The Diamond Pro

Best Places to Buy Lab-Created Diamonds

By Michael Fried
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Lab-created diamond Ring

Lab-created diamonds have the same chemical and optical qualities of natural diamonds. Lab diamonds, also known as synthetic diamonds or artificial diamonds, are less expensive than natural diamonds, but have a lower resale value. Still, lab-created diamonds can be a beautiful alternative for an engagement ring.

Where you buy your lab-created diamond matters a great deal. It’s important to ensure that your diamond is indeed a lab diamond, not a diamond simulant like moissanite or cubic zirconia. Your lab-created diamond should have a certificate, ideally from the IGI. You also want to ensure that you get a competitive price for the diamond you choose.

Heading to a jewelry store or online vendor without doing your research can leave you with a less desirable diamond at too high of a price. Lab-created diamonds currently only make up 2-3% of all the world’s diamonds. So with lab-created diamonds especially, there are limited dealers who offer high-quality options like this 1ct G/VS2 round diamond from James Allen.

That’s where our diamond expertise comes in. Over the years, we’ve vetted dozens of diamond vendors in-person and online to determine the most trustworthy sellers. Through our research and experience in the industry, we’ve found the very best diamond vendors that consistently outperform the competition of natural diamonds. Now we’re doing the same with lab-created diamonds. 

Our list of the best places to buy lab-created diamonds will help you select a stunning lab-created diamond that’s high-quality, offered at a competitive price, and sold through a vendor you can trust.

Here are the best places to buy lab-created diamonds in 2021

Wondering where to buy lab-created diamonds? Our vetted list of lab-created diamond vendors is below. 

1. James Allen – The best place for lab-created diamond engagement rings, offering over 30,000 high-quality lab diamonds with IGI certificates and superior ring settings. 

2. Clean Origin– Another top vendor with thousands of lab-created diamonds to choose from for engagement rings, wedding bands, bracelets, earrings, and pendants.

3. Blue Nile– Their Lightbox collection offers the best place to buy lab-created diamond necklaces, earrings, and bracelets including stones with color. 

Let’s go into more detail on each:

1. James Allen

Lab-created emerald cut diamond
1.06ct Emerald Cut Diamond from James Allen

James Allen is a premier diamond engagement ring retailer with an enormous inventory of lab-created diamonds. Very few reputable online vendors have such a wide selection, making James Allen the best place to buy lab-created diamonds.

This 1 carat lab-created diamond is an example of their gorgeous options and how you can view them up-close. James Allen provides 360° high-definition photographs of every diamond on their site. With this exceptional technology, you can decide if a lab-created diamond will be brilliant and how exactly it’ll look in person.

James Allen’s prices are competitive due to their low overhead expenses. You can find lab diamonds at significantly lower prices than other retailers. 

James Allen is also known for their superb customer service — they offer full refunds within 30 days, quick resolution to problems, and free shipping. 

Why James Allen 

  • Selection of 30,000+ lab-created diamonds
  • All lab-created diamonds come with IGI certificate
  • First-class videography for up-close inspection
  • Hundreds of high-quality, custom engagement rings
  • Exceptional 24/7 customer service
  • Proven track record of satisfied customers
  • Free shipping
  • Hassle-free returns 
  • 30-day money back guarantee

James Allen’s best LCD Collection

James Allen’s best lab-created diamonds can be found in their loose lab-created diamonds gallery. Narrow down the specs for your desired diamond, select the diamond you like best, then choose your ring setting. 

Samples of James Allen’s best lab-created diamonds:

2. Clean Origin

Canterbury Bridal Set
Canterbury Bridal Set from Clean Origin

Clean Origin dedicates itself to bringing 100% ethically and environmentally-friendly diamonds to consumers. Their collection of over 12,000 lab-created diamonds range in size, shape, and color — making it one of the best places to buy lab-created diamonds.

Their diamonds are priced competitively and their 360° imagery allows you to view each diamond up-close before purchasing — allowing you to select a lab-created diamond with the most brilliance and fire. This 1.26 princess cut is a beautiful example of their lab-created diamonds. 

Clean Origin also offers an array of ring setting styles in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum. Their other lab-created diamond options include earrings, bracelets and pendants. 

Why Clean Origin 

  • Collection of 12,000+ lab-created diamonds in all shapes and carat weights
  • 100% ethically and environmentally sourced
  • 360° imagery to view your diamond up-close before purchase
  • Friendly customer service
  • Free shipping
  • 100-day return policy

Clean Origin’s Best LCD Collection

Clean Origin’s best lab-created diamonds can be found in their loose diamond collection. You can narrow down the specs for your diamond including carat weight, clarity, and cut grade. Their high-tech imagery allows you to review the diamond closely before making a selection and choosing your ring setting. 

Samples of Clean Origin’s best lab-created diamonds:

3. Blue Nile

Lab-Grown Blue & White Diamond Baguette Bracelet
Lab-Grown Blue & White Diamond Baguette Bar Bolo Bracelet from Blue Nile

Blue Nile built the online diamond market and maintains strong relationships with diamond suppliers and jewelry manufacturers across the globe. These connections allow Blue Nile to offer an incredibly large inventory of high-quality diamonds, including being the best place to buy lab-created diamonds for bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. This 1 carat solitaire pendant is a beautiful example.

With their streamlined business model and low overhead costs, Blue Nile offers competitive prices without sacrificing on quality or customer experience. Their high-tech imagery allows you to review pieces up close prior to purchasing. 

Why Blue Nile 

  • Dozens of lab-created diamond jewelry options including pendants, earrings, bracelets and fashion rings
  • A lot of colored lab-created diamonds available 
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent 24/7 customer service 
  • Proven track record of positive reviews from customers
  • Free shipping
  • Hassle-free returns
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Blue Nile’s Best LCD Collection

Blue Nile’s best lab-created diamonds are found in their Lightbox collection. Choose a jewelry design you love — whether it includes near colorless diamonds or stones with a unique baby blue and blush pink tone. All diamonds in the Blue Nile Lightbox gallery have a VS clarity and a cut grade of Very Good.

Samples of Blue Nile’s best lab-created diamond jewelry:

Tips for Buying Lab-Created Diamonds

To find the best lab-created diamond for your engagement ring or jewelry, follow our industry expert recommendations. 

1. Find a reputable vendor

Choosing a trustworthy retailer is a critical first step to ensuring you’re getting a high-quality diamond. Wondering where to buy lab-created diamonds? If you go with James Allen, Blue Nile, or Clean Origin, you won’t have to worry about the quality or price. You can shop with peace of mind knowing you’re getting a beautiful, reliable product. 

2. Narrow down your shape

Do you like the classic look of a round cut diamond or prefer a more unique shape like the pear? Decide on your favorite shape so you can hone in your shopping experience on diamonds that match your style. 

3. Look at cut quality

The quality that most greatly impacts a diamond’s beauty is cut quality. Look for a lab-created stone that’s either an Excellent or Ideal cut for an engagement ring.

Think You’re A Diamond Pro?

Both of these are beautiful 1.01ct H VS2 Excellent cut diamonds
One is lab created and costs $1,250
One is mined and costs $4,940
Can you tell which is which?
Choose the diamond you like better and see if you are a pro!

4. Check for certification

For lab-created diamonds, the most common so far and reliable lab entity is the IGI. The IGI provides a color and clarity grade for lab diamonds, ensuring what you’re getting. GIA has also started providing a full certificate on lab-created diamonds but there aren’t that many of them yet. Without a certificate, it’s impossible to know if your lab-created diamond is real or worth the price you’re paying.

5. Aim for colorless

colorless lab-created round diamond

Unless you’re selecting one of the beautiful lab-created colored diamonds from Blue Nile’s Lightbox collection, you’ll want to ensure your diamond appears colorless to the naked eye. That means reviewing the diamond before purchasing to ensure it looks white. Generally, a lab-created diamond in the F-H color range will give you a white-looking stone, like this G color diamond from James Allen

6. Choose an eye-clean diamond 

No blemishes or inclusions should be visible when you look at the diamond with the naked eye. For lab-created diamonds, this usually means a clarity grade of VS1 or VS2. Paying for a higher clarity grade will still only get you an eye-clean diamond, so we suggest not over spending in this area. This VS2 is an example of an eye-clean lab-created diamond. 

7. Compare similar diamonds

While two diamonds can have the same grading, they can still differ in how they appear. Narrow down your top selections to a few lab-created diamonds and look at them closely to see which one offers the most brilliance, sparkle, and overall gives you the right “vibe.” After all, this is a diamond that you or your partner will be wearing for a lifetime. 

If you’d like assistance in choosing a diamond, reach out to one of our experts to give you an honest evaluation. 

8. Select your ring setting

Ring setting styles range from solitaire to halo to three-stone designs. Take a close look at a few different styles before settling on the one. Knowing your partner’s ring style can also help you narrow down your final choice.

9. Get a second opinion

If you’re stumbling over which diamond or ring to choose, ask family or friends to take a look. You can also message us and we’ll give you our honest assessment of the ring and diamond. 

10. Make the purchase

Once you’re confident with your diamond and setting, buy the ring from a reputable vendor who offers hassle-free returns. This allows you to see the ring in-person and ensure it’s what you want. If you’re not satisfied, you can exchange the ring for something else. But almost every reader who follows our process for buying a lab-created diamond is extremely satisfied with their purchase.  

If you have any questions throughout the process, feel free to reach out to us.

Lab-Created Diamond FAQs

Here are the most common questions we receive about lab-created diamonds and where to buy them.

Do lab-created diamonds get cloudy?

No, lab-created diamonds don’t get cloudy because they are real diamonds that have the same chemical and optical properties as natural diamonds. Lab diamonds, or synthetic diamonds, are durable stones that stand up to everyday wear and maintain their brilliance, fire, and beauty for a lifetime. As with any diamond, regular cleaning and care of your engagement ring help to preserve its beauty.

Are lab-grown diamonds GIA certified?

Lab-grown diamonds can be GIA certified, although there aren’t that many of them yet out there, making IGI certified diamonds easier to find without sacrificing anything on the certificate quality.

Do lab-grown diamonds last?

Yes, lab-grown diamonds will last as long as natural diamonds and maintain their brilliance, fire, and beauty over time. Lab diamonds, also known as synthetic diamonds, mirror the optical and chemical qualities of natural diamonds. Proper care of your diamond ring will help to maintain its beauty and quality.

Do lab-grown diamonds look different?

No, lab-grown diamonds look identical to natural diamonds because they share the same chemical and optical qualities. Lab-grown diamonds are beautiful stones that offer an alternative to natural diamonds and tend to be approximately 30% less expensive. It’s important to note that the resale value of lab-created diamonds is minimal, if any.

Conclusion: Best places for lab-created diamonds

The top three best places to buy lab-created diamonds are James Allen, Blue Nile, and Clean Origin. Our readers consistently share the phenomenal experiences they have with these vendors. By choosing one of these three, you won’t have to worry about where to buy lab-created diamonds, because you can trust their product, service, and price.

About the author
Michael Fried
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more.
Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James AllenJames Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online. James Allen is currently running a 25% off Mothers Day Sale on Engagement Rings and other Jewlery gifts.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue NileBlue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to save $100 off orders of $1000 or more)
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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