You may have heard that lab grown diamonds are more affordable than mined diamonds. But by how much? This article gets into the nitty-gritty of lab diamonds vs mined diamonds price comparisons – with real examples of mined and lab diamond jewellery prices compared side by side.
Why are mined diamonds more expensive than lab diamonds?
Mined diamonds are more expensive than lab diamonds because they are extracted from the Earth and transported at great distances. This adds large overheads to mined diamond jewellery.
Are lab grown diamonds cheap?
No, most people would not consider lab grown diamond prices as “cheap”. This is because lab grown diamonds are real diamonds and the process for creating them is exacting and expensive.
However, compared to the rarity of natural diamonds and the cost of finding and extraction, lab grown diamonds still offer a considerable saving.
The price difference between a 1-carat lab diamond and a 1-carat mined diamond
There is no “set price” for a 1-carat mined diamond and a 1-carat lab grown diamond.
Why? Because all diamond prices (lab and mined) are determined by four different quality factors, not just carats. These four quality factors are called the Four Cs and they are cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. They all need to be taken into account when calculating diamond price.
However, what we can do is compare the price of two individual 1-carat lab and mined diamonds of similar quality.
This 1-carat mined diamond ring in G/SI2 quality costs approximately £4,600:
Mined diamond ring
Total carats 1CT
Price approximately £4,600
The same ring, with a 1-carat lab grown diamond in a slightly better quality of G/VS1 costs approximately £3,500:
Lab grown diamond ring
Total carats 1CT
Price approximately £3,500
In this particular case, the lab grown diamond ring is roughly 25% cheaper than the equivalent mined diamond ring.
(Please note that the ring’s other materials also affect its overall price. In this example, both rings are made from 18K white gold, which is a high-end precious metal.)
Savings on lab v mined diamonds
Now let’s look at another lab diamond ring to understand how you can get even bigger savings.
The below ring has a cluster of H/Si quality lab grown diamonds that altogether weigh a total of 1 carat and is set in 9K white gold.
This ring costs approximately £1,100:
Lab grown diamond ring
Total carats 1CT (small diamonds in a cluster)
Price approximately £1,100
The price difference between this ring and the original 1-carat mined diamond ring we saw in the above paragraph is now a whopping 123%.
This is due to several factors:
- Firstly, the diamonds are lab grown rather than mined, which lowers the price slightly.
- Secondly, the lab diamonds are small and set in a cluster. Small diamonds in a cluster setting are always more affordable per carat than one big solitaire (even when the diamond quality is better like here).
- Finally, the metal of the ring’s band is 9K white gold, which is a more affordable gold type than 18K gold.
What the experts say
A recent Channel 4 program looked at the benefits of lab grown diamonds, saying they are becoming more readily available at “larger retailers like The Diamond Store.”
The program’s diamond expert explained that lab and mined diamonds are identical, and that with lab diamonds “you’re looking at saving up to about 50%”.
If price is an important factor for you…
If price is the leading factor for you when choosing a diamond ring then as you can see, it is worth shopping around.
Let’s look at some more examples…
Example 1 – Prices of lab vs mined diamond earrings
Here are approximate price comparisons between mined diamond and lab grown diamond stud earrings:
- 0.20 Carat Diamond Stud Earrings – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
- 0.30 Carat Diamond Stud Earrings – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
- 0.50 Carat Diamond Stud Earrings – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
- 1.00 Carat Diamond Stud Earrings – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
Example 2 – Prices of lab vs mined diamond rings
Here are some examples of mined and lab diamond rings where all the other factors (including diamond quality and metal quality) match exactly or very, very closely.
These will give you a very accurate idea of price differences between mined and lab diamonds.
- 0.86 Carat Diamond Halo Ring – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
- 1.50 Carat Diamond Solitaire Ring – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
- 1.86 Carat Diamond Double Halo Ring – Price Comparison Lab VS Mined:
Can lab diamonds be certified?
Yes, lab grown diamond solitaires from around 0.25CT are often certified to confirm their quality. This is done by the same independent diamond authorities that certify mined diamonds, such as the GIA, IGL or IGI.
When you see a mined or lab grown diamond that comes with a “diamond certificate”, this means that an independent gemmological authority has analysed and confirmed its Four Cs officially, so you know what you’re buying.
If you buy a certified lab diamond, the diamond certificate will indicate that it is lab grown.
Conclusion: Lab Diamonds vs Mined Diamonds Price Comparisons
As you can see, lab diamonds are a luxury product and their price reflects it. However, as no extraction from the ground is required, they do come with a slightly lower price tag than mined diamonds. Additionally, they are ethical and sustainable.
Lab diamonds can be up to 25-50% lower in price per carat when compared to the equivalent mined diamond of the same quality.
If you want to find out more about lab diamonds and whether they are for you, find more articles below that explain what lab diamonds are, and how their quality and sustainability compare to that of mined diamonds.
Price disclaimer: All approximate prices quotes in this article were correct at the time of publishing on 28th June 2021, but may change at any time after this date.
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