We answer Google's top 10 questions on lab diamonds!

We answer Google's top 10 questions on lab diamonds!

With lab diamonds surging in popularity it's only natural that more and more questions about them are arising. So what better time to sit down and give you some quick and convenient answers to some of Google's more common lab diamond questions?

Let's get started!

Are lab diamonds worth anything?

Yes, lab diamonds are worth something. Although they typically cost less than mined diamonds. Depending on the quality of the manufacturer this can be a 20 - 50% reduction in price for a comparable mined diamond.

The difference in price isn't related to relative quality (as you'll see below, lab diamonds tend to be higher quality than mined), but more about the way mined diamond prices have been inflated in the past.

As you might know, diamonds are one of the most common gemstones, but they command a much higher price than rubies or emeralds for example. Most of this is down to the advertising done by De Beers to inflate the actual cost of diamonds, as well as their manipulation of supply and demand. This type of behaviour keeps the overall cost of mined diamonds high, so they appear more valuable than lab diamonds and other gemstones.

One important thing to keep in mind is that not all lab diamond manufactures are equal. Some have lower standards, prefering to produce quantity over quality, meaning they can offer bigger price differences (up to 50%) compared to mined diamonds. Higher quality manufacturer's on the other hand will typically have a 20 - 30% price difference.

Can I sell a lab diamond I have bought?

You can, however bear in mind there is not the same appreciating market for lab-grown diamonds as there might be for an equivalent mined diamond.

Ultimately though, any diamond is only worth as much as a person is willing to pay for it. As a relatively new product, many high street jewellers have a hard time valuing lab diamonds. Some even avoid them as a way of staying 'traditional'. This generally leads to much lower demand for lab diamonds on the resale market.

Regardless, you should still have a diamond certificate attesting to the lab-diamonds characteristics to assist in your sale.

Are lab diamonds real diamonds?

Yes they are, unequivocally. Chemically they are identical to mined diamonds, to the naked eye they are identical to mined diamonds. Even trained experts rely on a lab diamond's laser inscription to identify whether it's lab-grown or mined.

Despite this, some people will always insist that unless they come from a natural source, it's not real. But that doesn't really hold up in our eyes. Ice made in your freezer isn't any more or less real than ice that forms on a winter night. An IVF baby isn't any less real than a "natural" baby.

It's an attitude we don't understand, but it's one we can hope to diminish as time goes on.

Why are lab diamonds so expensive?

Simply put, they're pretty expensive to make! It takes a lot of energy to replicate the conditions that diamonds need to grow. The machinery used is highly specialised and the experts who make them need to be highly trained and skilled.

Despite all this, lab diamonds still cost less than mined diamonds. And as we mentioned above, the actual cost of mined diamonds is inflated to such a great magnitude due to clever advertising that the price you pay isn't in line with the effort and work that goes into mining them.

How much is a 1-carat lab diamond?

That's a question that is difficult to answer. Lab diamonds have the same grading criteria as mined diamonds. So the price will be dependent on cut, colour, clarity and carat. If you want some accurate estimates feel free to browse our engagement rings, you can compare prices of different diamonds (both lab and ethically mined) when configuring your bespoke ring.

Can a jeweller tell if a diamond is lab-created?

A good jeweller should be able to tell quite easily if your diamond is lab-created by checking the laser inscription with a specialised tool. Aside from that, no it's virtually impossible to tell the difference without very specialist equipment that scans for trace chemicals or other 'invisible' characteristics.

Should I buy a lab diamond?

Of course you should! They're real diamonds that are more ethical, more environmentally friendly and easier on the bank! We don't really see a downside.

Are lab diamonds tacky?

Honestly, this question gets on our nerves a little. At Nightingale we make people's dream rings a reality. The type of diamond (or any other gemstone) that dream ring has is irrelevant as long as you and your partner love it.

But for the record, lab diamonds make up the top 2% of all diamonds in terms of quality because the environment they're made in allows for stricter control and therefore a superior gemstone.

And if having a diamond with zero risk of human suffering, minimal environmental impact and a larger carat for a similar budget makes a piece of jewellery "tacky" then who are we to argue.

Can I insure a lab diamond?

Yes you can! You can insure it the same way you would any other diamond or gemstone. When we're insuring our rings during transit we take out the same insurance, regardless of origin.

What are VVS lab diamonds?

VVS is a grade of clarity given to a diamond. As you'll remember from above, all diamonds are graded on the 4 Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat).

When talking about clarity, the more inclusions (or imperfections) a diamond has the lower its clarity score will be. The very best score is referred to as 'flawless' and means a diamond has zero inclusions. Flawless diamonds are exceptionally rare, to the point of being almost mythical, representing less than 0.5% of all diamonds.

VVS diamonds are stones that have very minimal inclusions and are one grade below flawless. They are very rare and command a much higher price.

Lab diamonds follow the same grading standards as mined diamonds, so have the same criteria to be judged against.

Are lab-grown diamonds GIA certified?

Yes, GIA has been certifying lab diamonds for almost 15 years now. Not all lab diamonds will use GIA however, different manufacturers use different grading labs so you may also get a certificate from institutions like IGI, for example.

Further reading


How to nail your bridal manicure at home

Let’s be honest, from floral arrangements to fizz, planning your dream wedding can feel like a never-ending stream of quick-fire decision makin...

Read More

Here's our bank holiday date ideas in Yorkshire

The entire Nightingale team calls Yorkshire their home, so it's only natural that we have some great date ideas in the local area which won't break the bank.

So here's Claire to tell you about some fantastic ways to spend the next bank holiday with your dates, mates, family or partner.

Read More

5 ethical alternatives to traditional diamonds

Diamonds might be the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, but they're not the only choice available to you.

We use lots of different gemstones in our ethical engagement rings, all coming from socially conscious sources. They can really help your ring stand our from the crowd, and support those in the industry working hard to raise ethical standards at the same time!

Here's 5 our favourites, picked for their quality, beauty and durability (important when you'll be wearing it every day!)

Read More

4 ways to reflect your partner's personality in their ring

Our favourite thing about a custom engagement ring is how well it suits the wearer.

You know your partner better than anyone, and one of the best ways of showing that is when you’re down on one knee giving them their perfect ring.

So to help with that, we’ve got 4 sources of inspiration that you can use to truly reflect their personality and uniqueness when picking out an engagement ring.

Read More

Botswana Diamonds - A blueprint for ethical mining in Africa

Botswana gained its independence from the British Empire in 1966 and in a little over 50 years has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world into a model for economic development in Africa. 

Their relationship with diamonds sits at the heart of this success, but is anything from typical. 

So what's made Botswana a diamond success story instead of falling victim to them like so many other African nations? 

Today we'll explore this remarkable story and Botswana's relationship with ethical diamond mining


Read More

How much are lab diamonds worth? Cost & resale value explained

Lab diamonds are new to the market, so often people get conflicting information on their cost, quality and resale value. We've got the answers for you right here.

Read More

Why diamond prices are going to increase this year, and what you can do about it

The latest reports say mined diamond prices are only going to go up this year. Here's why it's happening and what you can do to make sure it doesn't affect your engagement ring buying!

Read More

A country with widespread human rights abuses is set to become vice-chair of the Kimberley Process scheme...

At a time when the Kimberley Process is facing more scrutiny than ever, is appointing a country with one of the worst modern reputations for miner abuse really the correct move to make?

Read More

Christmas 2021 at Nightingale

It's that time of year again! Christmas and New Year are some of the most popular dates for popping the big question. And if you're planning yo...

Read More

Revealed: 2021’s most popular engagement rings and predicted trends for 2022

At Nightingale, we understand that an engagement ring isn’t just an accessory, it’s part of a moment often encapsulating a journey. Therefore, ...

Read More

The history of diamond engagement rings

Ever wondered how and why diamond engagement rings became the universal symbol of romance and marriage in modern culture? The origins might sur...

Read More

Pandora versus the diamond industry: Do lab diamonds harm vulnerable miners?

Last week Pandora made headlines around the world when they announced all diamonds used in their jewellery would be lab-grown instead of mined....

Read More

The Kimberley process - An honest look

Many diamond retailers use the Kimberley Process to display their commitment to ethical origins, but does this actually give buyers any gaurantees that the diamonds they're buying are free from human suffering? In short, no.

Read More

The true cost of diamonds

The classic rule when buying a diamond engagement ring is that it should cost 3 months salary. When the rule emerged it was great news for diam...

Read More