How are Lab Grown Diamonds Priced?


The setting of market diamond prices can be a complex issue. Diamond prices are fixed by suppliers and diamond cutters, with supply and demand playing an integral part too.



The Regulation of Diamond Pricing


An institution called Rapaport helps keep diamond pricing on track. This institution dates back to 1976 when Martin Rapaport set about formulating a ‘rap-list’ based upon different types of diamonds. Nowadays the price-list is still going strong. The Rapaport Report is updated regularly and appears online on a weekly basis. It’s regarded as the go-to price list for those in the diamond industry.


Moreover, members of the Rapaport organization get together with rough diamond suppliers, manufacturers, and vendors to address supply and demand. With this in mind, Rapaport puts together a wholesale diamond price chart which outlines suggested prices based on varying amalgamations of color, clarity, etc. We will explore how the four C’s - clarity, cut, color and carat can have an impact on pricing a little later on, but for now, let’s explore natural diamond vs lab grown diamond price.



The Pricing of Natural Diamonds


Natural diamonds are harvested from mines in rough form and are then sold at auctions (otherwise known as sights). Diamond manufacturers (sight holders) attend these auctions in search of rough diamonds to buy.


Once purchased, the manufacturers take the rough diamonds and set about cutting and polishing the gems. This process can be both time consuming and costly, but the finished result is worth it - the dazzling diamonds we know and love.


Learn more about Natural Diamond Pricing



The Pricing of Lab Diamonds


Lab diamonds share the same stunning looks and physical, chemical make-up as natural diamonds. In fact, it could be impossible to tell the two apart (unless you are a gemologist with gadgets). As the name suggests, lab grown diamonds are not grown deep in mines but cultivated in man-made labs. The lab conditions are merely recreated to emulate those of the earth’s crust. Therefore, lab diamonds look the same as natural diamonds. However, lab diamonds do not require the same patience and amount of effort as mined diamonds.


Lab processes have developed significantly over time and cutting edge technology can be utilized to produce stunning lab diamonds. We can’t dispute the fact that lab-grown diamonds are more readily available, the manufacturing process can be controlled and is swifter than the natural growing process. However, this takes nothing away from the quality of the actual gem.


Lab Diamond Process


Cost of HPHT and CVD Diamond Manufacturing


Lab grown diamonds can be manufactured via HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) process or by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process.


HPHT mirrors the natural diamond growing process. This process was developed in the 1950s to grow genuine diamonds in a controlled environment. The process of HPHT involves exposing a diamond seed to intense pressure and heat. After some time, at least 14 days, a diamond forms around the seed and is carefully cooled to form a rough diamond that’s ready to be cut, polished, and set.


The CVD process is similar because it also starts with a diamond seed that undergoes both high pressure and high temperature conditions. However, the difference is, the CVD process involves putting carbon gases within the environment.


The HPHT method is widely used for diamond experts looking to improve the color grade of diamonds, and to minimize diamond growing costs. Therefore, the Chemical Vapor Deposition process could be more costly.



Lab grown vs natural diamond price


When we explore lab grown diamonds vs natural price, we will note that natural diamonds generally have a higher price point. This is due to the perception some have that a lab diamond is common, whereas a mined diamond is extremely rare. This view can affect diamond pricing. As we all know, the perceived “limited availability” of an item can make it more attractive to certain consumers.


Add to this the fact that natural diamonds require time to grow and intensive attention before they get to market, whereas lab diamonds can be created more quickly and still look stunning, and you begin to see why the lab grown diamond price is considered more affordable. But diamond pricing is not just based upon supply and demand, or the length of the production process, prices are also based on the four C’s.


Natural Diamond vs Lab Diamond Pricing

Based off of the most popular shapes, color grading (I-G), and clarity grades (VS2 and VS1) for With Clarity.


Carat Weight

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

Round Natural Average Price $1,240 $2,630 $6,770 $11,940 $18,800 $27,560 $45,260
Round Lab Average Price $560 $1,578 $1,850 $3,470 $6,250 $9,580 $29,160

Carat Weight

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

Oval Natural Average Price $870 $1,970 $4,230 $9,120 $16,470 $24,800 $29,980
Oval Lab Average Price $600 $1,380 $2,880 $2,920 $4,910 $17,110 $20,100

Carat Weight

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

Emerald Natural Average Price $830 $3,330 $3,490 $8,700 $14,190 $20,800 $26,800
Emerald Lab Average Price $570 $1,050 $1,700 $5,960 $5,170 $14,250 $18,360

Carat Weight

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

Pear Natural Average Price $930 $1,950 $4,400 $9,700 $17,850 $30,430 $33,990
Pear Lab Average Price $640 $1,330 $1,800 $6,570 $12,140 $20,540 $23,110

Carat Weight

0.5

0.75

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

Radiant Natural Average Price $881 $1,900 $3,580 $8,390 $13,560 $23,577 $34,410
Radiant Lab Average Price $600 $1,310 $2,430 $5,750 $9,220 $16,150 $23,400

Values are estimated and can vary based on our inventory.


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How do the Four C’s Play a Part in Diamond Pricing?


Alongside the established market rates, diamonds are priced dependent upon their grading. Every diamond is graded to establish it’s exact worth. Each stone is assessed in terms of the four C’s:


Clarity

The grading scale runs from I (included) which indicates visible flaws, to FL (flawless) which indicates no flaws can be seen – even when the diamond is magnified. The more flawless the diamond, the higher the price.

More About Lab Diamond Clarity


Cut

Cut is rated from poor to excellent, and as you would assume the more excellent the cut the more inflated the price! The cut relates to how smooth the diamond is, how symmetrical it is and its overall proportions e.g. crown height etc.

More About Lab Diamond Cut



Carat

Diamonds are measured in terms of weight. The carat weight helps to determine the worth of a diamond. The higher the carat weight, the higher the price. For instance a 3 carat lab grown diamond price would be higher than a lab grown diamond 2 carat price, which in turn would be higher than a 1 carat diamond price.

More About Lab Diamond Carat & Cost



Color

Colorless diamonds are credited with being the best, and therefore the most expensive diamonds. Diamond color is measured on a scale from D to Z (“D” is classed as colorless and “Z” denotes a yellow hue and is at the lower end of the color scale).

More About Lab Diamond Color



Other Factors


The diamond price is also dependent on other attributes including polish, symmetry, length-width ratio and fluorescence (light omitted when the diamond is placed under a UV lamp).



Find the best price lab grown diamonds before you buy!


Do your homework before you invest in lab grown diamonds. Always inspect the diamond and take a look at the accompanying IGI (International Gemological Institute) certificate. This will outline the authenticity of the diamond and confirm its value.

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