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How To Identify Diamond Alternatives

by Chris W

Synthetic diamonds are a popular diamond alternative, especially for millennials. Additionally, they can be incredibly difficult to identify. While synthetic diamonds are created in a lab, the process imitates how diamonds are formed naturally. However, lab grown diamonds are not real gemstones. While synthetic diamonds continue to grow in popularity, they are not rare gemstones and therefore do not have the same value as real diamonds. Although synthetic diamonds can be nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye, a certified gemologist is capable of identifying a real diamond when compared with a diamond alternative.

Types of Diamond Alternatives

In addition to lab grown synthetic diamonds, there are a number of other diamond simulants available on the market. Lab grown diamonds are created over the course of a couple days. The canisters mimic the natural conditions that create real diamonds. For this reason, synthetic diamonds are incredibly difficult to spot without proper training. However, other diamond alternatives are much easier to recognize. For instance, the mineral moissanite is a popular diamond alternative introduced to the marketplace in 1998. Although moissanite mined like diamonds are, it is more comparable to cubic zirconium, better known as CZ.

Comparing Moissanite and Real Diamonds

Moissanite and diamonds have many similar characteristics, including the fact that moissanite is incredibly hard. Additionally, moissanite has a crystalline structure that is similar to the makeup of natural diamonds. Because of their similarities, moissanite is often used in scams that replace actual diamond gemstones with alternatives. However, certain tests can demonstrate the differences. Both higher electrical conductivity and birefringence of moissanite will show that it is not a real diamond. Another test involves heating the moissanite which will cause a change in color that will not happen to mined diamonds.

The Benefits of Natural Diamonds

One of the reasons so many people are interested in diamond alternatives is they are much cheaper. While this may be a selling point, the driving force behind this is that synthetic diamonds and diamond alternatives do not have the same scarcity or value. Since real diamonds are made through millions of years of pressure and the combining of elements, they are more rare and therefore retain much more value. When purchasing diamonds, be sure your diamonds are accompanied by proper certification. These documents ensure that a diamond is genuine and includes an examination of the diamond’s characteristics.

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