What is Real Diamond?
When it comes to diamond, some people may feel confused about what 's on offer in the market today....Natural Diamond, Lab-Grown Diamond , Synthetic Diamond , Diamond Simulant.....what're their differences and which one should I choose?
Natural VS Lab-Grown
Diamond was discovered in India around 4th Century BC. Since 1800's, diamond has been mined and later mined underground in a industrial scale. Although there are abundance of diamond on earth, the gem-quality diamond only comprise around 10% of overall diamond being mined. Those diamond that are mined in the ground are considered Natural Diamond - as they are carbon formed under extreme heat and pressures in the earth's mantle. The diamond crystal then be sent to cut and polish to the form that we see on jewellery. As natural diamond occurred naturally from mother-earth, it would run out one day.
Whereas Lab-Grown diamond (or sometimes referred as Synthetic diamond) are diamond created in a man-made controlled environment. Lab-Grown diamond is chemically the same as Natural diamond (which is made of pure carbon), so it is " real" in the sense that it has the same physical composition as natural diamond. But it is not same as natural diamond because Lab-Grown is man-made, so the quality can be controlled and its supply is unlimited. The price structure and value of these 2 kind of diamonds are quiet different.
Both Natural and lab-grown diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs - Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. One can't say which kind of diamond is better. It all comes down to your requirement. People choose natural diamond because of its rarity ,and that it is coming from the earth. Lab-grown diamond offer the choice to people who concern about the environment impact from mining natural diamond. As long as the seller of either are fully disclosing the source of the diamond, you as a customer can make an informed decision.
To understand more about this topic, there is a very good article here by Maddie Stone on this link.
Other kind of "Diamond"
There are other Diamond Simulants in the market that look like diamond but are neither natural or lab-grown diamond. They are stones that are made of other material, either occur naturally or artificially.
Moissanite - Although Moissanite crystal can be naturally occurred, but most of the stones we see are lab-created. Moissanite is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. The durability, brilliance, and color of the two gems are quite distinct.
Cubic Zirconia (CZ)- Cubic zirconia is made in a laboratory from a mixture of zirconium oxide powders stabilized with calcium and magnesium .Often regarded as an inexpensive diamond alternative, cubic zirconia is distinct in its aesthetic qualities and physical structure .