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When it comes to synthetic diamonds, we still feel it’s best to err on the side of caution; we don’t deal with them. But this development in the industry – and in the general, diamond-adoring public – is definitely an interesting topic of discussion!

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Synthetic diamonds fall into two categories, though they shouldn’t. The first category is actual synthetic diamonds. Carbon crystal formations created by man under high heat and high pressure in a lab setting. They’re also known as man-made diamonds, lab grown diamonds and lab created diamonds. They’re indistinguishable from natural, mined diamonds in appearance to the naked eye and under a loupe. There’s currently no test to tell a lab grown diamond from a mined diamond because, again, they’re the same thing.

Lab created diamonds are 20%-30% less than the price of natural diamonds, though in white diamonds it’s very hard to grow them larger than 1.5 carats. With fancy colors, lab created diamonds are routinely grown larger.

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The second category is synthetic diamond simulants. These are the stones grown in a lab that mimic a diamond’s appearance, though have totally different chemical and physical properties. They’re no different from any other diamond simulant, like cubic zirconia or moissanite, they just prey on the buzzy confusion created by the phrase “lab-created.”

If you see a man made “diamond” with an absurdly low price, odds are good that it’s not a diamond at all. You’ll need to read the fine print, but it will say that this is your run of the mill diamond lookalike. Which is fine – when it’s properly disclosed.

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Related: Why Diamond Disclosure Matters.

What’s not cool though, are customers paying more for these lab created simulants than they would had they just asked their jeweler to set their designer engagement ring with the CZ it comes with! And it’s definitely not okay to mislead customers into thinking that their ring’s diamond simulant would avoid the pitfalls of all stones that aren’t diamonds – namely that they aren’t the hardest substance on Earth. The biggest selling point, besides the sparkle, is the longevity! Rather than a stone that will last, well, forever, you get one that will last you a few years before it needs replacing.

Again, not a big deal to the customers who prefer this. But not fair to those deceived by clever wording around synthetics.

Synthetic diamonds are just that – diamonds! They’ll still be expensive, they’ll still be beautiful, and for some they’re an excellent alternative to naturally mined diamonds.

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