The 23 Best Pieces of Lab Grown Diamond Jewelry for a Sparkly 2023

We’re impressed by how much brands like Brilliant Earth and Vrai have to offer.

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Best Lab Grown Diamonds

InStyle / David Hattan

Lab grown diamonds have become somewhat of a buzz word lately. Not only does it look identical to mined diamonds, the gem is actually more ethically produced and attainable. I had my first experience handling diamonds in our lab, as we tested a few of the below brands specializing in lab grown diamonds. I came into the studio never having cared much for diamonds — I didn’t even want an engagement ring. But I have  fully converted. Looking at the following list of best lab grown jewelry makes my eyes sparkle as bright as an excellent cut, colorless, flawless clarity-graded diamond. (We’ll get into what all of that means in a minute.) We enlisted the help of GIA researcher Dr. Sally Magaña, Louis Cartier’s great-great grandson Jean Dousset, and Plum Diamonds co-founder Kristy Cullinane for a professional input on what to seek in lab grown diamonds. 

But if you’re already well versed in the ins and outs of man-made diamonds, we invite you to scroll through the following list as we handpicked the best earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, adorned with every girl’s best friend.

Most Universal Earrings

Italic Dalton Diamond Solitaire Studs

Italic Dalton Diamond Solitaire Studs

Italic

What We Love: Diamonds that are cut in an “excellent” grade are often not this affordable. 

What We Don’t Love: The price mark up between karat weight, however, is quite significant.

Italic brings quality and luxury to the market without a significant price markup, which makes lab grown diamonds (even) more attainable for everyday people. We tested the Italic Dalton Diamond Stud here at InStyle and loved these for their “everyday appeal. It’s the kind of size where they are noticeable, but not overpowering,” our tester beamed. Italic offers you the option to choose the diamond size by 0.5 increments in CTW (carat total weight), as well as an 18k white gold or yellow gold basket to carry the diamond. However, each additional 0.5 CTW will cost you roughly an additional $1,000.

Our tester, who prefers natural grown diamonds as she believes that “a technical lab just makes it feel impersonal,” was shocked that she couldn’t decipher these pieces as lab grown. “They are extremely illuminating and beautiful. The way they reflect the light is almost like having a kaleidoscope effect that radiates,” she claimed. That effect can be attributed to the excellent cut grading, which is actually a technical term that denotes a diamond as the highest form of cuts. If this is your first time investing in lab grown diamonds, a single round stud such as this, with its affordable pricing and mesmerizing sparkle, will appeal to a wide audience.

Price at time of publish: $610

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: Excellent | Color: EF  | Carat: 0.5 CTW - 2 CTW | Clarity: VS

Best Splurge Earrings

James Allen 14k White Gold Diamonds Stud

James Allen 14k White Gold Diamonds Stud

James Allen

What we love: The smaller sized version still packs quite a punch in terms of sparkle and shine.

What We Don’t Love: The clasp is less secure on the back.

Natural diamonds are known to last forever, which makes them worth the higher investment. We asked Dr. Sally Magaña, who works on the Diamond Identification board at GIA, whether the same applies for lab grown diamonds. “Both natural and laboratory-grown diamonds will withstand the test of time,” she confirmed, which makes pricier options like this James Allen diamond stud a timeless piece to invest in as well. Our tester, who was already quite familiar with James Allen as “a classic, tried-and-true jewelry company,” pointed out how well balanced these studs are. You can “easily go from day to night in this classic pair of studs”. We tried the smaller diamond, but even for having less surface area as bigger pieces, the sparkle and shine still impressed us. The only concern that was raised was the back clasp – it does not provide a whole lot of security on the pricey rock.  

Price at time of publish: $1,087

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: FG  | Carat: 0.25 CTW - 2.5 CTW | Clarity: VS2-SI1

Best Budget Earrings

Dorsey Paradis Solitaire Sapphire Stud

Dorsey Paradis Solitaire Sapphire Stud

Dorsey

What we love: They use a direct to consumer model which brings down prices significantly.

What We Don’t Love: Information on the cut, color, and clarity are not provided on this piece.

Similar to Italic, Dorsey, an exclusively lab-grown gemstone brand, uses a direct-to-consumer model, which helps significantly bring down the prices of their lab grown gemstones. Most of the jewelry ranges between $100 and $500, with only a few pieces reaching past the $1,000 mark. The brand, whose selection features more grandiose-looking jewelry, is already quite popular amongst celebrities like Hailey and Justin Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Taylor Swift

The lab grown sapphire (not to be mistaken with a diamond) stud we have linked here comes in nine different sizes. You can find a visual of most of the earrings stacked next to each other with labels identifying each size pictured in the model’s ear to help you shop. But unfortunately they don’t list out the cut, color, and clarity grading of this piece. However, given how affordable they are, we think we’ll let this bit of information pass here. 

Price at time of publish: $110

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade N/A | Color: N/A  | Carat: 0.015 Carat - 0.6 Carat | Clarity: N/A

Best Studs

Grown Brilliance Round Colorless Lab Grown Diamond Stud

Grown Brilliance Round Colorless Lab Grown Diamond Stud

Grown Brilliance

What we love: These diamonds reflect light in a captivating way.

What We Don’t Love: The clasp on the back is a little difficult to use.

I personally tested these diamond studs and was simply mesmerized by how they shined. Although I don’t typically wear diamonds, these ones made me proclaim: “Well, I just might start.” For an everyday piece, I would opt for the one carat diamond, as it was definitely eye-catching, but not blinding or overpowering. However, this one goes up to an incredible four carat size option, which is almost big enough to cover your entire earlobe. It also comes with an excellent cut grade, explaining why I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the intricate details that easily reflected light in one thousand directions. The only difficulty that came with these studs was the back clasp. You have to strongly squeeze the sides to get it on and off, and I needed a staffer on site to help me remove it. This feature helps you  avoid accidentally losing  the diamond or the back piece, so overall, it is a positive feature. But you’ll probably need a friend to take them off at the end of the night. 

Price at time of publish: $900

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: Excellent | Color: Colorless  | Carat: 0.5 Carat - 4 Carat | Clarity: VS2+

Best Hoops

Jean Dousset Oui Angelina Diamond Hoop Earrings

Jean Dousset Oui Angelina Diamond Hoop Earrings

Jean Dousset

What we love: You can virtually try these on to get a better idea of how they will look.

What We Don’t Love: There’s only diamonds where you can see them, not all the way around.

As the great-great grandson of iconic jeweler Louis Cartier, Jean Dousset (who also designed Paris Hilton’s engagement ring) created a line of lab grown diamonds Oui that includes a variety of pieces, like engagement rings, necklaces, and bracelets. But we have our eyes on these diamond encrusted gold hoops made of recycled 18k yellow gold, with 34 diamonds encrusted on it — quite the upgrade from your standard gold hoops. They also come in recycled white gold, if that’s more your style. 

At 15mm, they’re in between a huggie and a standard hoop size, and while it’s not pictured on a model here, you can virtually try the hoop on via the “try it on” feature. Seeing the earring on myself through this camera definitely helped me understand the sizing better. And if you ever wondered how earring sizes compare to, say, a raspberry or macaron, you can now find out thanks to the “try it on” feature as well, which virtually juxtaposes the two. 

The pavé is set in a U-shape, showcasing diamonds only where you can see it from the front. That does make us wonder how it will look from the side, or from the back with your hair up. Just something to consider as you shop! 

Price at time of publish: $1,400

Shape: N/A | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: Colorless | Carat: 1.5 Carat  | Clarity: VS+

Best Drop Earrings

Brilliant Earth Marseille Lab Diamond Drop

Brilliant Earth Marseille Lab Diamond Drop

Brilliant Earth

What We Love: The old Hollywood aesthetic works well for special occasions.

What We Don’t Love: The back clasp doesn’t offer any security.

Brilliant Earth has been uprooting the diamond industry since 2005, incorporating transparency, recycled materials, and starting a conflict-free diamonds sourcing program — the addition of lab grown diamonds is just one of the brand’s ethical diamond offerings. I’m swept away by its collection of lab grown diamond jewelry, but this old Hollywood aesthetic drop earring especially caught my eye. With alternating diamond sizes falling straight down, this piece will definitely be reserved for special occasions, like a black tie gala or wedding. It’s one and half inches long and has twenty diamonds in total across both pieces. I would only be cautious of the back piece — it’s a standard guardian back, the kind I myself have lost one too many times. For a piece retailing at this price, you would want to avoid accidentally having the back piece slip off. We suggest buying more stable backs to ensure no mishaps will happen.

Price at time of publish: $2,295

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: F/G | Carat: 1.24 CTW | Clarity: Sl1

Most Universal Necklace

Kimai Duo Necklace

Kimai Duo Necklace

Kimai

What We Love: You can choose between a 40 cm and 42 cm chain.

What We Don’t Love: You can’t order the longer chain online — you have to contact the brand directly for this switch.

This necklace, featuring one round and one pear shaped diamond meeting at the center of a gold chain, is a unique take on a minimalist necklace that can be loved universally. It comes in two length options, 40 cm (about 16 inches) and 42 cm (16.5 inches), although it requires you to contact the brand directly to request this once you’ve made the order. 

The female founded and run jewelry brand brings transparency and sustainability into the diamond industry. By only using lab grown diamonds and recycled 18k gold, Kimai jewelry can be traced from start to finish. They offer classic staples, but  most of their designs stray from the traditional jewelry – you’ll find that many of its engagement rings, for example, incorporate unique shapes, rather than just a single band ring. Those that don’t subscribe to the basic styles of diamonds and jewelry will be excited to browse through the collections that Kimai offers. 

Price at time of publish: $1,145

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: N/A | Carat: 0.42 CTW | Clarity: N/A

Best Splurge Necklace

Aether Diamonds Bombé Pavé Set Octo Stud

Aether Diamonds Bombé Pavé Set Octo Stud

Aether

What We Love: Aether’s diamonds are made with 100 percent atmospheric carbon.

What We Don’t Love: The chain needs to be bought separately.

On this diamond pendant you’ll find a whopping 35 princess diamond stones, including one large center piece and 34 diamonds covering half the pendant and the full clasp in pavé. It’s a simple design but impactfully elegant and timeless in style. Made of 100 percent atmospheric carbon with a carbon-neutral manufacturing process, Aether’s diamonds are considered climate positive and conflict free. Each of their pieces are traceable from start to finish with no ties to fossil fuels, mining operations, or questionable labor practices. It’s definitely a splurge, but considering the ethical business model and everlasting materials, this pendant sits high on our wishlist. Just note that the chain comes separately. 

Price at time of publish: $5,800

Shape: Princess | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: G-H | Carat: 0.62 CTW | Clarity: VS

Best Budget Energy

Dorsey Kate Round Cut Riviere Necklace

Dorsey Kate Round Cut Riviere Necklace

Dorsey

What We Love: There are several different chain length options to choose from.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not an everyday piece, and therefore might not see the light of day too often.

Before we dive into the details of this necklace, we wanted to note that these are studded with lab grown white sapphires, not diamonds. Sapphires sparkle in a white hue, while diamonds reflect a colorful light. Most diamond experts can easily point out the distinction, but the average consumer is less likely to notice a huge difference —especially when they are lined up next to each other in a reverie necklace and reflecting off of each other’s sparkles. 

The eye-catching Kate necklace makes for quite a statement piece – it’s no wonder it was worn by Justin Bieber himself. With 102 to 127 sapphires (depending on the length of the chain, which varies from 15–20 inches) connected to each other, each individual gemstone helps to amplify the shine that’s next to it. This statement piece will add a little oomph to any formal outfit. But with that said, it might not see the light of the day too often. We still think it’s worth it, though, because  the price is reasonable.

Price at time of publish: $560

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: White Sapphire | Carat: 20.40 - 25.40 carat | Clarity: N/A

Best Minimalist Necklace

Blue Nile Floating Solitaire Pendant

Blue Nile Floating Solitaire Pendant

Blue Nile

What We Love: Blue Nile holds a legacy as one of the first to disrupt the diamond industry with transparent business practices.

What We Don’t Love: The cost varies significantly with each 0.25 increase in CTW

As one of the first jewelry brands to disrupt an age-old industry, Blue Nile can be highly trusted to bring forth ethical fine jewelry. A single diamond, when crafted with great care, provides enough appeal and shine to stand alone in a simple necklace. Therefore, if you’re going for a minimalist look, then it’s worth going with a trusted brand that has been perfecting lab grown diamonds for over two decades. You can choose between a 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 CTW diamond, although I will say the price varies quite significantly (~ $500) between each increment. Overall, $950 for a 0.5 CTW is a standard and fair price. 

Price at time of publish: $950

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: G | Carat: 0.25 CTW -2.75 CTW | Clarity: Sl1

Most Universal Bracelet

Kimai Drop Marquise Bracelet

Kimai Drop Marquise Bracelet

Kimai

What We Love: It makes for an ideal layering piece.

What We Don’t Love: The chain looks very fragile, despite the 18k solid gold.

Kimai’s drop bracelet comes in this marquise shape, as well as in pear and round. The diamond itself has an excellent cut, so despite it being rather small at 0.1 carat, it will have an impressive sparkle to it. You can choose between three chain length options, and like all-things Kimai, they’re made of 18k recycled solid gold. I love that the piece feels small and subtle, while still packing a punch where quality and shine is concerned. The only note I have here, like their necklace listed above, is that the chain looks to be very thin. I would be careful not to treat it with any aggression.

Price at time of publish: $495

Shape: Marquise (pear and round available) | Cut Grade: Excellent | Color: N/A | Carat: 0.1 carat | Clarity: N/A

Best Budget Bracelet

Lark & Berry Star Diamond Pavé Bracelet

Lark & Berry Star Diamond Pavé Bracelet

Lark & Berry

What We Love: For every purchase made, Lark & Berry promises to plant several trees.

What We Don’t Love: If you have a smaller wrist, the leftover chain will dangle around and might be a little annoying.

Since its inception in 2018, Lark & Berry has never touched the earth for diamonds — all  diamonds and gemstones are lab grown. The brand stood out to us for having a more eclectic collection of jewelry, marrying different colors and shapes that diverge from your standard fine jewelry. This star diamond pavé bracelet is one of their more subtle pieces, packing several DEFG (colorless) diamonds into a star shape. Plus, there’s an extra three-diamond detailing midway through the 14k gold chain. You can adjust the size of the chain, but if  you opt for the shorter piece, the remaining chain will dangle around your wrist and could be annoying.  

The piece feels more trendy and current, catering to a younger audience that’s “moving away from minimalist jewelry” and into more expressive ones, as predicted by Jean Dousset in his trend forecast. We’re also impressed with their commitment to sustainability, as they promise to plant several trees for every purchase made with them. It’s a wonderful step to undoing some of the environmental harm caused by centuries of natural diamond mining. 

Price at time of publish: $465

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: DEFG | Carat: N/A | Clarity: VS+

Best Tennis Bracelet

Clean Origin Petite Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Clean Origin Petite Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Clean Origin

What We Love: They offer a wide selection of diamond sizes in their tennis bracelets.

What We Don’t Love: The number of diamonds isn’t clarified with each change in chain length.

Like the name suggests, Clean Origin exclusively creates lab grown diamonds and avoids all land-based mining to ensure an ethical business structure. Coming from a family line of diamond jewelers, co-founder Alexander Weindling got a first hand look at how immoral diamond mining as soon as he entered the jewelry business, and thus vowed to change the status quo. And like that, Clean Origin was born.

If you’re looking for a traditional tennis bracelet made out of lab grown diamonds, we recommend browsing through Clean Origin’s selection. At 1.5 CTW, the petite diamond tennis bracelet is the slimmest of their offerings, but designs go all the way up to 27 CTW. You’ll notice that the price varies with the length of the chain, ranging between six and eight inches, too, so make sure to measure your wrists accurately before making a purchase. The standard 7.1 inch length comes with 102 diamonds, but other than that it’s not specified how many more or less diamonds there will be on the other lengths. 

Price at time of publish: $840

Shape: Round brilliant | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: F/G | Carat: 1.5 - 27 | Clarity: VS/SI

Best Statement Bracelet

Dorsey Marguerite White Sapphire Bracelet

Dorsey Marguerite White Sapphire Bracelet

Dorsey

What We Love: While most glamorous pieces intended for special occasions come with a high price, this one is much more affordable. 

What We Don’t Love: The flower shaped diamonds might make stacking bracelets difficult.

For any upcoming glam moments, the Dorsey sapphire bracelet makes for an eye-catching accessory. At its shortest length (5.75 inches), the wristlet features 98 white lab grown sapphires, seven of which are pieced together in a flower shape, then lined up next to one another. While it looks absolutely stunning, it may be difficult to stack with different bracelets, should you want to do so.

Made of sterling silver, the band will be durable enough to last your lifetime. We appreciate that it’s a more affordable option, too, for its quality and unique design. As the average naked eye cannot decipher the difference between different cuts, carats, and clarities, Dorsey helps make these beautiful pieces attainable for everybody by bridging the gap between luxury and affordability.

Price at time of publish: $395

Shape: Round | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: N/A | Carat: 15.68 carats | Clarity: N/A

Best Cuff

Aether Diamond Cuff BraceletDiamond Cuff Bracelet

Aether Diamond Cuff BraceletDiamond Cuff Bracelet

Aether

What We Love: Its minimalist design makes it ideal for everyday wear.

What We Don’t Love: The different cuff sizes increase the price up to $200 more, despite the number of diamonds not changing.

Aether caters to consumers who tend to be well versed in the world of diamonds and luxury. This 18k yellow gold band that wraps around your wrist, ending in two 3.5 mm princess cut diamonds. You can find the same piece in rose gold and white gold as well. The simple, minimalist design makes it easy to wear as an everyday piece, matched with both cozy outfits and elegant getups. It’s the kind of luxury to indulge in on the daily, rather than waiting for a special occasion. We appreciate that you can choose the size that will fit your wrist best, instead of a one-size-fits-all-option, but the larger the size, the more you’ll spend — each  cuff size hikes the price up to $200 more each time. However, the number or sizing of diamonds does not change. 

Price at time of publish: $4,000

Shape: Princess | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: H-I | Carat: N/A | Clarity: VS

Most Universal Ring

Plum Diamonds Round Diamond Ring

Plum Diamonds Round Diamond Ring

Plum Diamonds

What We Love: You can test out different rings at home.

What We Don’t Love: Rather than showing a picture of the real ring, you are only given a 3D model of one.

Plum Diamonds also exclusively works with lab grown diamonds, but unlike some competitors, they only sell engagement rings and wedding bands, perfecting the craft of rings rather than expanding into all jewelry types. We wanted to highlight this round diamond ring as our most universal option because as a single diamond secured by claw prongs, it offers a minimalistic look that appeals to a wide audience. That being said, the brand allows for some customization — you can choose  between six different center settings and decide on  a smooth or a diamond-studded band. Once those selections have been made, you’ll be prompted to choose a metal color and diamond. Be aware, there are 6,653 diamond options to choose from, each with their own cut, color, carat, and clarity ratings, which can easily be overwhelming. The brand provides 3D renders of each one, but it does make it more difficult to visualize what you’ll be getting in the end. Luckily, you can try a few diamonds at home through their Find Your Diamond Kit, which lets you try three different diamonds and settings before needing to return — this process just tends to be more time consuming.

Price at time of publish: $910 and up

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: Custom | Carat: Custom | Clarity: Custom

Best Splurge Ring

Oui Jean Dousset Claire Three Stone Engagement Ring

Oui Jean Dousset Claire Three Stone Engagement Ring

Oui

What We Love: You can add a complimentary engraving into the band.

What We Don’t Love: You aren’t given a visual of the engraving beforehand.

I recently learned that three stone engagement rings hold a special meaning — the outer left stone represents the couple's past, the center stone represents the present, and the outer right represents your love’s future. The romantic symbol is embodied in an equally romantic Oui ring, with two heart-shaped diamonds on the side visually lead your eye to the center piece. You can choose between a round, oval, cushion, and emerald shape for the main diamond, but the supporting diamonds to the left and right remain the same. Much like the previous option, most of the ring can be customized, including the specific cut and clarity of the main diamond and the material of the band. This one, however, takes it two steps further by offering you the option to add a hidden signature stone, placed under the center stone, as well as a custom (free) engravement of up to twenty characters on the band. You can’t view the engraving beforehand, so make sure it’s accurate before you order.

Price at time of publish: $5,100 and up

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: Custom | Carat: | Clarity: Custom

Best Budget Ring

Ritani Solitaire Diamond Tulip Engagement Ring

Ritani Solitaire Diamond Tulip Engagement Ring

Ritani

What We Love: You can add a custom engravement on the band.

What We Don’t Love: The images of this ring are computerized.

By now, you may have come to realize that many of these brands offer significant customization when it comes to the diamond. But the band tends to have the least amount of options, so focus your energy on that. What you really should be looking for, therefore, is the band. This ring comes with a unique knife edge that looks to be quite thick, although it is hard to decipher given the images look to be computerized. You have the usual options to pick out your specific shape, size, and band material, but rather than listing out an endless list of diamond options with their 4 Cs, Ritani offers a much clearer visual to how the diamond will look through their 360 degree rotating image. 

You can add a custom engravement on this piece as well, although this one only allows for twelve characters (compared to twenty from the one previous). However, if you wish for some additional customization options, you can always contact Ritani directly to customize a specific engagement ring with the help of a diamond concierge. 

Price at time of publish: $497

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: N/A | Carat: N/A | Clarity: N/A

Best Round Ring

12 Fifteen Lily Engagement Ring

12 Fifteen Lily Engagement Ring

12 Fifteen

What We Love: The diamonds sit further away from the band, which looks great when paired with a wedding ring.

What We Don’t Love: The box it comes in is a little floppy.

While examining this piece, our tester exclaimed, “Even though I know I can spot a ‘fake’ (a diamond simulant like cubic zirconia) there’s no way I could tell the difference between this lab grown diamond and a natural diamond.” 

The lily classic round cut engagement ring from 12 Fifteen, a brand that solely focuses on lab grown diamonds, features a band that holds the diamond pieces at a higher setting, which “would look great paired with a wedding band,” she added. You have the opportunity to select the center diamond itself through the 17,379 options they provide. The one we looked at was “very clear, almost white, and caught the light and refracted it in the most beautiful way”. The only con pointed out by our tester was that the box it came in looked a bit floppy, observing that “it kept falling over on the tray”.

Price at time of publish: $1,640 and up

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: Custom | Carat: Custom | Clarity: Custom

Best Detail

Brilliant Earth Petite Twisted Vine Engagement Ring

Brilliant Earth Petite Twisted Vine Engagement Ring

Brilliant Earth

What We Love: The pavé diamonds on the twisted vines make this piece sparkle even more.

What We Don’t Love: The amount of diamond options is actually a little overwhelming.

The most eye-catching detail on this ring is actually the twisted band with its two entwined vines looping around each other — one of which has pavé diamonds covering two thirds of the band, making this piece sparkle like no other. This charming detail supports the main diamond, which can be selected out of their 166,170 options that vary in price. (You can find gems as affordable as $280 or as expensive as $78,740.) However, the amount of options and customization factors actually feels a bit overwhelming — you can probably scroll for an hour and still not come to a decision. But regardless of what you pick, all of them have either an IGI, GCAL, or GIA certification, so you’re guaranteed to get a real diamond no matter what. 

You can see how the ring looks on the hands of engaged couples if you scroll down, all of whom have given this piece a five star rating. Our own tester described the pieces as “sparkly, precious, and luxurious”. Despite being someone who frequently wears diamonds, these ones still impressed her enough to reach out to her fiancé and exclaim, “I really want lab-grown diamonds!” 

Price at time of publish: $1,990+

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: Custom | Carat: Custom | Clarity: Custom

Best Minimalist Ring

Vrai Classic Round Engagement Ring

Vrai Classic Round Engagement Ring

Vrai

What We Love: You can see how big different karats of diamonds will look on your hand on the sliding scale they provide. 

What We Don’t Love: They don’t specify the cut on the standard diamond.

For a classic ring, this round brilliant engagement ring comes in a simple band with a single diamond. We appreciate how the solo diamond reflects light from all directions without being too flashy. Much like all the other rings here, you can still customize the shape, metal color, and size. You can even opt for a pavé ring, for a little more pizzazz. While you are given the option to pick out a specific diamond, they remove most of the decision making process by offering a standard diamond between one to two karat sizes. And to give you a better idea of what each might look like, there’s a sliding scale showing how each diamond size would look on a hand. The standard diamond comes in a VS+ clarity, which is completely clear to a naked eye, but unfortunately it doesn’t list the cut grading on this one. 

Price at time of publish: $2,250 and up

Shape: Custom | Cut Grade: Custom | Color: Custom | Carat: Custom | Clarity: Custom

Best Band

Consider the Wldflwrs Round Cut Lab Grown Diamond Ring

Consider the Wldflwrs Round Cut Lab Grown Diamond Ring

Consider the Wldflwrs

What We Love: The price changes on the material and sizing are not drastic.

What We Don’t Love: You can’t customize the diamond shape.

We wanted to include a piece that works as a wedding band or as a splurgy everyday accessory as well. This option from Consider the Wldflwrs comes in 0.1, 0.17, and 0.25 CTW diamonds and has an impactful sparkle, particularly when lined up next to one another. The band itself comes in 14k and 18k options in colors yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. Surprisingly, the price only differs by about $100 from 14k to 18k. Even increasing the size of the ring hardly impacts the price. It comes in a half eternity and full eternity ring options as well — and that, of course, then changes the price more significantly as there will be double the amount of diamonds. Unfortunately, this piece doesn’t allow you to choose a specific diamond, like the other options do. Luckily, the round shape can be universally loved. 

Price at time of publish: $2,085 and up

Shape: Round | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: GH | Carat: 0.1 CTW - 0.25 CTW| Clarity: VS

Best Wide Ring

Noémie 5-Row White Diamond Band

Noémie 5-Row White Diamond Band

Noémie

What We Love: The price doesn’t change amongst the different ring sizes.

What We Don’t Love: You won’t be able to stack it with other rings.

Noémie seeks to make fine jewelry an everyday accessory, rather than something reserved for special occasions, which is why we decided to feature this thick band over an engagement ring. This hard-to-miss ring features five rows of round shaped diamonds stacked over each other, reaching 7.1mm in height. You can choose between 18k rose, white, and yellow gold for the band, offered in different sizes. And while bigger ring sizes usually equates to more diamonds and therefore an increased price tag, this one remains at a flat rate of $2,680. Amazingly enough, Noémie also offers complimentary overnight shipping, after processing the order in one to two business days. It makes for quite a statement piece on its own, though, so it may look a bit odd when stacked with other rings and because of its si. You will have to let this piece shine on its own while you wear it.

Price at time of publish: $2,680

Shape: Round | Cut Grade: N/A | Color: FG | Carat: 1.90 CTW | Clarity: VS

What to Keep in Mind

The 4 Cs

Diamonds are distinguished by the 4 Cs: cut, clarity, color and carats (in weight). The cut, not to be mistaken by the shape (more on that below), speaks to how the diamond’s internal and external angles are cut. It has the most impact on how the diamond ends up shining. The brilliance of the diamond is a direct result of how it is cut, and the grading ranges between poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent, according to GIA’s standards. The clarity then speaks to how clear the piece is. The grading scale here goes from “Included” (I) to “Flawless” (FL) with multiple stages in between. The chart provided by Vrai breaks down the grading scale pretty well. Most diamonds provided here have the grading scale of “VS”, which stands for very slightly; this means the diamond is completely clear to the naked eye but it might have slight faults in it (afterall flawless diamonds are extremely rare, less than 0.5 percent of diamonds!). 

Similarly, color tells us the natural coloring of the diamond — the closer it leans to colorless, the higher it is valued. GIA rates them from D to Z, with D being completely colorless and Z considered to have the brownest hue, and thereby less valuable. 

This leaves us with Carat, most commonly listed at CTW (carat total weight). One carat, for example, equals to 0.2g in CTW. It’s important to distinguish whether the brand is listing out the actual carat or the CTW in their description because you don’t want to accidentally mistake 0.2 CTW as 0.2 carats — they’re completely different. For the options listed on this article, we included whether the number provided is in weights or in carats.

Shape

The shape is commonly mistaken as the “cut” — we get it, conversationally they are interchangeable, according to Blue Nile, but in technical terms they are not. Instead, the shape refers to the geometric outline of the diamond, and is not part of the 4 Cs. There’s quite a variety of them — Brilliant Earth lists the most common ones here, including round brilliant, oval, princess, pear, marquise, emerald, and more. Combined with the cut, these two components have the biggest impact on the visual brilliance of a diamond. Each shape has its own unique history and connotations — the round shape, for example, is the most common choice amongst consumers, while the princess shaped diamonds are universally accepted as the most popular “fancy” shape. Cushioned diamonds are known as a “romantic” choice among diamond enthusiasts. Check out this full breakdown for more information.

Environmental Impact

Natural diamonds are no strangers to controversial mining practices, in both human rights violations and environmental impact. “Lab grown diamonds typically use less water, avoid land disruption, and create less mineral waste, less sulfur oxide, and fewer carbon emissions,” explains Plum Diamonds co-founder Kristy Cullinane. Companies like Aether Diamonds take it one step further by using the carbon dioxide captured in the air to produce their diamonds and machinery that runs on 100 percent clean energy. Otherwise, GIA researcher Dr. Sally Magaña explains that “natural diamonds form hundreds of miles below the earth’s surface,” and require significant impact on our earth to extract. These are holes so large you can see them from space. Lab grown diamonds remove all of this environmental stress (and human stress to dig up diamonds). 

Your Questions, Answered

Are lab grown diamonds “real”?

Short answer: yes, lab grown diamonds are very much real diamonds. “The same material, durability, longevity, and sparkle you get with mined diamonds are created in a laboratory in a controlled environment,” explains Cullinane. Dr. Magaña from GIA confirms that “laboratory-grown diamonds and mined diamonds are chemically the same.” That being said, a specialized machine will be able to tell natural and lab-grown diamonds apart. She explains that there are subtle differences that are created during the two different methods of formation. These differences “generally have concentrations that are on the part-per-billion to part-per-million scale, and do not fundamentally alter the physical or chemical properties of a diamond.” When it comes to shaping the diamond itself it takes “just as much care and consideration as mined diamonds in terms of artistry involved,” says Jean Dousset. “Mined diamonds come in all different sizes and shapes, which limits the number of diamonds you can cut each time”. However, in terms of the actual diamond material itself, mined and lab grown diamonds are the same.

How are lab grown diamonds made?

Lab grown diamonds grow in a controlled lab. There are two methods used to grow diamonds, “either chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT),” says Dr. Magaña. These methods mimic how they are made under natural circumstances, and therefore yield nearly identical results.

Why choose a lab grown diamond?

Aside from the more sustainable component of lab grown diamonds, the ability to grow them quicker and more consistently makes it easier to offer them at a more affordable price. “For three to five times less the cost of a mined diamond, you can get a lab diamond with bigger and better 4 Cs, allowing couples the option to choose diamonds in larger carat sizes with higher quality grades,” says Cullinane. Dousset chimes in that “you don’t need to compromise most of what makes a diamond special, i.e. size and color, to have what you really want.” For a smaller price, a smaller impact on the earth, and more precise diamond options, you can get the exact same material on your jewelry pieces. 

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer for InStyle with two years of experience covering fashion and lifestyle products. In order to write this article, she tested several of the mentioned lab grown diamonds at the InStyle lab herself and spoke with GIA researcher Dr. Sally Magaña, as well as leaders in the lab grown diamond industry Jean Dousset and Kristy Cullinane to demystify the nuances of these lesser known gems. Thorough research was conducted to bring forth a list of the best lab grown diamonds. 

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