Are Lab Grown Diamonds More Expensive than Natural Diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds have increasingly become more popular over the years, particularly as purchasing habits among consumers are becoming more ethical. However, there is still some mystery around the difference in cost. Here at Diamond Heaven, we’ve broken down this information for you, helping you to make the right decision when choosing your very own piece of diamond jewellery.
What exactly is a lab grown diamond?
Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds. They are both visually and chemically identical to naturally mined diamonds - the only difference is how they are formed. Lab diamonds are man-made and grown in a laboratory, through a precise process that combines a mix of high pressures, gases and temperature conditions – taking considerably less time to grow compared with mining diamonds.
This process is known to be more ethical, as it produces significantly fewer emissions than diamond mining and leaving the earth untouched. This still creates a brilliant sparkling rough diamond, which is then cut and polished just like mined diamonds are. This gives them the same sparkle as natural diamonds and are also available in a variety of colours, weights, shapes and carats.
Price of lab grown diamonds
Similar to natural diamonds, prices of lab grown diamonds will fluctuate. However, as a general comparison, lab grown diamonds can cost around 50% less than naturally mined diamonds – though there is not a ‘set price’ for a lab grown diamond or a naturally mined diamond. We know the price point will always be higher when shopping for a natural diamond as they are rarer and more costly to source. After this diamond prices are determined by the quality of each individual stone using the 4C’s, which then determines that diamond's full value.
Shape – the shape of a diamond can influence the price. The most popular shape for a diamond is the ‘round brilliant’ – which is typically the most expensive. This is because of the unique sparkle and brilliance they offer compared to any other shape.
Certificate – This can make a big difference in the price and value of your diamond, having a diamond certified with a world-wide recognised laboratory always helps a diamond hold its value and gives you confidence when buying. The certificate verifies what it is you are paying for, and gives you the confidence that a third party company has assessed you diamonds and graded it independently with a non-bias approach.. We recommend the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the Gemological Institute of Europe (GIE) here at Diamond Heaven.
Cut – The cut grade will determine the sparkle of a diamond. It assesses how well the rough diamond has been cut into its new shape to reflect the light as best as possible. A cut that is too shallow or too deep will stop as much light reflecting back to your eye when you gaze at it. An Ideal and Excellent cut are the higher grades that will help reassure you of a stunning sparkly diamond. These higher grades will be more expensive compared to the lower grades known as a ‘Good cut ’ or ‘Very good cut’ diamond.
Colour – The Colour grade determines how much colour the diamond has, usually you will find a hint of yellowing in the diamond. The whiter colour grade the brighter the diamond appears and the grades are rated D-Z starting with D being the top grade and completely colourless.
Clarity – The Clarity of a diamond is how clear it is, and the grades determine how visible a diamond's inclusions are. With fewer imperfections or blemishes the diamond will be brighter and clearer with the top grade being a flawless diamond. These higher graded diamonds will be more expensive than a diamond lower on the scale with noticeably more blemishes and imperfections such as and I1 known to have inclusions visible from most angles to the naked eye.
Carat – The Carat is usually the one we have all heard about, it gives you an indicator of the diamonds size, however it specifically refers to the weight of the diamond between its circumference and depth you will notice the size looking bigger each time the carat weight goes up considerably. This will greatly reflect the diamond’s price as the bigger and heavier the stone, the more the diamond will cost.
Here is a price comparison of the same 1-carat diamond engagement ring. One is the lab grown diamond engagement ring vs the naturally mined diamond engagement ring.
This 1-carat lab grown diamond Solitaire ring in F/VS2/excellent cut costs £1,098.68
The same ring in a 1-carat natural diamond Solitaire ring in F/VS2/Excellent cut costs £5,033.79.
Do lab grown diamonds fall in value?
As lab grown diamonds are considerably cheaper than naturally mined diamonds, you will also find that they will hold less resale value than mined diamonds do over time. Although they share the same grading standards the resale market for the two are not equal. Naturally mined diamonds graded in the same quality grades are still much rarer, making them more valuable than diamonds that are produced in a laboratory, and rare will always hold more value over time.
Lab grown diamonds are more susceptible to losing value over time because most jewellers will not consider buying back man-made diamonds as easily as natural ones. Many Jewellers are unsure of their future value to know what to offer with them being so new to the market. Always be aware that if you wanted to re-sell your lab grown diamond jewellery you may be offered a lot less for it than what you have paid previously. Therefore, we recommend purchasing your diamonds with the expectation of keeping them and always making sure you have the relevant certification well stored safely to hold the highest value that diamond can over time.
Choose Diamond Heaven when buying your next diamond purchase
With nearly 20 years’ experience of offering high quality, certified diamond rings in both lab grown and mined diamonds – we are the expert choice. Whether you visit us online or in one of our showrooms across England, Scotland or Wales – our experts are on-hand to offer you the best diamond buying experience possible.
Simply book an appointment at your nearest Diamond Heaven showroom today and take advantage of our 0% finance option, which allows you to spread the cost of your jewellery for up to six months with a minimum 10% deposit.