Is Lab-Grown Diamond a Simulant?

It’s not. A lab-grown diamond is a diamond. It has the same chemical, physical and optical properties as the mined one.

Diamond simulants are inexpensive gemstones that might appear similar to an untrained eye. However, they do not possess the same chemical, physical and optical properties. They are less hard and behave differently when exposed to light.They are easily told apart from diamonds with a simple loupe or even by a naked eye of any professional. Two most common diamond simulants are moissanite and cubic zirconia.


Moissanite gemstones are a result of synthetic production. Moissanite is made of carbon and silicon, which makes it less durable than a diamond (9.25 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness). Light refraction and dispersion in moissanite are higher than in a diamond, making the former easily identifiable. Its overwhelming brilliance and fire makes it look less pure and more fake. 

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconiais the least expensive of the simulants, as it is the least durable (8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness) and the easiest to tell apart. It is a mixture of high purity zirconium oxide powders stabilized with magnesium and calcium into the crystallized form. It doesn’t contain carbon even in the slightest, which makes it a completely different material. Of the diamond simulants, cubic zirconia has the worst brilliance and completely undesired appearance.


A diamond, either mined or lab-grown, is composed almost completely of carbon. Its unique chemical structure makes it what it is: the most durable material on the Earth (ranking the 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness) with a look and a sparkle that can’t really be replicated.

  CC RI DI MSH Density Structure
Mined diamonds C 2,42 0,044 10 3,52 Cubic
Cubic Zirconium ZrO2 2,2 0,066 8,25 5,7 Cubic
Lab-grown Diamonds C 2,42 0,044 10 3,52 Cubic
Moissanaite SiC 2,65 0,104 9,25 3,21 HEX
Chemical, physical and optical properties of mined and lab-grown diamonds compared to the diamond simulants.            

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