7 Best Places to Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds in 2023 [In-depth Guide]

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 

Lab-created diamonds are grown in a laboratory using a natural mined diamond seed. These synthetic diamonds have identical physical, optical, and chemical characteristics to natural diamonds. Lab diamonds are a good choice for individuals with budgetary constraints, particularly those searching for fancy color diamonds at a more accessible price point.

Despite initial skepticism from industry leaders and jewelers, who anticipated a waning demand, nearly all have embraced trading in lab-grown diamonds. This attests to the enduring presence of lab-grown diamonds, which stand as a noteworthy addition to the market, complementing natural diamonds rather than supplanting them.

The history of lab-grown diamonds extends considerably, witnessing significant advancements in producing high-quality specimens in recent years. From a historical vantage point, it was during the 1950s that General Electric pioneered the discovery that carbon could be subjected to pressures sufficient to induce crystallization. After this groundbreaking discovery, two primary techniques emerged for cultivating lab-grown diamonds: High-Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

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Best Places to Buy Lab Diamonds

The following seven retailers qualify as the best places for buying lab-grown diamonds.

James Allen
Our a top-rated retailer known for exceptional prices, products, and customer service.
Clear Origin An emerging online leader with a sole focus on lab-grown diamonds.
Blue Nile
A top industry leader and regarded as a pioneer of the online diamond trade.
A well-known brand out of New York known for high-quality settings and price transparency.
Brilliant Earth

A renowned eco-friendly company. Offers excellent products and is a publically traded company.

A top-rated retailer known for exceptional diamond-cutting skills. 
Great designs and affordable prices. We like their jewelry designs for daily use.

Reviewing Places for Lab-Created Diamonds

Purchasing a lab-grown diamond online proves advantageous, especially when buyers possess confidence in their choices and have gained substantial insights into acquiring these diamonds at a reasonable cost. Our experience suggests that local jewelers often require more expertise to assist buyers in making informed decisions, along with a substantial inventory for effective comparisons.

Before embarking on the journey of purchasing lab-grown diamonds online, it is prudent to delve into the following questions, enabling the identification of a dependable company and enhancing the overall shopping experience:

  • Does the company vend high-quality diamonds?
  • Are each of the diamonds meticulously scrutinized, or are they simply drop-shipped from wholesalers?
  • Is there a robust quality control process in place?
  • Is the return policy reasonable, encompassing features such as trade-in, resale, or other forms of lasting support, thereby indicating the company's commitment to its products?
  • What do the reviews reflect? Examining platform reviews offers a precise understanding of the company's reputation.
  • While the diamond stands as the pivotal element of the purchase, it is unwise to overlook the quality of the engagement ring setting. Where do these settings originate, and what is their quality?

Amidst the multitude of choices for procuring lab-grown diamonds, it is prudent to opt for a reputable jeweler. Anticipate a slight premium for the convenience of a stress-free, low-risk, and high-quality transaction (after all, serenity often comes at a price). For your reference, here is our compilation of the finest destinations for purchasing diamonds and engagement rings.

Furthermore, acquiring a lab-grown diamond alongside a trustworthy grading report or certification holds paramount significance. Noteworthy certification labs for lab-grown diamonds include the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), International Gemological Institute (IGI), Antwerp World Diamond Center (HRD), and Gemological Science International.

Having taken the above criteria into account, the following five options emerge as the prime avenues for purchasing lab-grown diamonds online:

James Allen

James Allen possesses a keen understanding of the fact that while purchasing an engagement ring online may be expedient and swift, envisioning its real-life appearance can prove challenging. In response to this predicament, the retailer employs captivating 360-degree video technology to showcase their jewelry, coupled with round-the-clock customer service and unparalleled pricing. This confluence of elements bestows customers with a genuinely unparalleled shopping experience, all within the confines of their homes. With their innovative Ring Studio service, James Allen takes this commitment further by granting clients full creative autonomy over their setting style, affording them the ability to select the metal and design for both the head and shank of the ring.

Beyond their extensive inventory of natural diamonds, James Allen offers a staggering selection of over 35,000 lab-created diamonds, ready to be incorporated into any engagement ring. Moreover, their offering extends to more than 1,000 fancy-colored lab diamonds.

James Allen distinguishes itself through its unwavering dedication to exceptional customer service. Prospective buyers can engage in real-time diamond consultations at any time, without the need for an appointment, connecting with experts to compare stones and review specifications. For a more comprehensive understanding, you may refer to our comprehensive James Allen review.

James Allen Diamonds

Clear Origin

Clear Origin was founded in 2017 by insiders with profound knowledge of the diamond trade. The company's mission is to enhance the diamond shopping experience, placing a strong emphasis on quality and ethical practices. Clear Origin exclusively specializes in selling lab-grown diamonds, garnering a reputation for offering high-quality products within the industry. For additional insights, review to our comprehensive Clear Origin review.

Clear Origin's uniqueness is evident through several key factors that contribute to an exceptional customer experience, including:

  • Free Shipping
  • 100-Day Returns
  • Free Ring Sizing
  • Independently Certified Diamonds

Clear Origin Lab Diamonds

Blue Nile

Since its establishment in 1999, Blue Nile has evolved into one of the globe's most esteemed jewelry establishments, earning widespread recognition as a pioneer within the online diamond and engagement ring market. Renowned for its internet-based business model and cost-efficient operations, Blue Nile delivers breathtaking engagement rings of exceptional quality and craftsmanship, all while upholding stringent standards. In a noteworthy collaboration with Lightbox, the company introduced an exquisite collection of lab-grown diamond rings in 2020. This compact yet captivating assortment features engagement rings adorned with lab-grown diamonds in shades of white, blue, or pink.

What sets Blue Nile apart?

In addition to offering engraving services, Blue Nile extends the convenience of complimentary ring resizing for the initial year on all custom-designed engagement rings. Furthermore, the company provides a lifetime manufacturer's guarantee alongside a flexible payment plan, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Blue Nile's product range strikes an adept balance between aesthetics, value, and quality. Each lab-grown diamond is guaranteed to exhibit a minimum VS clarity and a Very Good cut grade. Remarkably, Lightbox's lab-grown diamonds are uniformly priced at $800 per carat, irrespective of the chosen color – be it white, blue, or blush pink. This equitable pricing strategy presents an exceptional opportunity to acquire a colored diamond at a genuinely reasonable cost. For a deeper understanding, feel free to peruse our comprehensive Blue Nile review.

Blue Nile Cheat Sheet for Buying Diamonds


Founded by a family of jewelers in 1999, Ritani is a well-known brand recognized for its excellent craftsmanship in fine jewelry and unique engagement rings. The company offers highly transparent diamond prices, exceptional customer service, and warranties on their products.

Here are the services that make Ritani a top choice:

  • Price Transparency and Diamond Market Analysis
  • Ring Recommender and Buy Online, Pick Up in Store
  • Lifetime warranty and diamond upgrade services

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth stands as a renowned jeweler renowned for its commitment to the ethical sourcing of diamonds, guided by their "beyond conflict-free" policy that resonates strongly with socially conscious buyers. The establishment shines as one of the premier destinations for purchasing lab-created diamond engagement rings, offering a staggering collection of over 30,000 IGI certified lab diamonds alongside an array of distinctive ring settings.

What sets Brilliant Earth apart?

Brilliant Earth introduces a unique facet to the buying experience through its innovative virtual try-on app, enabling prospective buyers to gain a better grasp of how a ring might translate in person. This ingenious service, as the name implies, empowers individuals to virtually don engagement rings by simply uploading a photograph to the platform and selecting their preferred ring style. Furthermore, Brilliant Earth extends the convenience of virtual sessions and consultations, facilitated by their knowledgeable jewelry team.

Distinguishing itself with one of the most extensive online inventories of lab-created diamonds, Brilliant Earth offers a remarkable selection of over 75,000 lab diamonds. Notably, the company's assortment includes a captivating range of colored lab diamonds, predominantly in shades of pink or blue.

Beyond their commitment to ethical stones, Brilliant Earth embraces environmental consciousness by crafting their rings from recycled metals, thereby reducing the demand for newly mined resources. Their ring boxes, thoughtfully fashioned from responsibly sourced natural wood, exemplify their dedication to sustainability. The company's impact extends beyond their products, encompassing a vital social mission that involves giving back to mining communities and actively supporting initiatives for rainforest conservation. For an in-depth exploration, we invite you to consult our comprehensive Brilliant Earth review.

Brilliant Earth Engagement Rings


Hailing from Sugar Land, Texas, Whiteflash stands as a highly esteemed and trusted jeweler. Earning a spot among our top-rated retailers, this establishment has recently ventured into the realm of high-quality precision-cut lab-grown diamonds. Renowned for its coveted "a cut above" diamonds, Whiteflash offers an impressive array of accolades, including outstanding customer reviews and the esteemed Better Business Bureau's Pinnacle award – a distinction repeatedly garnered by the company. For a deeper insight, our comprehensive Whiteflash review awaits your exploration.

What sets Whiteflash apart?

Whiteflash's distinctiveness comes to the fore through several defining attributes, collectively contributing to an unparalleled customer experience:

  • Amazing Brand: A reputation that precedes itself, Whiteflash's brand excellence is a hallmark of its offerings.

  • Exceptional Customer Service: A commitment to customer satisfaction underscores Whiteflash's approach, elevating the purchasing journey to new heights.

  • A Cut Above Diamonds: Renowned for their precision-cut diamonds, Whiteflash's "a cut above" collection epitomizes their commitment to excellence.

  • Free Shipping and Returns: The convenience of complimentary shipping and hassle-free returns further solidifies Whiteflash's customer-oriented approach.

Lab-created diamonds at Whiteflash


Operating from the vibrant heart of New York City, Aurate caters to a discerning clientele with a selection of the most exquisite designs, meticulously crafted from recycled gold, all while maintaining an impressive affordability quotient. The company further extends its offerings to include lab-grown diamonds and engagement rings, each presenting exceptional value. Notably, their portfolio encompasses both timeless classics and elegantly modern designs, making exploration a must.

What sets Aurate apart?

Aurate's distinctiveness shines through its unparalleled collection of fine jewelry, epitomizing a harmonious blend of artistry and value. The company's unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability stands as a testament to its ethos, contributing to a superior offering for its esteemed patrons. Aurate's excellence extends beyond its products, encompassing stellar customer service, swift turnaround times, a distinctive array of engagement rings, and an array of everyday fine jewelry pieces. This comprehensive suite of offerings, united by their outstanding value proposition, solidifies Aurate's stature as a formidable contender within the industry. For a more comprehensive insight, feel free to delve into our Aurate review, offering an in-depth exploration of the brand's virtues.

Aurate Jewelry Designs

Why Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-created, lab-made, or synthetic diamonds are grown in laboratory settings. These diamonds undergo a carefully orchestrated technological process that mirrors the natural progression of diamond formation beneath the Earth's surface. This controlled environment allows for the precise engineering and cultivation of these diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds possess physical, chemical, and optical properties akin to their naturally mined counterparts, rendering them virtually indistinguishable. In essence, they exhibit the appearance of naturally occurring GIA certified loose diamonds. The journey of lab diamonds has been one of continuous experimentation over numerous centuries, culminating in remarkable success in recent decades. Ongoing endeavors aim to enhance further the growth of diamonds with even purer physical, chemical, and optical attributes, advancing the realm of possibilities within this innovative field.

lab grown diamonds benefits

Learn more at Blue Nile.

Advantages of Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-created diamonds offer a compelling array of advantages that render them an alluring choice:

  • Affordability: One of the most pronounced benefits of lab-made diamonds is their cost-effectiveness. These diamonds provide comparable value to natural counterparts while bearing a significantly reduced price tag. Lab-grown diamonds typically command prices around 50-75% lower than their naturally mined equivalents.
  • Conflict-Free Origins: Lab-grown diamonds carry a conflict-free lineage. Cultivated, treated, and meticulously cut within controlled laboratory environments, they sidestep the ethical dilemmas often associated with diamonds sourced from the Earth. This contrasts sharply with naturally mined diamonds, which may inadvertently contribute to societal concerns and environmental harm.
  • Comparable Beauty: Lab-made diamonds exhibit a captivating allure that rivals that of natural diamonds in every aspect. For a deeper exploration of their visual parallels, you can delve into our comprehensive lab-made versus natural diamonds article.
  • Superior Quality: Lab-created diamonds proudly display commendable attributes encompassing clarity, color, cut, and carat size. Their characteristics stand on par with those of natural diamonds. Moreover, they lend themselves to an array of enchanting hues, spanning the classic white to vibrant shades of yellow, green, pink, and blue.

The appeal of lab-grown diamonds extends from their affordability to their ethical and aesthetic virtues, positioning them as a captivating choice within the realm of fine jewelry.

Anatomically, lab-grown diamonds mirror their mined counterparts with utmost precision; even a proficient diamond specialist cannot distinguish between them with the naked eye. Discerning the variance necessitates the aid of a microscope or, at the very least, a jeweler’s loupe. Notably, 10x magnification may be effective only if a lab-grown diamond is laser engraved, a feature many do not possess.

For HPHT (High-Pressure, High-Temperature) diamonds, a blue nuance raises genuine concern, imparting an unnatural appearance to the diamond. Professionals scrutinize for indications of this blue nuance as a telltale sign of an HPHT lab diamond.

Distinctly, CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) stones exhibit strain lines and carry a pattern that identifies them as lab-grown. These patterns resemble internal graining but are observable throughout the stone. The grader might also detect post-growth treatments to enhance a diamond's color in certain instances. CVD diamonds falling within the D, E, and F color ranges often undergo such treatments, given that these hues are not commonly inherent and are frequently achieved through post-growth manipulation.

Growing Lab Diamonds: HPHT vs. CVD

The process of growing lab diamonds is relatively uncomplicated; it commences with the utilization of a carbon seed to initiate growth. These diamonds are brought into existence through the introduction of the carbon seed into a controlled chamber, wherein it is subjected to an amalgamation of intense heat, pressure, and a specialized deposition process. This meticulously managed environment faithfully emulates the natural conditions akin to diamond formation within the Earth's crust.

growth process lab diamonds
Watch the explainer video here
The key technique employed in the creation of lab-grown diamonds is crystallization. This method facilitates the gradual growth and maturation of a diamond seed over a span of six to ten weeks, culminating in its eventual cutting and polishing. Following this transformative process, the fully grown and expertly polished diamond undergoes evaluation by a grading laboratory to ascertain its 4Cs – carat weight, cut, color, and clarity – as well as other pertinent indicators of quality.

In both colored and white lab-created diamonds, the composition of trace elements exhibits subtle deviations from their naturally mined counterparts. Detecting these differences requires specialized equipment capable of discerning the minor variations in crystal growth and trace element presence.

The two primary methods for cultivating lab diamonds are as follows:

  1. HPHT (High-Pressure, High-Temperature): This original technique, introduced in the 1950s, not only facilitates diamond growth but also allows for color enhancement, including captivating shades like blue, pink, and yellow.

  2. CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition): Emerging in the 1980s, this approach utilizes lower pressure and more compact machinery to replicate diamond formation within interstellar gas clouds. In this method, a diamond seed is placed within a vacuum chamber, filled with carbon-rich gas, and subjected to temperatures of up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. The ensuing high temperatures transform the gas into plasma and carbon, providing the environment for the seed to flourish.

Comparing HPHT and CVD:

Both HPHT and CVD come with distinct merits and drawbacks, necessitating a case-by-case evaluation of each stone. While some dealers remain impartial, others lean towards HPHT to address crystal strain concerns, or CVD to mitigate any hint of blue nuance or phosphorescence alterations. It's noteworthy that a significant portion of today's diamond market consists of CVD diamonds, particularly those falling within the D/E color range and weighing 1.25 carats or more.

Distinct indicators characterize each method:

  • CVD traits encompass brown and grey undertones, black polycrystalline inclusions (especially near the girdle), strain or graining within the diamond, striations indicative of iterative growth patterns, and potential signs of HPHT post-growth treatment, which may yield a "straw" or light-yellow grey color.

  • Expert scrutiny of HPHT diamonds involves identifying signs of boron-induced blue nuance, grey undertones attributed to titanium, phosphorescence (distinct from fluorescence), growth sector zoning, and metal flux inclusions.

Key Attributes of Lab-Made Diamonds:

  • Hardness on the Mohs Scale: 10
  • Internal Crystal Structure: Face-centered cubic
  • Hardness Comparison: 2.42 (lab-grown) vs. 2.42 (mined)
  • SP3 Carbon Diamond Bonds: 100%

In terms of appearance, lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from their mined counterparts; even a proficient diamond specialist would require a microscope or a jeweler's loupe to detect any variance. Notably, 10x magnification might only prove effective if a lab-grown diamond is laser engraved, a feature not always present.

Regarding HPHT diamonds, the presence of a blue nuance raises legitimate concerns, as it imparts an unnatural appearance. Experts scrutinize subtle cues for hints of blue nuance, often indicative of an HPHT lab diamond.

Conversely, CVD stones exhibit distinctive strain lines and patterns, serving as telltale signs of their lab-grown origin. These patterns resemble internal graining but are perceptible throughout the stone. In certain instances, a grader might also identify post-growth treatments aimed at enhancing a diamond's color. CVD diamonds falling within the D, E, and F color ranges frequently undergo such treatments, given that these hues are not typically inherent and are often achieved post-growth.

Lab Diamond Selection

Jewelers frequently hand-select lab-grown diamonds, bringing them to their showrooms for meticulous examination. In this process, diamonds are confirmed, studied, assessed, videotaped, and subjected to testing. A combination of traditional tools and sophisticated laboratory techniques are employed to ascertain diamond quality, with evaluations conducted within a private space under full-spectrum illumination. Some jewelers prefer to bypass acquiring diamonds at trade exhibitions or offices where lighting adjustments may obscure flaws.

Much like with mined diamonds, quality control criteria are grounded in gemological principles. The primary questions addressed include:

  • Is the diamond's grade accurate?
  • Do the product's color, clarity, and cut/make align with what is observed in person?

Subsequent assessments are conducted for attributes like bow ties, light leakage, crown paneling, pavilion bulge, culet size, fish eyes, empty or lifeless centers, irregular chevrons, and other features in fancy-shaped diamonds weighing over 2 carats.

While Ideal Scope or ASET photographs are options, they only provide a partial perspective of a diamond's appearance.

Several methods are employed to evaluate certain atypical properties of lab diamonds post-acquisition. Comparing a lab diamond to others of varying quality proves more effective than isolated examination. Global dealers place trust in lab experts' discerning eyes and judgment, which is why numerous clips, comparisons, and insights are shared with them.

Lab Diamond Certifications and Grading

A very close similarity exists in the certification and grading of mined and lab-grown diamonds. After the required growth process, the diamonds are sent to a gem lab that grades them.

Most of these labs specializing in the process tend to grade the diamonds using the famous 4Cs: Cut, Color, Carat weight, and Clarity. Some of the most popular labs that specialize in this certification include:

  • Gemological Institute of America
  • Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC)
  • American Gem Society (AGS - learn more about AGS vs. GIA)
  • International Gemological Institute (IGI - learn more about IGI vs. GIA)
  • Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL)
  • Gemological Science International (GSI)

From that perspective, the diamond grading system is generally similar for every diamond certification lab. Different gemologists grade each type of diamond in the labs differently.

Gemologists design a tremendous and significant process to provide each type of diamond with an unbiased grade. The impartial grading ensures that clients get an accurate description/grading for their products. The individual grades the gemologists give are subsequently compiled and analyzed to determine the final grade for the diamond.

However, there is usually a higher probability of a diamond receiving a completely different grade on some rare occasions. The instance occurs from other labs and could also arise from the same lab if the diamond gets sent back for a second grading.

Because of this fundamental reason, diamond retailers and customers have differing opinions on which lab is best for the job and which provides the best grading. Many of the above labs are reliable for lab-grown diamonds (with GIA, AWC, and GCAL being the best). However, it is essential to note that opinions from different labs, retailers, and customers are generally subjective. Every lab, just like every other aspect of life, has its pros and cons.

Diamond certification and grading are crucial while purchasing these diamonds. Be open with your jewelry and have candid conversations about the specific labs they use and why they use them.

Most jewelers want their customers to be confident in their purchases, so buyers should be bold and ask questions regarding the best lab-grown diamonds.

Final Thoughts

The lab-grown diamond market is experiencing a consistent and gradual expansion. Rather than perceiving lab diamonds as mere substitutes for their natural counterparts, it is more prudent to consider them as supplementary options, each occupying a distinct niche within the diamond industry.

Lab-grown diamonds offer a compelling value proposition for buyers navigating budget limitations.

The color of fancy color lab-grown diamonds retains its permanence and resistance to wear and tear following production. However, caution is recommended by refraining from subjecting them to elevated temperatures during the mounting process to safeguard their color integrity.

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