What are Simulated Diamonds? Simulated vs. Lab

Questions about lab-created diamonds and diamond simulants are becoming more prevalent as interest in them grows!

There's a lot of contradicting and unclear information regarding the distinctions between lab-created diamonds and diamond imitators. Contrary to popular belief, lab-created diamonds and diamond imitators are different. We have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you distinguish between lab-created diamonds and diamond simulants to clarify any confusion and better understand your options.

What are Simulated Diamonds?

You can spend hours comparing stones because so many different kinds of diamonds are available. Real diamond rings and synthetic/lab-created diamond rings can occasionally be confused due to the size of the diamond industry. Moreover, it's difficult to distinguish lab-grown diamond rings from diamond imitators, even for inexperienced gemologists.

Our guide will walk you through the most common varieties of lab-created diamonds and diamond simulants, making your search easier. Our diamond experts will help you determine which type of diamond is best for you and explain how these stones form, resemble naturally grown diamonds, and more.

How Do Diamonds Get Made?

Pure carbon forms the crystal that is known as a diamond. Elevated temperatures and pressures found beneath the Earth's crust naturally form a mined diamond. Diamonds endure incredibly well over time and are resistant to breaking and surface scratches because they are among Earth's hardest naturally occurring minerals. Because of their longevity, diamonds are the perfect material to use as the centre stone of an engagement ring.

How Do Simulated Diamonds Work?

Gemstones created to resemble diamonds but differ from real diamonds in composition and appearance are known as diamond imitators. Synthetic diamonds, such as moissanite and cubic zirconia (CZ), resemble real diamonds but are not real. Because they don't have the same physical and chemical properties as real diamonds, simulations are less expensive than the latter. Simulators can be distinguished from real or lab-grown diamonds with intense sparkle visible to the unaided eye.

What Do Diamonds Make in a Lab Mean?

The carbon seeds of pre-existing diamonds are used to grow the diamonds in the lab. The formation of diamonds is mimicked by advanced technology using either extreme heat and pressure or a unique deposition process called CVD. Brilliant Earth lab-created diamonds' physical, optical, and chemical characteristics are identical to those of naturally occurring diamonds. Even with expert gemological equipment, lab-created diamonds are almost impossible to distinguish from natural diamonds.

One must conduct comprehensive scientific testing with specialised equipment to identify lab-created diamonds. Because they don't need to be mined again, lab-created diamonds are more cost-effective than naturally occurring diamonds of the same size and quality. An engagement ring also represents a sustainable option.

What sets Lab-created diamonds apart from simulant diamonds?

In contrast to diamond imitators, lab-created diamonds are regarded as genuine because they share the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as naturally mined diamonds. Regarding small differences in crystal growth, lab-created and naturally mined diamonds can't be visually distinguished without specialised equipment.

Lab diamonds and their counterparts, such as moissanite and cubic zirconia (CZ), differ in physics, chemistry, and optical properties. They have a fiery sparkle and rainbow refractions, making them visually distinct from lab-created diamonds.

Lab diamonds are among the planet's hardest and most resilient minerals, scoring a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. While moissanite and cubic zirconia are durable substitutes appropriate for daily use, they are more prone to surface scratches and wear over time (ranks 9.25 and 8.5, respectively).

Because lab-created diamond engagement rings typically cost 30% less than naturally-mined diamonds of comparable size and quality, they represent an affordable option to naturally-mined diamond engagement rings. Lab-created diamonds' shape, carat, cut, colour, and Clarity determine their price and grade.

The cost of diamond imitators, like moissanite, is only affected by the stone's size and premium or super premium status; otherwise, it is less expensive than lab-created and real diamonds.

Simulants of Diamonds


These days, lab-made synthetic stones like moissanite and cubic zirconia serve as diamond substitutes. Although they can be created from various materials and gemstones, they are not optically or compositionally identical to diamonds, despite being designed to mimic them.


Due to their optical characteristics, diamond simulants can be distinguished from real diamonds. A diamond has a single refractive index, whereas moissanite has a double refractive index. This results in a flaming rainbow sparkle from the moissanite that can be easily distinguished from a diamond with the unaided eye.


Popular diamond substitutes are frequently far less expensive than lab-created and real diamonds. Simulators allow you to design the engagement ring of your dreams without going over budget or compromising the size of the centre gemstone, making them an attractive and affordable option for many couples.


Most well-liked diamond imitators are produced in laboratories using cutting-edge technology, negating the need for new mining and making them a sustainable choice.

Benefits Of Simulated Diamonds

  • Since they are far less expensive than natural and lab-created diamonds, simulates are a financially viable choice for many couples.
  • Since most diamond mimics are grown in laboratories and don't need to be mined again, they are a sustainable choice.
  • If you're fond of sparkle, you should know that many diamond imitators have a refraction pattern that produces an enhanced fiery brilliance.

The Drawbacks Of Diamond Simulants

While most imitations are acceptable for daily use, they are not as strong as real diamonds and are more prone to surface abrasion and wear over time.

Many diamond imitators emit a rainbow sparkle distinctly different from a diamond. The more obvious it is that the imitation gemstone is not a diamond, the bigger it is. Simulants are becoming increasingly popular, and many people adore their distinct sparkle, even though this may be a drawback for certain couples.

Lab-Created Diamonds


Lab diamonds are produced using technology replicating the conditions under which diamonds form naturally but in extremely controlled laboratory settings. The physical, optical, and chemical characteristics of lab-created diamonds from Brilliant Earth are identical to those of naturally occurring diamonds.


Lab-created diamonds appear to have the same optical qualities and sparkle as real diamonds to the unaided eye. Detecting traces in crystal growth with specialised equipment is the only way to distinguish between the two.


Lab-created diamonds are slightly more affordable and offer excellent value than natural diamonds of similar size and quality. They provide couples with a more cost-effective way to design the ring of their dreams without compromising style or price.


Lab diamonds are an environmentally friendly option as they don't need to be mined again.

Benefits Of Lab-Created Diamonds

  • Lab-created diamonds are indistinguishable from real diamonds in fire, scintillation, and sparkle to the unaided eye.
  • Lab-created diamonds don't need to be mined again, making them a moral choice.
  • Lab-created diamonds have the same quality and durability characteristics as natural diamonds and are composed identically.
  • Lab diamonds are valued heirlooms because they retain their value well over time.
  • Lab-created diamonds are less costly than comparable-sized, natural diamonds.

Cons Of Diamonds Made In Labs

Some people might not consider lab diamonds as rare or "one-of-a-kind" as mined diamonds, even though every lab diamond has distinct qualities similar to those of a natural diamond.

Cons Of Diamonds Made In Labs

Natural diamonds eventually hold and frequently increase in value over time at the highest rate of any gemstone, even though lab-created diamonds do so more so than their counterparts.

The Science Behind Diamonds Made in Labs

The production of lab-grown diamonds is a contemporary scientific marvel. Let's explore the sophisticated procedures and cutting-edge technologies that make these jewels possible so that we can fully appreciate them.

Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) are the main techniques used to grow lab-created diamonds.

High Temperature, High Pressure (HPHT)

Using the HPHT method, researchers can replicate the harsh environments that naturally occur when diamonds form deep beneath the Earth's mantle. High temperatures (approximately 2,200 degrees Celsius) and pressures (above a million pounds per square inch) are applied to carbon atoms.

Carbon atoms organise themselves into the diamond's crystal structure under these extreme circumstances. A diamond crystal grows layer by layer over time.

Vapour Deposition of Chemicals (CVD)

As part of the CVD process, a small diamond seed is placed in a container filled with a gas with a high carbon content, such as methane. The gas's extreme heat releases carbon atoms, which cling to the diamond seed and promote growth. This method allows more precise control over the diamond's growth and purity.

By following scientific methods, lab-created diamonds with exact optical, chemical, and physical properties comparable to those of natural diamonds can be produced. They are indistinguishable from genuine diamonds, even upon close examination.

Selecting Your Stone: Lab-Crafted vs. Simulant Diamonds

Now that you know more about lab-created diamonds versus simulant diamonds, let's examine the factors influencing your decision.

Diamond Made on Earth:

  • You adore the sparkle of a diamond.
  • You'll frequently wear your diamond jewellery.
  • You respect the billions of years of history each stone holds.

Diamond Made in a Lab:

  • You adore the sparkle of a diamond.
  • You'll frequently wear your diamond jewellery.
  • You're looking for a big diamond at a cheaper cost.


  • You have a tight budget.
  • Small-carat stones are your thing.
  • You'll wear jewellery frequently.

Cubic Zirconia:

  • You have a tight budget.
  • You intend to wear your jewellery cautiously and sparingly because you are saving for a more costly stone.
  • Choosing the right stone for your lifestyle is essential to creating jewellery that will have meaning for the rest of your life. And LBJ offers thousands of exquisite options if you purchase Earth- or lab-created diamonds.

Where can I purchase diamonds made in a lab?

With Clarity, LBJ offers a wonderful selection of pre-set diamond rings, naturally grown diamonds, and lab-created diamonds. You can always shop confidently because our artificial diamonds come with an IGI certification that lists the diamond's precise specifications. View our exquisite engagement ring settings and loose lab-created diamonds you will treasure forever. https://www.luxurybrandjewellery.com.au

FAQs for Simulated Diamonds

Do Artificial Diamonds Have Any Value?

Although they can be a beautiful substitute for real diamonds, imitation diamonds frequently lose value over time because they are not optically and compositionally identical to real diamonds.

Is The Quality Of A Simulated Diamond Good?

Today's market is filled with well-liked diamond imitators that are incredibly strong and appropriate for daily use. It's crucial to learn about the various characteristics of each diamond substitute to choose the one that best fits your particular way of life.

Is The Quality Of A Simulated Diamond Good?

Is a Cubic Zirconia a Simulated Diamond?

There are various alternatives to cubic zirconia, a well-known diamond substitute. Alternatives to diamonds that mimic diamonds, like moissanite and white sapphire, are growing in popularity.