Lab Diamonds vs. Mined: What’s Right for You?

For all the buzz surrounding lab-created diamonds, there’s just as much confusion. What is a lab-created diamond? What’s the difference? Is it a fake diamond? 

There’s a lot to consider, especially as these diamonds become more popular. But here’s a great place to start.

“Real” Diamonds vs. “Fake” Diamonds

Let’s take a walk back to high school geology lessons. What many people think of as “real” or traditional diamonds form deep in the ground – around 100 miles below Earth’s surface in a layer called the upper mantle. An intense combination of heat, pressure and time crush carbon molecules together to create a diamond.  

There’s a common misconception that a lab-created diamond is a “fake” diamond, but that couldn’t be further from the truth – they’re just as real as any other. Chemically and physically, lab-created diamonds are the exact same as those found in the Earth. But instead of forming through nature, they’re created in carefully-controlled laboratories that use the same process – heat and pressure – to transform the carbon.

What’s the difference? 

When it comes down to it, there is little to no physical difference between lab and natural diamonds. They’re made by the same process, made of the exact same molecules and even look the same to the naked eye. The only difference to the gem itself is the physical location the stone came from.

Think of it this way – ice is ice, whether it was made in your kitchen freezer or you found it frozen on a lake.

So, are lab-created diamonds perfect because it’s more controlled?

Nope. Every diamond is unique – no matter if it’s lab-created or mined – because they’re all made under specific circumstances. Just like a natural diamond, lab-created diamonds have flaws and inclusions, and each stone is carefully assessed for color and clarity before being given a grade.

Is there a price difference?

Yes, and this is one of the major reasons people consider lab diamonds in the first place.

Lab-created stones typically cost up to 50% less than mined diamonds for similar size and quality. Why? It doesn’t just have to do with the stone itself.  

Mining a diamond out of the ground takes a considerable amount more time, money, resources and manpower than creating one in a lab. After all, a lot of people are involved in getting that stone out of the ground and onto your finger. Much of the extra money you pay for a mined diamond actually accounts for the labor involved, not necessarily the stone itself. 

What’s the catch? 

Lab created diamonds are cheaper to buy, and unfortunately, they do not hold their value as well. 

Any diamond, mined or not, will never receive the same price back as you paid the day you bought it. But buying a mined diamond ensures a better return on investment down the road. 

But many people are not planning to resell or get rid of their diamond at any time, so that’s not a concern. For others who plan to sell down the line for whatever reason – maybe to upgrade to a bigger ring – a mined diamond is the way to go. You’ll pay more up front, but you’ll get more back later on.

So, which do I choose?

At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. No one is better than the other, and they each have their own advantages and drawbacks. 

Many people choose a lab diamond because you get more “bang for your buck,” or because the process is what some may consider more ethical because it uses less resources to produce. But for others, there’s something special and romantic about wearing a stone that was formed billions of years ago beneath the Earth. 

Whichever you choose, we’ll make sure you get the perfect diamond.