you tens of thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands depending on the stone’s colour and quality. Coloured lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, will cost you a fraction of this price. For example, Luminesce’s range of pink lab-grown diamonds generally costs between $500 and $3500.
The carat of a diamond refers to its weight and mass. Derived from an ancient measuring unit used to determine how many seeds were in a single carob tree, this method was adopted by diamond manufacturers so that they could price the stone based on its size. When a stone is measured and weighed, it is generally divided into points depending on its carat weight. One carat, for example, is equal to 100 points. Diamonds that are under one carat in size are referred to as ‘pointers’.
The clarity of a diamond refers to its physical appearance and its natural imperfections (or lack thereof). You see, diamonds are a lot like humans in a way, they’re not all perfect. It is incredibly rare to come across a natural diamond that doesn’t have at least some imperfections. Very difficult to see with the naked eye, many diamonds come with small flecks of carbon atoms and tiny cracks. Referred to as inclusions, the number of imperfections a stone has will help determine its value.
Although rare, diamonds without inclusions do exist, they are known as 'flawless' diamonds. It is a common misconception that lab-grown diamonds do not have inclusions when they very much do. However, the controlled environment that they are produced in is a huge advantage when it comes to clarity.
Once the state of a diamond’s four C's is established, those within the diamond trade will often price them based on a special diamond buying chart.
What Is A Diamond Buying Chart?
Utilised by diamond manufacturers since the early 1970s, the Rapport List is a weekly publication that helps break down diamond prices based on their cut, colour, carat and clarity. The prices are then listed in $100 increments. The prices in the Rapport list are determined by multiplying the price per carat by the carat’s size. This system of pricing diamonds is something that has since been applied to lab-grown diamonds.
So, what makes man-made diamonds cheaper?
Why Are Man Made Diamonds Cheaper?
There are many factors as to why the cost of making a lab-grown diamond is a lot less than their earth-sourced counterparts. Here are just a few reasons;
The Cost of Making A Lab Grown Diamond
One of the factors that affect the price of lab-grown diamonds and naturally-mined diamonds is how they are produced. Traditional diamonds are retrieved from underneath the earth’s surface. This requires quite a lot of manpower and heavy-duty equipment. Not to mention, diamond mining is an incredibly risky task. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are produced in a controlled laboratory setting using less heavy-duty equipment and requiring fewer men. Being grown in a laboratory also provides craftsmen more control over how a diamond is going to turn out. This means that lab-grown diamonds often have fewer inclusions, as little or as much colour as required and a potentially bigger stone. With a mined diamond, you cannot control these circumstances and therefore the quality of the diamond you choose is often dependent on your budget.
Learn how man made diamonds are created here.
Naturally Mined Diamonds Are Getting Rarer
Another reason lab-grown diamonds are so much more affordable than naturally-mined diamonds is that despite what you may think, like most precious gems, mined diamonds are not exactly infinite in supply, especially if you are after a more unconventional diamond such as pink diamonds. Found in caves and underneath the ground’s surface in what is known as the upper mantle, diamonds take between 1 and 4 billion years to form. That's quite a long time to wait for a diamond. Lab-grown diamonds, meanwhile, only take around six to ten weeks to produce depending on what method is used.
Lab-Grown Diamonds Price vs Natural Diamonds
While it is down to personal preferences, it’s hard to argue against the price difference between lab made diamonds and mined diamonds. Especially when you factor in many of the reported benefits of Lab Grown diamonds.
They ARE Real Diamonds
One common misconception of lab-grown diamonds is that they are in the same league as synthetic diamonds such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. However, this is not the case. Man-made diamonds share the same physical and chemical properties as naturally-mined diamonds, while synthetic diamonds are made from completely different chemical compounds altogether. Earth-mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds are two of the toughest precious stones in the world, while synthetic diamonds only rank at around 6th on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, a chart that helps measure a mineral’s toughness as well as its resistance to scratches and cracks.
A Bigger, Brighter & Often Better Sparkle
A no brainer for some when choosing to purchase lab-grown diamonds over naturally-mined diamonds is their quality and size. In the Luminesce collection of lab grown diamonds, you may pick up a 1-carat, single diamond solitaire ring for just under $8,000. For a naturally-mined diamond of this size and quality, you may be looking at spending upwards of $12,000. This is a huge drawcard, especially when you factor in that it would take a diamond industry expert with specialised equipment to be able to tell a lab-grown diamond apart from its earth-sourced equivalent.
Budget-Friendly & Eco-Friendly
Not only are lab-grown diamonds more budget-friendly than natural diamonds, but they are also more eco-friendly-a factor that arguably trumps all in the eyes of the eco-conscious shopper. In most scenarios, the eco-friendlier option normally has a higher price tag than the not so eco-friendly option. Take electric cars and eco-friendly packaging, for example, their inflated price tag is often a deterrent to going for the more sustainable option. Fortunately, that is not the case for lab-grown diamonds-something that is very assuring for the conscious shopper.