Breaking Down the Costs of Lab-Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds

by Carter Toni

Many people are interested in purchasing diamonds since they are the most attractive and expensive precious stones. Individuals who have never purchased a diamond earlier would like to consult a Diamonds Buying Guide to get information on choosing the right diamond. In the last few years, the cost of lab-grown diamonds has reduced significantly and the number of these diamonds sold has increased significantly compared to natural diamonds which are mined. Since cost is a major consideration for most younger diamond buyers, this Diamonds Buying Guide provides more details of factors that affect the cost of natural and lab-grown diamonds.


Most young people are purchasing diamonds mainly as jewelry as engagement rings and they would like to buy the largest diamond which they can afford. Hence this Diamonds Buying Guide will first discuss the factors affecting the cost of a lab-grown diamond since these are cheaper than natural diamonds of the same size and quality. The lab diamonds were initially manufactured using the high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) process when the carbon atoms were subjected to a high pressure, high temperature similar to how the diamonds are formed naturally in the earth. This process is very expensive and is now used only for making diamond seed crystals.

CVD process

In the last few decades, most of the diamonds are manufactured using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) which is cheaper than HPHT. A mixture of methane and other gases is heated in a vacuum chamber and the gas is ionized to split the gas molecules so that the carbon atoms will get deposited on the diamond wafer or seed crystal. The diamonds formed are usually colorless and the size depends on how long the CVD process continues. The cost of making diamonds using the CVD process is far lower than the HPHT process since lower temperatures and pressures are used. The diamond is less likely to be colored though it may contain some graphite. The diamond seller also has to invest a large amount in the equipment, hiring technicians, and experts for making the diamonds, in addition to the cost of using the equipment.


After the diamond is formed in the lab it will be cut so that it sparkles. The overall cost of the diamond will depend on its size and quality, with larger diamonds being more expensive. Colorless diamonds, D color which are flawless will also be more expensive compared to colored diamonds with slight inclusions ( SI1 or SI2). Also, diamonds should have a small culet which is not noticeable as it will affect the quality of the diamond. When used in diamond jewelry, diamonds of color G or H can be used, since the color is not noticeable. Lab-grown diamonds are usually sold online, so the marketing costs for these diamonds are lower, and they are available at a lower price, with price differences increasing depending on the diamond size.

Mined diamonds

Most of the natural diamonds are mined by large companies. These diamonds are formed deep inside the earth at high pressures, and temperatures and gradually move upward, where they are mined. Since it is not possible to identify the exact location where the diamond will be found, a large amount of earth is excavated to find the diamond. This is the initial cost of finding a diamond. After the mined diamond is located, it is processed, cutting it, and then sold online or offline depending on the marketing channel being used. Most of the natural diamonds are sold offline through retailers, so the overheads of selling the natural diamonds are higher and the diamonds will cost more compared to mined diamonds.

Pricing Natural Diamonds

There is no significant difference in the physical, chemical, and optical properties of the natural and lab-grown diamonds and the price will also depend on diamond quality and size. Flawless colorless larger natural diamonds will cost more than similar lab-grown diamonds because of the supply of natural diamonds is limited. The mining companies are aggressively marketing their natural diamonds, and this increases their cost.

Comparing Diamond Costs

Buyers who wish to compare the cost of lab-grown and natural diamonds can conveniently do so at, one of the most popular diamond marketplaces in North America with millions of diamonds listed for sale. Depending on the size, shape, cut, color, and clarity of the diamond required, they can easily compare the best deals for similar natural and lab-grown diamonds from over 150 wholesalers and retailers.

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