Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab-created Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab-created Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab-created Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab-created Diamonds: What You Need to Know

You've found the right place if you're searching for an affordable alternative to a traditional diamond. So you can make the right choice, we'll explain the pros and cons about real diamonds and simulants.

What is a "Real Diamond?"?

The term "diamond", however, refers to one specific type of stone: the crystalline carbon form. Although there are many forms of carbon, the unique atomic configuration that makes a diamond stand out is what makes it special.

A carbon atom can only bond with 4 other atoms. In diamond, however, all spots available are taken by...other carbon atoms! It's all carbon! This results in a super stable, super hard and super sparkling stone.



Lab Created diamonds

Only intense heat, constant pressure and a lot of time can create the crystal form of carbon that we call "diamond". Today, it is possible to do this in a laboratory using specialized machines that reduce the cooking time by a few billion. This lab-made diamond is unique in that it differs only from the natural diamond.

You would not notice any difference if you looked at the two types of diamonds from a professional jeweler’s loupe or if both were examined on a molecular level. You can achieve the same result using very different methods.

Lab-grown and earth-created gems are visually and chemically identical. The only difference is their relative origins. This difference in origin allows lab-grown diamonds to have a lower price point.

Simulants are not, however, diamonds. Simulants are different minerals that have a similarity to diamonds. We will be looking at two popular simulants of diamonds: moissanite and cubic zirconia.

Simulants for Diamond Simulants: Cubic Zirconia & Moissanite

Simulants of diamonds are man-made stones made to look like diamonds. These sparkling, clear stones have the same beauty as a diamond but are much cheaper. They do have some non-visual differences from both lab-created diamonds and earth-mined ones.

This is why it matters. Clarity is not the only characteristic of jewelry stones. These stones can vary in color, durability, and sparkle. The stones' individual characteristics will have an impact on how they are worn and how much they cost over time.

Cubic Zirconia

What's cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia, arguably, is the most well-known simulant for diamonds. It is a man-made, crystallized form of zirconium dioxide.

How does cubic zirconia get made?

Zirconium oxide powder can be melted into several stabilizing agents in a laboratory. After cooling, the crystals form and can be cut into jewel-grade stones.


What's moissanite?

Moissanite, a type of silicon carbide crystal, is synthesized in a laboratory. This clear stone has a striking resemblance with real diamonds.

How does moissanite get made?

Moissanite is a rare mineral that occurs naturally. Therefore, most of the moissanite available on the market today can only be found in labs.

How can you tell the difference between a real and simulant diamond?

diamond simulates vs diamonds vs moissanite


The Mohs scale for mineral hardness is the standard measure to determine a stone’s strength. It measures a mineral's resistance against being scratched. It can be measured from 0 (maximum tenderness) to 10 (10 maximum hardness em>).

Lab created diamonds, and earth created diamonds

Diamonds are some of the hardest stones. Diamonds have a Mohs rating of 10, which means they can withstand almost anything in daily life. This is why diamonds are the best choice for engagement rings. They can be worn every day for many decades.

Diamonds are heirlooms that can be passed down to the next generation because their structure is indestructible. Both lab-grown and earth-created stones will last forever.


Moissanite isn’t the hardest mineral, but it’s close. Mohs scale: It scored a 9.25. Although it is more susceptible to scratches than diamonds, it can still withstand daily wear and tear.

Cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia has a moderately high hardness. Its resilience, which is a Mohs 8 rating, is comparable to other jewelry stones such as emerald and beryl. Although it is scratch-resistant, cubic zirconia can still get scratches, especially in highly-worn stones such as those used for engagement rings. Professional jewelers can repair the stone's clarity if this happens.

Earrings are often the first piece of jewelry that someone notices on someone else. Solitaire diamond and moissanite stud are our top choice for versatility and look.  At Fox Jewelry Co is an excellent source for expertly crafted gold and silver solitaire stud earrings.  Also available on Amazon!


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