Lab Diamond Carat & Cost
Need some information on lab created diamonds before shopping for that perfect engagement ring? Have you ever wondered what the price difference is between naturally mined and lab grown diamonds? Keep reading!
What is an average lab diamond’s carat weight?
As with naturally mined diamonds, lab diamonds come in all shapes, sizes and, yes, carats. Any whole size you can imagine can be found and mined in nature, but also, can be found within a lab setting. A whole size, 1 carat lab created diamond is .2 grams (200mg). And a 2 carat lab created diamond is 0.4 grams (400mg). As you go up 1 lab diamond carat, the weight in grams doubles. Similarly with naturally mined diamonds, the average lab diamond, for an engagement ring, is roughly one carat.
Lab Diamond: "Special Sizes"
However, it’s important to mention that you can get special sizes (sizes that are just a bit smaller or larger than the whole size carats). This means that, if you are set on getting a diamond bigger than one carat, but you are on a budget, you can get a size that is between 1-2 carats, without the financial worry.
Is it easier to get a perfect, whole carat size with lab grown diamonds vs. naturally mined ones? Not necessarily. Lab diamonds are very much real diamonds, which means that they have the exact same weight and density as those found in nature. However, you might find it more cost-effective to buy a lab diamond, rather than one that was mined.
Price Difference Between Natural vs Lab Diamonds
The bad news is that there is no set price difference between naturally mined diamonds and those created in a lab of similar sizes and shapes. The reason for this is that, as with jewelry made with traditional, mined diamonds, the size, shape, and clarity (all of the four C’s of diamonds, in fact) are factors in price.
However, there is good news--a few diamond dealers and experts have done a little math, in an effort to come up with some average numbers regarding price differences between mined diamonds and lab grown ones. While these numbers, too, may vary, it is estimated that you can save upwards of 40% by purchasing a 1 carat lab created diamond (or, even more, if you buy a 2 or 3 carat lab created diamond.
NOTE: a common misconception is that “lab diamonds” are fake. This is false! Diamonds that are considered “fake” only refers to synthetic diamonds, such as cubic zirconia. Diamonds that come from labs are 100% real. The only differences are the price and the environment in which the diamonds form. Lab diamonds are replicated in a controlled environment and monitored by diamond specialists. The end-product is a diamond that has the same physical, chemical, and optical properties of a natural diamond.
What Are Off-Size Lab Diamonds?
Many people go seeking the perfect, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc. size diamonds. They want to ensure that their diamond is absolutely flawless in every way, from clarity and color to, well, size. However, many people are not aware that there are slightly different sizes, or that those sizes could actually save them hundreds of dollars on the diamonds they so covet.
These in-between sizes, also known as "off size diamonds," are not what you might think. Consumers who are aware of off size diamonds may think they're diamonds initially cut for one of the traditional sizes, but were accidentally cut a bit too small or too large. That is not true, however. These "special" sizes were made intentionally, to offer variations on the traditional sizes, to help you save money.
The same applies to off size lab diamonds. Man made diamonds can be created and cut just like natural, mined diamonds, so they can be crafted into the same sizes as the natural diamonds. Rather, they were intended to give you a stone that looks just as “fancy” as the expensive, whole size counterparts, at a price that is easier on your wallet.
How Important Should Carat Be When Buying Lab Diamonds?
That really depends. Carat is, of course, the measurement of the weight of your diamond, whether it’s a naturally mined one or a lab diamond. While a “heavier” lab diamond can indicate a bigger one, that is not necessarily the case. Depending on the cut of your lab grown diamond, a smaller carat diamond can actually look bigger than a diamond of a larger carat.
Another thing that can affect how large or small a lab diamond looks is the setting of the jewelry in which the diamond lies. A solitaire setting is often quite simple, seeing as there is only the single diamond, rather than multiple diamonds surrounding a central gem. Therefore, the diamond in a solitaire setting will, more often than not, appear larger, no matter the carat, than diamonds set in halo setting or pave settings.
So, how important should carat be when shopping for lab diamonds? Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference. However, know that choosing 0.5 more or less of a carat weight has little impact on the visual size of your lab grown diamond. It will, of course, affect the price of the diamond. Remember, the larger the carat, the more expensive the diamond will be!
Lab Grown Diamond Cost per Carat
The price you pay for your lab grown diamond will almost surely vary, depending on where you purchase it, as well as whether you order one that is mass-produced, or have one custom made. There will likely also be a difference in price between those purchased in a brick-and-mortar store versus an online shop. However, on average, the 1 carat lab created diamond price is somewhere around $800-$1,000 per carat. From this estimate, you can also answer the question, “how much is a 2-carat lab grown diamond,” as well as calculate a 3 carat lab grown diamond price.
Keep in mind that this is the average price for the loose diamond only. The cut/style that you choose, the metal, the setting… all these things will affect the price you pay for your lab grown diamond. But hopefully, you can shop more confidently, now that you know that the lab grown diamond cost per carat is considerably lower than the cost of mined diamonds!
Average Lab Diamond Cost
Based off of the most popular shape, color, and clarity.
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(We offer lab grown diamonds ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 carats.)