As Diamond Prices Surge, Here’s How to Pay Less
If you’ve ever shopped for a diamond, you know how expensive the better qualities can be. And thanks to current supply shortages and the post-COVID marriage boom, natural diamonds are getting even more pricey every day.
This year at RockHer we’ve seen diamond prices jump 50%, especially for fine qualities and larger sizes. Just the kind of big and beautiful diamonds our customers want.
If you’ve looked for a two-carat ideal cut in a really fine quality, like a F VVS diamond with excellent color and clarity, you may have been shocked to see a $40,000 price tag.
Even at RockHer, where we specialize in low prices on fine quality diamonds, two carat round F VVS diamonds start at around $30,000. It’s getting harder and harder to find the diamonds our customers are looking for and offer really good value.
Our Los Angeles workshop specializes in fine quality workmanship. We just couldn’t see ourselves setting low quality diamonds in our bespoke engagement rings.
In order to make sure that we have the kind of large and fine quality diamonds our customers are searching for, RockHer has turned to a surprising source: lab-created diamonds.
That 2 carat F VVS diamond that is more than 30,000 if natural? It’s less than $5,000 if it’s created in the laboratory. In the popular G-H VS qualities, 2 carat lab-grown diamonds are around $3500. Total, not per carat.
That price difference is causing many of our consumers to consider lab-created diamonds for the first time.
What Are Lab Created Diamonds Really?
First a quick primer on what lab grown diamonds are and how they are different from natural diamonds.
Both natural diamonds and lab-created diamonds are pure carbon crystallized with extremely strong bonds between the atoms. Because they are the same on the atomic level, they have the same properties. That means they are the same optically, chemically, and physically.
The main difference is that lab created diamonds are made in a laboratory, not formed naturally deep in the earth. Diamond crystals are grown in a crucible, depositing carbon atom by atom under tremendous heart and pressure. It takes a few weeks to grow diamond rough that’s big enough to cut a one-carat polished gem.
In contrast natural diamonds formed deep within earth’s crust a billion years ago or even more. They were brought up to the surface by super-deep volcanoes. Although diamonds may be forming deep in the earth today, the volcanoes that brought them up from the deeps no longer exist. That means we have all the natural diamonds on the surface we will ever have. Natural diamonds are rare and getting rarer every day. For example, Australia’s Argyle Mine, once the world’s largest, is now closed. Ekati and Diavik in Canada are also expected to close in a few years.
Because natural diamonds are a dwindling resource that are expensive to mine, they are much more valuable than lab-created diamonds. The price of natural diamonds has been increasing while the price of lab grown diamonds has decreased in the past few years as the technology has improved.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Lower in Quality?
Of course, there’s no point in buying a diamond if it doesn’t have the sparkle and brilliance that diamonds are all about. Are lab created diamonds really the same quality as natural diamonds?
Like natural diamonds, man made diamonds come in a range of qualities, good and bad. We give our customers the same advice for buying lab grown diamonds as we do natural.
The most important factor is cut. The quality of cut is what sets a beautiful diamond apart from an average diamond.
We’ve worked hard to find a lab-created diamond cutter who meets our standards. We can confidently say that our lab-created diamonds are beautifully cut and will give you all the sparkle and brilliance you expect. We have a selection of ideal cut lab grown diamonds that will take you breath away.
When considering color and quality, we think that round brilliant G-H qualities offer good value for your money. We screen all our diamonds to make sure that we can offer SI diamonds that are eye-clean. (We have specific quality advice for ovals, emerald cuts, cushions and other fancy shapes.)
But we also think that lab grown diamonds offer you an opportunity to trade up in quality to buy a really spectacular diamond. Because the CVD process of growing lab-created diamonds produces Type IIa diamonds, the purest type, there are many colorless lab gems available on the market. That means the price difference between D-E-F colorless lab diamonds and G-H-I near colorless lab diamonds is less than it is for natural diamonds. We think it’s worth the premium to trade up in clarity to a VS or VVS lab diamond too.
So you can afford a lab-grown diamond that’s not only a fraction of the cost of a natural diamond but also more beautiful.
The Cure for Diamond Sticker Shock
In this time of surging prices for fine diamonds, we’re offering customers an alternative to blowing their budget or trading down in size or quality. That alternative is lab grown diamonds, the man made version of the world’s most coveted gem. Because they are actual diamonds and not an imitation, we know they will have lasting beauty you’ll enjoy for decades when set in our beautiful bespoke engagement rings.