Looking for diamond alternatives to save some money? Countless people are doing the same. Since diamonds are super-expensive and very difficult to access, many people have started looking for diamond jewelry alternatives. Many gemstones have similar properties and cost much less. However, for people who want their diamond alternatives to look and feel exactly like diamonds, these look-alikes won’t make much of an impression. These shoppers will like lab-created diamonds that have their unique properties. Synthetic diamonds are almost identical to diamonds in terms of their atomic structures. But, they’re not made of carbon atoms like real diamonds. So, what’s all the fascination with synthetic lab diamonds? Let’s explore the best lab diamonds on the market.
First discovered in 1893, Moissanite stones were initially thought to be diamonds as they were just as hard. Scoring a whopping 9.5 on the Mohs scale (diamond scores a perfect 10), moissanite stone is the second hardest naturally occurring mineral in the world. So, what is this naturally occurring mineral doing on the list of the best synthetic diamonds? Well, moissanite crystals are made of silicon carbide – a material that can be recreated in labs. These synthetically produced laboratory diamonds have unique faceting patterns which make them reflect light in unique ways. This type of light emission is known as the “disco-ball” effect. Moissanite stones are colorless but can gain yellowish or grayish hues if not cleaned properly. Synthetic moissanite jewelry is very affordable, so budget-friendly shoppers must consider this material on their next shopping spree.
Cubic zirconia (CZ) is another extremely popular synthetic diamond simulant. Zirconium dioxide is treated in labs to create cubic zirconia, a material that looks visually similar to authentic diamonds. However, physically, the two couldn’t be more different. CZ can be easily chipped or scratched. So, owners of cubic zirconia gems must properly look after these ‘fake diamonds.’ Thankfully, manufacturers can control other aspects of this stone. For instance, CZ can have the same colorless look that expensive D-rated diamonds have. If you’re asking what is the best fake diamond in terms of cost-effectiveness and appearance, it’s hard to argue against colored cubic zirconia.
Other Popular Synthetic Alternatives to Diamond
As innovations in the ‘fake diamond’ industry bring down production costs, jewelry shoppers can expect the list of synthetic diamonds to increase and their prices to drop. Some other popular synthetic diamond choices include – white sapphire, HPHT synthetic diamonds (high-pressure, high temperature), and carbon-coated cubic zirconia.