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Lab grown diamonds, also known as man-made, cultured or engineered diamonds, are diamonds created in a laboratory. Since the same materials and advanced technology are used to replicate the conditions as well as growing process of how natural diamonds are formed beneath the Earth’s surface, synthetic diamonds also have crystal structure, chemical and optical properties of a mined diamond.
Due to the exact same physical, chemical and visual characteristics of man-made diamonds and natural diamonds, it is extremely difficult to differentiate these two types of diamonds since they look the same under naked eye. Lab grown diamonds possess almost every features of its natural counterpart, from scintillation to sparkle, however, they also have some minor difference in trace elements that can only be detected using specialised equipment by trained gemologists. Nowadays, Lab Grown Diamonds are becoming more popular as they appear to be the best diamond alternative based on their similarity to natural diamonds and affordable prices. When buying Lab Grown Diamond, it is essential to ensure that the diamond comes with a gem certification that identified them as laboratory grown.
The identity of Lab Grown Diamonds and Diamond Simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite, can be determined using just unaided eye. Although simulated diamonds look closely similar to synthetic diamonds as they are manufactured to imitate the visual appearance of natural diamonds, simulants are not composed by the same materials or chemical and physical properties as both man-made and mined diamonds. Therefore, their structure, hardness and brilliance are different, resulting in a much lower price compared to the Lab Grown Diamonds. In fact, cubic zirconia is much softer and will scratch very easily. On the other side, moissanite is quite often mistakenly determined as real diamonds due to its similarity (moissanite is the hardest of all diamond simulants). Nevertheless, it still can be distinguished from man-made or mined diamonds since synthetic moissanite has more fire and double refractive index than diamonds, which could create a disco ball effect and make it look more “artificial”.