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Diamond Simulant Jewelry

diamond simulant jewelry choices are readily available to the consumer in today’s jewelry market. When people think of simulants, they tend to think of man-made or artificial stones such as cubic zirconia or glass. However, there are many natural stones that are available to you that can also make excellent diamond alternatives.

To be considered a good diamond simulant, a stone must posses several qualities that are considered “diamond-like”, such as brilliance or fire. However, even the best simulants can be differentiated from diamond by someone who is really familiar with them. Read on to learn about what natural, lab-created and man-made stones are considered to be some of the best diamond simulant jewelry available today.

Man-Made, Lab-Created and Artificial Simulants

Here are some of the most common man-made, artificial and lab-created available on the market and the qualities that differentiate them from diamonds.

Diamond Simulant Jewelry

Glass-Glass has much less durability and brilliance than a diamond. It is also much softer and fragile and is not considered, by most, a serious diamond alternative.

Strontium Titanate-Strontium Titanate is a titanium compound that hit the market in the mid-50’s. It has an even greater refractive index than that of diamond, but is much more brittle. Commercial names for it included Brilliante, Diagem and Marvelite.

Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG)-YAG is actually a synthetically grown garnet, but was considered an improvement over strontium titanate because of its hardness and lack of brittleness. Its light dispersion and reflective index are considerably lower than that of a diamond. However, cut correctly, it could pass as an acceptable diamond alternative and was used quite frequently in diamond simulant jewelry in the 70’s. Commercial names for YAG included Diamonique, Replique and Diamonair.

Cubic Zirconia (CZ)-Cubic Zirconia is a common diamond simulant that is still predominately used in diamond simulant jewelry today. Its light dispersion, hardness and low-cost make it very popular. While it’s visual properties make it indistinguishable from diamond (except to those very familiar with diamond), it is somewhat softer and can be scratched with average use. Also, it is internally flawless and colorless. Diamonds usually posses some kind of internal flaw and contain at least a hint of yellow.

Moissanite-CZ did not have a real competitor until a company names Charles & Colvard (in conjunction with Cree) developed a way to mass-produce jewelry quality lab-created stones for use in diamond simulant jewelry. Moissanite is considered, by many, to be the best diamond simulant on the market today. For more information on this stone, see our moissanite article.

Natural Alternatives to Diamond

In addition to lab-created and man-made stones, some natural gemstones are sold as diamond alternatives in diamond simulant jewelry. Some of these include:

White Zircon-Not to be confused with Cubic Zirconia, white (or colorless) ziron is a natural gemstone. Colorless stones were once thought to be an inferior form of diamond until it was discovered that it was a completely different mineral. It has good light dispersion and hardness, but can be brittle and can show wear along the facet edges.

White Sapphire-Being one of the gems considered to be “precious”, white (or colorless) sapphire is a very hard and durable gemstone. Its light dispersion and brilliance, however, are much less than that of diamond.

White Topaz-White (or colorless) topaz is often sold as a diamond alternative. However, its hardness, light dispersion and brilliance are much less than that of diamond.