By Lenore Fedow
The e-tailer now offers the option of either “earth-created” or “lab-created” diamonds as center stones.
Akron, Ohio—Jewelry e-tailer James Allen has started selling lab-grown diamonds, making it the first company under the Signet Jewelers umbrella to enter the synthetics space.

The e-commerce site, which allows customers to design their own rings, now offers the option of either “earth-created” or “lab-created” diamonds as center stones.

“Lab-created diamonds allow you to maximize your budget, giving up to 30 percent more size for the same cost, while earth-created diamonds are incredible works of nature and the traditional choice,” James Allen states in the FAQ section of its website.

Affordability may be the biggest draw to lab-grown diamonds as consumers look to get the most for their money. On, a natural 1.06-carat round G VS1 diamond was priced at $6,350 as of press time, while a lab-grown diamond of the same quality cost $3,400, or 46 percent less.

James Allen is the second online retailer to add a lab-grown diamond option to its ring builder in recent weeks.

Gemvara, the e-commerce site for custom jewelry owned by Richline Group, announced last month that it is offering customers lab-grown diamonds as well, signaling a potential trend in the retail space.

James Allen and Signet did not respond to additional inquiries by press time, including questions about the source, or sources, for the lab-grown diamonds Signet is now selling.

But James Allen President Oded Edelman told JCK that Signet tends to view the e-tailer as a “test environment” for its new ideas, the same thing Signet CEO Gina Drosos told National Jeweler about the first James Allen store that opened in December in Washington, D.C.—that they see James Allen as a way to try out new technology and concepts before expanding them to the company’s wider fleet of stores.

The lab-grown diamonds sold by James Allen come with grading reports from the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI).

They are sold both online and at its first brick-and-mortar store, which opened last year in Washington, D.C.

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