When you give or receive diamond jewelry, the effect is the same, extreme excitement. It’s a special feeling. However, when choosing gems that have this type of sparkly impact, there’s some things you should know about the difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds.
Some people are surprised that diamond rings featuring lab grown diamonds are not organically grown, but have the exact same properties as their mined counterparts.
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Noting the Differences Between Diamond-Like and Diamond Jewelry
Simulated diamonds, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite, differ from lab grown or mined diamonds in their hardness (according to the Mohs scale) and how they reflect light. They take on the following forms:
Simulated diamonds include –
- Cubic zirconia (CZ); and
- Moissanite (SiC)
Diamond varieties are featured as –
- Lab grown diamonds
- Mined diamonds
The Lab Created Diamond – An Amazing Innovation
Lab created diamonds hold the same physical, chemical, and visual qualities as mined diamonds as they are also made totally of carbon. Therefore, lab created diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs rating scale. You don’t have to worry about chipping, clouding, or scratches, as their properties are the same as the mined variety.
Lab diamonds impart the same white sparkle as mined diamonds and therefore are gems you’ll be proud to display when wearing them in settings for rings, bracelets, or necklaces. The primary difference then in the lab diamond and mined diamond is in the cost.
Typically, the lab created stones run about 50% less in price. So, you’re basically getting the same thing but paying less for the jewelry. Each type of diamond is just produced differently. Both lab created diamonds and mined diamonds are made of exactly the same element, crystalized carbon. The only thing that is different is the creation process.
The Quality of Lab Created Diamonds – Why There’s Some Confusion
Some people may get confused about their selection between a lab created diamond and mined diamond because of its origination. Lab created diamonds are also referred to as synthetic diamonds, giving you the idea that they’re not real.
However, the term “synthetic” only refers to the fact that the stones were not harvested from the earth. It does not mean they’re any less “real” in composition than the earth-mined diamonds. Also, the trained eye of a jeweler cannot distinguish between a lab grown diamond and a diamond that came from a mine.
To make this type of distinction, you’d have to use a piece of expensive equipment known as a spectrometer that notes the differences using a process known as photoluminescence spectroscopy. When this method of detection is used, scientists must deep freeze the minerals first to determine whether they were made in the lab or harvested from a mine.
Grading Lab Created Diamonds
Gemologists grade lab diamonds just like they do mined diamonds, based on cut, color, clarity, and the diamond’s carat weight. Therefore, just like a mined diamond, a lab-created diamond will also receive a rating that ranges from 0 to 10 on the American Gem Society (AGS) scale.
Therefore, a diamond, either lab grown or mined, will rate 0/0/0- 1.00 for a 1 carat sized diamond that is perfect – 0 color, 0 blemishes and 0 inclusions.
Rating Diamond Hardness
The Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) defines mineral hardness, on the Mohs scale, as a rating that ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the highest level of a gem’s hardness. Frederich Moss is credited for designing the rating scale, which he introduced in 1822.
The mineral hardness of a diamond is important, as diamonds–both lab grown and mined–are also used in manufacturing as materials used in cutting tools. Therefore, the hardness of a gemstone is considered instrumental to its worth and how it is used.
Naturally, when you choose diamond jewelry or jewelry that features diamond-like stones, you want to ensure you’re buying a superlative piece of jewelry.
So, how do you know which ring, bracelet, or necklace to select? That’s when you have to make some comparisons.
How Simulant Diamonds are Different
Simulant diamonds such as cubic zirconia (CZ) and moissanite are simulations of diamonds. Therefore, they may appear diamond-like, but they’re not the real thing. While CZ certainly is sparkly like a diamond, its brilliance and clarity fades over time, giving the stone a glass-like appearance.
Cubic Zirconia Jewelry
While diamonds (lab-created and mined) are made of carbon, CZ stones are made of zirconium dioxide or ZrO2, which is also used in the dental field to make items like dental bridges. On the Mohs scale, CZ stones rate an 8, making them a weaker gemstore than an actual diamond. Because of how they’re made, CZ gems may look cloudy after some time or can chip or show marks because of their lower resiliency.
Stones Made of Moissanite
Made of the substance,silicon carbide (SiC), moissanite, another simulant diamond, was used as early as the 1970s to manufacture LED products. While these gems do show a high level of refractivity, they also reflect light differently from a diamond.
Sometimes, the stones may exhibit a rainbow flicker of colors, which gives away the fact they aren’t true diamonds. These gems, which are more expensive than CZ stones, rate 9.25 on the Mohs scale. They also are less transparent than a diamond in appearance – displaying a tint of gray, pale yellow, or green in their overall cast.
Buying a Diamond – The Proof is in the Difference in Cost
When choosing a diamond piece of jewelry, the differences between lab diamonds and mined diamonds lie in how they’re created – and therefore their price. Because creating a diamond in a lab reduces the costs of labor and offers a simplified approach, you’ll typically pay half of what you would pay for a similar mined diamond gem.
Making an Informed Purchase Decision
If you’re seeking an engagement ring or wish to purchase a diamond creation for someone special, you can find the ideal accessory at a more affordable price. Your choice between a lab gem or mined diamond will be based on quality, style, and value – and what you’ll pay for the same type of jewelry.