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  • Simulated diamonds are imitations of natural diamonds and are made from materials like cubic zirconia, moissanite, or glass. They look similar to diamonds, but they are less durable and valuable.
  • Lab-created diamonds, also known as synthetic diamonds, are created in a laboratory using advanced technological processes that mimic the natural process of diamond formation. They have the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural diamonds and are indistinguishable from them, except through specialized testing.
  • Lab-created diamonds are considered more environmentally friendly and sustainable than natural diamonds. They are made without diamond mining, which can destroy the environment and have negative social impacts. Simulated diamonds have different sustainability benefits, as they are still made using mining practices.
  •  Simulated diamonds are usually much cheaper than natural and lab-created diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are generally less expensive than natural diamonds but can still be more expensive than simulated diamonds due to their actual diamond composition.


When it comes to sparkling stones, diamonds have always been the quintessential symbol of love, luxury, and glamor. However, as more people become conscious of the environmental and ethical impact of diamond mining, the demand for sustainable alternatives has skyrocketed. In response, two new types of diamonds have emerged as popular alternatives to natural diamonds: simulated diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. 

While both types offer a more eco-friendly and cost-effective option, they differ significantly in terms of their production process, physical properties, and overall value. In this discussion, we will delve deeper into the similarities and differences between simulated diamonds and lab-grown diamonds and help you decide which one is right for you.


Simulated Diamonds vs Lab-grown Diamonds: A Snapshot

Simulated Diamonds vs Lab-grown Diamonds
CriteriaSimulated DiamondsLab-Grown Diamonds
CompositionCubic Zirconia or MoissaniteCarbon (identical to natural diamonds)
HardnessLower than diamondIdentical to natural diamonds
ColorLimited range, no natural colorCan have natural colors, or can be colorless
PriceInexpensiveLess expensive than natural diamonds but more expensive than simulated diamonds
ValueLowHigher than simulated diamonds, but less than natural diamonds
Environmental impactLower than natural diamonds, but still requires energy and resourcesLower than natural diamonds, but still requires energy and resources
DurabilityLess durable than diamondAs durable as natural diamonds
CertificationNot certifiedCertified as real diamonds by gemological labs
DemandLess demandGrowing demand as ethical and sustainable alternative to natural diamonds

Simulated Diamonds

Simulated Diamonds by La Joya Jewelry

Simulated diamonds are not natural diamonds but are created to look like them. They are used in imitation jewelry mainly because they are colorless and sparkle like diamonds. Due to their lower prices and because they look similar to diamonds, jewelry buyers prefer to buy simulated diamonds.

What is a Simulated Diamond, and What are its Characteristics

Simulated diamonds are not made in labs but are simulated materials that look like diamonds. Thus, their physical and chemical composition differs from natural and lab-grown diamonds. 

  • According to the Mohs scale, diamonds are the hardest material and score 10. But simulants are less hard than natural and lab-grown diamonds (8.5 scores) except Moissanite, which has a hardness score of 9.25 to 9.5. Due to this less durability, they might be subjected to wear and tear and can be damaged easily.
  • It’s easier to differentiate a simulated diamond from the real one with the naked eye.
  • Simulated diamonds have less fire, scintillation and brilliance. But some synthetic moissanite has more fire, a dispersion score of 0.104, and emits brighter rainbow hues than others.
  • Diamonds shine brighter than stimulants, as diamonds can be polished well due to their hardness.

How are Simulated Diamonds made?

Simulated diamonds are made by processing and polishing naturally occurring colorless and shining gems. One good example is white Zircon which has almost equal brilliance to real diamonds. Certain stimulants like cubic zirconia are made by heating mineral powders, including Zirconium Dioxide, up to 5000 Fahrenheit until it melts and then cools down. As it gains texture, it becomes a shiny, reflective crystal. 

This processing makes it look like real diamonds with higher brightness and fire.

Moissanite is available naturally but only in smaller amounts; hence, it’s grown in labs using silicon and carbon by subjecting them to high heat and pressure.

There are many simulated diamonds based on how they are created and processed. Some popular diamond simulants are Moissanite, cubic zirconia, white sapphire, simulant rutile, Swarovski, strontium titanate, cubic zirconia, rhinestones, GGG, YAG, and quartz (rock crystal). 

Each one of these is different from the others and is sold at different prices as their processing technologies vary. 

As most natural gemstone simulants like Topaz can become dull over time, Moissanite and cubic zirconia are widely used stimulants for their resilience and closer resemblance to real stones.

Pros and Cons of Simulated Diamonds

Though Diamond simulants are a great alternative, consider their pros and cons before buying.


  • Simulant diamonds are inexpensive. Those who can’t afford real diamonds can go for simulated diamonds as they look similar (though not identical) to natural diamonds and are almost 95% cheaper than natural diamonds.
  • They can be sliced into any shape and size and can fit into any design.
  • Certain simulant diamonds like Moissanite can refract more rainbow like colors than diamonds, which can be attractive to certain people.
  • It’s travel-safe as it’s lower in price.


  • Simulated diamonds are thinner and can chop off if handled roughly.
  • They aren’t real diamonds; one can easily spot the difference between their refraction properties and dullness over age. They do not share the same fire scintillation or brilliance of a natural diamond
  • Simulated diamonds have low grading scores meaning their perceived value and quality is also low.

Price comparison with Natural and Lab-created Diamonds

Simulated diamonds are 40 to 50% less expensive than lab-grown diamonds. This is because simulated diamonds fall under the fake diamonds category.

Real diamonds take years to develop and then go through fine work, their price depends on four factors, color, cut, clarity, and carat. 

Thus, different variants of diamond simulants cost differently. Moissanite is very close to real diamonds, whereas cubic zirconia of the same size costs 70 to 80% lower than Moissanite’s price. This makes diamond simulants also cheaper than lab-grown diamonds.

Lab-Created Diamonds

Lab-Created Diamonds by La Joya Jewelry

If you want an inexpensive diamond that matches the qualities of real diamonds, then lab-created diamonds are the best option.

The market for lab-grown diamond jewelry is expanding and is predicted to reach a market value of $55.6 billion by 2031. As of 2022, 10% of the diamond sales were solely through lab-created diamonds.

Let’s see the characteristics, price, pros and cons, and types of lab-created diamonds.

What is a Lab-created Diamond, and What are its Characteristics

Lab-created diamonds are artificially grown diamonds in labs that look like real diamonds. They look exactly similar and have the same chemical and physical properties.

  • Similar to natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds are the hardest known substance to humankind.
  • You can get a much bigger diamond for the price of a real diamond.
  • Lab-created diamonds emit the same sparkle as real diamonds as their optical properties are the same.
  • Due to their similar properties, only special testing equipment can differentiate this from real diamonds.
  • Lab grown diamonds and significantly cheaper than their natural counterparts. Lab created diamonds are almost 75% cheaper than their natural diamonds

How are Lab-created Diamonds made?

As its name says, these are man-made diamonds grown in labs from a minute diamond seed. There are two ways in which these diamonds are made. Under both methods, it takes several weeks for the diamond to form.

If it’s the high-pressure, high-temperature method, the diamond is coated with atoms and subjected to high pressure and temperature of around 1.5 million pounds/square inch and 2700 Fahrenheit. 

The other method Chemical Vapor Deposition lets in chemical vapors that get hardened under pressure and temperature (much lesser than the previous method). 

Pros and Cons of Lab-created Diamonds


  • Among the simulated vs lab-created diamonds, lab-created diamonds are preferred by jewelers even as engagement rings and are beating the deep-rooted popularity of mined traditional diamond rings.
  • 75% less expensive than real diamonds.
  • Lab-grown diamonds are also ethically made and are considered more eco-friendly.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Lab-created diamonds don’t have flaws that real diamonds have as they are created in a controlled environment.
  • It’s easier to use lab-grown diamonds in modern designs. 


  • Lab-grown diamonds don’t have resale value as they are easily available, unlike natural diamonds which are finite and more valuable. But, lab-grown diamonds are 75% cheaper than natural diamonds, which makes up for their resale value. While natural diamonds lose half their value when resold, lab-grown diamonds still provide a better long-term value.
  • Lab-grown diamonds lack the allure of natural diamonds, which are revered for taking billions of years to form, making them less attractive to those who appreciate this narrative.

Types of Lab-created Diamonds

There are two types of lab-created diamonds and this is based on their manufacturing process. They are HPHT and CVD.

HPHT is High-Pressure High-Temperature lab-grown diamonds as they are grown under such conditions. The other type is Chemical Vapour Deposition. Though the way they are created varies, there are no changes in the appearance or price of these diamonds.

Price Comparison with Natural and Simulated Diamonds

The price of lab-grown diamonds is reducing significantly after being sold 2o to 30% higher a few years ago. Right now, they are much cheaper than diamonds and sold at 70% lower prices than real diamonds.

The price of lab-created diamonds is based on the carat, color, shape, clarity, and cut. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider all these factors when comparing prices between natural, lab-grown, and simulated diamonds.Simulated diamonds are less expensive than this, and even the most expensive diamond simulant costs 40 to 50% lower than the real diamond’s cost. It also varies based on the design and provider you choose.

Comparison Between Lab-grown Diamonds vs Simulated Diamonds

Comparison between Lab-grown Diamonds vs Simulated Diamonds

Differences in Appearance, Durability, and Value

  • Simulated diamonds are noticeably different from both real and lab-grown diamonds and can be easily identified with the naked eye. In contrast, lab-grown diamonds are impossible to distinguish from natural diamonds, with even trained gemologists struggling to tell them apart.
  • Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as real ones and hence are the hardest known substance to humans. But, simulated diamonds are less durable and can break and chip very easily.
  • The value of lab-grown diamonds is higher than simulated diamonds due to the two factors discussed above. 

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Lab-grown diamonds are created to mimic real diamonds’ physical and chemical properties. Their hardness, color, refraction properties, and fire are almost identical to a real diamond. Hence, their quality is supreme compared to simulated diamonds. 
  • But simulated diamonds have densities that might vary from one variant to another. This is why the size of two different simulated diamonds for the same carat measurement might vary. 
  • Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical structure as real diamonds, which are tightly bonded carbon atoms and molecules, though real diamonds may sometimes hold a small amount of Nitrogen. Due to this, the scintillation, sparkling, and fire remain the same as real diamonds, which cannot be produced by diamond simulants like Moissanite. Simulated diamonds either refract fewer colors or be more bright depending on the gem or variant. 

Environmental Impact of Both Options

The environmental impact of lab-grown diamonds are generally considered to be lower than that of cubic zirconia and moissanite. The production of cubic zirconia and moissanite involves mining and extraction processes that can have negative impacts on the environment. On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled laboratory setting using less energy and fewer resources, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. However, it’s worth noting that the exact environmental impact of any product can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the methods used to produce it and the specific practices of the manufacturer.

Which option is Best for Specific Occasions and Budgets?

Lab-created diamond jewelry is the closest option if you are on a budget but want to buy a special gift for your loved ones. They are affordable and are available in a wide range of designs. You can get custom-made designs to suit your liking and budget. There is an increase in couples choosing lab-grown diamonds as wedding or engagement rings. After all, it’s about the affection you have for the other person that wins, and it wouldn’t need any rare gifts to prove itself. 

Though simulated diamonds are also lower in price, they can become brittle and dull over the years. 

You can go for lab-grown diamonds if you want a shiny, scintillating, and real-like diamond at better prices. 

Simulated Diamonds vs Lab-created Diamonds-Gifs

The Bottom Line

Overall, lab-created diamonds are gaining popularity among modern jewelry buyers, and for good reason. They look just like real diamonds but cost a fraction of the price.

The distinction between a diamond simulant and a lab-grown diamond is easily discernible with the naked eye.

Here, at La Joya, we take extreme care in sourcing ethically grown lab diamonds with superior qualities and present them in the form of beautiful ornaments that you will cherish forever.

Key Takeaways

  • Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds as they share the same properties, unlike simulated diamonds that can be easily spotted as fake.
  • Simulated diamonds are the least expensive category. However, for those who want to purchase high-quality and budget-friendly jewelry, lab-grown diamonds are the best choice.
  • Simulated diamonds lose their shine over years. But lab-grown diamonds shine and sparkle the same way even after years, like natural diamonds.
  • Both simulated and lab-grown diamonds are manufactured in a sustainable way without exploiting natural resources or human labor.
  • Weighing up all these, lab-grown diamonds are more suitable for any jewelry buyer than simulated diamonds as they offer value for your money.

FAQs About Simulated Diamonds vs Lab-Grown Diamonds

Do lab-grown diamonds sparkle like real diamonds?

Yes. Lab-grown diamonds sparkle exactly like real diamonds as their optical properties are created, keeping real diamonds as a reference.

What are the biggest flaws of simulated diamonds?

The biggest flaw of a simulated diamond is that it can become yellow over time. Some simulated diamonds, like Rutile, exhibit more colors than usual, making it easy to spot their fakeness. Diamond simulants can also receive scratches all over the surface and are not suitable for daily wear.

Can I identify a lab-grown diamond in the engagement ring?

You cannot identify a lab-grown diamond in the engagement ring even if you are experienced in it or use a diamond tester. It needs special diamond-testing equipment as both respond the same way to light.

Which diamond should I buy, a lab-grown diamond or a simulant diamond?

There is no verdict on which you should buy, as it depends on your budget, preferences, and style. If you want to own diamond jewelry and save for it, buying lab-grown diamonds will save you more money while making your wishes come true.

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