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Lab Diamond Pricing: Get the Most for Your Money

by Adriana Perez-Nakamura
Last updated on August 24, 2023
lab diamond pricing

You’re in the market for some new diamond jewelry (maybe even an engagement ring!) and want the best value for your money. Maybe you’ve heard lab diamond pricing is 20-50% less than mined diamonds but don’t understand why or how that’s possible.

We assure you it’s not a trick and certainly not a typo. Lab diamonds truly are THAT cost-effective–and yes, they are “real diamonds.” You can buy a beautiful lab grown diamond at a price far less than you’d find at a wholesale diamond market.

In this article, we will explain why lab grown diamonds are so affordable, along with why they’re the better option all around.

Why Do Lab Diamonds Cost Less?

Lab diamonds cost less because of reduced supply chain logistics. Since they are made in a lab there’s no cost for mining, transportation, and all other costs involved with extracting natural diamonds from the earth.

As a reference, let’s consider the cost of a 1 carat natural diamond vs a 1 carat lab grown diamond. Both diamonds have the same stats: 1 carat, Excellent cut, VS1 clarity, F color (colorless). The natural diamond costs $1,266 and the lab grown diamond costs $1,011. That’s a significant savings when compared to natural diamond prices!

However, just as with mined diamonds, lab grown diamond prices vary. In order to find a lab diamond that meets your pricing needs you should understand the 4Cs of diamonds.

Lab Diamond Pricing and the 4 Cs

1 ct. tw. Solitaire Diamond Pendant. Lab Diamond Pricing.

The 4Cs of diamonds was created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA did this in order to standardize the way mined diamonds were evaluated and graded–which affects their price. And now, lab diamonds are graded by the same standards.

Lab diamond prices are incredibly affordable but you should still do your research to get the best value for your money. If you understand the 4Cs, you can ensure you get exactly what you want for a price that makes sense to you.

Each diamond evaluated using the 4Cs receives a grade in the following categories: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Now, let’s go over what each of the 4C grades encompasses:


Diamond cut is often confused with shape, but they’re two different terms. Cut refers to how well a diamond’s facets interact with light; shape refers to the diamond’s overall outline or figure.

Among the qualities taken into account when analyzing a diamond’s cut are its brightness, fire, and scintillation. Cut grades the GIA assigns are:

  • Excellent (EX)
  • Very Good (VG)
  • Good (G)
  • Fair (F)
  • Poor (P)


When it comes to color grades, a diamond is actually graded on it’s LACK of color. The GIA’s color grading reports assign a letter grade to a diamond that ranges from E-Z.

An E grade is given to truly colorless diamonds, whereas Z-grade diamonds have yellowish to brown hues to them. The higher up on the color grade scale a diamond falls, the more expensive it is.


Inclusions and blemishes, or the lack of them, is what makes up a diamond’s clarity grade. They occur naturally in diamonds as they form (in both mined diamonds and lab created diamonds).

There are many types of inclusions a diamond can have, including clouds, feathers, cavities, etc. If large enough, inclusions can inhibit the way light performs inside of a diamond which is undesireable. Therefore, inclusions have an impact on the price of a diamond but some inclusions are more detrimental to a diamond’s quality than others.

Clarity grades are:

  • Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions (and only blemishes) are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are hard for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are minor. They range from difficult to somewhat easy to for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are unnoticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and they may affect transparency and brilliance

Carat Weight

In short, a diamond’s carat weight measures how much it weighs and one metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams. The higher the carat weight of a diamond the more expensive it will be.

As with a mined diamond, the lab diamond you choose doesn’t have to score the highest in each of the 4Cs in order for it to be excellent quality. In the next section, we go over some tips for making the 4Cs work for you.

Tips to Help You Get the Most Affordable Lab Diamond Pricing

Bezel set round diamond ring.
Bezel Set Lab Diamond Ring

Whether you purchase a natural diamond or a lab diamond, you don’t have to have the highest-graded diamond in each 4C category to have something beautiful. If you’re willing to compromise in some parts of the 4Cs then you can have a diamond you love for a price that fits your budget–especially if you choose lab grown.

Here are some tips to think about to get the most for your money when you buy a lab grown diamond.

Consider Fancy-Shaped Diamonds Over Round Brilliant Diamonds

Have you heart set on a round diamond? The round brilliant is incredible but it’s also the priciest. This is true for a few reasons, but mostly because it’s popular (so in high demand). But it’s also expensive because its beautiful sparkle requires an expert degree of cutting, and because a lot of raw diamond material gets cut away to form one.

On the other hand, if you a choose fancy shape like a pear or oval you still get a diamond that sparkles like a round brilliant–just at a much lower price. In fact, a pear or oval that is the same carat weight of a round brilliant can actually look larger!

How is this possible?

Fancy Shapes Look Larger Than Round Diamonds

Thanks to the longer table of both the pear and oval diamonds, they look larger from a face-up perspective than a round brilliant. So not only will you pay less for a fancy shape, you will also have a diamond that looks noticeably larger (depending on the shape you choose).

Prioritize Which of the 4Cs Matter Most to You

Fancy-shaped diamond solitaires.
Fancy-Shaped Diamond Solitaires

If you are 100% sure you want a round diamond then you should definitely choose what you love. In this case the Cs we recommend you focus on are carat weight and cut.

Round Diamonds: Focus on Cut and Carat Weights

A round diamond with a poor cut can look dull and lifeless, so the best cut you can get within your budget is what you should go for. Additionally, because a round diamond can appear smaller than other diamond shapes, you should consider choosing at least 1 carat.

If you are in the market for something a bit closer to 2 carats keep in mind that diamond prices jump exponentially when you go from one carat size to the next. So choosing something just under 2 carats will help keep you within your budget. Not only will you stay within budget, no one will be able to tell that your diamond is less than 2 carats.

Why don’t clarity and color matter as much for a round brilliant? Because of the round’s 58 sparkling facets. That enchanting sparkle can camoflauge slight blemishes and inclusions (a well-place prong can help, too). It can also detract from any color present in your diamond.

Fancy Step-Cut Diamonds: Focus on Color and Clarity

If you decide to go with a fancy-shaped diamond like an emerald or Asscher you will want to focus on color and clarity.

Since you can see directly into the center of each of these diamond shapes, blemishes are going to be much more noticeable. Color is also more apparent because the step-cut of emerald and Asschers don’t give off the same intense sparkle of a round cut.

This isn’t to say that step-cuts aren’t as beautiful as brilliant cuts. They’re simply different. Whereas a brilliant cut gives off a playful dance of sparkles, the step cut produces hall of mirrors-like flashes of light.

Offset Color With the Right Metal Setting

Julia ring. Lab Diamond Pricing.

Whether you choose a round diamond or some other fancy shape, opt for a lower color grade (G-I is near colorless and J-L has slight color) and offset it with a carefully chosen metal color for your setting. White gold and platinum are brightly-colored metals that will make your diamond appear whiter than it is.

Want the most cost-effective option? Choose white gold, specifically 14k white gold. Fourteen karat white gold looks beautiful and bright, and costs much less than 18k white gold and platinum. Furthermore, 14k white gold is more durable than 18 or 24k. This bit of info is especially important to know if you’re choosing a diamond ring.

Rings receive more daily wear and tear than jewelry like necklaces and earrings. Therefore, they’re more prone to damage. If your ring setting is made of 14k gold (any color) then it can stand up to daily wear much better.

Buy a Loose Diamond

Depending on what you buy, loose diamonds can be much less expensive than a completed piece of jewlery. You then have the advantage of choosing a setting for your diamond that falls within your budget.

For instance, if you design your own ring with us you can choose your diamond and the setting you want for it. If you prefer the white metal look of platinum you can choose 14k white gold instead. With this small swap, you can save a significant amount of money and still get the ring you want.

The Benefits of Lab Grown Go Beyond Affordable Prices

Whether you call them man-made or synthetic diamonds, the truth is that the pricing for lab created diamonds is unbeatable–especially with us. And if you’re wondering “are lab grown diamonds worth the price if they’re man-made?”–we assure you they are. In fact, the worth of a lab created diamond goes beyond what you pay for it or even what you can sell it for.

Even though it’s made in a lab, the lab diamond’s value is unmatched when you think about how ethical and environmentally friendly it is. You can spend your hard-earned money on something you love with the peace of mind that neither the earth nor its inhabitants were harmed in order to get it. How do you put a price on a feeling like that?

Shop Affordable Lab Diamonds With Clean Origin

We Offer the Best Lab Diamonds at Outstanding Prices
We Offer the Best Lab Diamonds at Outstanding Prices

We pride ourselves on having the best quality lab grown diamonds at the lowest prices. If you’re unsure of where to start shopping, we invite you to visit one of our nationwide showrooms. You may also request a virtual appointment with one of our diamond experts.

Shop with us today!