Huge Holiday Sale: James Allen, our #1 ranked online diamond retailer, is currently offering 25% OFF engagement ring settings and more. Plus, for the first time ever they have 3% OFF on all Earth-created diamonds. Click Here to combine savings from these amazing offers.
Looking for the perfect place to buy lab grown diamonds online?
You're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:
- What Are The Best Stores To Buy a Lab Grown Diamond Online?
- What Should You Look For When Buying A Lab Created Diamond?
- How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal?
- What Are The Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying?
Top 4 Best Places Buy Lab Grown Diamonds Online
If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding quality lab-created diamonds from reputable online dealers.
Top-Rated Retailer Lowest Prices Huge Selection Designer Brand
1. James Allen
Click For Best Price 2. Clean Origin
Click For Best Price 3. Brilliant Earth
Click For Best Price 4. Ritani
Click For Best Price
#1. Buying Lab Grown Diamonds At James Allen
Why Buy With James Allen?
James Allen has one of the largest online catalogs of loose lab diamonds.
At the time of this review, they offer 35,737 loose diamonds of various diamond shapes.
The catalog consists of lab created diamonds as small as .21 carats up to 6.12 carats. Each of these lab created diamonds has different diamond grades, cuts, and even colors.
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 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, rather than broadly speculating like GIA does with lab diamonds.
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 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 one of the most well respected online retailers in the diamond industry 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.
#2. Buying Lab Grown Diamonds At Clean Origin
Why Buy With Clean Origin?
Clean Origin is one of the top places to buy a lab grown diamond.
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 a large selection of lab created wedding bands and diamond jewelry.
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. That means no waiting around until a certain date or time of year to snag a diamond for less.
This is good because most "sale diamonds" have been picked over and the best ones 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 LGDs 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 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!).
In summary, Clean Origin is our go-to choice for getting the most bang for your buck on quality lab diamonds, which is not a recommendation we make lightly.
Click the link below to shop for your lab diamond today with free expedited shipping and protection by the no-questions-asked 100-day money-back guarantee.
#3. Buying Lab Grown Diamonds At 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:
Brilliant Earth's lab diamond above is $154 more expensive than Clean Origin, thus making Clean Origin the place to get cheap lab created diamonds. This diamond is also $344 cheaper than buying a comparable one 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 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.
#4. Buying Lab Grown Diamonds At Ritani
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.
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 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 engagement ring.
But with Ritani being a designer name, you'll want to know how they fare out as far as online price and in comparison to their mined diamonds.
They don't have a one carat lab created diamond with a clarity of SI1, so we had to use an SI2. The other diamond grades are the same as the diamonds we looked at with James Allen.
Ritani's lab diamonds are also IGI certified. The price difference between the natural and lab diamond 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 diamonds, simply for being popular.
As you can see, the Ritani mined diamond is more expensive than James Allen's diamond, even if it has 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 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 it 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 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 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 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 for their engagement rings and wedding bands, 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 Ritani branded rings and not any 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 once a year for life. This warranty is free, but is voided if someone else works on it or if you fail to register within 45 days.
Lab Diamonds 101
There's a lot of misinformation when it comes 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.
Their optical properties and physical properties are the same. The main difference between the two diamonds is their origin. There are two methods a lab diamond can be grown: 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 is placed into a chunk carbon and put under these conditions. The carbon melts and becomes bonded to the diamond seed, creating diamond crystals after it cools.
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. The leaves the carbon to form around the seed and begin to crystallize.
How To Save Money When Buying Lab Grown Diamonds?
Clean Origin is at the top of my mind when it comes to the lowest price for a lab diamond. 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 in having a lab grown engagement ring for even less...
You see, while there's nothing we can really do to cheapen out the cut of a lab diamond, we CAN work with the color.
Diamond color ranges from colorless (most expensive) to fancy yellow (least expensive).
Once you enter a L-Z color grades, you're looking at yellow diamonds. A J color graded diamond may look faint yellow in a white gold setting, BUT put it in a yellow gold setting and it looks colorless.
You can save on color grade cost by changing the 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 diamonds. One of the minor differences between lab diamonds and mined diamonds is their inclusions. Lab diamonds have metallic inclusions, since they're not grown around other crystals. These are more difficult to see, which is why you'll find lab diamonds with higher clarity grades in general.
But, if you wanted to, sometimes you can get a cheaper, lower clarity graded diamond that has its inclusions on the edge. 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.
Red Flags When Buying Lab Grown Diamonds
While there are many benefits to purchasing lab grown diamonds or choosing a one for an engagement ring, there are a couple things to watch out for.
- No Upgrades: The likelihood of what you'll pay for a lab created engagement ring today will most likely cost less in a year's time. This can be quite frustrating. Both lab grown and mined diamonds will be better served passed down through generations rather than reselling. The other downside of the resale factor is that you can't upgrade either. For natural diamonds, you'll find that most retailers have an upgrade policy. The value of lab diamonds depreciate very fast, so there wouldn't be any kind of trade-up value.
- Lab Created Not CZ: 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 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 diamonds.
While there are many places you can shop for lab-grown diamonds nowadays, the brands above are your best bet.
With James Allen, you can rest assured you are buying from a large selection at very competitive prices. 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 with them.