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Best Lab-Created + Simulated Diamonds (Where to Buy in 2023)

Best Lab-Created Diamonds

Trying to find the perfect diamond jewelry nowadays is not only exciting but also quite overwhelming. The traditional diamond market consists of solely mined diamonds that originate from conflict zones.

But fortunately, we now have the option of going for lab created diamonds and simulated diamonds to avoid all that while still being able to wear the diamond jewelry of our dreams.

If you’ve been looking for the best lab-created and simulated diamond jewelry for yourself or a loved one but find all the jargon confusing and intimidating, we definitely don’t blame you!

That’s why we’ve put together this complete guide to explain the differences between simulated and lab-created diamonds and have also shared the best places to find the perfect piece of jewelry in 2023.

So, read on to learn everything you need to know about simulated diamonds and lab-created diamonds, plus the top places to buy jewelry in 2023.

Affiliate Disclosure:  Planet Natural editors review and select each product mentioned in the article independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn a commission which will help support our website.

What are Simulated Diamonds?

Simulated diamonds are gemstones that are natural and manufactured stones that look like diamonds but, in fact, are not and have slight differences in terms of both appearance and composition.

Some are ‘natural’ simulated diamonds, meaning they are natural stones and not manufactured stones. Moissanite is the most widely available and known natural simulated diamond.

Some are ‘natural’ simulated diamonds, meaning they are natural stones and not manufactured stones. Moissanite is the most widely available and known natural simulated diamond.

Diamond simulants are sold at a lower price because they lack the chemical and physical characteristics of diamonds.

The fire and brilliance of simulated diamonds make them easy to spot in comparison to real or lab-created diamonds.

Two Most Common Diamond Simulants

Moissanite

Moissanite is a precious stone that, quite literally, came from the stars. A French chemist named Henri Moissan, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, made the initial discovery in 1893.

In Arizona, in a crater made by a meteorite that hit Earth, he found tiny pieces of the gem that would later be named after him. At first, he thought he had found diamonds, but he found out later that the crystals were made of silicon carbide.

Due to its extreme rarity, all of the moissanite that is currently on the market was produced in a laboratory.

After many years of trial and error, the particles discovered by Moissan were successfully synthesized to create what is now one of the most brilliant gemstones in the world.

Cubic Zirconia

In 1969, jewelers began using cubic zirconia as a diamond substitute. It has since become one of the most popular diamond stimulants on the market.

Cubic zirconia is a manufactured gemstone. That is, rather than being mined from the earth, it can be produced in a clean laboratory setting.

Although zirconia can be found in nature, it is too rare and brittle to be used.

Crystalline zirconium dioxide is used to create the gemstone. The laboratory begins by heating zirconium oxide, a type of mineral powder, to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.

To add color and strengthen the gemstone, the laboratory also incorporates other minerals during the process.

What are Lab Created Diamonds?

Lab-created diamonds are diamonds that are ‘grown’ inside a lab using modern, cutting-edge technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process

This makes them virtually the exact same as natural diamonds; the only difference between the two is where they originated from. Lab-created diamonds are chemically, physically, and visually the same as those grown naturally beneath the Earth’s surface.

For this reason, lab-created diamonds aren’t ‘fake.’ They’re not like manufactured diamond stimulants such as cubic zirconia (CZ) and have the exact same physical and chemical properties as a mined diamond.

You won’t be able to tell a single difference between a lab-created diamond and a natural diamond unless someone tells you which is which.

Often, lab created diamonds are referred to as synthetic diamonds. This isn’t the right term to use for these stones as that’s technically incorrect; lab created diamonds are still diamonds. But due to the use of this term, many people often mistakenly believe lab created diamonds to be ‘fake.’

If you were to compare them to popular diamond stimulants such as moissanite or cubic zirconia, you’d be able to spot the difference; lab created diamonds are definitely the real deal.

What’s the Difference Between Lab Created and Simulated Diamonds?

In contrast to diamond simulants, lab-grown diamonds possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds and are therefore considered genuine diamonds.

Lab diamonds are visually indistinguishable from mined diamonds in the absence of specialized equipment capable of detecting minute differences in crystal growth.

Moissanite and cubic zirconia (CZ), which look like diamonds, are not the same as lab diamonds in terms of their structure, chemistry, and appearance. Due to their fiery sparkle and rainbow refractions, they are distinguishable from synthetic diamonds with the naked eye.

Some people adore the fiery, rainbow-colored flashes that moissanite emits, but others believe that the stone’s enhanced brilliance can have a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight.

The larger the moissanite, the more likely the distinction will be noticeable. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond, ranging from 2.65 to 2.69.

On the Mohs scale of hardness, lab diamonds are a solid 10, making them among the hardest and most long-lasting minerals known to man.

Moissanite is ranked 9.25 and cubic zirconia is ranked 8.5. This means that they are both durable and can be worn every day, but they are more likely to get scratched and worn on the surface over time.

Lab diamond engagement rings are a cost-effective alternative to natural diamonds, as they are 30% less expensive than similarly sized and quality natural diamonds.

Lab-created diamonds are graded based on their shape, carat, cut, color, clarity, and clarity. This affects their price.

Moissanite, which resembles a diamond, costs less than both lab-grown and natural diamonds. Its price depends only on its size, regardless of whether it’s a premium or super premium variety.

Why Consider Buying Lab-Created or Simulated Diamond

Conflict-Free

For conscious consumers, diamond origin matters. Many people in diamond-rich countries, unfortunately, consider diamonds to be a curse rather than a blessing. This is because diamond mines not only produce diamonds, but they stem civil wars, violence, environmental degradation, and worker exploitation.

And so, diamonds that fuel civil wars are often referred to as ‘blood diamonds’ or ‘conflict diamonds.’

On the other hand, when you buy lab created diamonds or diamond stimulants, you can rest assured that they will be conflict-free.

Superior Quality

Compared to natural diamonds, lab created diamonds and simulated diamonds are available in better quality. This is because ‘dirt diamonds’ are blasted out of the earth with dynamite and diesel.

Lab-created and simulated diamonds don’t usually have this problem, this means they’ll have fewer defects and there will be less strain in the crystal structure.

That’s not to say that you can’t find pure, bright diamonds on the market. It’s just that the price is then that much higher for higher purity ratings.

Environmentally Safe

Diamond mining uses a lot of fossil fuels, negatively affects the environment, and is becoming less sustainable every year.

Diamond mines are some of the largest holes ever excavated on Earth, requiring vast quantities of fossil fuels to extract the gems with heavy machinery.

For example, for India to dig one diamond mine in the next few years, 492,000 trees will have to be cut down.

A small portion of that energy is used in the production of lab created diamonds, which has no impact on the delicate ecosystems in rivers and lakes. And the same is the case for diamond stimulants such as cubic zirconia.

Better Value for Money

Similar to mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are valued based on the four Cs namely cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Lab-grown diamonds typically sell for 40 to 50 percent less than mined diamonds of comparable size and quality, meaning you can afford a larger, higher-quality diamond by opting for lab-grown.

For instance, a 2.5-carat lab-grown diamond of the same quality can be purchased for about the same price as a 1.5-carat solitaire engagement ring from a luxury retailer.

Is It Possible to Buy Real Diamonds Ethically?

If you’re still interested in buying diamonds, we recommend you go for conflict-free diamonds that meet the Kimberly Process (KP) standards.

Kimberly Process defines conflict diamonds as ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments.’ It was established in 2003 and is a multilateral trade regime with the goal of preventing the flow of conflict diamonds around the world.

The basis of this is the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) under which countries implement safeguards on the shipment of rough diamonds and certify them as ‘conflict-free.’

If you’re looking for the best KP-certified conflict-free diamonds, we recommend you buy from Nyrelle, a beautiful fine-jewelry company that specializes in conflict-free diamonds. With classy, minimalist designs, you’re sure to find the right piece of jewelry there. Read our review below for more details.

Best Places to Buy Simulated Diamonds and Lab Created Diamonds in 2023

If you’ve made up your mind on whether to go for lab-created diamonds or simulated diamonds, then check out our top picks for 2023 below:

Best KP-Certified Conflict-Free Diamonds: Nyrelle

Before we get into the best places to buy lab-created and simulated diamonds, let’s first look at the best place to buy conflict-free natural diamonds!

Nyrelle is an incredible fine jewelry company that has a great collection of ethically sourced gold jewelry. All their diamond pieces are ethically sourced and KP-certified, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy natural diamonds without worrying about funding any civil wars and human rights violations.

The brand has an exquisite collection of stunning, elegant designs ranging from everyday pieces to more-expensive pieces you can add to your collection.

With unique, aesthetically pleasing designs, you’re sure to find something that fits your style with Nyrelle.

KP Certified Conflict Free Diamonds from Nyrelle

KP Certified Conflict Free Diamonds from Nyrelle

Best Moissanite Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands: MS Blue

There is a definite charm to having a moissanite ring; the fire and brilliance is the reason why many people prefer these even over real diamonds!

If you’re one of those people and want to find the perfect moissanite engagement right, then MS Blue is the company for you! You’ll get just about every kind of cut and shape you can think of there. This includes the stunning crushed ice cut!

They also have stunning bridal sets so the perfect matching wedding band to go with your engagement ring.

What’s best is that you can find rings in every price range with MS Blue, since they have gold-plated rings as well as 14k solid gold rings, giving you a ton of options to choose from.

And if you have something really specific in mind, you can also get a custom ring made from them! Oh, and every order includes the option of adding free engraving, as long as the ring width allows for it.

Moissanite Engagement Ring

Moissanite Engagement Ring by MS Blue

Moissanite Crushed Ice Engagement Ring

Moissanite Crushed Ice Engagement Ring from MS Blue

Moissanite Bridal Set

Moissanite Bridal Set from MS Blue

Moissanite Custom Engagement Ring Sketch

Moissanite Custom Engagement Ring Sketch from MS Blue

Best Lab Created Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands: JC Penny

If you’re looking for some stunning lab-created diamond engagement rings instead of moissanite, JC Penny is a great brand we highly recommend!

You’ll find some of the most beautiful engagement rings with a variety of cuts and shapes to enable you to find the ring of your dreams!

They also carry a wide variety of wedding bands, including men’s bands, to help you mix and match for the perfect bridal set.

And, like MS Blue, you also have the option of getting a custom, made-to-order ring made from them!

If you’re looking for loose stones instead, you can also find those at Lightbox Jewelry.

Lab Created Diamond Engagement Ring

Lab Created Diamond Engagement Ring from JC Penny

Best Body Jewelry Collection: WJD Exclusives

Anyone who’s into body jewelry knows how tricky it can be to find the perfect piece! Now couple that with trying to find diamond simulants or lab-created diamond body jewelry and you’re definitely in a pickle.

But not with WJD Exclusives, they have one of the best collections of body jewelry currently on the market! Whether you’re looking for nose rings, belly rings, lip rings, or toe rings, you’re bound to find a piece that fits your aesthetic.

But that’s not all they sell either; they have an incredible collection of chains, bracelets, pendants, and even earrings in a variety of designs at great prices!

Simulated Diamond Body Jewelry

Simulated Diamond Body Jewelry from WJD Exclusives

Best Moissanite Earrings: MS Blue

When it comes to the best moissanite earrings, it’s hard to beat MS Blue’s collection! They have a beautiful collection of earrings, ranging from studs to drop earrings and everything in between.

Their stunning stud earrings are perfect for everyday wear and will definitely get you loads of compliments from just about everyone that sees them. They’re casual enough for office wear but can also stand on their own for a dinner party or event.

If you’ve always been looking to have a beautiful diamond earring collection but couldn’t justify the price, then these moissanite earrings are absolutely perfect for you!

Moissanite Earrings

Moissanite Earrings from MS Blue

Best Lab Created Diamond Necklaces: JC Penny

If you’re looking for some exquisite necklaces in solid 14K gold with the perfect lab-created diamonds, then JC Penny is where you need to head right away!

There you’ll find just about every cut there is and some stunning, minimalist designs that’ll let your lab-created diamond take center stage.

They have a great price range with classic pieces available at under $250! Now that’s definitely a steal, and to think you’re getting the real deal for that is absolutely incredible!

Lab Created Diamond Necklace

Lab Created Diamond Necklace from JC Penny

Best Men’s Lab Created Diamond Collection: WJD Exclusives

Looking for some incredible jewelry for men? WJD Exclusives is the brand for you then! From earrings to chains to rings, they have just about everything you can imagine including watches!

They definitely have a stunningly wide collection, with unique pieces that’ll help you stand out from the crowd. They also sell some great 925 sterling silver pieces if you’re looking for more affordable pieces to build a larger collection!

Mens Lab Created Diamond Jewelry

Mens Lab Created Diamond Jewelry from WJD Exclusives

 

 

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