If you’re interested in lab created diamonds as a buyer (perhaps for a bridal ring, or something else), this guide should be useful to you.
We’ve provided summaries of some of the most popular online lab created diamond sellers, and provided tips and info on what you might look out for as a buyer.
But First, Have You Only Just Found Out About Lab Created Diamonds?
You might be at the stage where you’re still only finding out about lab grown diamonds and want to learn more about what they actually are.
If that’s the case, you may want to read over this lab created diamonds informational FAQ guide – it answers common questions and queries for those at the discovery stage.
Best Lab Created Diamonds: Reviews Of Popular Lab Created Diamond Online Sellers
For now, we have not ranked the more popular/well known online lab created diamond sellers in terms of who is the best (because everyone has different preferences when buying).
What we have done though, to be more objective, and because they all offer something slightly different, is summarised what each online seller offers, and aspects that make them similar or different from each other.
In no particular order (this information is accurate as of May 2019 – you may need to cross check this information is still accurate when reading this guide in the future as sellers can change their offerings. Also, if you are planning to buy, confirm all information is correct from the seller before buying – don’t rely solely on this information – it is general information only).
- Specialises in luxury bridal diamonds, that are bespoke and made to order (not mass produced). But, also produces other jewelry (full range is engagement rings, wedding bands, fashion jewelry, loose diamonds), and loose diamonds. Has a range of different collections of lab grown diamonds
- Has 6 steps concierge process for you to create your custom jewelry – consultation, curation, custom design, production, quality control, and delivery
- Mentions minimum prices at https://www.adadiamonds.com/blog/itmatters. Mentions Lab diamonds are also priced on their quality; a D IF lab diamond will be much more expensive than an H SI1 lab diamond of the same size. Ada Diamonds only works with H+ color, eye clean clarity, and lab diamonds selected for the cut and light performance.
- Produces lab created diamonds that are optimized for cut and brightness, will be eye clean, absent fluorescence, and of exceptional quality.
- All of Ada’s diamonds are classified as Type IIa, a purity level found in less than 2% of mined diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and the purest type of diamonds in the world. They contain little to no nitrogen atoms in the crystal structure. Some notable examples of type IIa natural diamonds include the Cullinan diamonds, the DeBeers Millenium Star, and the Hope Diamond. Due to the absence of nitrogen during the growth of white diamonds, all of Ada’s white diamonds are considered type IIa. They also offer fancy colored diamonds in blues, pinks, yellows, and grays for a fraction of the cost of equivalent natural stones.
- Only sells diamonds and ethically sourced precious metals – no substitutes or lesser quality products
- Curates from growers around the world, allowing them to hand-select the best of the best lab diamonds, always chosen for maximum light performance. They don’t publicly list and don’t sell a diamond sight unseen.
- All of Ada’s jewelry is cast and hand-set in the United States by the same fabrication houses that manufacture some of the most superlative and recognizable fine jewelry brands.
- Jewelry is made to last a lifetime
- Quality control standards are some of the highest in the lab diamond industry. Prior to the shipment of your ring, the artistic imagery of your ring is captured for you.
- Offers full insurance, robust jewelry warranty, lifetime trade-in, and invite-only special programs and events.
- Offers 30 day return policy
- Diamonds are ‘conflict free’
- Ada Diamonds requires all of their suppliers to certify that their labor forces are made up of adults of legal working age who are working on their own free will.
- Ada Diamonds is committed to sourcing gold, platinum, and other precious metals that are produced under stringent human rights and environmental standards (and, they are also committed to working towards recycled metals)
- In regards to being eco friendly … ‘the growth of diamonds only requires two main ingredients: carbon & electricity. Today, the most efficient diamond producers require approximately 250kWh of electricity to grow a 1 carat diamond, which is the roughly the same amount of electricity the average US household consumes in a week. Furthermore, diamonds can be grown wherever renewable energy is available’
- In regards to what purchasing lab grown diamonds means … ‘when you purchase lab diamond jewelry, you are directly funding research & development of functional uses of diamond that improve humanity. The lab diamond market primarily exists to create high-tech uses for lab diamonds such as laser lenses, surgical knives, high pressure anvils, and water purification systems.’
- Ada Diamonds has the Sixth Element Program where they are currently supporting six social causes. They are also proudly working with Pledge 1 Percent to brighten the future in the following ways: 1. Donating 1% of profits every year, 2. Pledging 1% of Ada’s equity to fund non-profits, Volunteering & Mentoring in local communities.
- Ada has partnerships and does bespoking for other luxury brands and companies.
Read more at:
- https://www.adadiamonds.com/knowledge-base/how-ada-is-different (tips about buying lab created diamonds)
- https://www.adadiamonds.com/introduction-to-lab-diamonds (includes misconceptions of lab grown diamonds)
- A seller that focuses on a quality/luxury, private, custom customer level service and product. There is a focus on quality over quantity. Meets certain ethical, eco friendly and social impact/social cause standards. Has partnerships and does bespoking for other luxury brands and companies.
- Offers a range of different types of diamonds – responsibly sourced mined diamonds, lab created diamonds and. Are also looking to establish fair trade diamonds in the future
- Beyond Conflict Free Mined Diamonds (goes far beyond the Kimberley Process’ requirement that conflict diamonds only don’t finance rebel movements) – protects against financing rebel movements, human rights abuses, environmental degradation, safe and responsible labor practices, and supports community development
- Lab Created Diamonds – come in an extensive collection range and also a range of styles. Can be set in a recycled gold or platinum setting. You can create your own lab created diamond rings and earrings. You can also shop colored lab diamonds, and other diamond jewelry.
- Recycled Diamonds – have previously been mined, cut and polished, and are now being made available again. Have been graded by an independent gemological lab, so have comparable quality characteristics to mined diamonds.
- They tell you exactly where (which countries) they source each of their different types of diamonds from. Have a commitment to traceability of their diamonds
- Uses recycled metals in their fine jewelry
- Uses eco friendly packaging
- Donates 5% of net profits to mining communities
- Looking to bring back fair trade diamonds in the future (improve the artisanal diamond mining sector and improving the livelihoods of miners)
- Lifetime manufacturing defect warranty (on all Brilliant Earth fine jewelry)
- 30 day return policy
Read more at:
- Offer a range of diamond types (mined, lab, recycled). Big emphasis on the environment, ethical diamonds, and giving back to communities
- Offer laboratory-grown Type IIa diamonds. These are the purest form of diamond, making them brighter and harder than 98% of the diamonds mined from the earth.
- Have relationships with the world’s most scientifically advanced diamond growers and cutters
- Diamonds are affordably priced and guaranteed conflict-free
- Offer loose lab created diamonds, but you can also contact a personal shopper to help you with your choice
- Diamonds come in up to an IF in clarity, D in color, Ideal in cut, and up to 10 carats in size.
- Come in a variety of shapes and colors
- Each diamond is graded and certified by the same leading independent gemological labs that are used to grade earth-mined diamonds
- Use recycled metals for jewelry – Every setting is created using the finest grade recycled gold, palladium or platinum
- At minimum, 5% of annual profits are donated to the Greener Diamond Foundation, where funds are used to repair, rebuild, and empower damaged diamond mining communities.
- Competitive prices for their diamonds (but they warn against diamonds that are only a few hundred dollars per carat)
- Plant one tree through One Tree Planted for each and every order to help offset the carbon emissions generated during shipping
- Handcraft jewelry in the USA
- 30 day return policy
- Has a lifetime manufacturing defect warranty, and a lifetime guarantee on the diamond stone for chipping or breaking under normal wear and tear
Read more at:
- Offer a wide range of lab created diamonds, with high transparency on the properties and characteristics these diamonds offer. Give back to the community, and emphasis on ethics, sustainability and the environment
Pure Grown Diamonds
- Sell Type IIa above ground/lab diamonds that focus on size and clarity
- Their seed diamonds are all lab grown diamonds and are not from mined sources
- ‘Largest selling grown diamond brand in the United States’
- Sell a variety of shapes and styles for different types of people
- Finished diamonds are laser inscribed and certified by Gemological institutes (IGI, and GCAL)
- ‘Socially and environmentally responsible’, and ‘Conflict free’
- Workers who grow your diamond were ‘paid a fair working wage and work in an environment that maintains high standards for health and safety’
- Diamonds come in colorless, and colored options
Read more at:
- Sell a range of different diamond jewelry for different people and uses, and do have an ethical aspect to their business. Could probably add more specific information on their site about exactly the numbers behind their eco & social responsibility, and exactly who fabricates their jewelry.
- ‘Eco friendly, ethically sourced and competitively priced’ compared to mined diamonds
- Offers engagement rings, unique wedding bands, or any other kind of jewelry
- Clean Origin come in very price competitive compared to other retailers and jewelers, and also offer conflict free diamonds
- Most commonly do their certifications through IGI and GCAL
- Has a 100 day return policy
- Have 24/7 phone and email support
Read more at:
- https://www.cleanorigin.com/comparison/ (comparison to other diamond sellers in terms of price and other factors)
- Offer a range of diamond jewelry, including bridal rings. Have extensive experience, with an emphasis on being 100% conflict free, competitively priced, and having a longer return policy compared to some other sellers. Would be good though to have some more specific information on exactly the numbers behind how Clean Origin themselves operates their eco friendly and socially responsible labs, and how they outsource fabrication etc.
- American made lab created diamonds – from the growing, to the cut and polished/finished stage
- You get a guarantee on the origin of the diamonds – from America’s Pacific West
- Uses solar energy technology to help create diamonds in their San Francisco foundry (certified to be 100% carbon neutral)
- They have their own polishing factory where each rough diamond is cut and polished. Each diamond is inspected more than 1,300 times from rough stone to finished ring, and fewer than 1% of all diamonds on the market meet this high quality level.
- A GIA Gemologist grades the finished diamond, and the buyer get a lab report and a certificate. The certificate ID is inscribed at the girdle of the diamond with a tiny laser inscription
- Each diamond is unique from one another, and each diamond comes with a different gemological ID
- Comes with a value guarantee, and a lifetime guarantee (on the characteristics promised in the diamond certificate)
Read more at:
- Diamonds created and refined in the US, with high quality standards
- Offers two alternatives to mined diamonds – The True Grown Diamond™ and the Contemporary Nexus Diamond™
- Offers a contemporary simulant through Diamond Nexus (visually identical to the highest quality mined diamonds, but is a simulant that is around 70 to 90% cheaper than a mined diamond)
- Offer lab diamonds (true grown diamonds) through 1215 Diamonds (loose stones or in pre-set engagement rings).
- Recommends you pick a stone based on 3 measures – physical (hardness and durability), optical (visual clarity and light reflection), and chemical (composition)
Read more at:
- Offers both a simulant, and a lab created diamond option. Does not have as much (easy to find) information on their site about their diamonds right now as other sellers have
Swarovski Created Diamonds
- Offers lab created diamonds, as well as other diamonds and gemstones
- Lab created diamonds are hand-selected and graded in the same manner as mined diamonds, per the 4Cs of clarity, color, cut and carat weight.
- Larger diamonds come with a lab report from the IGI
- Comes with Laser inscription by Swarovski on the diamond (visible only under microscope)
- Diamonds are created by respecting the high corporate social responsibility standards of Swarovski
- Comes with the Swarovski seal of quality
Read more at:
- Diamonds seem to uphold the Swarovski quality, but, Swarovski does not have as much (easy to find) information on their site about their diamonds as other sellers have
De Beers Lab Created Diamonds (Through Lightbox)
- Offer lab created diamonds through Lightbox
- Based in the UK, Element Six (more than 30 years of research and development experience) grow their raw gems exclusively for Lightbox
- Pricing is based on the size of the diamond
- Diamonds come in colorless, but also blush pink or powder blue (but they are also developing other colors as well)
- Each diamond larger than 0.2 carats will be laser inscribed with the Lightbox logo (that is invisible to the naked eye)
- Solitaires don’t have certificates
Read more at:
- These are non rare, more affordable ‘weekend’ type diamonds. They aren’t specialised bridal diamonds like other sellers offer
Online Mined Diamond Sellers
Other popular online sellers you might come across that don’t currently do lab created diamonds, but do do mined diamonds are:
- Sell mined diamonds – no lab created or synthetic diamonds
- Every diamond sold is certified conflict-free in compliance with the Patriot Act, the Kimberley Process, and United Nations resolutions. (Conflict-free diamonds are gems that were not obtained due to human rights abuses, child labor, violence, or environmental degradation.)
- Diamonds are all GIA, AGS or IGI certified
- The diamond certificate you get verifies each diamond’s specifications, including its color grade, carat weight, clarity grade and cut grade.
- Cost of diamond depends on the 4 C’s – cut, color, clarity and carat
Read more at:
- Sells ethically sourced, mined diamonds
- Has a 10 step selection process outlined that you can follow if you get stuck choosing a diamond
- Uses the Kimberley Process and upholds strict ethical diamond sourcing standards
- Has conflict-free engagement rings are handcrafted in the United States (work stays in the US)
- Jewelry supplies — from diamonds to precious metals – are sourced from companies that treat their workers fairly
- Ritani and JKG invest in jobs and other social services in Namibia
- Ritani notes the diamond mining industry that has changed a lot in the last 15 years – ‘In 2016 alone, [De Beers] spent $24.9 million on social investment projects, and dedicated 164,000 hectares of land to conservation (5 hectares of land for every 1 hectare disrupted by mining).’
- AGS laboratories are used for grading and certification, as well as the GIA
- Outlines some
Read more at:
- https://www.ritani.com/blog/diamonds/diamond-faq-lab-grown-diamonds-vs-real-diamonds/ (outlines some of the differences between lab diamonds and their ethically sourced mined diamonds)
- Offer only natural mined diamonds (not lab created diamonds yet)
- Provides ethical sourcing of their diamonds
- GIA certified
Read more at:
- https://www.bluenile.com/au/policies/ethical-sourcing?track=NavDiaSource (explains ethical sourcing of their diamonds)
- https://www.diamonds.pro/education/lab-diamonds/ (discusses the value of different types of diamond sellers’ diamonds)
Lab Created Diamonds Buyer’s Guide – Tips, Info On What To Look For
Step By Step Process To Buying Lab Created Diamonds
The process is going to be different for everyone.
But, in general, the following might be a good way of breaking down the buying process:
- Start by researching lab created diamonds yourself online. You can read both FAQ guides, and buying type guides for a mix of information. You may also want to read up on comparison guides of other types of diamonds like mined diamonds, and simulants like cubic zirconia and moissanite. Knowing the pros and cons of lab grown diamonds may also help. This will give you a good base understanding of diamonds in general, as well as more questions you’ll have for sellers.
- Make a shortlist/short overview of exactly what you want, and what your budget and requirements are e.g. you may want a bridal engagement ring in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, which is a specific shape and style, and you may need it within the next year (so, know the date you need it by, and make sure the seller can honor that date).
- Look over each seller’s site and see what they products and services they offer. See how many of the questions they answer that you had in mind already, and see which seller matches up most closely to what your preferences and budget are
- Shortlist the sellers to a list of 2 to 5 sellers of those who most closely match what you want and need
- Start contacting the shortlisted sellers with your questions and tell them your requirements – some offer an email and phone service where they can answer questions about a pre-set range of diamond jewelry they have available, whilst others even offer a full concierge/bespoke personal service fitted exactly to you on a custom piece of jewelry. Ask for a plan to meet your requirements, and ask about the process to make and deliver the diamond/s you want.
- Pick one seller based on on your interactions with your shortlisted seller, and begin the diamond creation and delivery process with them.
Different Priorities You Might Have When Buying Lab Created Diamonds
Everyone will have different priorities, and everyone will a different mix of priorities.
Some of the main priorities people might have when buying lab created diamonds might be:
Type Of Jewelry Needed – for example … do you want a bridal ring, a wedding band for men, general diamond jewelry like earrings and necklaces or something else? Some people may be OK with a pre-set piece, while some may want a custom piece that they have a say in designing
What They Want Out Of The 4 C’s – cut (how it’s cut), color (colorless, or a specific color), clarity (clarity grading), carats (how many carats the diamond is and how big it is in terms of weight)
Price – price is usually based around the quality of service you get (you’ll pay more for a custom service), and also the 4 C’s (along with whether it’s a Type IIa diamond, and other factors that differentiate price).
Resale Value/Long Term Value – you may want a diamond or piece of jewelry that holds it’s value better over the long term rather than losing value over the years.
What The Diamond Jewelry Looks Like – style, shape, metal used for the setting etc.
Ring Style and Metals – you want to know what the ring and any metal used will look like and what it’s made of
Certifications & Lab Reports – you may want certification from a particular organisation
How Socially Responsible & Ethical The Seller Is – whether their diamond seeds are conflict free and ethically sourced, whether the fabrication team (cutting, polishing and setting the diamond) is based in the US or overseas and whether they are paid fairly. Whether the seller has any social causes they donate to or give back to
How Eco Friendly The Seller Is – whether the lab uses renewable energy, and issues environmental reports on how much electricity they use and resources used and wasted/disposed of. Whether they use recycled metals on their settings and jewelry pieces
How A Lab Grown Diamond Is Assessed, & Different Styles, Shapes, Colors & Jewelry Types Available
Regular Pre Set Range To Choose From, Or Custom/Concierge Service
You are going to pay more for a custom/concierge service and a custom designed piece than a pre-set/pre-designed piece that you can pick off a website. This is obviously because of the time and level of detail you get in your service and product (the diamond)
Cut – refers to the shape and facets on the diamond. The size and amount of facet’s impacts a diamond’s light dimensionality. You want the diamond cut so it maximises light performance
Carat – a carat is the weight of a precious gem. One carat = 200mg. Obviously, the more carats, the more expensive.
Color – Diamonds are rated from D (absolutely colorless) to Z (light yellow dimensions). A colorless diamond is preferable because it allows light to pass through, resulting in more brilliance and dimension (these are also generally more expensive)
Clarity – The clarity of a diamond is rated by the number and location of ‘inclusions’ or flaws, which can interfere with light passing through the diamond. Diamonds are rated from flawless (no inclusions – FL to IF) to imperfect (inclusions visible to the naked eye – I1 to I3). The Clarity grading goes (from best to worst) – FL to IF, VVS1 to VVS2, VS1 to VS2, SI1 to SI2, I1 to I3.
More info can be found about the 4 C’s at https://www.puregrowndiamonds.com/education/
As an example, a D IF lab diamond will be much more expensive than an H SI1 lab diamond of the same size (adadiamonds.com).
Shapes, Styles & Colors
Shapes – pear, cushion, oval, emerald, princess, round, square and more
Styles – different metals used for settings and rings, how the jewelry itself is designed and styled compared to other jewelry
Colors – white/colorless, or different colors
Properties Of Lab Diamonds To Be Aware Of
In addition to the above, some properties you might want to know with the diamond you are buying are:
Chemical Composition, & % Of Diamond Bonds – is it made purely of carbon and 100% diamond bonds?
Crystalline Structure – what is the internal diamond structure? This can impact the brilliance, fire and scintillation of the diamond
Refractive Index – the density of the diamond can impact how it refracts, or bends light. An index of 2.42 might be a good index for refraction
Fire (Light Dispersion) – this is when light enters a lab-created diamond and colored light is dispersed or separated back out of the diamond. A rating of 0.044 might be good
MOHS Hardness Rating – a hardness rating of a pure carbon diamond should be 10
Electron Density – the bulk density or electron density of a lab diamond might be 3.52
Polish/Symmetry – lab created diamonds might be polished with natural diamond powder to finish the outer surface of the diamond.
Production – this can be many things from where the seed diamond comes from, where the diamonds are grown, if they are grown with sustainable energy, what resources are used and how they are disposed of, where the diamond is cut and polished (which country), where the diamond is fabricated and set in jewelry metal & if workers are paid fair wages, who certifies and independently reports on the diamond etc.
Price per Carat, for identical Cut, Color & Clarity – this can be used as a comparison to other diamond sellers.
Eco Friendly – is renewable energy used, are resources used sustainably and disposed of in the right way, what savings are available environmentally from not mining diamonds, and are recycled metals used?
Conflict Free – are the seed diamonds used conflict free and ethically sourced?
You can read more properties of lab diamonds at https://www.miadonna.com/pages/stone-guide-compare-stones
Other Factors You Might Consider When Buying Lab Created Diamonds
- Do you want to buy from an online or offline seller?
- If online, do they have an option to see the diamond or jewelry piece you want in person?
- What is the origin of the seed diamonds used to grow the diamonds? Are they mined diamonds or other lab grown diamonds?
- How much of the diamond process does the seller control themselves – making, polishing/cutting, fabricating etc. – is it done in the US or overseas?
- Where are the diamonds grown? Where is the factory or diamond lab based?
- Where are the diamonds cut and polished?
- Where are the diamond jewelery pieces fabricated and set?
- Does the jewelry piece use new or recycled metal?
- Does the jewelry piece use solid (not hollowed out) metal, and use quality clasps and fixings (not cheap ones that will fall apart)?
- Are workers across all stages paid a fair wage and do they work in safe and fair conditions? Or, does the seller use sweatshops of some sort?
- Does the jeweler use workers from the local economy, or from overseas?
- Does the jeweler focus on quality products, or do they mass produce diamonds?
- Does the jeweler pick only the best diamonds from a private supply, or do they use any diamond they can get access to from a more public supply?
- Which independent gemological certifier does the seller use to provide lab reports and a certificate for their diamonds? (some common ones are GIA, IGI and others)
- Does the jeweler provide an inscription on their diamond?
- Is the diamond you are getting a Type IIa diamond, or another type of diamond?
- Does the seller offer recycled diamonds, or re-cut diamonds, or other types of more eco friendly or socially responsible diamonds like Fair Trade Diamonds that you might be interested in?
- How does the seller quality control their diamond products?
- Is a return policy offered, and what are the conditions of the return policy?
- Are any guarantees offered, and what are the conditions of the guarantees?
- Are warranties or insurances offered, and what are the conditions?
- Are trade ins offered? What are the conditions of trade ins?
- What are the steps in the seller’s specific buying process? How long does the entire process take? What date will you get your diamond?
- Do you have to pay a deposit?
- Do you want loose diamonds, or a full jewelry piece?
Does Everything Above Confuse You? You Might Try This When Buying Lab Grown Diamonds Instead …
Keep it simple:
- Know your price/budget
- Know what design and shape/style you want
- Pick a couple of priorities that are important to you in the sourcing, making and delivery of the diamond – like how eco friendly and socially responsible ethical the seller is – make sure the seller addresses these points directly on their website or via email (the more transparency, and more precise the information they give you, the better)
- Ask the seller about exactly how they ensure the quality and value of the diamond you are buying – what standards do they follow?
- Ask the seller for the exact properties of the diamond you are buying, what the 4 C’s are of the diamond you are buying, and exactly how the diamond will look and perform when you receive it
- Choose a seller that gives you a lab report and a certification certificate with you diamond (that confirms exactly what you have bought from a recognised independent gemological certifier)
- Choose a seller that provides a quality guarantee, a return policy and insurance if you need it – this should cover your financial risk
- Know what date you need the diamond by – make sure the seller can get the diamond delivered to you by that date
These simple points might cover 80 or 90% of what is really important in buying a lab grown diamond, and keep you on track and less confused.