What's the difference between lab grown and natural gemstones?

Lab grown stones like diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in their chemical and physical properties. In short, laboratory gemstones are real gemstones. The differences between the two cannot easily be distinguished by the naked eye.

While traditional gem testing tools cannot detect them, it is possible to identify man-made stones using special tools. For example, new lab diamond testers are now used. Other indicators, like inclusion form, absorption spectrum, and growth lines that arise due to the highly controlled process of making gemstones in a laboratory setting, can also serve as evidence of artificial stones. However, these indicators should be taken in context with certified, third-party testing.

The pros of lab created engagement rings

Customize your lab engagement ring

lab grown engagement rings

One of the biggest pros of synthetic gems is that the choice for size, colour, and quality are more numerous for creating your dream ring because grown gemstones are created in a controlled setting from a seed crystal. 

More eco-friendly

In comparison to earth-mined gems which require the burning of fossil fuels and release of greenhouse gases into the environment, lab created engagement rings require less electricity and no hydrocarbons in their creation process.

Better quality

Created gemstones like emeralds, rubies, and blue sapphires are formed using an artificial crystal or natural stone as a seed plane. The advanced techniques used to grow gems can produce eye-clean quality results.

Ethically sourced

Synthetic gems are the only true conflict-free gems. In the laboratory setting, there are fewer human capital issues like those associated with traditional mining, including child labour and worker exploitation.

More budget-friendly

The reason that lab-created engagement rings are more cost-effective boils down to the fact that they are not innately rare. Also, their origin means the supply chain is shorter. Natural gemstones are priced higher because of the labour cost and strenuous mining process.

The cons of lab created engagement rings

Lab made diamonds can test as moissanite with inadequate testing

Synthetic diamonds are optically and physically the same as natural diamonds. However, they sometimes mistakenly test as moissanite. There is a common misconception that moissanite and lab-grown diamond are the same substance (most moissanite on the market is lab-created).

In actuality, moissanite is a simulation of diamond with different chemical and physical properties from it. Testing without proper equipment can lead to confusion and distress if you think you’ve received something different from what you purchased.

Weak resale value

Because they are not as rare or difficult to obtain as their natural counterparts, some say that created gemstones have little to zero resale value. However, the question of inherent value varies according to different experts, with some maintaining that resale value for both natural and lab stones is difficult to determine.

Misconceptions surrounding man-made stones

The most significant con of a created engagement ring is probably negative preconceptions about lab-grown gemstones being “fake”. However, among eco-conscious consumers, it is gradually being realized that lab-grown gemstones only have a different evolution process rather than being “imitation”, so you might soon be in the majority.

What to look for in a lab made engagement ring?

couple choosing lab grown gemstones

4 C’s

When lab gemstone engagement ring shopping, pay attention to the 4 C’s just as you would with mined stones:

  • Cut: Look for light being cleanly directed through the crown.
  • Colour: Ranges from colour-less to light yellow.
  • Clarity: This refers to the amount of inclusions within the precious stone.
  • Carat: This refers to the size of the gemstone. There should be a good balance between carat and the other 3 C’s.

Decide what gemstone you want

Diamonds became popular choices for engagement rings due to a famous proposal by Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as well as clever marketing by diamond company De Beers. But don’t feel like you have to be limited to diamonds; coloured created gemstones like blue sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are also beautiful options due to their luxurious colouring and durability.

Decide if you want inclusions or not

Artificial gemstones are created in a steadily supervised setting such that you can trust lab grown brands like BIRON® to distinguish and supply stones of various qualities.


There are many benefits to opting for created engagement rings. They are more affordable and can be tailored for size, colour, and inclusions depending on the look and feel that you want. But most importantly, you can have your dream ring without any guilt of investing in mining that’s harmful to the earth and workers.

FAQ about lab created engagement rings

Can you shower with a lab made engagement ring?

Artificial stones and coloured stones have the same durability and hardness as natural stones, meaning they will never fade, get cloudy, or change colour if their mined counterparts don’t. You can shower with and care for a lab made engagement ring the same way you would a natural gemstone ring.

Are lab created engagement rings as good as natural stone engagement rings?

Lab-made gemstones are identical in chemical properties and physical appearance with mined gemstones. It’s almost impossible to distinguish a lab engagement ring because these ethical stones are created in controlled environments that imitate the mineral-forming process occurring deep inside the earth.

Do lab gemstones make good engagement rings?

Artificial gemstones make fantastic engagement rings because of the sheer level of customization at a cost-effective price. You can create a tailored ring with the desired colour, size, and stone type without going over budget.

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