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BE MINE: Diamonds for your Valentine? What to know about diamonds grown in a lab

Posted at 8:29 AM, Feb 13, 2024

FORT MYERS — Marilyn Monroe may have said it best, Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but, if that’s the case then the price tag might be a guy’s worst nightmare. Good news! That’s changing thanks to the popularity of lab grown diamonds.

I know what so many of you are thinking as you read those words, they’re fake, but really, they’re not!

“That's a big distinction that people have, oh, it's a fake diamond. No, it's not a fake diamond. It's a real diamond.”

Mark Loren has been a jeweler for decades in Southwest Florida and he says lab grown gems aren’t anything new.

“Well, we've been following lab grown or synthetic diamonds for 15 years”, he explains.

The technology and process used to create the diamonds has gotten better and better of the years. So much so, even a highly trained eye like Loren’s can’t tell the difference between the a natural diamond and lab grown.

“We cannot even tell by the naked eye and we can't tell under a 10 power microscope that we're looking at a lab diamond,” he explained.

“We now have to put it through the detector. All the detectors that we use only will tell us suspicious, it has to go to the to a laboratory gemological laboratory to be verified as laboratory. That's how sophisticated they are,” Loren says.

I wanted to try my eye at it and see if I could see any difference, so did Fox 4 Photojournalist Andy Cunningham so we grabbed some tweezers and gems and took our best shot. Guess what, we both got it wrong!

So let’s get down to the thing most people want to know. What’s the price difference?

I asked Loren for a comparison.

“Usually in my head, G Color SI1, One carat is about $6,500 per carat to the client and for lab grown, we'd expect that to be in the $2,000 - $3,000 range.”

Do the math! That can be a 50% savings and more often than not Loren says lab grown diamonds beat natural when it comes to quality. I mean, it’s kind of a no brainer if you’re deciding between the two, right? A couple he worked with recently felt that way when they were doing the comparison.

“She really couldn't make up her mind. They both looked beautiful. And I said well, let me just mention something. If you purchase this particular lab diamond at the price that is all the money you'll save, you can pay for your entire honeymoon with that and they looked at each other and they said done. We'll take the lab!”

Smart Couple! After all, the price of a diamond has nothing to do with how much you love someone.

“It commemorates a moment, an emotional moment and occasion,” explains Loren.

An occasion that more people might be able to afford now thanks to science.