What Are Simulated Diamonds?

By Linda Johnson

  • Overview

    What Are Simulated Diamonds?
    Is it a diamond? Or is it a simulated diamond? And what exactly is the difference? These are questions you may want answers to before you invest in a glamorous, glittering stone. Traditionally, people have spent thousands of dollars on diamonds to say "Marry me," "I love you" and "I'm glad I married you." And even, "just like this stone, you are precious to me." Would a simulated diamond at 1/100th the price say those things just as well?
  • Birth of a Created Diamond

    Simulated diamonds, created diamonds, cubic zirconia--these are names for those dazzling stones that are chemically close in make-up to the traditional diamond. They all started as carbon. The difference is that traditional diamonds began their development in the center of the earth and took millions of years to become gemstones. Created and simulated stones started life in a lab.
  • Simulated but Desirable

    Originally, scientists started trying to simulate a stone for lasers and other optical uses.They wanted to replace expensive diamonds in scientific applications. Russian scientists succeeded in growing this mineral in a lab in the 1970's. By 1980, 50 million carats of cubic zirconia were being produced globally. However, these simulated diamonds soon found their way into jewelry stores as very desirable rings, earrings and necklaces.

  • Can You Tell Which is Which?

    A simulated diamond or cubic zirconium cannot be identified with the naked eye. It looks just like a traditional diamond, even to trained gemologists. Now if you have some lab equipment handy, you will be able see some differences between CZ's and regular diamonds, but they do not greatly affect the looks of the stone. For instance, CZ's have more flash than a regular diamond. Take a photo and you'll see a rainbow of color flashing from the stone, more than you will see in a photo of an expensive diamond. A natural diamond is slightly more brilliant than a CZ, so jewelry manufacturers add a carbon coating to the CZ's to enhance luster. A simulated diamond is among the hardest substances on earth, yet it is slightly less hard than a natural diamond.
  • Create a Diamond Memorial

    The creation of simulated diamonds is now so sophisticated and consistent that you can even choose the source of the carbon from which you want your diamond created. You can have a memorial diamond created from the carbon of a loved one's remains. A LifeGem® is a certified, high-quality diamond that is molecularly identical to any traditional diamond at your favorite high end jeweler's. See resources below to read more about this patented process.
  • Long Lasting Beauty

    Simulating diamonds has become such a perfected process that the clarity and brilliance of simulated stones are now stabilized and unchanging.
  • Cleaning the Simulated Diamond

    Treat your simulated diamond just as you would a traditional diamond. Ultrasonic cleaning will not hurt the stones, although it is not recommended for a pave or flush setting. If your CZ starts to look cloudy, that means it needs to be cleaned. Gemcare® is a vegetable-based cleaning product brings back all the sparkle to stones, and is gentle to the skin.
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