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Just as sparkly and eye-catching as their nature-made counterparts, lab-grown diamonds have become an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings–and it’s easy to see why. Not only are lab-grown diamond engagement rings available in every shape and style imaginable, but they’re often less expensive than earth diamonds. Even better? Lab-created diamonds are conflict-free and sustainably grown in eco-friendly foundries, so you can feel good about where your diamond comes from. But, what exactly are lab-grown diamonds–and what makes them a great alternative to mined diamonds?
Meet the Expert
Brittany Bozmoski Kohnke is the CMO of 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, a lab diamond jewelry brand.
Lab-grown diamonds are created in laboratories (no surprise there!) that use high-tech equipment to mimic the same pressure and high temperatures it takes to create earth diamonds. “Lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds have identical physical, chemical, and optical properties,” explains Brittany Bozmoski Kohnke. “Lab diamonds are real diamonds, made of carbon and graded by the same 4C standards as mined diamonds.” But unlike mined diamonds, it doesn’t take billions of years for a lab diamond to form, in fact, it only takes a few short weeks. Another perk? Many direct-to-consumer retailers offer a wide range of lab-grown diamond engagement rings that you can actually design and buy online, making it easier than ever to find your dream ring.
From classic solitaire silhouettes to modern settings and vintage-inspired cuts, read on for the best lab-grown diamond rings for every aesthetic and budget.
Best Three-Stone: Brilliant Earth Selene Engagement Ring
An exquisite emerald-shaped diamond comes together with two round-cut diamonds to create a perfectly balanced and breath-taking engagement ring. The delicate setting features a thin band that works to showcase the trio of precious stones while flattering your finger.
Metal Type: 18k yellow gold | Setting: Claw prong basket | Diamond Shape: Emerald center stone flanked with round diamonds | Color: G | Clarity: VS2 | Carat Weight: 0.48
For the Traditional Bride: VRAI Signature Oval-Cut Ring
Simple yet striking, this oval-cut lab diamond engagement ring is perfect for the traditional bride-to-be who appreciates classic silhouettes. If you’re looking for a little more glitz and glamour, opt for a shimmering pavé band. This piece is also available in yellow gold, white gold, and platinum.
Metal Type: 14k rose gold with pavé | Setting: Solitaire | Diamond Shape: Oval | Color: G | Clarity: VS2 | Carat Weight: 0.90
Best Pear-Shaped: Ritani Solitaire Diamond Tapered Engagement Ring With Surprise Diamonds
Pear-cut engagement rings are not only incredibly timeless but their tear-drop shape elongates the finger for a flattering look. What’s more, pear-cut lab-grown diamonds can appear larger per carat than other diamond shapes. This breathtaking piece from Ritani features a smooth and tapered band as well as hidden diamonds at the base for a little extra sparkle.
Metal Type: 14k white gold, 18k yellow/white gold, Platinum | Setting: Solitaire | Diamond Shape: Pear | Color: K | Clarity: SI1 | Carat Weight: 2.10
Most Glamorous: 12Fifteen Diamonds Duet Halo Radiant Cut Engagement Ring
Traditional with a twist, this halo radiant-cut design features an accented split band style for a unique and unexpected look. If you’re not one to shy away from sparkle, this engagement ring is sure to speak to your glamorous tastes. This style can also accommodate every diamond cut from Asscher to marquise.
Metal Type: 18k white/yellow gold, 14k rose gold | Setting: Halo, 4-prong set | Diamond Shape: Radiant-cut | Color: E | Clarity: VS1 | Carat Weight: 5.02
Best Hidden Halo: Brilliant Earth Secret Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
It’s all in the details when it comes to this gorgeous ring from Brilliant Earth. While at first blush, this style may appear to be quite clean and classic, it features a hidden halo of diamonds set beneath the center stone. This unexpected detail ensures your ring will sparkle and catch the light at every angle.
Metal Type: 18k yellow gold | Setting: Halo | Diamond Shape: Round | Color: D | Clarity: VVS1 | Carat Weight: 0.75
Most Unique Band: Clean Origin Opera Ring
If traditional engagement rings aren’t for you, go for a style with a bypass band. The swirl design not only gives your ring some movement but will highlight your center stone beautifully. Complete your set with a matching bypass wedding band for a seamless and perfectly polished look.
Metal Type: 14k yellow/white gold, 18k yellow/white gold, 14k rose gold, Platinum | Setting: Solitaire | Diamond Shape: Cushion | Color: G | Clarity: VS2 | Carat Weight: 1.09
Most Unexpected: Brilliant Earth Nouveau Diamond Engagement Ring
Reminiscent of ring styles from the Art Nouveau era, this captivating engagement ring is crafted from 14k rose gold and features a chevron-shaped pavé band that adorns the center stone like a crown.
Metal Type: 14k rose gold, 18k white/yellow gold, platinum | Setting: Claw prong | Diamond Shape: Pear | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
Best Emerald-Cut: VRAI ‘The Cathedral’ Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring
Just like pear shapes, emerald-cut diamonds can appear larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight. Looking to accentuate your center stone even more? This emerald-cut engagement ring from VRAI is a smart and stylish pick. It features a cathedral setting that’s designed to elevate and spotlight the center stone for an undeniably eye-catching look.
Metal Type: Platinum, 18k yellow/white gold, 14k rose gold | Setting: Cathedral | Diamond Shape: Emerald | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
Classic with a Twist: 12FIFTEEN Princess-Cut Engagement Ring
Fit for royalty, this princess-cut engagement ring strikes the perfect balance between traditional and modern. Its solitaire design feels utterly timeless and classic while the unique twisted band gives this piece some edge.
Metal Type: Platinum, 18k yellow/white gold, 14k rose gold | Setting: Four prong basket set solitaire | Diamond Shape: Princess-cut | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
Most Vintage-Inspired: James Allen Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
Looking for an engagement ring with some vintage flair? This three-stone ring featuring a round-cut center diamond looks like a precious heirloom and has a distinct one-of-a-kind feel to it. We love this piece for the bride who is a romantic at heart.
Metal Type: 14k white/yellow/rose gold, 18k white/yellow gold, platinum | Setting: Tapered Baguette | Diamond Shape: Round | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
Most Sparkly: Ritani Bezel-set Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
If your vision of the perfect engagement ring involves rows and rows of shimmering lab-grown diamonds, look no further than this stunning sparkler. Pair yours with a plain matching band or go for even more sparkle with a micropavé style.
Metal Type: 18k white/yellow gold, platinum | Setting: Bezel-set halo | Diamond Shape: Oval | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
Best Wedding Band: Innocent Stone Eternity Band
Dainty with a slightly bohemian vibe about it, this wedding band was designed with the unfussy bride in mind. We can’t help but envision this piece paired with a simple engagement ring featuring a delicate, barely-there band.
Metal Type: 18k yellow gold | Setting: Prong-set solitaire | Diamond Shape: Round-cut | Color: G | Clarity: VS | Carat Weight: 0.36
Most Non-Traditional: Kimaiï The Billie Pavé Ring
Looking for an engagement ring that’s anything but traditional? This stunner from Kimaï should speak to any bride with bold and modern tastes. It’s designed with an exquisite stand-alone oval lab diamond and a glittering band that wraps delicately around the finger.
Metal Type: Recycled white/yellow/rose gold, platinum | Setting: Solitaire | Diamond Shape: Oval | Color: E | Clarity: VS1 | Carat Weight: 0.5-2.0
For The Bold Bride: Blue Nile LIGHTBOX Colored Diamond Round & Princess Bypass Ring
Embrace a modern look with this colorful 14k yellow gold ring crafted with a playful bypass silhouette and two dainty lab-grown diamonds. Take your pick of blue or pink gemstones or keep it classic with a white princess-cut diamond.
Metal Type: 14k yellow gold | Setting: Four-prong | Diamond Shape: Round and square | Carat Weight: 1
Best Shape: VRAI The Duet Trillion-Cut Engagement Ring
Set on a slender and graceful band, this trillion-cut lab-grown diamond commands attention. Inspired by two things coming together, VRAI’s ‘Duet’ engagement ring is the perfect combination of modern and classic.
Metal Type: 14k rose gold, 18k yellow/white gold, platinum | Setting: Basket | Diamond Shape: Trillion-cut | Color: Customizable | Clarity: Customizable | Carat Weight: Customizable
What to Look for in Lab-Grown Diamond Rings
There’s no denying that purchasing an engagement ring is a major investment, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. Most trusted fine jewelry retailers will have an in-depth FAQ page highlighting all of their policies, shipping and return information, and, most importantly, how and where their lab-grown diamonds are made and what sustainable practices they may exercise. All lab-grown diamonds are graded to the same standards as mined diamonds and are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Once you’ve picked out your lab-grown engagement ring, you should always review its GIA certificate and any documentation that lists the diamond’s foundry and origin.
What is a lab-grown diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are engineered in laboratories and are created through the use of high-tech equipment that can create the same high pressure, high heat, and chemical conditions it takes to create a natural diamond.
Are lab-grown diamonds real?
Yes! Lab-grown diamonds are just as real as earth diamonds. What’s more, lab-created diamonds share the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as mined diamonds.
Are lab-grown diamonds cheaper?
While not inexpensive, lab-grown diamonds do tend to be cheaper than natural diamonds making them a budget-friendly choice for engagement rings.
Does GIA certify lab-grown diamonds?
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more.