What are Simulated Diamonds? [Simulated vs. Lab: Key Differences] (2023)

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Emma Bixenman

What are Simulated Diamonds? [Simulated vs. Lab: Key Differences] (1)

(Video) What is the difference between Simulated vs. Synthetic Diamonds?

Aslab diamondsand diamond simulants continue to rise in popularity, this growing interest brings an increasednumber of questions!

There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information about the difference between diamond simulants and lab created diamonds.Despite what you may have heard, diamond simulants and lab created diamonds are not the same. To help you sort through any confusion and better understand your options available, we’ve created a complete guide to understanding the difference between lab diamonds and diamond simulants.

What are diamonds?

Diamonds are a mineral composed of pure carbon that creates a crystal.Anatural mined diamondis formed naturally, fromhigh temperaturesand pressures beneath the Earth’s crust. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals on earth, meaning that a diamond holds up extremely well over time and is highly resistant to surface scratching and breakage. This durability makes a diamond an ideal choice for anengagement ringcenter stone.

What are simulated diamonds?

Diamond simulants are gemstones manufactured to look like diamonds but are both visually and compositionally different than diamonds. Simulated diamonds, such as cubic zirconia (CZ) or moissanite, look like diamonds but are not real diamonds. Simulants do not have the same chemical and physical properties as diamonds and therefore sell at a lower price point. Simulants can be distinguished from natural or lab grown diamonds using only the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle.

Whatarelab created diamonds?

Ourlab created diamondsare grown from the tinycarbon diamond seeds of pre-existing diamonds. Advanced technology – either extreme pressure and heat or aspecial deposition process known as CVD– mimics the method of natural diamond formation. Brilliant Earth’slab created diamonds have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds. Even when using professional gemological equipment, lab created diamonds arenearly impossibleto differentiate from natural diamonds and can only be identified with extensive scientific testing using specialized equipment.Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality and are a sustainable choicefor a diamond engagement ringas theyrequireno new mining.

What are Simulated Diamonds? [Simulated vs. Lab: Key Differences] (2)

What’sthe difference between simulant diamonds and lab created diamonds?

Unlike diamond simulants,lab created diamondshave the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural mined diamondsand are considered real diamonds. Lab diamonds are visibly indistinguishable from natural mined diamonds without specialized equipment to detect minor traces in the difference in crystal growth. Diamond simulants such as moissanite or cubic zirconia(CZ)are physically, chemically, and optically different from lab diamonds. They are visually distinguishable from lab diamonds with the naked eye due to their fiery sparkle and rainbow refractions. Lab diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness making them one of the hardest and most durable minerals on earth.Moissaniteranks 9.25 and cubic zirconia ranks 8.5, making them both durable simulants suitable for everyday wear, butmore susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.

Lab diamond engagement rings are an affordable alternative to natural diamonds as they cost 30% less on average compared to natural diamonds of similar size and quality. Lab created diamonds are graded and vary in price based on based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity. Diamond simulants such as moissanite, are lower in price of both lab and natural diamonds and vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium.

(Video) Comparison Video : Moissanite VS Simulated Diamond by Lannyte Gemstones

Diamond Simulants

What are Simulated Diamonds? [Simulated vs. Lab: Key Differences] (3)


Today, diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite are synthetic stones manufactured in laboratories. They are made to simulate diamonds but arecompositionally andopticallydifferent from diamonds and canmadefromseveraldifferent materialsand gemstones.


Diamond simulants can be differentiated from diamonds due to their optical properties.Moissanitefor example, is double refractive while a diamond is single refractive. This causes the moissanite to emit a fiery rainbow sparkle that is easily differentiated from a diamond with the naked eye.


The cost of many popular diamond simulants is often much lower than both natural and lab diamonds. Simulants are an attractive cost-friendly option for many couples as you can create your dream engagement ring without veering outside your budget or compromising center gemstone size.


As most popular diamond simulantsare lab grown using advanced technology, they require no new mining to produce and are a sustainable option.

Pros of Diamond Simulants

  1. Simulants are an affordable option for many couples as they cost significantly less than both natural and lab diamonds.
  2. Most diamond simulants are a sustainableoptionasthey are lab grown and require no new mining.
  3. If you love sparkle, many diamond simulants have a differentrefractionpattern thandiamonds that emits a heightened fiery brilliance.

Cons of Diamond Simulants

  1. Although most simulants are suitable for everyday wear, they are not as durable as diamonds and are more susceptible to surface scratching and wear over time.
  2. Many diamond simulants emit a rainbow sparkle that is noticeably different from a diamond. The larger in size of the simulant gemstone, the more noticeable that it is not a diamond. Although this can be a con for some couples, simulants are increasing in popularity and theirunique sparkleisbeloved my many.

Lab Created Diamonds

What are Simulated Diamonds? [Simulated vs. Lab: Key Differences] (4)


Labdiamondsare grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using technology that duplicates the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop.Brilliant Earth’slab created diamonds have the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as natural mined diamonds.


To the naked eye, lab diamonds emit the same sparkle and optical properties as a natural diamond. The only way to differentiate the two is by using specialized equipment that candetect traces in crystal growth.

(Video) Which is better simulated diamond or Moissanite?


Lab created diamondsoffer excellentvalue and are slightly more affordable than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. They are a more affordableoptionfor couples to create their dream ring without sacrificing their design preferences or budget.


Lab diamonds are a sustainable choice as theyrequireno new mining.

Pros of Lab Created Diamonds

  1. Lab diamonds give off the same fire,scintillation, and sparkleas natural diamonds and are indistinguishable with the naked eye.
  2. Lab diamonds cost less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.
  3. Lab diamonds are an ethical choice thatrequiresno new mining.
  4. Lab diamondsare compositionally the same asnatural diamondsand hold the same quality and durabilityproperties.
  5. Lab diamonds hold their value extremely well throughout timeand are prized heirlooms.

Cons of Lab Created Diamonds

  1. Although each lab diamond holds its own uniquecharacteristics like a natural diamond does, some may not see lab diamonds as rare or “one-of-a-kind” as mined diamonds.
  2. While lab diamonds do hold their value over time better than simulants, natural diamonds ultimately hold and often increase their value over time at the highest rate of any gemstone.

Simulant Diamond FAQs

Are simulated diamonds worth anything?

Diamond simulants can be a stunning alternative to diamonds butarenot compositionally and optically the same as diamonds, meaning that they often do not hold their value as well over time.

Is a simulated diamond good quality?

Manypopular diamonds simulantson the market today are extremely durable and are suitable for everyday wear. It is important to do your research on the different properties of each diamond simulant todeterminewhich is most suitable for your unique lifestyle.

Is a simulated diamond a cubic zirconia?

Although cubic zirconia is a widely known simulant,there are several other options for diamond simulants. Diamond simulants such asmoissaniteand white sapphire are becoming increasingly popular diamond alternatives.

Final Thoughts

Are you interested in learning more about lab diamonds and diamond simulants? Share your questions with us on our Instagram,Facebook,Twitter, or in the comments below! You can alsoschedule an in-personorvirtual appointmentwith one of ourjewelry specialists to learn more!

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