Whether you’re casually browsing or seriously narrowing down your shortlist, style and budget aren’t the only things to keep in mind when choosing an engagement ring. If you’re opting for a diamond, you’ll also want to consider how your stone is sourced—especially since mined diamonds can carry certain ethical and environmental ramifications.
That’s why lab-grown diamonds have emerged as an increasingly popular alternative to mined or earth-grown diamonds. These stones are visually and chemically identical to mined diamonds, so yes, they’re real. But, because they’re grown in a controlled laboratory environment, they’re inherently conflict-free, often more eco-friendly, and can be produced more efficiently—which means you might be able to size up on quality and carats without taking a hit to your budget. For conscientious couples, that’s a win-win-win.
So, how do you go about choosing a high-quality lab-grown diamond? As with any major jewelry purchase, choosing a reputable retailer or designer is a crucial first step. Grown Brilliance offers an expansive selection of pre-designed and custom options, along with rigorous standards for transparency, ethics, and the environment. Below, learn more about what sets lab-grown diamonds apart from mined stones—and shop some of our favorite styles for this year’s engagement season.
Why Lab-Grown Diamonds Might Be Right for You
1. You want to go bigger without stretching your budget
Lab-grown stones are created by the same process as diamonds you would find in nature—give or take a few million years. Scientists use carbon, immense pressure, and special machinery to mimic the geological conditions of earth-grown diamonds. The biggest difference? These diamonds are produced in a matter of weeks.
Looking at them side-by-side, even jewelers can’t discern the difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds. But, thanks to this more efficient production process, lab-grown diamonds tend to be a better value, and couples might find that they can opt for a bigger size or specific design with less restrictions than they’d face with mined stones. In fact, the lab-grown designs from Grown Brilliance are roughly 50% less expensive than those with mined diamonds.
2. You want a more custom design
Choosing a lab-grown diamond also means having the ability to take your pick of classic, modern, and custom settings within your budget. For example, Grown Brilliance offers both pre-designed and custom options so you can find—or create—your perfect match.
3. You want a conflict-free stone
The ethical history of diamond mining is fraught at best. It’s long associated with human rights violations, war, and labor exploitation. To that end, going lab-grown is one of the best ways to guarantee a conflict-free stone. Grown Brilliance takes it a step further, guaranteeing fair wages and ethical working conditions to all of its employees and giving back to underserved communities across the globe.
4. You’re environmentally conscious
Mining diamonds can have serious environmental repercussions: deforestation, air emissions, and water pollution, to name a few. To put that into perspective, 250 tons of earth is moved for every single carat mined—and 148 million carats are mined every year. Some diamond mines are so large that they can be seen from space. By producing diamonds in a lab, companies like Grown Brilliance minimize their relative environmental impact and the depletion of natural resources.
Our Favorite Styles From Grown Brilliance
Pear and Emerald Lab-Grown Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
There’s undeniable romance in a toi et moi setting. After all, the moniker is French for “you and me.” Modern brides agree: Searches for asymmetrical settings have seriously spiked this year.
Emerald Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring With Tapered Baguette Side Accents
As timeless as they are, emerald-cut diamonds are certainly having a moment. We love the way the baguettes accent the center stone in this design.
Radiant Lab-Grown Diamond Fancy Yellow With Side Emerald Cuts Three Stone Engagement Ring
The head-turning hue of this diamond is perfect for the bride who bucks tradition. (It’s worth noting that Grown Brilliance has a large collection of yellow and pink diamonds.)
Oval Lab-Grown Diamond Prong Hidden Halo Engagement Ring
Too many diamonds? No such thing, especially when it comes to this pave setting.
Round Lab-Grown Diamond Hidden Halo Engagement Ring
Opting for a rose gold band is a great way to subtly mix things up.
Badgley Mischka Near-Colorless Pear Lab-Grown Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
Pear-shaped or teardrop rings are a contemporary favorite—and this particular setting is seriously luxurious.
Badgley Mischka Colorless Cushion Lab-Grown Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
Nothing says “timeless” quite like a cushion-cut solitaire. Customize your setting by choosing between a platinum or 18K gold band in rose, white, or yellow.