While they have almost always existed in the industry, companies are using different terminologies and different marketing strategies to sell their diamond simulant products. So I would like to briefly open the lid on a couple.
Cubic Zirconia or CZ’s.
These have been around a long time and in some cases can be an attractive alternative to diamonds. However, they are not a good alternative in the case of quality jewellery that will be kept for a long time and possibly with sentimental attachment. While CZ’s are reasonably hard, 8 on the Mohs scale, this scale is not linear and a diamond at 10 on this scale is far harder. CZ’s will wear, scratch and chip.
Today some companies are not so up-
There are several other stones that can be used in place of diamonds, such as Moissonite. Moissonite has a hardness of 9 to 9.5 but has significantly different refractory properties, and is not usually such a cheap alternative as it can be quite valuable.
Or otherwise known as ‘Lab Diamonds’. These are actual diamonds, as in the only difference between these and a normal diamond is that these are not found in the ground. While often pure colours are hard to attain, there are some good coloured lab diamonds available. However while being a little cheaper, genuine lab produced diamonds are not ‘cheap’.
Beware! There are several sites that I have pursued simply for curiosity that with clever wording as mentioned above, lead the prospective buyer to believe they are buying a lab diamond when in fact it is a lab produced simulant. This is once again in most cases simply a cubic zirconia. I was quite disturbed to see companies proving comparison charts, comparing CZ’s to diamonds, that were nothing more than deceiving. So one must be very cautious when pursuing very cheap “diamond” rings online.