How Much Are Lab-grown Diamonds?

As marvels of modern technology, lab-grown diamonds bring a blend of accessibility and brilliance to our lives, perfect for those who desire a touch of something special in their everyday attire without the concerns of wearing (and losing) fine jewelry pieces more suited for weddings and galas. In this guide, we'll investigate the factors that determine the pricing of lab-grown diamonds. From their formation in plasma reactors to their place in today's jewelry landscape, we’ll help you understand the true value and affordability of these gems. Let's debunk misconceptions and shed light on the real cost of these contemporary jewelry pieces.

Understanding the Basics: What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds

First things first, what are lab-grown diamonds? The answer is more straightforward than you might think. They're similar to classic diamonds but created entirely differently. Unlike natural diamonds which form over millions of years deep in the Earth's crust, lab-grown diamonds begin with a small diamond seed. These seeds are placed in a specialized environment, such as a plasma reactor for Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) synthesis or a large mechanical press for High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) manufacturing. Each method uses a distinct approach.

In CVD, a plasma reactor facilitates diamond growth by layering carbon atoms onto the seed, while HPHT replicates extreme pressure and temperature to achieve the same result. Both methods produce high-quality diamonds, but they do not mimic the natural diamond formation process of the Earth. Instead, they offer a more efficient, controlled way to create diamonds, combining science and precision to deliver stunning results.

Now, if you're wondering what is a lab-grown diamond made of — they're carbon excellence. Carbon, an elemental building block, forms the foundation of numerous substances, including diamonds. Similar to their earth-sourced counterparts, they possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties. In other words, they have the same hardness, luminance, and crystal structure. Think of it like having two cousins, one older and one younger, who look and behave incredibly similar. They might not share the same birthday, but they're definitely in the same family. So do lab-grown diamonds pass a diamond tester? Yes, they do, thanks to these similarities — because they are still diamonds — just created in a lab.

What Determines the Price of a Lab-Grown Diamond?

You may have heard about the '4 Cs' that determine a diamond's value. But in case you haven’t, the '4 Cs' stand for Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity, and they apply to both natural and lab-grown diamonds. They're the universal metrics that help assess a diamond's quality and price. Let's break down each one with an example:

  • Cut doesn't just refer to the shape of the diamond but rather the quality of the diamond cutter's work. A well-cut natural or lab-grown diamond reflects light beautifully and can make the stone appear larger. On the other hand, a poorly cut piece might look dull, regardless of its size or clarity.
  • Carat refers to the weight of the natural or lab-grown diamond. One carat equals 200 milligrams. So, a two-carat diamond weighs twice as much as a one-carat diamond. The bigger the carat weight, the rarer, and thus, the more expensive the diamond becomes.
  • Color in a diamond refers to the presence of any color hue. The Gemological Institute of America grades diamond color on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). It’s important to note here that for our lab-grown diamonds, we’ve enhanced them by introducing appealing colors like pink and blue. This is different from the color grading scale and shouldn’t be confused with it.
  • Clarity is all about the tiny imperfections or 'inclusions' inside the natural or lab-grown diamond. A diamond with fewer inclusions is of higher clarity, thus, more valuable. Our lab-grown diamonds are VS Clarity, meaning they’re incredibly clear, with little to no imperfections.

So, how does this affect lab-grown diamonds' price and market value? Just like their natural counterparts, the quality of lab-grown diamonds is judged by these four criteria. At Lightbox Jewelry, we take these qualities to the highest level we can. Our precise diamond-cutting process not only maximizes the brilliance of each stone but also enhances its value. We offer various carat weights, stunning colors, and superb clarity — all at a price that might just make you do a double-take. When it comes to lab-grown diamonds, we believe in nothing but the best.

Understanding the Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Prices and Factors

Have you ever wondered why different brands have different price tags for what seems like the same product? With lab-grown diamonds, this mystery deepens. That's because there isn't a standardized formula for pricing these lab-created pieces, and a variety of factors influence the outcome. The quality of equipment used, production methods, staff expertise, and diamond-cutting skills all play a significant role in the final product and its price. Just like a well-tailored suit or an ornately carved soapstone sculpture, the better the craftsmanship, the more value it carries.

Technological innovations have definitely shaken things up in this regard. As production methods have improved, so have the quality and efficiency of the equipment used in growing lab diamonds. This advancement in technology has significantly lowered the production cost of lab-created diamonds over time, even at Lightbox. Picture it as driving a fuel-efficient car. You get the same performance, but it costs you less to keep it running. That's exactly what's happening here at our laboratory. We've harnessed the power of technology to deliver high-quality lab-grown diamonds at a cost that doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.

So, how does this translate for you, the buyer? It's simple: the cost savings are passed directly onto you. This is our way of saying everyone wanting a lab-grown diamond should have one. Maybe you've been eyeing a specific piece for a while, or perhaps you just feel like treating yourself because you deserve it. Whatever the case, consider Lightbox the best place to buy lab-grown diamonds. We are dedicated to producing and offering high-quality lab-grown diamonds that are accessible, letting you find pieces you can wear every day without breaking the bank.

Our Pricing Model for Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry

When it comes to the pricing of anything jewelry-related, things can quickly become complex and shrouded in ambiguity. At Lightbox Jewelry, we've eliminated this with our linear pricing model for our lab-grown diamonds. Rather than using a complicated formula based on several factors, we've simplified the process. The price of our lab-grown diamonds is set per carat, making it clear and transparent. So instead of adhering to varying pricing models, our approach ensures a consistent price-per-carat ratio for our lab-grown diamonds. We like this model and hope you do as well because it provides transparency in our pricing, aligning closely with the production costs of our lab-grown diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds offer a fantastic proposition for those seeking brilliant jewelry pieces that can be worn daily. By adopting a lab-centric production method, we provide exceptional value to our customers seeking the luster of wearability of beautiful pieces. Our lab-grown diamonds possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds. What sets them apart is their versatility. They're not just reserved for grand events typically associated with heirloom pieces. Instead, they're perfect for everyday social engagements, whether it's a lunch with a close friend or an aunt's birthday party.

We've designed two main collections at Lightbox to cater to a range of tastes and budgets: Lightbox Basics™ and Lightbox Finest™: 

  • The Basics™ collection features sparkling white stones set in a modern sterling silver bezel setting, guaranteeing a minimum standard of 'SI' clarity, 'Faint' color, and a 'Very Good' cut. It's the ideal choice for those seeking stylish, high-quality, affordable pieces.
  • The Lightbox Finest™ collection represents the epitome of our lab-grown diamond offering, combining our leading patented CVD growth method with a secondary refinement. Each stone emerges with VVS clarity and the highest color grade possible. These exceptional diamonds are then meticulously hand-set into 18k gold settings, delivering high-impact, luxury pieces for those looking for a little something more. 

Both collections exemplify our commitment to transparency, quality, and value in our pricing model.

The Pricing of Lab-Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds have been cherished for their beauty and value for centuries. They're often viewed as investment pieces, and when well cared for, they can increase in value over time. Their rarity and unique formation process in the earth give them a special allure, making them a prized possession for many.

On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds have introduced a new dimension to the jewelry industry. For example, a Lightbox Finest™ lab-grown cushion-cut diamond with VVS clarity, the highest color grade, and meticulous craftsmanship is consistently priced at $1,500. This pricing is more predictable compared to natural diamonds, which may range widely based on their unique characteristics and history.

But why does the price differ? Natural diamonds have the 'rarity' factor ingrained in their pricing equation, reflecting their differing origin and often longer journey to the market. Lab-grown diamonds have a more predictable production process, which allows for consistent pricing.

What's wonderful about lab-grown diamonds is that they share the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as their natural counterparts. The ability to create such beauty in a controlled environment speaks volumes about technological advances and expert craftsmanship. As such, lab-created diamonds shine brightly in the world of high-class fashion jewelry. They're perfect for elevating everyday looks — be it a business luncheon, a chic weekend brunch, or even a casual evening out with friends. Their accessibility makes them ideal for spontaneous self-gifting or for those moments when you just want to treat yourself. Plus, with the availability of loose diamonds and custom settings, you have the exciting opportunity to craft personalized, fashion-forward keepsakes that truly resonate with your style.

Conversely, natural diamonds, with their timeless appeal and prestige, are the quintessential choice for fine jewelry. They're reserved for events and occasions that meet their caliber — think milestone anniversaries, prestigious award ceremonies, or that long-awaited opera night. When you want to exude elegance and make a lasting impression, natural diamonds step into the limelight, ensuring you shine your brightest, irrespective of the setting.

Both types of diamonds have their own charm and appeal. While natural diamonds captivate with their ancient history and potential as an investment, lab-grown diamonds stand out with their accessibility and technological marvel. In the vast expanse of your jewelry box, there's a place for both. Your lab-grown diamond rings might accompany you during school drop-offs, while that cherished piece you inherited from your grandmother graces you at significant milestones and cherished celebrations. Choosing between them isn't about determining which is a better buy but resonating with the essence each imparts and deciding what aligns with your personal preferences. 

Celebrating Innovation: A New Chapter in Your Jewelry Story

As we conclude our pricing exploration, it's evident that lab-grown diamonds are ushering in a fresh perspective in the jewelry domain. Through innovative processes and unparalleled dedication, Lightbox Jewelry contributes to the evolving narrative of these lab-created gems. Our commitment to excellence, transparency, and fair value places us as a trusted name in this sphere that you can rely on when looking for your next piece or the perfect gift. Ensuring top-tier quality while offering approachable pricing, at Lightbox Jewelry, we take pride in showcasing that elegance is within reach. When you're contemplating an addition to your collection, lab-grown diamonds from Lightbox are the ideal way to celebrate contemporary elegance.

  • Our environmental commitment

    At Lightbox we are big on transparency and our commitment to reducing the footprint of our stones is a huge part of this. See more on how we grow our stones with 100% renewable energy.

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  • Visit the lab

    Explore the Lightbox Lab in Portland, Oregon, home to our world-leading technology producing up to 200,000 carats a year, each one always VS clarity, very good cut and now 'grown in the USA'.

  • Lab-grown FAQs, answered.

    Our leading technology means our lab-grown diamonds are among the highest quality you can find. Learn more about the science behind the sparkle with our guide to lab-grown diamonds.