© Socialbutterflyjewellery (flickr.com) Swarovski Stones
© Socialbutterflyjewellery (flickr.com)
What are man made diamonds?
Synthetic or artificial or man made diamonds are gems produced in labs through various chemical processes. Their molecular structure is identical to the natural diamonds and their colour highly depends on the production process.
For instance, the use of nitrogen results in yellow colour gems, whereas the use of boron results in blue, green or pink stones.
Differences between synthetic and genuine diamonds
Although manufactured diamonds may look very much like the real ones, experts can identify the difference, judging mainly by their colour. Man created diamonds can never or rarely be colourless, which is a basic characteristic of an artificial stone. Apart from that, synthetic diamonds lack any mineral inclusions, which is the result of long-term compressions and insertion of foreign bodies within the diamond structure. This fact makes each diamond unique.
Types of man made diamonds
There are several types of artificial diamonds:
Cubic Zirconia: It is one of the oldest simulated diamonds. They have dominated the market due to their low price and availability, and they are considered suitable for low-cost fashion jewelry.
Diamond Nexus: These stones are made through a newly developed process that enables them to mimic the properties of mined diamonds. They are currently available only in the United States with a price of $79 per carat.
Moissanite: It is a hard mineral and a very good diamond replica. However, it is quite expensive with approximately $500 per carat.
Gemisis Cultured Diamond: Another good replica available only in yellow, orange and pink colour.
Russian Diamonds: The ones called Russian Stars and Russian Brilliants are synthetic gemstones that are considered to be a higher quality version of Cubic Zirconias. Their price is around $280 per carat.
Swarovski Crystals: These are actually synthetic crystals that mimic the brilliance of natural diamonds. They are very popular due to their low price.
White Sapphire: This is actually a natural stone that resembles real diamonds with a hardness only surpassed by real diamonds.
Apollo Diamonds: These are colourless diamonds that are very difficult to distinguish from the originals. They are said to cost only a few dollars per carat.