7 Reasons Not to Buy a Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring

Lab-grown diamonds are quickly gaining popularity as an ethical and budget-friendly alternative to mined diamonds, especially for big purchases like engagement rings. However, are lab-grown diamonds worth anything? Should you choose lab-grown over natural diamonds? Opinions vary widely. While we appreciate both options, the truth is, the disadvantages of a lab-grown diamond can outweigh the advantages. Here, we’ll break down the key considerations to help you choose the better, more valuable option.


1. The value of lab-grown diamonds is plummeting rapidly

The price per carat of lab diamonds has been dropping drastically. As the technology for creating these gems improves and more competitors enter the market, lab-grown diamonds are becoming more affordable. Originally priced around 25% less than natural diamonds, today, they sell for up to 50% less. Although this trend means you’ll save more money, it’s important to note that lab-grown diamonds, much like new cars, do not go up in value. Also, can you imagine the pain of paying thousands of dollars for a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, only to see the price cut in half (or less) a year or two later? Ouch.

In hindsight, a lab-grown stone should suffice if you’re buying a diamond with zero intentions of selling in the future. Just make sure that you’re not paying real-diamond prices.


2. Lab-grown diamonds are expensive

Despite the declining prices of lab-grown diamonds, they’re still quite expensive. If you’re going to invest in something with a substantial price tag, it’s better to go all out and purchase a natural diamond, which you and your partner can resell down the road and put the money toward a ring upgrade. In comparison, lab diamonds are expensive and sell for 70-80% less.

photo of a diamond ring

P.S. Natural diamonds are a commodity, and like any other commodity, their value fluctuates. Based on previous performance, prices do go up, albeit slowly. But it’s unrealistic to buy a mined diamond engagement ring and expect to sell it for a profit within a few years – this is not the point of proposing or getting engaged in the first place.


3. Lab-grown diamonds are not good for the environment (but not as bad as natural diamonds)

Lab diamonds have a different ecological footprint compared to mined diamonds. Synthesis technicians use electricity to create these gemstones, which impacts the environment. However, lab-grown diamonds use less electricity and water compared to natural diamonds. For instance, lab diamonds typically require 250 million joules per carat, compared to 538.5 million joules for mined diamonds. Some companies also use 100% renewable energy to produce their diamonds, as well as less water and lower carbon emissions, making them a more eco-friendly choice. Moreover, lab diamonds are not associated with modern slavery in the diamond industry.


4. Lab-grown diamonds are real, but that makes it easier to scam buyers

photo of engagement rings

Yes, lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds – they have the exact same properties as natural, earth-mined diamonds. In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declared that a diamond is a diamond regardless of whether a technician manufactured it in a lab or a miner extracted it from the earth. However, the ones grown in a lab are still less valuable. For shoppers in the dark about lab-grown diamonds, deceitful sellers can easily trick them into paying real-diamond prices for a man-made stone.


5. Lab-grown diamonds may change people’s perception of natural diamonds (and not in a good way)

How people view lab-grown diamonds will change in the future. Currently, many consumers see lab-grown diamonds as a cost-effective and ethical alternative to natural diamonds, offering luxury at a lower price point. However, as technology advances and production costs decrease, these diamonds will be more affordable (prices are already plummeting), and public perception will shift. Also, as lab diamonds become cheaper, they’ll become more accessible, everyday options. Unfortunately, as more people enjoy high-quality gems, the exclusivity and prestige associated with natural diamonds may also diminish.


6. Lab-grown diamonds are not very romantic

When it comes to engagement rings and other milestone jewelry pieces, many people feel that natural diamonds carry a deeper meaning. They’re more than beautiful; they are a piece of the earth’s history and a product of time and natural processes. This intrinsic value and connection to the past make natural diamonds as special as the person who will own them.

Think of it this way: Natural diamonds formed billions of years ago deep within the earth. They are rare and precious, making them an ideal way to show someone how special they are. There’s something so romantic about gifting a diamond that took centuries to form.

photo of an engagement ring

On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds tell a different story. While they share the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, they form in a matter of weeks using advanced technology. This artificial process, though fascinating, lacks the romance of a natural diamond’s creation. The ease and speed also make them feel less special, less unique, and less romantic for important, once-in-a-lifetime moments.

In addition, as lab-grown diamonds become more common and affordable, their perceived value will decline. More people would consider them similar to cubic zirconia or moissanite, which are popular for their affordability rather than sentimental value.

Further reading: A Man’s Guide to Diamonds: Why Do Women Love Them?


7. Only a GIA-accredited professional can appraise a lab-grown diamond

In most cases, only a GIA-accredited professional can accurately appraise a lab-grown diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) provides the highest standard of certification, ensuring that appraisers can distinguish between laboratory-grown and natural diamonds, even though both are real.

If you paid natural-diamond prices for a lab-grown diamond, a regular appraiser might not detect the difference. GIA-certified appraisers, such as those here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry, use advanced technology and techniques to assess a diamond’s origin and characteristics. We can provide a detailed report verifying whether your diamond is man-made or naturally mined. Drop by our locations in Scottsdale or Chandler, Arizona, to determine whether your diamond is real – or real but created in a lab.