Lab Diamonds vs. Earth Diamonds: Can you tell the difference?

by Blog Editors

Here at Sparkly, we love finding ways to save you money. We have a handful of helpful tips and tricks on our education page to help you navigate The Four Cs in ways that can save you some serious cash.

We were excited to find out that one of the largest and most trusted diamond retailers, James Allen started selling lab-created diamonds, which can cost 30% less than earth-created diamonds. To put that in perspective, the average engagement ring cost was $8,000 in 2018. Using a lab-created diamond would make that same ring $5,600! That’s $2,400 extra to spend on a larger carat size, put toward your wedding, or in the bank!

What’s so exciting about lab-grown diamonds? Here’s what had to say:

“These diamonds are optically and chemically identical to earth created diamonds and avoid

the ethical concerns some buyers have with buying earth mined diamonds. The sparkle is the same - the core difference between them is their origin. ”

Are lab-created diamonds the same as synthetic diamonds?

According the site, they are NOT. Synthetic diamonds, like the cubic zirconia, “are made of different materials than earth-created and lab-created diamonds” and you can tell. Apparently there is no way to distinguish a lab-created diamond from a “real” earth-created diamond, even with a professional magnifying glass (or loupe).

Let’s break this down:


The diamonds are optically identical to earth-created diamonds. This means that you can’t tell the difference between the two with your own eyes...even under magnification! The diamonds will sparkle and reflect light just like any other diamond out there.


The diamonds are chemically identical to earth-created diamonds and are NOT synthetic diamonds. This means that these stones aren’t cubic zirconia... they aren’t moissanite. They are real DIAMONDS!  The famous term “a diamond will last forever” will still hold true as these are the same chemically and physically the same as diamonds that come out of the ground.


Another bonus: There’s no ethical concerns when buying lab-created diamonds. We know exactly where these diamonds come from. No blood diamonds, no funding war lords, etc.

This is a very exciting development in the engagement ring industry. There have always been diamond alternatives out there, but something still felt off for many who were considering going this route. With lab-created diamonds, everything is exactly the same and no one (except your memory..and your wallet) will be able to tell the difference.

What’s the downside? If any, it might our association of earth-mined diamonds being made by mother nature—that in itself is special in our minds. That being said, we know earth-mined diamonds have their downsides (e.g. the possibility of being unethically mined, the cost, the teeny tiny inclusions you have to watch out for).

To us, it’s kind of like buying a Rolex that was made in Switzerland vs. made in Germany. A Rolex from Switzerland is the absolute original, but if Rolex were to start making watches in Germany, would it really make a difference if they were exactly the same?

The choice is yours, so check out some examples below and see what works best for you and your SO!

Browse Lab-Created Diamonds by James Allen

Browse Lab-Created Diamonds by James Allen

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