Here, we explain what distinguishes simulated diamonds and synthetic diamonds, and how to make sure that you’re getting the right kind of stone to fit your needs.
What is a diamond simulant? SImply put, a diamond simulant is a non-diamond masquerading as a diamond. In other words, it’s a stone or other material that mimics the general appearance of a diamond, but does not have the same physical or chemical properties.
You’ve likely heard of a few different kinds of diamond simulants, including cubic zirconia and moissanite. Man-made diamond simulants are common, but there are also a few natural gemstones that can fall into this category because of their clear, colorless appearance. These include quartz and white sapphire.
Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, are chemically, physically, and optically the same as mined diamonds. To reiterate: A synthetic diamond is a real diamond.
Also known as lab-grown diamonds, man-made diamonds, or cultured diamonds, these diamonds have the same brilliance and unyielding hardness of natural diamonds. The only difference is that synthetic diamonds are created in laboratories under controlled conditions that mimic the same natural processes that create diamonds deep beneath the ground.
Interestingly enough, although lab-grown diamonds are synthetic (meaning man made rather than naturally occurring), the Federal Trade Commission has actually ruled it deceptive to classify a lab-grown diamond as ‘synthetic’ since this term can be misleading. They want to ensure that buyers of lab-grown diamonds know that they are getting the real thing, rather than a poor substitute. For the most part, you will find these diamonds labeled by one of their more appropriate names: lab-grown diamonds, man-made diamonds, or lab-created diamonds.