The 7 Best Places to Buy Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry of 2022


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When lab-grown diamonds were first introduced to the fine jewelry world, they were met with some skepticism, to say the least. People wondered if they were actually real diamonds (they are!) and whether they share the same sparkle and brilliance as their nature-made counterparts (they do!). But today, lab-grown diamond engagement rings are as popular as ever and come in a wide range of styles, shapes, and cuts. What’s more, many lab-created diamonds are sustainably grown and less expensive than earth diamonds, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice.

So, what exactly are lab-grown diamonds–and how are they made? “A lab-grown diamond is a real diamond formed in a laboratory setting with high-tech equipment,” explains Lorraine Brantner, a sales manager for James Allen. In short, these labs can create the same pressure and high temperatures it takes to form a diamond from the earth. “In recent years, we have been able to mimic the extreme conditions present deep under the surface of the earth to create the right environment to grow diamond crystals in a laboratory setting,” adds Brantner.

While it can take billions of years to form a natural diamond, it only takes a mere few weeks to create a lab-grown diamond. But the end result is exactly the same. "Lab-grown diamonds have the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as a mined diamond," says Mona Akhavi, CEO of VRAI. Even better? Many lab-grown diamonds are formed by using renewable energy and are created in zero-emission foundries, making them more environmentally friendly than mined diamonds.

Read on for the best places to buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings.

Meet the Expert

  • Lorraine Brantner is a sales manager for James Allen, a fine jewelry retailer that carries a wide range of lab-created diamonds at various price points. She is also a GIA-certified gemologist.
  • Mona Akhavi is the CEO of VRAI, a fine jewelry brand that offers sustainably grown diamonds and unique pieces for the modern bride.

What to Look for in a Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring

Like any major investment, when it comes to shopping for a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, it’s important to do your research before you buy. Most trusted retailers (like the ones listed above) will have an in-depth FAQ page highlighting how and where their lab-grown diamonds are made and what sustainable practices they may exercise. 

Since lab-grown diamonds share the same optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, they are graded on the same scale of cut, clarity, color, and carat weight as natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamond engagement rings are also offered in scores of different styles, settings, and metals to suit all aesthetics. Once you’ve found your dream lab-grown diamond engagement ring you should receive and review its lab certification.

FAQ

  • Lab-grown diamonds are man-made stones created in a lab. They are formed through the use of high-tech equipment that can create the same high pressure, high heat, and chemical conditions it takes to create a natural diamond. 

  • “Yes, lab-grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds and share the same optical, physical, and chemical properties,” says Akhavi.

  • In short, how they are formed. Natural diamonds are formed beneath the earth’s surface by billions of years of extreme heat and pressure while lab-grown diamonds are man-made and created in a lab by mimicking the exact conditions of naturally occurring diamonds.

  • “While still expensive, they are certainly budget-friendly compared to earth diamonds,” says Brantner. “We find many customers appreciate the overall value of a lab diamond that allows them to truly maximize their budget.”

Why Trust Brides

Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more. When it comes to engagement rings, Sophie is a big fan of timeless styles like emerald-cut silhouettes.

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