As of this writing, man-made diamonds are simply not yet cheap enough to justify buying them over natural diamonds.
WHAT ARE LAB CREATED DIAMONDS?
Lab created diamonds (also known as lab grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds, or cultured diamonds) are man-made diamonds that look just like a real, natural diamond. Since they consist of the same carbon atom structures, lab created diamonds display the same chemical and optical properties of a natural diamond.
Our goal is not to convince people that they should buy diamonds. We try to help people who are buying diamonds get the best value for their money. We find the best value diamond possible within your budget and help you avoid possible pitfalls along the way.
There are companies selling lab grown diamonds claiming that their diamonds are 30-40% cheaper. That is an outright lie (as show below), but what would be considered a good value? As we explain in this article, you shouldn’t view your diamond as a monetary investment, yet an investment in the happiness of the receiver.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t ignore the value entirely. Say an average natural diamond retains approximately 50% of its value after purchase. Eventually the value of the diamond will rise (historically, diamond prices have risen consistently), so if you ever try to sell it, you should be getting at least half of the original purchase price.
Lab-created diamonds have no resale value. No jeweler will buy them back and if you try to sell them on Craigs List or eBay, you’ll get pennies on the dollar for it. So, from a value perspective, you would need to buy the lab-created diamond at a substantial discount to justify giving up the value retention of natural diamonds.
COMPARING PRICE OF LAB CREATED TO NATURAL DIAMONDS
Below we compare the two of the largest online sellers of diamonds: Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile. We used Blue Nile as our baseline for this article as they are the largest online diamond retailer out there.
Here is an example of two natural diamonds we compared. One is a GIA certified diamond from Blue Nile, the other an IGI certified diamond from Brilliant Earth. As you may or may not be aware, IGI is a much more “lenient” laboratory, so we adjusted the grades accordingly.
Brilliant Earth offered a 0.70 I VS1 IGI certified round diamond for $1,870. Blue Nile had a 0.70 J VS2 GIA certified round diamond for $1,499. You should take a look at both diamonds to see the quality for yourself.
Same for same, our pricing research shows that the lab created option is 25% more expensive than these natural diamonds above. The claims that lab-created diamonds are 30-40% cheaper is not true. In reality, currently synthetic diamonds are actually about 20% more expensive on average than comparable natural diamonds when looking at the 4 C’s
Given the fact that you are losing all the resale value from your purchase, it seems that lab created diamonds offer an extremely poor value. There are certainly other reasons for going with a lab created diamond, but you should know that lab-created diamonds currently offer no value-based advantages and getting your money out of these stones when it comes time to sell is nearly impossible.