What Is A Diamond Simulant?
Diamond simulants are stones that look like genuine diamonds but aren't. Some occur naturally in the earth, like white zircons and white sapphires. Others are created in a lab, like moissanite and cubic zirconia (CZ).
The Gold and Diamond Source team is here to explain the different diamond simulants and help you choose the one that suits your personality.
Are Diamond Simulants Popular?
Diamond simulants have been gaining popularity in recent years. And some — like moissanite — have developed a dedicated following among consumers. That's mostly because of the social and environmental impacts of diamond mining.
At its worst, diamond mining can be a difficult process that has a reputation for:
- Underpaying local miners and indigenous people who are working in dangerous conditions
- Funding terrorist activity, like "blood diamonds"
- Destroying jungle habitats
- Generating greenhouse gases
- Causing erosion and scarring the earth
So, if you're dedicated to social equality issues or environmentally concerned, you might feel a lab-created diamond simulant is a better choice. The fact that diamond simulants are available at a fraction of the price is icing on the cake!
Moissanite VS Cubic Zirconia
Two popular artificial simulants are moissanite and cubic zirconia. Of the two, this author prefers moissanite, by far. While not as economical as a CZ, its hardness (9.25 on Moh's Hardness Scale) is near a diamond, making it durable for everyday wear.
- But the more impressive point is that moissanite visibly outperforms a diamond.
- With a higher refractive index, you'll see a different and more intense sparkle coming out of a moissanite.
Moissanite will also generate that rainbow fire we love in diamonds. The sparkle factor can be overwhelming. We've heard it called the "disco ball effect." These stones are so dazzling that an educated eye can recognize them right away. That's no diamond.
Some Earth-Mined Stones Can Mimic Diamonds
Now, some customers want a stone that came from Mother Nature. We understand! We'd steer you towards white zircons. A high-quality white zircon sparkles much like a diamond, but it's not nearly as tough. So it won't be the ideal stone for decades of everyday wear, like an engagement ring.