There’s just a lot of people’s opinions out there when it comes to the value of diamonds. Generally speaking, diamonds aren’t considered an investment. Nevertheless, diamonds are expensive. According to one research company, The Wedding Report, the average cost of an engagement ring in 2016 was $3407. For this reason, many couples are looking for more affordable options when it comes to buying engagement and wedding rings.
Synthetic diamonds, also known as lab-created diamonds, are no different than natural diamonds. The major difference is that they were created in a controlled environment. Aside from this, they are very much real diamonds, having the same characteristics and going through the same grading process as a mined diamond. Both will keep their brilliance and color over time, (Unlike diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia). So, you can actually rest easy knowing that your diamond will look the same 100 years from now.
So what about its price? Why the difference?
Diamond values are determined based on a pricing system known as the Rapaport pricing method, regardless of the origin of the diamond. Generally, synthetic diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds by about 20 – 35% because it costs less to produce them. This means you can afford a larger and higher quality diamond for a lot less.
Other factors that are important to consider when deciding to buy a “natural” diamond or a synthetic are the environmental, social, and ethical impacts. Many mined diamonds come from areas of conflict. Additionally, lab created diamonds have less of an ecological impact whereas mining requires hundreds of tons of earth to be moved.
That being said, not all man-made diamonds are created equally. When making your diamond purchase, whether you choose to go synthetic or natural, it’s important that you buy certified diamonds to ensure the quality of the stone. Both undergo the same rigorous grading processes. Pay close attention to who’s providing the certification. GIA or AGS are among the most reputable accredited independent laboratories with the most consistent grading standards in the industry.
So the bigger question is, how do you know it’s okay? This is where an open, honest talk with your loved one will go a long way. Getting clear on what they have their heart set on is the best starting point you can come from when making your decision.
For more information, please be sure to request the Brilliant Earth Diamond Education Guide. Learn about diamond shapes, color, and quality, as well as how to maximize the value of your diamond to fit your budget.