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Simulated Diamonds vs Real Diamonds

Tulika Nair Mar 9, 2020
Have you been hearing a lot about simulated diamonds and do you want to compare simulated diamonds and real diamonds? Well, here is an overview on how these simulants are different from real diamonds.
"Sierra Leone, 1999. Civil war rages for control of the diamond fields. Thousands have died and millions have become refugees. None of whom has ever seen a diamond.
In January 2003, forty nations signed "The Kimberley Process" - an effort to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. But illegal diamonds are still finding their way to market. It is up to the consumer to insist that a diamond is conflict-free." - Blood Diamond (2006)
A high demand for real diamonds resulted in a business that created currency used to fund civil wars in countries like Angola and Sierra Leone. These conflict diamonds are used to fund organized crime and fulfill the demand for weapons.
With the Kimberly process certification that has helped stop the trade of conflict diamonds, and increased awareness, there has been a rise in the demand for simulated and synthetic diamonds.
Whereas the demand for these fake and lab created diamonds still remains much lower than real diamonds, it has helped somewhat in stemming conflict in African countries. Synthetic diamonds are those that share the properties of real diamonds but are created in the lab.
Simulated diamonds or simulants as the International Diamond Council or IDC calls them are stones that mimic the appearance of a diamond. In order to spread more awareness and buy the right product, it is important that you know how to compare simulated diamonds with real diamonds.
The diamond industry pulls in about USD 50 billion in a year. This wealth is created due to the exclusive tag that is attached to these precious stones called diamonds.
While the simulated and synthetic diamonds industry caters to markets that finds actual diamonds a little out of their reach, it also, as mentioned earlier, helps reduce the conflict in African nations, where wars are being funded by fulfilling the need for diamonds.
If you have the money, then you can opt to buy synthetic diamonds, but there are many varieties of simulated diamonds out there that look similar to real and synthetic diamonds that you can choose to buy.


Diamonds, both real and synthetic, are created under extreme pressure and in high temperature.
While real diamonds are formed naturally in the mantle which is 150 km below the earth's surface, synthetic diamonds are created by the HPHT method or the High Pressure High Temperature method that imitates the method by which diamonds are created.
These diamonds are formed when carbon is crystallized under the pressure of the crust of the earth in the high temperature of the core. It takes millions of years for the formation of diamonds.
Simulated diamonds, on the other hand, may either be found naturally or be man-made and do not have the same molecular structure as actual or synthetic diamonds.There are several different lab processes that are used to make simulants.


One of the biggest selling points of diamonds is its clarity. It is colorless. Simulants due to the chemicals used to manufacture them often have traces of colors. Simulated diamonds do not possess the clarity of genuine diamonds. Most simulants have tints of colors like gray or yellow.
You may come across diamond simulants that reflect light in a vivid manner but you will definitely see tints of color. Diamond is one of the hardest materials that occurs naturally. It is unlikely that you will be able to scratch the diamond with anything other than another diamond.
A simulant is hardly ever free of external flaws. The easiest way to distinguish between real diamonds and simulants is to conduct a scratch test or consult a gemologist.


It is obvious that real diamonds are much more expensive as compared to simulants. You could probably buy a simulated diamond for as less as USD 600 which is a fraction of the cost of an actual diamond.
Now you know what simulated diamonds are and what the various differences that crop up when you compare them with actual diamonds. Use of diamonds has been since times immemorial limited to creating valuable jewelry.
If it is the exclusivity of the stone that works for you then maybe you could opt for a real diamond that is certified as a diamond that is not a conflict diamond, but in case you are concerned about the price, then simulated diamonds are a good option.