By now you’ve most likely heard of a lab-created diamond and diamond simulant, but do you know the difference? With so many terms used to label each and an abundance of misleading information available online, we thought it was time to set the facts straight.
Firstly, it’s important to know that lab-created diamonds and diamond simulants are NOT the same thing. They do not carry the same optical, chemical or physical properties, they are not graded the same, and they certainly don’t cost the same. In fact, if you ever see a business or individual advertising lab-created diamonds for a couple hundred dollars per carat, run the other way. So let’s explain the difference in a little more detail.
Examples: cubic zirconia, moissanite, white topaz
The dictionary defines a simulant as something that simulates or imitates. In the case of diamond simulants, these are specifically manufactured to look like natural diamonds, however their chemical makeup is completely different than that of lab-created diamonds or an earth mined diamonds. Common diamond simulants include cubic zirconia (CZ), a diamond alternative made from a crystalized form of zirconium oxide, and moissanite, a durable and affordable alternative to CZ made from crystal carbide. These are completely unalike at an atomic level.
The Diamond Hybrid® is also a diamond simulant, but we refer to it as a “hybrid” as it is a blend of both simulant and lab-created diamond technologies. Unlike CZ and moissanite, the Diamond Hybrid is infused with an outer layer of lab-created diamond to improve beauty and durability (almost twice as hard as a CZ) and achieve the best possible colors and clarity. Every Diamond Hybrid is guaranteed to be D to F in color, VVS1 to VS2 in clarity and comes with a grading card from the Global Gemological Lab (GGL) where it is clearly identified as a diamond simulant.
When to choose a Diamond Simulant:
Diamond simulants are a wonderful option for those looking to enjoy the glitter and glam of diamond-like jewelry without the hefty price tag. They are also a great alternative for someone looking to change their jewelry on a regular basis. At a lower cost, diamond simulants make it possible to upgrade or change your style on a regular basis without breaking the bank!
Also known as: laboratory-created diamonds, man-made diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds, cultured diamonds
Lab-created diamonds are real diamonds. By replicating the Earth’s natural growing process in a controlled laboratory environment, we’re able to create pure carbon diamonds that are optically, physically and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds. These diamonds are then graded by the same world-leading gemological institutes that grade natural diamonds.
While lab-created diamonds are more affordable than earth-mined diamonds (up to 40% less), they cannot compete in price with diamond simulants. If you see anyone advertising lab-created diamonds for simulant prices, don’t be fooled. These are most likely simulants. In every case, be sure to look for “laboratory created diamond” or “laboratory grown diamond” on the grading certificate to verify its point of origin. Additionally, every lab-grown diamond has an inscription on the girdle (see image below).
When to choose a Lab-Created Diamond:
Lab-created diamonds are the perfect choice for those who want to know the origin of their diamond. They are free of any human or environmental abuse, cost a fraction of the price of earth-mined counterparts and come in grades superior to those of natural diamonds.