What Are Diamond Simulants?

Perhaps you've heard of diamond simulants, also referred to as diamond imitations, but do you know what these stones really are? Let's see what simulants are made of and how they compare to real diamonds.

Diamond Simulants

Diamond Simulants

A diamond simulant is a stone that looks similar to real diamond and shares some of its characteristics.

A diamond simulant is a stone that looks similar to real diamond and shares some of its characteristics. Although simulants are used as diamond imitations, they have a different chemical structure from real diamonds. Some simulants occur naturally, while others are created artificially. Examples of popular diamond simulants include cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite and rhinestone.

Here are some of the other names used to refer to diamond simulants: simulated diamond, fake diamond, faux diamond, diamond imitation.

Simulants & Synthetic Diamonds - The Difference

Many people confuse synthetic diamonds with diamond simulants. However, these two terms have different meanings.

Synthetic diamonds are actually real diamonds that are created in a lab. Unlike simulants, these stones have the same chemical structure as natural diamonds, and sometimes, synthetics have superior physical properties.

Synthetic diamonds are also referred to as lab-grown, lab-created, cultivated, cultured or man-made diamonds.

People often assume that just because a diamond is referred to as man-made or lab-grown, it is actually fake. Although a lot of diamond imitations are also lab-created, whether a diamond is fake is determined by its chemical structure, not by how it is made.

The only way synthetic diamonds differ from natural diamonds is that synthetics are created artificially.


So, how can you tell if you are dealing with a diamond imitation? Here are the characteristics on which simulants differ from real diamonds:

If you see a colorless and flawless 1 or 2 carat stone with a price tag of a couple hundred dollars or less, then this is most likely a fake.

Common Types

There are a lot of materials that are used to make imitation diamonds. It is good to be familiar with the most popular of them so that you can recognize them as simulants when you come across them.

Here are some of the most commonly sold diamond simulants: cubic zirconia, zircon, moissanite, rutile, glass, spinel, YAG (yttrium aluminium garnet), GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet), white sapphire, strontium titanate, DiamondAura, Diamonique.

Final Thoughts

Before you decide whether to buy a simulant, you should at least be informed about what you can expect of such jewellery.

Keep in mind that since imitations are not as hard and durable as real diamonds, over time, you will be able to see signs of wear. Your simulant will scratch, and at some point, it will become dull.

There is nothing wrong with buying diamond imitations as long as you are aware that they are not real diamonds.

The main attraction of diamond simulants is that they are a lot cheaper than the real deal, so if an imitation works for you, you don't have much to lose by buying one anyway.