There is a lot of confusion in the jewelry world what difference is between natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds, and diamond simulants. As a shopper, you want to know what you're buying and if you're getting a bang for your buck but these terms can make you uneasy and hesitant if you don't understand the differences. Here at SilverAndGold, we want you to be a savvy shopper, so we have a quick and simple guide to help you be informed about your jewelry.
We are specifically referring to mined diamonds because honestly the biggest difference between natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds is their point of origin. Natural diamonds grow "in the wild" and are mined. Natural diamonds are made of carbon and are a 10 on the Moh's hardness scale, meaning they are extremely durable (they are forever, after all!). Natural diamonds are still the most popular choice when it comes to engagement rings but in recent years other options, like lab grown diamonds, have started gaining popularity too.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Here's something you might not know - lab grown diamonds are compositionally identical to natural diamonds. They are made of Carbon and a 10 on the Moh's hardness scale. The only difference is that these diamonds are not mined - they are intentionally "grown" in a lab. Think of pearls - some pearls are found wild in oysters while others are cultured within oyster farms. Both pearls are made of the same material, the same way, it's just one is made by chance and one is made intentionally. Lab grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical to natural diamonds, they are just grown intentionally.
Simulant diamonds are manufactured to look like diamonds but are made of very different materials. Popular examples of diamond simulants include cubic zirconia and moissanite. These simulants have a different chemical and physical composition than natural and lab grown diamonds but still imitate the overall appearance.
So Which is Right for Me?
Only you can answer that question! Diamond simulants tend to be much less expensive, allowing you to get a larger size stone or a higher end setting and still save. But these simulants can be identified as just that - a stone simulating a diamond, not the real thing. Lab grown diamonds can be less expensive than natural diamonds, but not necessarily. They are, however, a more eco friendly option because no mining is needed to procure them. And natural diamonds tend to be the most costly but are the most popular choice in high end and engagement jewelry. Assess your jewelry needs and decide what will work best for you!