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Are Lab Grown Diamonds Cheap?

by Molly Jones
Last updated on September 16, 2023
Are lab grown diamonds cheap?

Sure, lab grown diamonds are a stunning and ethical alternative to natural diamonds, but are they cheap? Below, we break down exactly what makes lab diamonds more affordable and bust common myths.

But first, let’s go over exactly what lab grown diamonds are and how they differ from natural diamonds. Read on to find out!

What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?

Engagement Rings

Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds that are produced in a laboratory setting rather than being mined from the Earth. Lab grown diamonds have the exact same physical and chemical characteristics as real diamonds. In fact, only a professional gemologist can distinguish a lab created diamond from a mined diamond.

Often called synthetic diamonds, lab grown diamonds are different from diamond simulants. With simulants like cubic zirconia, their physical and chemical structure differs from real diamonds. At the end of the day, lab grown diamonds are real diamonds. They just have been made in a lab by one of two methods, either CVD or HPHT.

How Lab Grown Diamonds Are Made: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

Eternity Rings
Eternity Rings

Lab diamonds created with the CVD method undergo a complex process that involves the use of advanced technology and equipment. The process begins with a tiny diamond seed crystal. The seed sits within a tightly sealed vacuum chamber. Later, scientists fill the chamber with an extremely hot gas mixture that includes carbon and hydrogen. Later, this ionizes to create plasma.

The plasma breaks down the molecular bonds of the gas into carbon atoms. This deposits onto the seed crystal in layers. After several weeks of this, a rough diamond is fully formed. At this point, it can be cut and polished into beautiful lab grown diamond engagement rings.

How Lab Grown Diamonds Are Made: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)

Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry
Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry

The alternative to the CVD technique is the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) technique.

In HPHT, a diamond seed is subjected to the same intense heat and pressure that occurs deep within the Earth’s crust to create natural diamonds. Essentially, the process involves placing a diamond seed in a small capsule and introducing high heat and high pressure. Later, an introduction of carbon occurs, and this then crystallizes. This crystallization develops layers around the seed. The result is stunning laboratory grown diamonds that are indistinguishable from natural diamonds.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real? The Difference Between Lab Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds

Mined versus Lab Grown Diamond Comparison
Mined versus Lab Grown Diamond Comparison

As we’ve discussed, lab grown diamonds are real diamonds. In fact, the only difference between lab created diamonds and mined diamonds is their creation. The formation of mined diamonds occurs deep within the Earth’s mantle over millions of years. Crafting lab grown diamonds happens in a matter of weeks in a controlled laboratory environment.

There is no chemical or physical difference between the two types of diamonds. Both lab created diamonds and Earth mined diamonds adhere to the same grading requirements and certifications by the International Gemological Institute and other reputable institutions.

Physical properties aside, thanks to the difference in origin, lab diamonds are better for the environment and more ethical than natural diamonds. In 2021 alone, the diamond mining industry used 126 gallons of water to mine every one diamond carat. There will be an estimated loss of 12 million forest hectares in the tropics in 2020. Additionally, natural diamonds can also have a devastating ethical impact on people and communities. But fortunately, lab grown diamonds offer the same brilliant sparkle as mined diamonds without any of the unsavory side effects.

Can a Jeweler Tell the Difference Between Lab Made and Mined Diamonds?

Diamond Property Comparisons
Diamond Property Comparisons

Because natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds are identical, a professional jeweler or gemologist will not be able to distinguish one from the other with the naked eye. Instead, a microscope is necessary to look more closely at the diamond by comparing striations and inclusions that hint at the particular creation method. Additionally, many lab grown diamonds have report numbers laser-etched onto their girdle, signifying their origin.

Are Lab Created Diamonds Cheap?

Non Binary Collections
Non Binary Collection

Now that we’ve discussed the differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds, you may find yourself wondering if lab created diamonds are cheap. As with everything else in the diamond industry, the answer varies!

Like any natural diamond, a lab created diamond’s grading aligns with four different characteristics, also called the 4Cs. These characteristics– cut, color, clarity, and carat weight–greatly affect the price of the diamond. Natural diamonds with low scores in all four categories will cost less than diamonds of similar identifying factors (like diamond shape or carat size) that score higher in the categories. Likewise, higher-quality lab grown diamonds will be more expensive than low-quality lab grown diamonds.

But all else equal, lab diamonds tend to be more affordable than mined diamonds. Why? It comes down to the diamond industry and supply chain. Lab diamonds do not touch as many hands as natural diamonds and, thanks to the shorter supply chain, are more affordable. For example, all of Clean Origin’s breathtaking lab diamonds are 20-40% more affordable than similar natural diamonds.

The Worth of Lab Created Diamonds

Engagement Ring and Diamond Hoop Earrings
Engagement Ring and Hoop Earrings

When comparing the resale value of a lab diamond versus that of a natural diamond, the natural diamond comes out on top. This can be attributed to market demand and rarity. While lab diamonds are becoming more and more desirable in society, there is still a perceived need for natural diamonds, perhaps from the perception that they are rare. As such, they have an increased resale value.

However, this does not mean that lab grown diamonds do not have value. They are still highly sought after and offer the same beauty as natural diamonds, making them a great choice for those who prioritize budget and ethical concerns.

Common Lab Grown Diamond Myths Busted

Despite the popularity of lab diamonds, there are still a ton of myths that don’t speak to the full truth and beauty of a lab diamond. Below, we break down the most widespread lab diamond myths.

Myth: Lab Grown Diamonds Are Worthless

Lab Diamond Stud Earrings


While a lab grown diamond may be worth less in terms of resale value than a natural diamond, they are far from worthless. A diamond is a diamond, after all. A great score within the 4C categories means a diamond is worth more, regardless of its origin in a lab or in the Earth.

Myth: A Lab Grown Diamond is a Fake Diamond

Wedding Day and Engagement Ring


Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, unlike diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia or moissanite. Only buy your lab grown diamond from certified retailers and sellers. We always include proof of a reputable diamond certification.

Myth: Lab Created Diamonds Are Cheap

Laboratory inspection


Just like natural diamonds, lab diamonds can range in price from, “OMG, that’s so cheap” to “OMG, that’s more expensive than my firstborn”. It really comes down to a variety of factors that determine the overall quality of both the diamond itself and the company selling it.

Myth: Purchasing a Mined Diamond Benefits Mining Communities

Natural Mined Rough Diamond
Mined Rough Diamond


Diamond mining could potentially aid in the economic development of mining communities, it can also destroy habitats, contaminate water supplies, and uphold the unethical treatment of people.

Myth: People Can Tell the Difference Between a Lab Grown Diamond and a Mined Diamond

Engagement Rings


It is impossible for people to distinguish a lab grown diamond from a mined diamond. In fact, it takes gemologists special equipment and years of practice to be able to tell them apart. If you purchase a lab diamond, you can rest assured that no one will be able to tell if it is natural or not.

A Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring Just Makes Sense

At the end of the day, choosing a lab grown diamond over a mined diamond simply makes the most sense. Lab created diamonds are high in worth, and they’re just as beautiful as the traditional mined option.

Clean Origin has a wide selection of gorgeous lab created diamonds so you can create the engagement ring of your dreams. From pear shaped to Marquise cut diamond shapes, classic to unique styles, and everything in between, you are sure to find the perfect diamond engagement ring to meet your needs.