We all know diamonds have long been associated with engagement and marriage.
But a diamond doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank — in part thanks to the increasing popularity of lab-created diamonds.
Check Out These Sites for Cheap Prices on Lab-Created Diamonds
Diamonds made in a lab offer a real advantage over the real deal: They tend to be priced about 30% cheaper on average than natural stones. And it’s tough to tell the difference because the new lab-grown stones have the exact same chemical signature as natural diamonds.
The market for lab-grown diamonds tends to skew younger. The 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio movie Blood Diamond helped fuel a social media backlash around natural diamonds. The film laid bare the violence that accompanies the diamond trade and the inherently dangerous and ecologically disastrous mining practices behind what some call the “conflict diamond” industry.
You could argue that it’s just a sign of the times that the percentage of people who favor “natural” diamonds is shrinking. And Hollywood is helping: Stars from Billy Porter to Lady Gaga to the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) have been seen wearing lab-made diamonds.
The Economics of the Lab-Grown Diamond Industry
The market for the best lab-created diamonds is broadening every year. And perhaps the best-known name in diamonds, De Beers, is betting on that trend. De Beers owns a company that opened a $94 million diamond manufacturing facility in Oregon in October 2020.
And the price to manufacture a diamond in a lab continues to drop. A one-carat lab diamond cost an average of around $4,000 to create in 2008. Just 10 short years later, that price had plummeted to between $300 and $500.
The decrease in production costs is driving a surge in discounts on the lab stones. One diamond industry analyst cited by the Financial Times (subscription required) noted the average discount for a 1 carat lab-grown stone compared to a natural diamond increased from 29% in January 2018 to 43% by the end of the year.
Where to Buy Lab-Created Diamonds
The power of the Internet makes shopping for a man-made diamond easier than ever. Below is an alphabetized list of online options for buying lab-grown diamonds.
- Ada Diamonds
- Brilliant Earth
- Diamond Foundry
- Lightbox Jewelry
- Pure Grown Diamonds
- 1215 Diamonds
Here’s Clark Howard’s Take on Lab-Created Diamonds
As always, money expert Clark Howard recommends shopping around to get the perfect lab-created diamond of your dreams.
Clark says he likes the idea of lab-created diamonds as a way to save money but says the decision really comes down to personal preference.
“This isn’t cubic zirconia we’re talking about here. These diamonds have an identical chemical makeup — not similar, identical — to a diamond that is dug out of the earth,” Clark says. “These [lab-made] diamonds are starting to appear in more and more retail stores and you just flat-out save money.”
If you’re still not sold on the idea of lab-manufactured diamonds, Clark has long talked about Costco as a great place to buy your “natural” diamonds because of its tightly controlled markup in price.