Simulated diamonds, also known as diamond simulants, resemble the appearance of real diamonds but do not share the same physical, chemical, or optical characteristics. Diamond simulants include gems like cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, and YAG, as well as clear gemstones like white zircon, white sapphire, topaz, and quartz. Whether you're shopping for a diamond engagement ring for your fiancé or diamond jewelry for yourself, here's what you need to know about buying a simulated diamond.
How are simulated diamonds created?
As the most popular diamond simulant, cubic zirconia crystals are created by melting powdered zirconium with zirconium dioxide and heating the mixture to extreme temperatures. Moissanite, another popular simulant, is created with silicon carbide and is formed as a single crystal. Moissanite gems are made by patented thermal growing processes and are available as colorless or in a limited number of yellow and green tints.
Lab-grown diamonds, which are man-made diamonds composed of actual carbon atoms, closely resemble the optical, chemical, and physical properties of earth-mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are grown by placing a starter "seed" in a sealed chamber with extreme pressure and heat. The sealed chamber imitates the growing process of real diamonds, and crystallization allows the simulated diamond to mature and form molecular bonds. After the simulated diamond matures, the rough diamond is cut, polished, and graded by diamond experts.
The most common techniques used to create lab-grown diamonds include chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high-temperature high-pressure (HTHP). CVD involves using carbon-rich gases like methane as a carbon source, while HTHP uses high temperatures and pressures to dissolve the graphite within the starter seed.
How do simulated diamonds compare to real diamonds?
While diamond simulants like moissanite and CZ are created to resemble diamonds, they're often composed of different materials. Although simulated diamonds share some similarities in appearance to diamonds, they are typically identifiable to the naked eye as stand-ins for natural diamonds in diamond rings, earrings, and necklaces.
Unlike traditional simulated diamonds, the Agape Simulated Diamond shares the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as a natural diamond. Agape Diamond's durable lab-created diamonds closely resemble the sparkle and brilliance of natural diamonds, making them the perfect setting for diamond rings and diamond wedding bands.
If you're thinking about tying the knot, Agape Diamonds offers the highest-quality simulated diamond wedding sets at a fraction of the price of real diamonds. At Agape Diamonds, lab-created diamonds are available in a wide variety of gemstone colors and all their diamond jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty.
How can you tell the difference between a real diamond and a simulated diamond?
Although simulated diamonds are popular alternatives to actual diamonds, many people aren't sure how to tell them apart. Because it is nearly impossible for the naked eye to tell the difference between natural diamonds and high-quality lab-created diamonds, specialized testing using high-caliber equipment is needed to identify the purity of the carbon source within the diamond.
Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), lab-grown diamonds must be responsibly disclosed as simulants by diamond companies. Most diamond jewelry from reputable jewelers is evaluated by the International Gemological Institute (IGI), Diamond Producers Association (DPA), Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and other independent gem labs.
In recent years, simulated diamonds have become an appealing alternative for many brides and grooms. Because they're more affordable than earth-mined diamonds and don't harm the environment, lab-created diamonds are a popular choice among younger buyers interested in purchasing a promise ring or engagement ring while reducing their carbon footprint. Ultimately, selecting the perfect diamond should be a romantic experience and a matter of personal preference.