Pros & Cons Of Lab Grown Diamonds (Benefits & Disadvantages)

Lab grown diamonds have gained attention amongst prospective diamond buyers for a number of reasons.

In this guide, we outline what the potential pros and cons of lab grown diamonds might be.

We also provide numerous comparisons to naturally mined diamonds and to other types of diamonds.


Summary – Pros & Cons Of Lab Grown Diamonds


They are not fake diamonds or substitute diamonds 

They are the same as mined diamonds in almost every way (except tiny ‘insignificant’ differences that can only be identified by special testing devices and equipment)

The capabilities of what can be done with lab grown diamonds has shown improvement over time

Some lab grown diamond sellers have a good range of lab grown diamonds products to choose from

Some projections indicate the lab grown diamond industry has good growth potential

Some producers can form lab grown diamonds fast in the lab (in weeks, to months)

Lab grown diamonds don’t rely on as many uncontrollable factors to be produced and to form as mined diamonds

Laboratory conditions leading to diamond formation can be controlled and changed

The purchase price is usually cheaper than mined diamonds

Some lab grown diamond producers may not use as much electricity as others

The environmental footprint and sustainability impact can be lower than mined diamonds (although there are variables that can impact this)

Some sellers produce their diamonds in accordance with certain ethical standards (such as worker’s rights, and conflict free standards)

Some sellers commit a portion of their profits to social causes (in both developed and developing countries)

Some sellers offer different forms of certifications, guarantees and traceability on what the consumer is buying

Some suggest that the purity and clarity grades of some lab grown diamonds can sometimes be better



Still rely on pre-existing diamond material to be formed and produced

The cost to produce lab grown diamonds might not be as low as some sources indicate

Might not hold as much of their value after purchase, and when re-selling

There might be limited total supply/production, and also limited availability of some types and sizes of diamonds in the short to medium term

Marketing phrases can sometimes confuse buyers, or lead to uncertainty

Some question the energy use and carbon footprint of lab grown diamonds

Some question the raw materials used, waste by-products generated, and waste management of lab grown diamonds

There’s potentially more sustainable and/or ethical diamonds available than lab grown diamonds i.e. alternatives might involve recycled and second hand diamonds

May lead to a loss of jobs and economic activity in mining communities and developing regions

Some people place more of a stigma, romance or subjective value on mined diamonds

Mined diamonds can have a uniqueness to them

Some suggest that some sellers may engage in some types of deceptive behavior


Other Notes

These are generalized pros and cons of lab grown diamonds only.

Obviously the final set of pros and cons of lab grown diamonds, or mined diamonds, is going to come down to the seller, and how they source, produce, finish, distribute and sell their diamonds.

Each seller is going to have different variables and standards/requirements that make up that process.

You can read more about what some of the more well known or popular online lab grown diamond sellers offer when it comes to these different variables and factors in this guide.


Pros (& Benefits) Of Lab Grown Diamonds

They Are Not Fake Or Substitute Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds are not hybrid, simulant, fake, or synthetic diamonds.

They are grown and formed from slivers of real diamond seed material.


They Are The Same As Mined Diamonds In Almost Every Way

They have the exact same carbon structure and are made of crystalized carbon just like mined diamonds i.e their physical and chemical properties are all the same as mined diamonds.

The naked human eye can’t tell the difference between the two when you look at them and touch them.

Once formed, both lab and mined diamond go through the exact same process – cut, color, clarity, carat.

The skill of the diamond cutter can be a variability in how they both look – but this is specific to the diamond producer.



Lab created diamonds can be made to the same level of clarity, color and brilliance as naturally mined stones. 

In fact, these man-made diamonds are almost indistinguishable unless they are subjected to specialized testing equipment like spectrometers and X-rays.


The Capabilities Of What Can Be Done With Lab Grown Diamonds Have Shown Improvement Over Time

This means that there are increasing capabilities over time of the type of lab grown diamonds that can be formed, and then sold to consumers. 

Lab grown diamonds have only recently begun to reach a level of quality and size that is comparable with natural diamonds.

Also, more jewelry suppliers are getting access to detection devices that allow consumers to see which diamonds are lab grown and earth mined.

Over the last decade alone, lab grown diamonds have gone from being mostly colored and small, to bigger and colorless.


Some Lab Grown Diamond Sellers Have A Good Range Of Products To Select From

Some lab grown diamond diamond sellers have various different types of lab grown diamond products to choose from.

They range from loose diamonds to pieces of jewellery, like rings.

The type and traits of the diamond also vary. For example …

Some offer Type IIa diamonds, with good clarity and cut.

Some offer up to 10 carats, and a range of colors.


Some Projections Indicate The Lab Grown Diamond Industry Has Good Growth Potential

Some sources indicate that the size of the industry is currently around 1 or 2% of the total diamond industry

Some projections estimate it’s going to be an estimated 15% of the total diamond industry by 2020.


Some Producers Can Form Lab Grown Diamonds Fast In The Lab

Depending on the producer, a one carat cut diamond might take anywhere from about one week, up to three months to form in the lab

This can depend on the type of diamond being formed too though.

In comparison, mined diamonds might take billions of years to form underneath the Earth’s surface. 


It takes about 1 week to grow a 1 carat diamond (


Lab Grown Diamonds Don’t Rely On As Many Uncontrollable Factors To Be Produced & Formed As Mined Diamonds

Mined diamonds generally take billions of years to form underneath the Earth’s surface.

They form miles under the Earth’s surface from a mix of pressure, temperature, and chemical reactions, before magma from deep volcanic eruptions help them rise to the Earth’s surface, where they are found in rocks.

On top of that, geologists and other experts need to do tests to understand where these diamonds might be located under the Earth’s surface so mining operations can be set up in the right spot.

Comparatively, lab grown diamonds use labs and factories to form and manufacture the diamonds.

Loose diamond seed material (carbon seed from pre-existing diamonds), also known as diamond ‘slivers’, are used as the basis of lab grown diamonds.

This carbon material is subject to temperature and air pressure in a growth machine that replicates Earth’s natural diamond forming process.

This growth machine, and similar lab growth processes, are more controlled than natural diamond formation


Laboratory Conditions Leading To Diamond Formation Can Be Controlled & Changed, & This Can Result In Different Diamonds

Relating to the above points about lab diamond formation, lab grown diamond manufacturers can  adjusting variables in the formation process themselves, and this consequently enables them to change the size and shape of the diamond they produce.

So, they can not only control formation variables, but also have influence over the type of diamond products they manufacture.

Mined diamonds not only depend on uncontrollable natural formation variables, but, it’s also uncontrollable as to the types of diamonds that form in nature.


Purchase Price Is Usually Cheaper Than Mined Diamonds

Current Price

It might be cheaper to purchase new lab created diamonds compared to mined diamonds, for the same clarity, color and size of diamond.

They might be be 10-20% cheaper in general, or up to 40% cheaper for colored diamonds (natural colored diamonds are extremely rare and consequently very expensive)

According to various sources, some of the reasons they might currently be cheaper are because lab costs might be cheaper than mining costs, and also because mined diamonds might be considered a more finite, rarer and unique resource. provides more information on the pricing of lab grown diamonds, and indicates prices could be a reflection of market efficiencies of lab grown diamonds compared to mined diamonds, and not necessarily production costs, or the perceived scarcity or rarity of either diamond type:

Lab diamonds are … priced based on their quality; a D IF lab diamond will be much more expensive than an H SI1 lab diamond of the same size.

The high costs of mined diamonds are often a result of market inefficiencies resulting from a natural diamond changing hands 10-15 times from mine to market before ending up in a piece of fine jewelry.

Due to the efficient nature of the lab diamond market, lab grown diamonds are often available to consumers for 30-40% lower prices than equivalent quality mined diamonds.


Speculation On Future Price

Some speculate that in the future, the price of lab created diamonds might drop further, and this is due to many more labs being set up (especially in some countries like China), which would significantly increase supply/production. They would become more widely available, and the market would also become more competitive.

How quickly, efficiently and cheaply they may be able to be produced compared to mined diamonds (which take billions of years to form beneath the earth’s surface) may also be a factor in price drops in the future. though indicates that oversupply won’t be an issue for lab grown diamonds in the future:

The financial costs of diamond growing, plus the time it takes to grow diamonds, insures that lab grown diamonds will not “flood” the market.

Mined diamonds come out of the earth in the millions of carats per year; diamonds come out of labs in the thousands. 


Some Lab Grown Diamond Producers May Not Use As Much Electricity As Others

It depends on the size of the diamond, and the producer though.


According to ‘Today, the most efficient diamond producers require approximately 250kWh of electricity to grow a 1 carat diamond, which is the roughly the same amount of electricity the average US household consumes in a week.’


The Environmental Impact & Sustainability Footprint Can Be Lower Than Mined Diamonds

In some ways, lab created diamonds might be more sustainable than mined diamonds.

As a few examples, they may use less resources, and have less of a mining footprint pet carat of diamond produced.

Lab created diamonds can also make use of renewable energy for electricity requirements for labs, and greater shares of renewable energy might be able to be used for electricity supply in diamond labs in the future.

There is some debate over the true sustainability footprint of lab grown diamonds compared to mined diamonds though.


According to

They use less water and disturb less land than mined diamonds (roughly 200 to 250 tons of earth must be mined and sifted through to find 1 carat of earth mined diamond, with some sources saying miners have to dig down to unearth 1,700, almost 2,000 tons of soil for one carat of mined diamonds.)

Other sources say for every carat of diamond that is mined, nearly 100 sq ft of land is disturbed and almost 6000 lbs of mineral waste is created).

They also leave less pollution and environmental degradation.

The electricity lab grown diamonds use may eventually be able to become part or fully renewable energy.

In fact, some labs already use solar energy, and some sources say lab created diamonds are seven times less impactful to the environment than mined diamonds, use significantly less resources and emit a fraction of the air pollution has this to say about the eco friendliness of lab created diamonds:

In stark contrast to mined diamonds, lab created diamonds are sustainable, vegan, and eco-friendly.

The growth of diamonds only requires two main ingredients: carbon & electricity.

[Efficient diamond producers may not use much electricity and … ] diamonds can be grown wherever renewable energy is available.


Some studies suggest that labs use about one quarter to one third of the total energy that mines use, and produce about one fifth of the carbon emissions.

Less energy means less fossil fuel use, less pollution and so on.


Some Sellers Produce Their Diamonds In Accordance With Certain Ethical Standards

Ethical standards can include things such as making diamonds in accordance with basic worker’s rights and conditions, absence of child labor, conflict free (not involving the funding of violence, wars, etc), and more.

Several sources indicate that the mining of diamonds has come a long way, and most mining worldwide is reasonably ethical (it’s rarer now to hear reports of child labor, and many mines have basic fair labor and safety practices in place,) as well as conflict free.

In fact, it’s estimated that 99.9% of natural diamonds are now conflict-free.

The Kimberley Process (established in 2003) was one initiative was one thing that helped reduce unethical practices.

Having said all this …

Some sources say mined diamonds result in 1 injury for every 1,000 workers annually, while lab-grown diamonds result in zero. provides an alternative view on how socially conscious the Kimberly Process actually might be (part of this stemming from the narrow definition of ‘conflict’ in ‘conflict free’)

There’s also some question over the sourcing of some labor used to make lab grown diamonds in Eastern countries

When it comes to lab grown diamonds …

Although lab grown diamonds do use small slivers of real diamond as seed material, purchasing lab grown diamonds means you can find out what lab they came from, and other information such as an origin or traceability guarantee.

There are also more ethical lab grown diamond sellers now that provide guarantees on conflict free diamonds, have different ethics criteria they offer, and commit money to different mining related social causes, such as contributing a % of profits to small mining communities and towns. 

Consumers can even ask jewellery retailers who their lab is – they should have a good relationship with them and trust them to deliver quality diamonds – as each lab is different with what they offer. 


Some Sellers Commit A Portion Of Their Profits To Social Causes

Some lab grown diamond producers or suppliers have a donation initiative to contribute a % of profits to certain causes, or to restore or invest in communities and the environment in regions that have been affected by diamond mining, or where diamond mining takes place


Some Sellers Offer Different Forms Of Certifications, Guarantees & Traceability On What You’re Buying

There are lab grown diamond sellers that offer:

– Third party independent gemological certification certificates.

For example, some popular third-party certification companies might be GIA, AWDC, IGI, GSI, IIDGR, AGS, or HRD.

– Different sorts of guarantees

– And, traceability and origin assurances


Some Suggest The Purity & Clarity Grades Of Some Lab Grown Diamonds Can Be Better

Some sources suggest that because the lab conditions are controlled, some lab grown diamonds have less impurities and a higher clarity grade than mined diamonds – but this is a subjective point of view that needs more empirical evidence.


Cons (& Disadvantages) Of Lab Grown Diamonds

Still Rely On Pre-Existing Diamond Material To Be Formed & Produced

In the same way that lab grown meat relies on animal origin cells to be produced, lab grown diamonds rely on carbon seed material from pre-existing diamonds to be formed


The Cost To Produce Lab Grown Diamonds Might Not Be As Low As Some Sources Indicate

Some sources indicate that lab grown diamonds can be more expensive than mined diamonds to produce, due in part to varying gemstone quality, and the failure rate of larger lab grown diamonds.

Market inefficiencies might be the thing that makes mined diamonds cheaper to purchase, and not the production cost comparative to lab grown diamonds.



[Although it] takes about 1 week to grow a 1 carat diamond … not every diamond grown in a machine is of gemstone quality; in fact, the failure rate, particularly for large lab diamonds, is quite high.

It will always be more expensive to grow a diamond than it is to mine a diamond.

The high costs of mined diamonds are often a result of market inefficiencies resulting from a natural diamond changing hands 10-15 times from mine to market before ending up in a piece of fine jewelry.

The financial costs of diamond growing, plus the time it takes to grow diamonds, insures that lab grown diamonds will not “flood” the market.

Mined diamonds come out of the earth in the millions of carats per year; diamonds come out of labs in the thousands. 

Due to the efficient nature of the lab diamond market, lab grown diamonds are often available to consumers for 30-40% lower prices than equivalent quality mined diamonds.


Might Not Hold As Much Of Their Value After Purchase, & When Re-Selling

Lab grown diamonds might not to hold as much of their original value after being bought, and when it comes times to re-sell, compared to mined diamonds.

As a very very rough guide, a naturally mined diamond might hold 50 to 60% of it’s value when trying to re-sell, and for some types of diamond, this value can increase over time.

Comparatively, a lab created diamond might only hold 20 to 30% of it’s value on re-sale, or less.

It really does depend on the type of diamond though and where/who it came from.

Ritani, in their guide comparing and identifying differences between lab and mined diamonds, points out the lack of re-sale value for lab grown diamonds.

If you plan on having a piece of jewelry that holds it’s value over the long term, the above also means that lab grown diamonds aren’t as much of an investment or an asset compared to mined diamonds.


There Might Be Limited Total Supply/Production, & Also Limited Availability Of Some Types & Sizes Of Diamonds 

The man made diamonds market might be constrained by limits on manufacturing capability, funding, and access to technology and intellectual property in the short to medium term.

There may even be some hard limits on the types of lab grown diamonds that can be produced.

Because of this, you may not find as many jewelers that carry them in their inventory, and as a result, there may be a reduced range of man made diamonds overall to choose from for now.

A few examples of this are:

– Color

Different sellers may have varying ranges of both colored and white diamonds to choose from.

From ‘… mined diamonds can have different trace chemicals in the diamonds to impact how their colors develop compared to lab grown diamonds’


– Total number of diamonds on the market

Additionally, some sources indicate that the total number of lab grown diamonds produced per year is currently smaller than the amount of mined diamonds extracted


– Max size of diamond

[Some sources say that] rough mined diamonds can grow to upwards of 400 carats, whereas lab grown diamonds are limited at around 20 carats (


Marketing Phrases Can Confuse Buyers, Or Lead To Uncertainty

The terms ‘synthetic’ or ‘cultured’ diamonds can confuse some buyers from a marketing perspective when buying lab grown diamonds.

They might think the diamonds are hybrid or CZ diamonds, when they are not.

Instead, “man-made,” or “lab-grown” are probably the best terms to use – although, not all sellers might use these terms.

In the US for example, the FTC determines what phrases can be used when selling and marketing lab grown diamonds


Some Question The Energy Use & Carbon Footprint Of Lab Grown Diamonds

Some sources indicate that lab grown diamonds either use a lot of electricity, or the energy use and carbon footprint isn’t known.

The exact amount of energy they take to produce might not be released by the labs that make them.

It’s possible the energy use and carbon footprint is much higher than what is published.

More research might need to be done on exactly the energy footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of diamond labs.

Some labs already use solar power, but some use fossil fuels.


Some Question The Raw Materials Used, Waste By-Products Generated, & Waste Management Involved In Lab Grown Diamonds

There are questions over the exact waste by-products by lab grown diamonds, and how that waste is managed (or treated and disposed of).

This could be something that could be made more transparent.

More independent research could also be done on the raw material used to make diamonds.


There’s Potentially More Sustainable And/Or Ethical Diamonds Available Than Lab Grown Diamonds

In this guide, we write about the potential sustainability and ethical ratings of different types of diamonds.

For example, recycled or second hand mined diamonds are one option.

From an environmental perspective, once a natural diamond has been mined and cut, it can passed from generation to generation, averaging out the production footprint.


May Lead To A Loss Of Jobs & Economic Activity In Mining Communities & Developing Regions

Diamond mining can support local economies in critical ways.

There are also mined diamond sellers that put a lot of money back into local mining communities in countries in places like Africa.

Lab created diamonds may reduce some of these benefits of mined diamonds.


Making diamonds in a lab in a developed country means that there is a loss of jobs and economic stimulus in developing countries where diamonds could be getting mined.

Mining can be the only way out of poverty for some people 

It’s estimated diamond mining supports upwards of 10 million people globally.

For instance, diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana (the second largest diamond producing country in the world) to a free education up to the age of 13.

Diamond revenues are also instrumental in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa, and for every 2.5 acres of land mined, at least 6 acres are donated for conservation.

This is just a small portion of the good that is being done in the diamond industry.



Having said this, some lab grown diamond companies have social programs in place (which you can check on their website) to donate a % of profits to certain mining communities


Some People Place More Of A Stigma, Romance & Subjective Value On Mined Diamonds

Some people find it far more appealing to think that their diamond spent thousands of years being put under pressure and refined in the Earth naturally, rather than being commercially developed in a lab over the course of a few weeks or months.

Some may think lab grown diamonds aren’t as rare or precious as mined diamonds because theoretically they can be manufactured at will, compared to mined diamonds which take many years to form geologically

If we look at the empirical evidence though, lab grown diamonds are produced in the 1000’s yearly, compared to millions yearly for mined diamonds, according to some resources.


Mined Diamonds Can Have Uniqueness To Them

In different parts of the world, different carbon is exposed to different chemical reactions in the Earth’s soil and core.

No one place is the same, so no one mined diamond has the exact same lattice.

Some people like this about mined diamonds.

Moreover, the formation can only occur in very specific parts of the earth where the combination of temperature and pressure is just right.

Many factors have to line up for the perfect earth formed diamond to form and come to the surface.

These things add to the uniqueness of mined diamonds compared to lab grown diamonds.


There’s Been Some Suggestions That Some Sellers May Engage In Some Types Of Deceptive Behavior

Another ethical issue highlighted by lab-grown diamonds is one of disclosure.

Because of the profits to be made, unethical jewellers may be tempted to pass off lab-grown stones as mined ones.

So far, there is no evidence that this has happened to any significant degree, but it’s impossible to guarantee this couldn’t occur in future in some countries.

This risk and behavior can be managed to an extent by buying from a reputable seller and obtaining certificates, amongst other measures.


Other Guides On Lab Grown Diamonds

Finding The Best Lab Created Diamonds: Review Summaries Of Popular Sellers, Buyer’s Tips, & FAQ’s (Lab grown diamond buying guide, and review guide)

Lab Diamonds vs Real Diamonds – Comparison, Differences & Similarities

Lab Grown Diamonds vs Other Types Of Diamonds

How Sustainable & Ethical Lab Grown Diamonds & Other Types Of Diamonds Might Be























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