Lab-grown diamonds are growing in popularity. According to a 2022 BriteCoTM report, lab-grown diamond market penetration rose 9.7%, from 18.7% of engagement rings in 2020 to 28.4% in 2021.
Lab-grown diamonds have been around since the 1950s; however, many people have continued to purchase natural diamonds because they believe synthetically grown gems don’t hold their value.
Learn more about lab diamonds, including how they are made and whether they hold their value, to help you decide which to buy for your wedding or engagement ring.
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are produced in a lab rather than in the Earth. Unlike synthetic gemstones, lab-grown diamonds are made of tightly bonded carbon atoms. They share identical properties with natural diamonds, including visual, chemical, and physical elements.
The most significant difference between real and lab-grown diamonds is their origin or where they come from. Natural diamonds are the result of volcanic activity in the Earth’s crust over millions of years. In contrast, makers of lab-grown diamonds use laboratory processes like High-Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) to create diamonds in weeks.
Can You Tell The Difference Between Lab-Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds?
While it’s possible to tell the difference between a lab-grown and natural diamond, it usually takes specialized equipment. Most people can’t distinguish a lab-grown diamond just by looking at it. Even jewelers and appraisers might need to use specialized equipment to tell the difference.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses spectroscopy and other testing tools to determine which diamonds are lab-grown and examine their characteristics.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds GIA Certified?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds have been graded and certified by GIA since 2007. The GIA also no longer uses the term “synthetic” on their Laboratory-Grown Diamond and Identification Reports.
The reports for lab-grown diamonds are the same as for natural diamonds, including the same standard GIA color, clarity, and cut grading scales. The reports also include the type of growth process used and will disclose if there is evidence of post-growth treatment on the diamond to change the color.
Will Lab-Grown Diamonds Pass a Diamond Tester?
Consumers may wonder if a lab-grown diamond will test as real if a professional uses a diamond test. Because lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, they will pass testing with a variety of testers. Although tests in GIA laboratory instruments can help identify lab-grown versus natural diamonds based on fluorescence and composition, the lab-grown variety still registers as real.
For example, if you take your lab diamond to a jewelry store and they run a test, it will identify your diamond as real. Most testers are designed to pick out fake diamonds, like those made of glass, cubic zirconia, or moissanite, not tell the difference between a real lab-grown diamond and a naturally mined diamond.
How Much Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
The average for lab grown diamond prices was $4,383 in 2021, up 8.6% from 2020. On the other hand, the average natural diamond price was $8,053 in 2021. Because lab-grown diamonds are less expensive, they have grown in popularity as a way to afford more for less.
So, why are lab created diamonds worth less? The process of growing a lab created diamond is much less difficult than mining natural diamonds. Typically, lab-grown diamonds can be sold for 30%-40% less than natural diamonds.
Do Lab Grown Diamonds Hold Their Value?
With the rise in popularity of lab-grown diamonds, one of the most asked questions is, does a lab-grown diamond hold its value? The bad news is they don’t hold their value quite the same as natural diamonds. Depending on the current diamond industry market, a natural diamond typically holds around 25% to 50% of its value, while by some estimates, lab-grown diamonds may hold little to no resale value.
But exactly how much do lab-grown diamonds depreciate in value? A resold lab-grown diamond may only be worth a minimal amount upon resale; however, you may earn a profit with the right buyer in the right market.
Do Lab-Grown Diamonds Have Resale Value?
While the market for lab-grown diamonds isn’t as large or powerful as earth mined diamonds, there is still a resale value for lab-grown diamonds. The resale value typically depends on the carat and quality of the diamond. But it also depends on the commodity market for diamonds which is constantly fluctuating.
Most jewelers will not buy lab-grown diamonds, but it’s possible to resell lab-grown diamonds to third parties or individuals where lab-grown diamonds are in high demand. While you won’t get 100% of your money back, you will get significantly more than the small amount some retailers would offer.
Insure Your Lab-Grown Diamond With BriteCo™
Lab-grown diamonds are an impressive technology that allows buyers to pay less while receiving a larger diamond or more remarkable piece of jewelry. Even though grown diamonds aren’t as expensive as natural diamonds, they are still an investment and, often, a symbol of commitment and love. And it deserves to be taken care of like any other investment with an insurance policy that will replace it if lost, stolen or damaged.
An insurance policy is a great way to protect your precious jewelry if you choose a lab-grown diamond. BriteCo™ has easy-to-use, affordable coverage to protect your ring from damage, loss, or theft. Reach out to get a quote today.