Once you’ve decided that a lab created diamond is right for you, you may begin to wonder where you should start searching for the right diamond and setting. Who offers the best selection, warranty, and prices? Is it better to buy you lab-grown diamond online or from a local jeweler? In this article, I’ll answer those questions and many others. I’ll help you find the best place to buy a ring that you can save big money on—AND be proud of! After countless hours researching suppliers and investigating all that they offer, I’ve found my favorite supplier. I’ll share their info below too. Hopefully, that gives you a big jumpstart and saves you time.
Buying Lab Grown Locally is a Bad Idea—Here’s Why
Hard to believe, but 30 years ago, when you wanted to buy a plane ticket, you visited or called a travel agent. Today, travel agents, exist. If you want to book a flight, you but directly from Delta, United, Southwest or others through their website, or you use a tool like Kayak, Priceline, or Hotwire to book the flight, along with the hotel and car that you might also need when you get there.
Similarly, the way that we buy diamonds is also evolving in a big way! Where we used to visit the jeweler on Main Street or in the mall to purchase a diamond ring, today we can conveniently buy from retailers that are spread across the country (and potentially around the world). The internet has revolutionized the way that diamonds and other gems are typically sold and purchased. Buying online is better for buyers for all of the following reasons:
- You have access to a MUCH larger selection of styles and materials.
- Prices are lower, because online retailers don’t need to have an expensive storefront in the mall for example. They also save on the cost of retail salespeople. These savings can be passed through to you.
- Satisfaction policies are more consumer friendly.
- There’s greater opportunity for customization of your ring.
Many traditional jewelers haven’t embraced lab-grown diamonds yet. They often talk about them as if they’re an illegitimate, fraudulent, or at least undesirable product. They’re seen as a threat to what they’ve been selling their store for years, decades, or generations. Because of this, you’re far less likely to find lab-grown diamonds in a local jewelry store. Even if you do, you’re likely to find MUCH higher prices and a very limited selection.
Because misinformation is so rampant when it comes to lab grown diamonds, I’d like to take a moment to proactively address some of the claims that you may hear as you discuss lab grown diamonds with people that are unfamiliar or have a financial interest in seeing you stick with the earth mined version.
Laboratory diamonds are visibly indistinguishable from earth-grown diamonds (even for professionals)! Not only do they look the same, but they have the same key characteristics too. They’re just as hard, and therefore, just as scratch resistant. This means that man-made diamonds can be considered ‘forever’ stones…the same way that earth made diamonds are.
Lab grown diamonds are made of carbon, just like diamonds mined from the earth. They’re both are even equally capable of cutting glass. While there are many many areas where earth grown and lab grown diamonds are identical, there are a couple of areas where they’re admittedly quite different—like price. Lab made diamonds are typically 40% to 50% cheaper than traditional diamonds that are mined from the earth. Lab diamonds are also sure to be ‘conflict free,’ meaning that they aren’t ‘Blood Diamonds.’ The creation of Lab cultivated diamonds requires an extremely educated and skilled workforce. It can’t be done with child labor or slave labor the way that diamond mining is sometimes done in some parts of the world.
Diamond mining (like mining of almost any kind) is also extremely hard on the environment and native animal populations. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are a more socially and environmentally responsible alternative.
The quality of lab-created diamonds that exists today is REMARKABLE and fairly recent. It’s the culmination of many decades of dedicated effort and recent technological advances. Knowledge of the fact that man made diamonds are ACTUAL DIAMOND, and that they’re identical to mined diamonds, in terms of look and key characteristics, is starting to spread quickly—especially among Millenials (those born from 1981 to 1996).
An annual study has been conducted for a number of years to measure movement in the sentiment toward man made diamonds. In 2018, they saw a surprising shift in the percentage of respondents that indicated that they would be open to purchasing a lab-created diamond engagement ring. Only 30% of those surveyed were loyal to earth grown diamonds. The rest (the vast majority) indicated that they would be open to buying a lab-diamond—they essentially didn’t care where their diamond came from if it looked identical, was of equal quality, and was significantly cheaper. The rapid shift of sentiment toward lab diamonds the study observed, seems to be gaining momentum quickly, as people become aware of all that these diamonds can offer.
10 Compelling Reasons to Buy a Lab Diamond Online
Purchasing online is a much better option for buying lab cultured diamonds. There are several important reasons why. We’ll address many of those below.
To visit my overall pick for best lab diamond resource for total value (price, quality, and benefits), click here. I’ll explain many of the reasons why this particular company came out of top below. Some of these benefits will be common across many online retailers, while others are fairly unique to this particular supplier.
They Offer Greater Variety:
If man-made diamonds are only a small section of one display case, how likely are you to find the diamond or ring that fits your sense of style and budget perfectly? The same is true, to some extent, for online retailers that dabble in many different areas. They have a shallow selection of many different types of jewelry. Their inventory is ‘wide but not deep’.
When you find the right company to purchase from, you’ll have a large selection of lab-grown diamonds to select from. That means that whether you want something large or small, colorless, near colorless, or vibrant, round, cushion cut, or marque, you’ll be able to find it. In addition to a large selection and incredible designs, the supplier that I like best, also offers custom designs at no additional charge! That type of complementary service is hard to find—especially when shopping for lab diamonds.
They’re Less Expensive:
Think about it, online retailers often deal in MUCH larger volumes, which can lead to volume-based discounts. They also typically have much smaller relative costs for their physical location and employee overhead. All of these savings from volume-based efficiencies and other logistical streamlining can ultimately be passed on to the customer.
They Come with a Solid Return Policy:
When purchasing from local jewelers, you’re often stuck if you change your mind after buying. The same is true of some online retailers. The supplier that I like best, will allow you to return your ring if you don’t like the way the ring looks in person when you receive it—or even if you just change your mind several weeks later, and decide to go with a different style! In fact, you can return the ring for a full refund within 30 days. Try that with a local jeweler. Once to pay for the ring, it’s typically all YOURS, and you have no option to return it.
They’re ALL Lab Certified:
Certifications from well known, and respected, labs like IGI (International Gemological Institute), GSI (Gemological Science International), and GCAL (Gem Certification and Assurance Lab) are included for all lab-grown diamonds that this supplier offers. That provides confirmation, and peace of mind, regarding important aspects of value like color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. A GIA certificate can also be arranged, if desired, but GIA reports are far less detailed when it comes to the specific color qualities and clarity information for lab-created diamonds, which is why IGI, GSI, and GCAL are typically used instead. They’re labs with grading standards that are among the strictest in the industry. According to Rappaport (an industry authority), IGI’s grading standard, for example, is on par with GIA’s.
They Offer ‘Loaner’ Rings For Your Proposal:
I surprised my wife with her engagement/wedding ring—I picked it out without her. That’s a dangerous game to play. You probably don’t have the exact same tastes as your ‘significant other.’ Your ‘it’s pretty’ could be her ‘are you kidding?’ You don’t want her to be stuck with a ring that she doesn’t really love.
We only want GOOD surprises, right? In an effort to help you nail the surprise, while still allowing your partner to pick the setting style that THEY love, my favorite lab diamond supplier offers some special temporary proposal rings that you can use to pop the big question before you fully commit to a setting style. The diamond that you purchase will be set in the proposal ring. Once your spouse-to-be says ‘yes,’ you can send the proposal ring back in and choose the setting that you want for your actual engagement (or wedding) ring. They’ll then move the diamond over and set it for you in the new ring.
When the diamond that you purchase is $1,500 or more, the proposal ring is absolutely FREE! If your diamond is less than $1,500, you’ll need to pay $170 for the proposal ring initially—but then you’ll get a $100 credit to apply toward your ring when you return it and select the setting that you want your diamond moved over to.
They Inscribe For Added Security:
All diamonds purchased through this supplier are laser inscribed along the girdle of the diamond with your certificate number. The inscription is so small, that it’s only visible under strong magnification (it isn’t visible to the naked eye). The inscription is convenient, but it’s also an important security measure.
Imagine having a diamond that gets lost or stolen. If it isn’t laser inscribed, how would you be able to positively identify it? It would be incredibly difficult. Years ago, my wife’s diamond ring was stolen by a window contractor that was working in our home. A friend of mine once found a big diamond on the floor in an international airport. Again, in situations like these, an inscription provides a way to prove that a particular diamond is yours, or to claim a diamond that’s found.
They Offer a Lifetime Warranty:
How many times have you been offered a warranty at checkout when you buy something expensive? Many jewelers sell warranties and service plans too. There are huge margins in them! Warranties show that a particular manufacturer, or jeweler, stands behind their work. You may feel lucky to find a retailer that offers a 1-3 year warranty, but the supplier that I like best offers a LIFETIME warranty. That provides real peace of mind!
They Offer Lifetime Upgrades:
Honestly, this is one of the main things that I LOVE about my go-to lab diamond supplier! When you buy your ring (or diamond) through them, you have the right to upgrade your stone whenever you’d like (and as often as you’d like) for LIFE! All you need to do, is move up to a diamond that’s at least 50% more expensive than the one you purchased from them. They’ll give you credit for your original diamond’s full retail value—you just pay the difference!
Here’s what I really love about this program, when I was a broke college student shopping for a ring, a program like this would have made so much sense! I could have purchased a conservative, but beautiful, lab-grown diamond ring for my girlfriend at the time (something I could afford without taking on a great deal of debt) and then upgraded during our future years as a married couple when we would have more money available. I could have even made the upgrading process part of our anniversary tradition (where we upgrade the stone every 5 or 10 years for example! Now that we’ve been married for 20 years, my wife would be happily wearing a pretty sizable ring if we had a tradition like this.
They Offer Additional Savings:
Accepting credit card payments comes at a real cost for retailers. When you buy through the company that I recommend in this article and choose to pay by bank wire, check, or cash instead of credit card, you’ll save an extra 2% on your order! They save credit card processing fees, and simply pass those savings along to you in the form of an additional discount. Two percent may not seem like much, but every little bit counts when you have a wedding to pull off!
Right now, you can save an additional 10% when you use the code TAKE10 at checkout, which could bring your total savings as high as 12%!
The Can Help with Special Financing:
Because wedding-related expenses pile up a little too fast sometimes, financing is also offered for those that need it. The financing is offered in conjunction with Synchrony Bank. After applying, and getting approved, they’ll let you know the amount of financing that you qualify for. Typically 6, 12, and 18-month terms are available. Even longer terms are occasionally also extended when needed.
Value isn’t just about price or quality individually, it has to do with the merger of BOTH. To find a great value, you need a have excellent quality…that costs less than a comparable quality and feature set typically costs in other places. You find that with lab created diamonds. They are an excellent value when compared to earth grown diamonds. You also find that as you explore the supplier of lab-grown diamonds that I’ve referenced in this article. They’re an organization that I trust, and that has earned the trust of thousands of their past customers as well. The value that they recognize as throughout the purchase process, leads them to refer family and friends to the organization, and to sing their praises online. If you’d like to scroll through some of those reviews to learn about the experiences of their past buyers, click here.