Recommended Provider: If you are looking to buy the perfect lab diamond for that special someone, you can fully trust James Allen. Their comprehensive selection and world-class service is unmatched. Plus, for a limited time get 10% OFF select lab diamonds here.
Wondering where to buy the best lab created diamonds from?
You're in the right place!
In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:
- Who Sells The Best Lab Diamonds?
- What To Look For When Buying The Best Man Made Diamond?
- Are You Getting A Good Deal On A Lab Grown Diamond Ring?
- What Red Flags To Watch Before You Buy Lab Grown Diamonds
Best Online Lab Grown Diamond Companies
If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for the best online lab grown diamonds from reputable dealers.
1. James Allen
Why Buy With James Allen?
James Allen is the best place to buy lab grown diamonds.
They offer around 36,000 loose diamonds of various shapes. Some are as small as .21 carats and others as large as 6 carats!
You'll love this:
Each lab diamond on James Allen is a real diamond, NOT a diamond simulant like cubic zirconia. All of their lab created diamonds are certified by the IGI (International Gemological Institute) so you know you're getting what you pay for.
Typically, with natural diamonds, we want a certification with the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society). But in the case of synthetic diamonds, IGI certifications do a better job of pinpointing exacts.
GIA certifications for lab grown diamonds were revamped in 2020 and are now acceptable and preferable grading reports.
It gets better:
Diamond prices at James Allen are ALWAYS cheaper than your popular diamond retailers at brick and mortar locations (think Kay, Zales, etc). Plus, lab created diamonds are known to be between 20%-30% cheaper than similar mined diamonds, even if they have the exact same crystal structure and finished product.
So if you combine James Allen's standard great pricing plus the lower lab diamond prices, you can get a round 1-carat lab created loose diamond for $2,000 less than it's mined counterpart from other stores.
Check out the difference below to see what I mean:
Pretty amazing, right?
The best part is no one will know the difference; just you and your wallet!
You can rest assured that every dollar spent on James Allen's lab created diamonds is money well spent.
If you want a hand to narrow down the vast selection, you'll be pleased to know James Allen's customer service team is highly educated.
You can ask their team of gemologists literally anything about lab created diamonds — from high pressure high temperature (HTPT) techniques to their resale value — which we'll discuss a little later.
At the end of the day, James Allen is the best lab grown diamond company for both high-quality and affordable diamonds with a fantastic lifetime warranty that covers wear and tear and routine maintenance.
Visit their official site from the button below to find the lab diamond of your dreams.
Read More: James Allen Full Review
2. Clean Origin
Why Buy With Clean Origin?
Clean Origin is our runner-up pick for best lab grown diamond company.
Unlike other companies on our list, they ONLY sell only lab diamonds.
They offer a large selection of over 17,000 lab created loose diamonds from .30 carats up to a whopping 6.13 carat!
You'll love how:
Clean Origin offers a wide variety of lab created diamonds. Not only do they make lab created engagement rings, they also have best lab diamond jewelry selection. All of the pieces are made with LCD and recycled metals.
If you're looking for a 1 carat for your lab created diamond engagement ring, it might be tough. They don't have a lot of lower carat weights for engagement rings. But that means there's more options for you to choose a bigger diamond for your ring at a much better price.
Your diamond of choice will arrive fully certified from one of the renowned independent labs IGI or GCAL to attest to its quality.
They also offer 360-degree viewing for their diamonds and even some fancy techniques for viewing. You can play small clips of different angles in a loop as well as magnify any area on the diamond - so you know exactly what you're buying.
Here's the deal:
Their customer service is available via live chat, email, or phone. They have an industry-leading 100-day money back guarantee to let customers know they wholly stand by their product and quality. This return policy is unprecedented in the world of diamonds, which is a great way of gaining trust from new customers.
Note that Clean Origin currently only ships to the United States and Canada, which is admittedly a bummer for the rest of our international friends.
But it gets better:
You don't have to worry about missing a sale and not buying at the right time with Clean Origin because their prices are fixed. In this case, good things do not come to those who wait.
This is good because most "sale diamonds" have been picked over and the best lab diamonds are taken as soon as it starts anyway.
Now let's talk pricing...
Since Clean Origin exclusively produces lab diamonds, we're just going to compare them to the price of LCD from our other recommended stores.
Using an Excellent cut grade, H color grade, SI1 clarity grade, and one carat round diamond, let's see how Clean Origin's prices square up...
When compared to our regular chart topper, James Allen, buying Clean Origin's comparable diamond will save you $544 (around 25%).
As you can already tell, Clean Origin's lab diamonds can be significantly cheaper than both James Allen and practically anywhere else with an inventory of lab diamonds.
However, price isn't everything. A substandard warranty can be a big deal breaker when it comes to engagement rings...
...and Clean Origin currently offers a manufacturer's warranty, which is admittedly my least favorite kind of warranty. Though at least it is lifetime, rather than just for an arbitrary 1-year or 3-year period.
Here's how it works:
Essentially, if your lab created diamond engagement ring has a defect in the design of it, they'll cover it. But any routine maintenance your ring will need, such as applying rhodium plating to white gold, you'll be out of pocket every time.
So you need to weigh up if the upfront savings of potentially 25% or more is worth the extra maintenance costs down the line (we believe it usually is!) on your engagement ring.
In summary, Clean Origin is our pick for best places to buy lab created diamond engagement rings AND for getting the most bang for your buck on quality lab created diamonds.
Click the link below to shop for your lab grown diamond engagement ring today with free expedited shipping and protection by the no-questions-asked 100-day money-back guarantee.
Read More: Clean Origin Review
3. Brilliant Earth
Why Buy With Brilliant Earth?
Brilliant Earth is one of the most popular online diamond retailers. Like James Allen and Ritani, they carry a catalogue of both mined and lab grown diamonds.
Brilliant Earth is most famous for taking the extra step in ensuring that their diamonds are conflict-free.
If you've ever heard of blood diamonds, you might know that there have been many controversies over diamond mining in some places in Africa. The Kimberley Process was created to make sure commercial diamonds aren't sourced from these places.
However, while the KP greatly reduced the selling of conflict diamonds, it still isn't foolproof. Brilliant Earth goes further than that. They know every bit of history and origin of their diamonds and keep detailed records.
They trademarked the phrase Beyond Conflict Free™ to show their dedication to also make sure their diamonds don't violate human rights and minimize environmental degradation, amongst other items.
This means that they don't only come from places of war, but other terrible conditions in which miners come under while still being technically conflict-free.
Compare how much further Brilliant Earth truly goes Beyond Conflict Free™ in the image below:
Thankfully, lab-created diamonds aren't mined, so you can trace the supply chain quite easily and know they weren't used to fund civil wars or other heinous acts.
It gets better:
Brilliant Earth carries lab diamonds from .30 carats all the way up to 7 carats. They have (by far) the largest collection out of all of our retailers with over 81,000 different lab diamonds—more than the other 3 brands combined!
They even carry lab-created colored diamonds, which is unique for lab diamonds.
But how does a lab diamond from Brilliant Earth measure up in price?
Well, let's take a look:
This lab grown diamond above is $154 more expensive than Clean Origin, thus making Clean Origin the best place to buy lab grown diamonds for cheap-between the two of them. This diamond is also $344 cheaper than buying a comparable lab grown diamond at James Allen.
But let's see what kind of warranty they have?
Well, the answer is that they only have that manufacturer's warranty, which I don't like. It only covers you if there's a defect in the design. And if there is, you have to pay $50 for shipping for them to evaluate if there's a defect.
If they deem so, the $50 is refunded to you. If not, you don't get the $50 back and they might ask if you want to go ahead with the repairs as well. Also, if the lab diamond engagement ring settings weren't manufactured by Brilliant Earth, they don't carry this protection either.
They have an Extended Service Plan you can purchase , but it only lasts three years. The prices of the plans are dependent on the setting and you don't know ahead of purchase. You can only purchase the plan over the phone, which is very inconvenient and non-transparent in my opinion.
Brilliant Earth is a solid choice if you want to choose your LGD from an incredible selection at a fair price, while also supporting the Beyond Conflict Free™ cause.
Why Buy With Ritani?
Ritani is a famous designer and online retailer of loose natural and lab-created diamonds. They carry a selection of just over 3000 different lab created diamonds of varying diamond grades.
They don't have the best lab diamond jewelry selection, but their lab diamond prices are pretty nice.
Their carat weights are as low as .30 and as large as a 4 carat diamond. It is worth noting that they mainly carry princess cut or round diamonds. They have other fancy shapes, but very few in categories like hearts or radiant lab created diamonds.
Like all online retailers, you're going to save more cash than you would going to a physical location. You don't pay for any of the work and you can just purchase a loose diamond instead of an entire lab diamond engagement ring.
But with Ritani being a designer name, you'll want to know how their lab created diamond engagement rings fare out as far as online price and in comparison to their mined diamonds.
They don't have a one carat lab grown diamond with a clarity of SI1, so we had to use an SI2. The other diamond grades are the same as the lab grown diamonds we looked at with James Allen.
Ritani has a variety of lab diamond grading certifications. They carry IGI, GIA, GCAL, Diamond Foundry, and HRD diamonds. The price difference between their natural and lab grown diamonds is going to be $3331. And let's not forget it's not even what we're looking for.
This is where the designer aspect plays in. When you're a name brand like Ritani, you can charge a premium for your lab created diamond engagement ring settings, while still keeping your loose diamond prices competitive.
As you can see, the Ritani mined diamond is more expensive than James Allen's diamond, even if this lab created diamond engagement ring would have a lower clarity grade.
I'm not crazy about the 360˚ viewer from Ritani, because many of them don't even have one. They're inconsistent with the way they show their lab created diamonds. Some offer 360 view, HD photos, or nothing at all. Sometimes it's a combo. I'd much prefer if they were all standard, but everyone can get HD photos within 2 days, according to Ritani's website.
You can't toggle their lab created diamonds back and forth either. The images they provide are still high quality and will show any inclusions and characteristics in the stone. Customer service at Ritani is only available during weekdays, including live chat.
If you're still a little nervous about buying a diamond online, Ritani offers appointments to come see the lab grown diamond you've picked out at one of their showrooms in the United States.
Due to COVID and other retailers, Ritani has discontinued in-store viewing. We will update when it is reinstated.
They don't have places everywhere to preview the your lab grown diamond ring, so you'll have to check their locator system. If you decide you don't want the ring, they scrap it and return the lab created diamond to their inventory.
There is no obligation to buy. They ask to keep a card on file so they can charge if you decide you want it. The preview service is free and unique, making it a big selling point for Ritani customers.
Lastly, Ritani has a decent warranty to go with your diamond engagement ring and wedding band, no but not diamond jewelry. They require that you "activate" your warranty through their website within 45 days of purchase.
Minorly inconvenient, but it's still not a dealbreaker. Plus, they don't actually invalidate it, they just want you to register for it. Once you enter the info to activate the warranty, you are covered. Now, the warranty only applies to a Ritani branded lab diamond ring setting. It doesn't include other designer settings they may carry, so be careful with that.
The warranty gives you 1 free ring resizing within the first year, just in case it wasn't right the first time. It'll cover stone tightening, cleaning, and rhodium plating for your lab created diamond engagement ring once a year for life. This warranty is free, but is voided if someone else works on it.
Lab Grown Diamonds 101
There's a lot of misinformation when it comes to what are lab-created diamonds. They are also referred to as synthetic diamonds, which is where a lot of misinformation comes from to begin with.
Synthetic diamonds and lab grown diamonds are one in the same. They are real AND natural diamonds, but have been grown in a matter of weeks rather than billions of years like a mined diamond.
Read also: When Did Lab Created Diamonds Start?
Their optical properties and physical properties are the same. The main difference between the two lab created diamonds is their origin. There are two methods of how lab diamonds are made: chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high pressure high temperature (HPHT).
In HPHT methods, a diamond seed (fragment of a diamond) is placed under extremely high pressure and temperatures similar to how diamonds would grow if they were in the ground.
The diamond seed can be an earth made diamonds or lab grown.
The diamond seed is placed into a chunk carbon and put under these conditions. The carbon melts and becomes bonded to the diamond seed, turning into a lab grown diamond after it cools. Then it's shipped to one day become your lab created diamond engagement ring.
In CVD methods, they take a piece of diamond seed (commonly an HPHT diamond) and place it in a chamber. They fill the chamber with carbon gases, which ionize into a plasma-like substance that breaks down bonded molecules. This leaves the carbon to form around the seed and begin to crystallize in lab created diamonds.
Read Also: Natural Diamonds Vs Lab Created Diamonds - which is better?
How To Buy Lab Grown Diamonds and Save Money?
While you can't save too much more money with lab grown diamonds outside of buying with them, there are a couple of tricks I can reveal that'll give you the edge to having a lab grown diamond engagement ring for even less...
You see, while there's nothing we can really do to cheapen out the cut of a lab grown diamond, we CAN work with the color.
Diamond color ranges from colorless (most expensive) to faint yellow (least expensive), and in between you can find the best lab-created blue diamonds as well.
Once you enter a L-Z color grades, you're looking at lab-created yellow diamonds. J color lab created diamonds may look faint yellow in a white gold setting, BUT put lab created diamonds in a yellow gold setting and they look colorless.
You can save on color grade cost by changing the your lab created diamond engagement ring setting setting to yellow gold.
You can do the same thing with clarity as well with mined diamonds, but it's not often needed with lab grown diamonds. One of the minor differences between lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds is their inclusions.
A lab grown diamond has less obvious inclusions than a mined diamond. That's because they're not around other elements and impurities. They still get inclusions, but they're less noticeable types
You might look for lab grown diamonds with inclusions near the edge. As long as the inclusions are internal and not on the surface, it shouldn't affect your lab diamond engagement ring. It also makes the price go down since you chose lab created diamonds with a lower clarity grade.
This is particularly useful in halo settings. Halo settings are also a great way of making a center stone carat weight look larger, without actually being so.
What Red Flags To Watch Before You Buy Lab Grown Diamonds
While there are many benefits to purchasing LCDs or choosing one for lab grown diamond engagement rings, there are a couple things to watch out for.
- No Upgrades: The likelihood of what you'll pay for today's best lab made diamond engagement ring will most likely cost less a year from now. This can be quite frustrating. Both lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds will be better served passed down through generations rather than reselling.
- The other downside of the lab diamond resale value factor is that you can't upgrade LGDs either. For natural diamonds, you'll find that most retailers have an upgrade policy. The value of lab created diamonds depreciate very fast, so there wouldn't be any kind of trade-up value.
- Lab Created vs Cubic Zirconia: The other thing you want to think about is how lab created diamonds are often confused with diamond simulants, like zircon and cubic zirconia (CZ). While jewelry stores are advised by the FTC to disclose and distinguish simulated vs lab created diamonds, it can be difficult to know for sure if you're getting what you think you are.
- This is especially true when buying in foreign markets or private diamond dealers. This is why you should always make sure to get a grading report with your lab grown diamonds.
While there are many places you can shop for lab-grown diamonds nowadays, the brands above are going to carry high-quality lab made engagement rings and the best lab created diamond stud earrings for people of all tastes and styles.
But if you're still wondering exactly where to buy lab grown diamonds from, I do have an answer for you.
With James Allen, you can rest assured you are shopping for the best lab created diamond engagement rings on the web. Their website and customer experience is top-notch at helping you find EXACTLY what you are looking for.
And for those of you looking to stretch your budget even further, Clean Origin has got you covered with rock bottom prices—without sacrificing on quality. You will be impressed with the price per carat you can find on their lab grown diamonds.