Guide to Lab-Grown Diamond Prices
Kimberly Zerkel | December 7, 2021
Kimberly Zerkel | December 7, 2021
While both lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds are diamonds with different points of origin, they do differ in price. But this difference does not mean that lab-grown diamonds are worth less. In this guide to lab-grown diamond prices we’ll discuss the difference in price between lab-grown and mined diamonds, what determines the price of a lab-grown diamond, and the cost of a VRAI created lab-grown diamond.
All prices listed here reflect the market value at time of publication, December 2021. Read on to discover how VRAI created lab-grown diamonds’ price points are part of what makes them a sustainable and ethical choice over mined diamonds.
A lab-grown diamond vs. natural diamond’s cost
Both lab-grown and “natural” (mined) diamond prices are driven by the market. Like all goods, their price varies depending on supply and demand.
But an individual diamond, whether man-made or mined, is valued based on the 4Cs: carat, cut, clarity, and color. Because lab-grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds, they are graded by the same criteria.
Synthetic or simulant diamonds, such as moissanite and cubic zirconia, on the contrary, are chemically different. They can only be graded on carat size and clarity, which is what makes them so much cheaper.
How much does a lab-grown diamond cost?
Though prices vary and can fluctuate over time, lab-grown diamonds can cost anywhere from 50-70% less than mined diamonds.
At the time of publication, a 1-carat VRAI created lab-grown diamond excellent cut, H color, VS1 clarity costs $1,455, where the same mined diamond costs roughly $6,500.
Explore VRAI created diamonds with help from our diamond experts.
How much does a mined diamond cost?
At the time of publication, a 1-carat diamond is estimated to cost anywhere between $2,500-$18,000. The difference in price is affected by the cut, clarity, and color of the diamond.
The price is also related to middlemen markups and market trends. A mined diamond can change hands up to fifteen times before it reaches a consumer, and the price is marked up each time.
Why are lab-grown diamonds less expensive?
The difference in price between lab-grown and mined diamonds is not related to value, but rather two very important factors.
The first factor is middlemen. VRAI created lab-grown diamonds, for example, pass through fewer hands than mined diamonds. No mining companies, cartels, or third-party diamond dealers had to be paid along a VRAI created diamond’s journey.
The second factor is consumer demand. Mined diamonds have been around longer than lab-created diamonds and are more commonly known. They therefore remain in higher demand than lab-grown diamonds. But as lab-grown diamonds such as VRAI created diamonds grow in visibility, and as consumers continue to make conscientious purchases based on their values, this factor is changing. This does not mean that lab-grown diamonds will suddenly become as expensive as mined diamonds. On the contrary, this signals that the demand — and price — for mined diamonds will likely drop. Which is why many mined-diamond jewelers are currently trying to persuade consumers that their “natural” diamonds are superior to lab-grown diamonds — or are investing in lab-grown technology themselves.
What determines a lab-grown diamond’s price?
Lab-grown diamonds, including VRAI created diamonds, are graded and priced according to the 4Cs, just like mined diamonds. The carat weight, cut, clarity, and color will greatly affect the value of a diamond. Small variations can change a diamond’s value by hundreds of dollars. So it’s important to understand the 4Cs before purchasing the diamond for your engagement ring setting.
What determines a VRAI created diamond’s price?
A diamond sustainably created by VRAI does not necessarily cost the same as all lab-grown diamonds.VRAI is a vertically-integrated company. Every diamond used in a VRAI design was sustainably created in our certified carbon-neutral foundry. That means that the price of a VRAI created diamond has no middlemen markups.
The difference in price between a lab-grown diamond, like a VRAI created diamond, and mined diamonds is one more reason to celebrate. The quality of a VRAI created diamond is parallel to that of a mined diamond, but the price point is more accessible. With no middlemen markups and no carbon emissions, VRAI created diamonds are unmatched and their sustainable values are priceless.
Lab-grown diamond cost per carat
The average cost of a 1-carat lab-grown diamond (excluding all other “Cs”) is around $2,000. That price will go up or down depending on cut, clarity, and color.
Fractions of a carat are referred to as "points.” A 50-point diamond weighs 0.5 carats or 1/2 carat, while a 1-carat diamond weighs 100 points. The difference between these points will change the price of the diamond. Since even a fraction of a carat can significantly alter its value, most VRAI created diamonds are rounded to the hundredth of a carat.
As mentioned above, at the time of publication, a 1-carat round brilliant VRAI created lab-grown diamond excellent cut, H color, VS1 clarity costs $1,455. The same quality of diamond at 0.98 carats costs $1,426.
Lab-grown diamond cost by clarity
Clarity describes the visual purity of a diamond. Just like mined diamonds, a lab-grown diamond has inclusions or imperfections. These inclusions can make a diamond appear “cloudy.” The less inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is.
At the time of publication, a 1.05-carat round brilliant VRAI created diamond with excellent cut, H color, and VS2 clarity (meaning it is very slightly included) costs $1,398. The same quality of diamond with VS1 clarity (higher up on the diamond clarity scale) costs $1,566.
Lab-grown diamond cost by cut
Cut is often confused with shape, but refers to a diamond’s facets. The brilliance, or shine, of a diamond is affected by its cut. A diamond of a higher carat weight can appear smaller if its cut is poor. Therefore, the higher quality cut, the more valuable the diamond.
At the time of publication, a 1-carat round brilliant VRAI created diamond with H color, VS1 clarity, and excellent cut costs $1,455. The same quality of diamond with an ideal cut (slightly higher up on the scale) costs $1,572.
Lab-grown diamond cost by color
A diamond’s color actually refers to the absence of color. A colorless diamond is more valuable than a nearly colorless diamond, and a nearly colorless diamond is more valuable than a faintly colored (with hints of yellow) diamond.
At the time of publication, a 1.01 round brilliant VRAI created diamond with ideal + hearts cut, VI1 clarity, and I color costs $1,164. A diamond of the same quality but G color costs $1,621.
Lab-grown diamond cost by shape
The shape of your diamond can affect the cost of your lab grown diamond. This has nothing to do with certain shapes being more “valuable” than others, but rather with how certain Cs are more important than others depending on the shape.
For example, a round brilliant diamond’s appearance is true to its carat weight — it looks its size. But oval or marquise shapes have an elongated form that makes them appear larger than their carat weight. Meaning you can purchase an oval diamond of a lighter carat weight, and it will appear as large or larger than a round brilliant diamond of a slightly heavier weight.
Learn more about VRAI created diamond shapes and which of the 4Cs should be prioritized to highlight their form.