Natural and Lab Grown Diamonds vs Imitation Diamond: What Differences?

3 April, 2024| 5 Minutes Read

Natural and Lab Grown Diamonds vs Imitation Diamond: What Differences?

Confusion between natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds and imitations? A universe that is often difficult to understand, but today, together, we will clear up any doubts. The rise of lab-grown diamonds and diamond imitations makes it crucial to draw attention to the distinction between these options. Today, we will focus our attention between diamonds (natural and lab-created) and diamond imitations. You may have heard of both, but be prepared to be guided through the subtle but significant differences between them. Contrary to common belief, they are very different.

Natural Diamonds: Mined Elegance

Natural diamonds are treasures of the earth, forged by extreme pressures and temperatures beneath the earth’s surface 200 million years ago. Due to their durability and inherent beauty, they are an ideal choice for jewelry such as engagement rings.

Lab Grown Diamonds: The Excellence of Science

Lab-created diamonds offer the same beauty and durability as natural diamonds, but without mining extraction. Thanks to advanced technology, they are virtually indistinguishable from their natural brethren, offering an ethical and affordable option for those who love the beauty of diamonds.

Diamond Imitations: Crystals Similar at First Sight

Diamond simulants, such as Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite, attempt to imitate the elegance of diamonds but are crystals with different composition and optical properties. Although they are more affordable in price, it is important to note that they are not real diamonds.


gemologist natural diamonds lab grown

… And now, what can help us distinguish them? Key Differences: Diamonds vs Imitations

The main distinction lies in physical and optical properties. While laboratory diamonds are practically identical to natural ones, imitations such as Moissanite and Cubic Zirconia are completely different synthetic crystals in terms of optical properties, hardness, specific weight and charm, showing evident variations.

Pros and Cons: What to Consider

Imitations offer an economical and sustainable alternative, but over time they can show signs of wear such as scratches which could compromise their beauty. On the other hand, lab diamonds retain their beauty over time, but some may prefer the inherent uniqueness of natural diamonds.

How can a gemologist distinguish between a diamond and an imitation solely through visual analysis?

natural diamonds lab grown


A gemologist can distinguish between a Diamond, a Cubic Zirconia and a Moissanite using several characteristics observable under the microscope.
Here are some things you could look into:

1. Atomic arrangement:

– Diamonds have a cubic crystalline structure
– Moissanites have a hexagonal crystal structure.
– Cubic zirconia has a cubic structure, but subtle differences in atomic arrangement can be detected under a microscope.

2. Defects and inclusions:

– Diamonds often have inclusions such as veils, clouds, other crystals, or obvious signs of diamond crystallization.
– Moissanites and Cubic Zirconia can also contain inclusions, but these differ in their nature. For example, gas bubbles in moissanites and cubic zirconia can have a characteristic and different appearance and arrangement than those in diamonds.

3. Refractive indices:

– Different crystals have different refractive indices, which means that light behaves differently when passing through them.
– A gemologist might observe the refractive index using microscopy techniques to determine the crystal in question.

4. Hardness:

– While all three of these crystals are hard, diamond is known for its distinct hardness on the Mohs scale.
– Using microscopy techniques, a gemologist could observe any signs of wear or scratches that could identify an imitation diamond.

5. Brilliance and dispersion:

– Although less definitive under the microscope, the gemologist may observe the brilliance and scattering of light through the specimen, as each crystal has unique optical properties.
– Using a combination of these characteristics and microscopy techniques, an experienced gemologist can distinguish between Diamonds, Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite with a high degree of accuracy.

Conclusion: Choose Wisely

The choice between natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds or imitations depends on your individual preferences and specific needs. Bon Gioielli does not offer diamond imitations, but it can help you if you are looking for the uncompromising beauty of natural diamonds or the convenience and ethics of laboratory diamonds. Always remember to rely on a diamond expert for informed advice and an informed choice.

Explore Options:

A World of Possibilities If you would like to further explore the various options available, please do not hesitate to contact one of our jewelery experts. We’re here to help you find the perfect piece of jewelry that fits your lifestyle and budget. Discover the wonderful world of diamonds with us!

Whether you are a diamond enthusiast or simply curious, share your questions and reflections with us. We are here for you, whether on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest or in the comments below. Book a virtual or in-store appointment, and let us guide you on this exciting journey to discover the perfect jewelry for you.

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