A real, mined diamond will always reign superior over lab grown diamonds and simulants. However, growing technology is truly pioneering a new market for the benefits of lab grown diamonds and simulants alike.
The greatest appeal of a lab grown diamond versus a true mined diamond is the price. A mined diamond will always be more valuable than a diamond produced in a lab—even though these two stones will have the same chemical make-up. Therefore, if you’re purchasing a lab grown diamond, it should be considerably less expensive than a true, mined diamond.
A simulant, however, is usually the product of other stone types—cubic zirconia, white sapphire, moissanite, etc. – that is passed off as a diamond through misleading copywriting and marketing. By telling the consumer how much a simulant is ‘like’ a diamond, consumers often get confused.
The chemical breakdown of a lab grown diamond and a simulant is usually very different. Honest growers and makers of simulants will supply the retailer or the direct customer with a chemical breakdown of what gemstones were used in the making of the simulant, information that should always be passed down to the consumer. A lab-grown diamond will always be made of the same carbon-based material as a naturally-occuring diamond. The two—natural and laboratory created—diamonds have very few differences, except the possibilities of inclusions.
Some simulants to look out for include Russian Brilliants, Diamond Nexus, Asha, CARAT*, Diamonique, Van Graff or Zironite, to name a few. Many of the distributors and manufacturers of simulants attempt to peddle their products under misleading names, let alone their inability tell consumers the truth about the validity of the stones they’re selling.
Naturally mined diamonds will always be on the top of the diamond totem pole, both in quality and value. Lab-created diamonds are second on the list, although most lab created diamonds are used for industrial purposes and not necessarily sold as jewelry. Simulants, when purchased, are not the same as diamonds and should have a much lower asking price, traditionally in the price range of ‘costume jewelry.’
It is important to know the difference between the three types to protect yourself during any jewelry buying experience.