Man-Made Diamonds; A Buyer’s Guide

It seems nearly impossible to watch TV or open a newspaper without seeing something about man-made diamonds. For hundreds of years science has tried to create a perfect synthetic diamond. Finally, 21st-century technology has made that prospect a reality.

There are many reasons to purchase synthetic diamonds instead of the mined variety. The prices charged for mined diamonds are, in the very best verbiage, an illusion. To put it more bluntly, Cecil Adams, in his award-winning newspaper column “The Straight Dope”. Says: “Diamonds are a con, pure and simple.”. Diamond prices are largely controlled by the DeBeers diamond cartel. they're not a fair reflection of diamond scarcity. Additionally, studies show that one out of three diamonds sold in the US today has been altered to artificially increase its value. Further studies have shown that on average a couple pays 40% too much for their diamond engagement ring.

Beyond deceptive pricing, there are the issues of “blood diamonds”, forced child labour. A myriad of other disturbing diamond facts.

Recently, socially conscious celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Minnie Driver. Angelina Jolie have made a vocal issue of wearing only synthetic diamonds to the many gala events they attend.

Good synthetic diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from the mined variety. Without the baggage. Additionally, they cost thousands of dollars less. But, which synthetic diamond is the best choice?

There are many types of man-made or synthetic diamonds available. The choices are numerous. Unbiased information is scarce. Here is an overview and comparison of the synthetic diamonds currently unavailable on the market:

Cubic Zirconia

The grandfather of simulated diamonds, Zircons are available widely. In their best examples, CZ’s are actually a fairly decent diamond replica. Unfortunately, the commodity-like availability and vast differences in quality have made the stone synonymous with low-cost fashion jewellery. Perhaps a good choice for cheap bling. Not for fine jewellery. Many sources are available, a decent one is:

Russian Diamonds

Including Russian Brilliants, Russian Stars and others, they're in fact nothing but high quality cubic zirconias. This isn't mentioned prominently on their web sites and they'll only cop to it when pressed. that's the fact. Russian diamond simulates are priced around $280 per carat.

Russian Diamonds are a fine jewellery selection and are usually mounted in quality precious metal settings.

Russian Brilliants are one of the best and oldest sellers of “Russian Diamonds”. Available at:


Moissanite is a lab-created mineral that's a very good diamond simulant. Moissanite has been on the market as a fine jewellery choice since the early 90s and has picked up quite a few fans. Moissanite is a hard mineral that, like diamond, will cut glass. There are a couple of minor downsides to moissanite however. First, it's quite expensive, (though still cheap compared to diamonds) usually priced about $500 per carat for good samples.

Secondly, moissanite doesn't have the same optical qualities as diamond and there are several indicators that make them easy to spot with the naked eye for an experienced practitioner. it's difficult to produce a pure white moissanite and they often appear slightly green when viewed in natural light. Also, moissanite has significantly higher radiance and brilliance factors then natural diamond, causing them to appear “too sparkly”. To some. Overall though, moissanite is a beautiful synthetic diamond choice.

“Moissanite From the Sky”. At http://www.fromthesky.com is a good source of fine moissanite jewellery.

Diamond Nexus

Diamond Nexus gemstones are the result of a fairly new scientific advancement in processing technique. Have only recently been available in the United States.

Diamond Nexus gemstones are excellent diamond simulants and come very close to matching the properties of mined diamonds at many different comparison points. They cut glass, being virtually identical to diamond on the Mohs (hardness) scale. They refract perfect “hearts and arrows”. Have radiance and brilliance readings extremely close to flawless diamond.

Best of all, they're currently introductory priced for the U.S. market. Are a steal at $79 per caret. Diamond Nexus gemstones are only available in precious metal, solid-gold settings.

Diamond Nexus is only available from Diamond Nexus Labs at: http://www.DiamondNexusLabs.com

White Sapphire

Sapphire is the second hardest natural mineral on the Mohs scale, surpassed only by diamond. they're, unlike the others in this review, a natural stone. Their radiance and brilliance aren't up to the standards of diamond however. Nevertheless, quality white sapphires priced at around $220 per carat are a good diamond alternative.

A quality source is: http://www.TheNaturalSapphireCompany.com

Gemisis Cultured Diamond

Gemisis diamonds are beautiful and almost perfect diamond replicas. Unfortunately, they're not available in a clear, white colour. they're not a good choice for traditional diamond settings. However, if a yellow, orange or pink diamond is what you crave, Gemisis offers stunning choices in beautiful precious metal, fine-jewellery settings.

Gemisis Cultured Diamonds are only available at: http://www.gemisis.com


Synthetic diamonds offer many advantages over the mined variety. You can buy with confidence, knowing that you're getting exactly what you paid for. Haven't been the victim of diamond pricing chicanery. If you're concerned with the world around you, you can have a clear conscience, knowing that your money hasn't contributed to the support of an unethical and abusive industry.

However, there are many choices of synthetic diamonds, with varying degrees of quality. Take a little time to review the seller’s information to get a clear idea of what the science is behind the gemstones you're buying.

For my money, I believe the best choices are quality Moissanite stones or the new diamond simulant gemstones available from Diamond Nexus Labs.

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