We get it, this headline already sounds like an oxymoron. But we promise, it’s not.
For years, couples really only had one choice for diamond engagement rings. For the most part, all real diamonds came from environmentally damaging mines, and more recently from large vacuums sucking up the seabed to find diamonds in the ocean. However, a recent scientific discovery has allowed real diamonds to be created in a fraction of the time.
Man-made diamonds are grown in a lab through a process that replicates (but speeds up) the natural growing process that mined diamonds go through. If you’re thinking ahead, then you’ve already figured out how these diamonds can be so much less expensive — 20-30% in some cases. And before you ask: yes, they are real diamonds. They have the same chemical, physical and optical make-up of a mined diamond. The only difference between the two is their origin.
So back to the money. Think about it this way: when you order a pizza, you’re not just paying for the ingredients, but for the bakers, the delivery guy and to help keep the lights on in the pizzeria. But, when you go pick up a pizza from the grocery store, you’re really just paying for the ingredients and a little bit of markup to help pay for production. At a much more grand and beautiful scale, mined diamonds vs lab-grown diamonds are the same. By growing a diamond in a lab, the stone is touching fewer hands, allowing lab-grown diamond companies to decrease their prices.
So, how do you get a bigger engagement ring for less? Let’s say you were planning on spending $2,000 on an engagement ring from a mined diamond company. Now, you do your research (Reddit is a great resource) and you find the exact same engagement ring with a lab-grown diamond for 30% less – $1,400. Now you ultimately have three options: pocket that extra $600, increase the size of the carat until you reach $2,000, or do a bit of both. Not only could you increase one of the 4 c’s (cut, color, clarity or carat) but you could do so to a point where you’re still saving some money.
There are a few other key ways to save money on an engagement ring. As mentioned, always do your research and make sure you comparison shop. Not all diamond companies are created equal and some are really just looking for a sale. Talk with someone from the company and make sure they have in background in jewelry, not just business. It’s also better to buy online. Although the idea makes some people nervous, there are so many more benefits: no pushy salesmen, a much bigger selection and you don’t have to worry about them not having a particular ring…especially around the holidays. Finally, the price of a diamond increases dramatically when you hit a full carat size. Buying slightly under 1.0 or 2.0 carats can save you some cash.
Lab-created diamonds don’t just provide a less expensive option, but they’re environmentally friendly, ethically sourced and literally defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a diamond.
So, if you can save some money, buy a bigger stone and help the environment while you’re doing it, why not go with lab-grown?