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How to Buy a Lab-Grown Diamond in NYC

Forget the diamond district, here’s everything you need to know about how to buy a lab-grown diamond in NYC. Book your viewing today.

So, you’re in New York. The big apple. Home to the famed breakfast storefront and some of the finest jewelers in the world. NYC also happens to be home to the infamous diamond district. They’ve gotta have what you’re looking for, right? Well, if what you’re looking for is a lab grown diamond, think again.

Go ahead, try your luck. But don’t be surprised if every store you visit (and there are literally thousands in the span of a single city block) raises an eyebrow at your search. Or lets loose an earful. It might go a little something like this:

“So, I understand how important a professional opinion is to you at this moment, I don’t take that lightly! Here’s my opinion based on 30 years in the business while selling $50,000,000 in diamonds…. I can see the difference. Yep, I most certainly see a difference! I don’t care what other ‘experts,’ say, I can visually see the difference with my naked eye. I’ll explain. Most lab-created diamonds have what I call a ‘metallic brilliance’ to them. What I see is a monochromatic metal look in the brilliance of a synthetic diamond. It’s hard to describe in layman’s terms but it’s just different to me.” 

Known fact—the diamond district has zero chill.

Couple wearing a custom frank darling three stone engagement ring with emerald side stones
Harper No. 6
courtesy of client

But You’ve Still Got Questions

And probably even more after that spiel. Do lab created diamonds actually look different than mined diamonds? How do they look at different carat weights? What kind of inclusions do they have? And if not the diamond district, where exactly can you see a lab grown diamond in person? All totally legit.

There’s plenty of misinformation out there about lab grown vs. mined diamonds. After all, it wouldn’t be the diamond industry without a bit of obfuscation. May we suggest checking out some of the most popular myths about lab grown diamonds? It should help you start making sense out of well, nonsense.

Then let’s get back to the benefits of viewing lab grown diamonds in person. See, we understand—sometimes you just have to see it with your own two eyes.

We Make our Own Rules

Here at Frank Darling, we believe in a kinder, gentler, and way more accessible approach to choosing a diamond. No fees. No gimmicks. No pressure. Just our competitive selection of mined diamonds and one of the largest selections of lab grown diamonds available online or off—with access to more than twenty thousand natural and lab grown diamonds at any point in time, ranging from 0.25 to more than 5 carats. All at your literal fingertips. 

three carat asscher cut lab grown diamond, 2.5 carat asscher cut natural gia certified diamond, 2.5 carat old miner
Curated diamond flight of 2.5 – 3 carat
Asscher and Old Mine Cut diamonds

You Can Have Whatever you Like

For your visit, we’ll curate a selection of 5-7 diamonds in a range of colors, clarities, and carat weights. And beyond the obvious benefits of an IRL viewing, we can ensure traceability, source you a diamond grown in the US, or find that super-specific shape that’s just right. Rose cuts? Marquises? An eight-facet cushion? We pride ourselves on our selection of large, fancy cut diamonds which can be very difficult to find. But whether we have to wade through endless GCAL certs or get something custom-cut to your particular desires, we love a good challenge. 

What you Need to Know

A typical viewing appointment lasts about an hour. In order to make the most of it, it’s best if you can share your budget and your preferences for the 4Cs (or as much as you know) beforehand. That way we can tailor the experience, and your diamonds, to fit your needs. And yes, that might mean having the talk with your partner. We’ll share a spreadsheet with prices of the stones we’ll be seeing in advance of our meeting.

Custom pear three stone — the more adventurous the setting, the more conversations we recommend

Talk it Out, Talk it Out

We know some of you are probably rolling your eyes—after all, isn’t the surprise proposal a little outdated? Isn’t communication key to a relationship? How could you marry someone who has no idea what kind of diamond you want? I mean, will we ever forget Carrie’s pear cut on a gold band? 

Look, more power to you if you know exactly what your partner wants to wear for the rest of eternity, but let’s just pretend you don’t. When you’re about to drop major dollars on a diamond, it’s important to talk preferences. And to really hear what’s important to them, so you don’t get blinded by, well, bling.

Basic questions to get started

  • What’s the budget and who’s paying? 
  • Do you both want to be involved with the process? Or does someone prefer a surprise?
  • The 4Cs—what do you like? Is clarity your highest priority? Or perhaps carat weight? 
  • What’s your ideal shape? 
  • How do you feel about lab grown vs. natural?
  • Is practicality or presence more important to you?

And if you don’t agree? Well, be honest. But be nice. The relationship is way more valuable than the jewelry will ever be. And there’s nothing a good bottle of bubbly and a home try-on kit can’t fix.

Woman wearing mason no. 2 frank darling custom east west emerald half bezel engagement ring
Mason No. 2
courtesy of client

What Happens Next?

After your viewing, we’ll hold your diamonds for up to one week before they go back on the market. Because we know sometimes you have to sleep on it. Especially when it comes with “forever” attached. And we’ll be here for you the whole time. Last minute questions? Send us a text. We’ve got your back. When you’re ready to move forward you can purchase the stone first, and then the setting, just the stone, or both together — the choice is yours.

When You’re Ready

Book a free consultation with a designer to get started! We’ll talk you through the process, what to expect, and work with our head gemologist to select your stones. There’s no fee, no pressure to buy, and we’re happy to just share information and provide advice. After all. Love is hard enough. We’re just here to make it a little easier

In the meantime, check out our collections to explore the possibilities, or design your own perfect (and perfectly practical) engagement ring with our style quiz and get a free sketch!

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