There are many beautiful and popular precious stones on the market, but diamonds are one of the most popular. Because diamonds are so popular, synthetic and lab simulated diamonds have become a major industry. Buying a diamond can be a challenge when you come across some of these synthetic stones, and may want to know whether a natural or a synthetic created diamond is better. Find out which type of diamond is best for you by learning more about the difference between natural and synthetic diamonds.
What Are Natural Diamonds?
In Earth’s deep crust, natural diamonds are formed over billions of years. Diamonds are formed when carbon is subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures. The diamond can then be mined, refined, and transformed into the precious gems we know today.
A natural diamond is not created; instead, it is created by nature from within the earth. These slight flaws, imperfections and rarity make diamonds more expensive and desirable.
What Are Synthetic Diamonds?
Synthetic diamonds are diamonds that are not naturally occurring. This simply means that these are diamonds that are made in a lab. Although these are made in a lab, they are technically considered to be a real diamond.
Diamonds created in a lab are created under the same conditions as natural diamonds, however at a faster rate. Instead of billions of years, lab-grown diamonds are created within weeks. After cutting and polishing, these diamonds become chemically and optically identical to their natural counterparts.
Learn the difference between cubic zirconia and lab diamonds with our guide: Cubic Zirconia VS Lab Diamond
Natural Diamonds vs. Synthetic: Which Diamond Is Best?
If you are considering natural, lab, or simulated diamonds, there are many factors to think about, including price, durability, and the impact on the environment.
Natural diamonds are among the most expensive gems because of how long it takes for them to form. The cheapest option would be a lab or simulated diamond, especially if money is a concern. The chemical and optical properties of lab diamonds are the same as those of natural diamonds, but they are less expensive. The cheapest diamonds are simulated ones, but aren’t technically real diamonds.
As you know, diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. Among the 10 hardest materials, diamond is its highest rank, and for good reason. Diamonds made in labs and synthetic diamonds don’t have the same hardness as natural diamonds. Despite being quite hard, lab diamonds measure about 9.25 on the Mohs Scale – less than a natural diamond, however.
The hardness of simulated diamonds varies depending on the material they are made of: cubic zirconia rates between 8 and 8.5 and moissanite rates at 9.25.
Mining and refining natural diamonds can have significant environmental impacts if they are not handled properly. As lab diamonds and simulated diamonds are created without these sources, both are lower in cost and have less environmental impact.
Synthetic vs. Natural Diamonds: Which Will You Choose?
It is really a matter of preference as to whether to purchase natural diamonds or synthetic diamonds. What is best for you can depend on a variety of factors, so take everything you have learned from this blog post into consideration when choosing a stone for your next ring.
If you are open to other options, you might want to consider Cubic Zirconia by reading our guide: Cubic Zirconia VS Lab Diamond