Synthetic Diamonds vs. the Real Thing: How Can You Tell the Difference?

Shopping for diamonds is no easy task, especially if you are in search of an engagement ring or are celebrating another momentous occasion.

Before becoming captivated by the selection and beauty of the diamonds available, it is important to know the difference between natural, real diamonds, synthetic diamonds, and lab-made diamonds, so you can make an informed purchasing decision that has long-term implications for both your investment and the stone’s longevity.

What is a Natural Diamond?

A natural diamond is a mineral created by nature — on average around 100 miles below the Earth’s surface — and is composed under rare conditions of extreme heat and pressure shape carbon atoms into a crystal structure.

Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth, and every natural diamond is unique — like a fingerprint.

What are Synthetic Diamonds?

While some use the descriptions interchangeably, synthetic diamonds are not lab-created diamonds. And they are definitely not real diamonds.

Synthetic diamonds are alternatives to both and have either been manufactured or chemically altered.

Common synthetic diamonds include:

  • Cubic Zirconia
  • Moissanite
  • Rutile
  • Spinel
  • Synthetic garnet
  • White Sapphire
  • Zircon

What are Lab Made Diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds may look identical to a natural diamond, created with the same physical and chemical properties as the real thing, but are completely man made.

Man-made diamonds are produced in factories in approximately two to three weeks using methods that artificially replicate natural conditions found in the Earth, forcing carbon atoms into a crystal structure.

The rapid manufacturing process of lab-created diamonds will leave marks or signs within the stone that can be easily identified by experts.  

What’s Real and What’s Not?

No matter how advanced technology becomes in a lab, only natural diamonds come from the Earth and are real gemstones. Anything else, lab-made or synthetic, is simply not a real diamond.

What are the Benefits of Buying Natural Diamonds?

At Gems are Forever, we believe natural diamonds are rare, timeless, inspiring, and beautiful.

And we should know. As one of the foremost diamond wholesalers in around the globe, we provide precious and exceptional diamond options for everyone from celebrities who know exactly what they are looking for to novice shoppers who have a unique and passionate approach to finding the right stone.

There is literally nothing like a diamond. That is what makes their purchase and ownership over other gemstones flush with benefits.

First, natural diamonds rank 10 on the Mohs Hardness scale. This makes them durable for everyday wear and helps keep their composition intact, no matter what the wearer puts them through. Lab-created diamonds rank closer to nine on the scale.

Next, a natural diamond’s value will usually increase over time. Depending on the diamond’s size, cut, clarity, and color, the rarer it may be, which typically results in a good investment as they may appreciate more quickly in value.

Finally, diamonds are the benchmark by which all jewelry collections are measured, and ours are sourced with nearly half a century of experience in selecting mining locations, extraction conditions, and Gemological Institute of America prerequisites before our clients even get to see them.

Whether you are buying an engagement ring, earrings, or pins and brooches, bestowing diamonds as a gift is a sincere and permanent reflection of the reason behind its purchase.

Contact Our Diamond Industry Leaders at Gems Are Forever

Gems Are Forever is based in Beverly Hills, California, and has assisted those searching for the perfect diamond for over 40 years.

Our staff are Graduate Gemologists from the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA — the world’s authority on certified diamonds that ensures every report on a diamond is accurate and discloses its origin — whether it is natural or not — treatments performed on the stone, and grades the diamond for cut, clarity, color, and carat.

To learn more about how we can help you find the perfect diamond, contact us to schedule an appointment with our experienced jewelers today.