There is a common mistake to think that synthetic diamonds are the same as simulated diamonds. A non-jewelery person usually mixes up these two absolutely different terms. To clear up confusion we decided to explain the difference in detail.
Simulated diamond (simulant) is used to imitate diamond's gemological characteristics. It is not a real diamond as it does not possess either physical or chemical properties of a natural gemstone. It is an imitant. Simulants can be of natural and artificial origin, in some cases there can a mixture of both of them. The most known diamond imitants are Cubic Zirconia and rhinestones.
CZ is the synthesized material usually of white (colorless) color. Due to its close likeness to real diamonds it was number one competitor to natural gemstones for a long time.
A rhinestone is made of rock crystal. In Europe is it also known as Strass named after Georg Friedrich Strass, who found the means of imitating diamonds by applying coating on the lower side of glass. Rhinestones are really bright but it's just glass.
These two simulants became less popular with the occurrence of moissanite. Moissanite is a cheap alternative to diamonds. It is silicon carbide (SiC) that was discovered by french chemist Henri Moissan. Moissanite is highly competitive with diamonds as it is very hard – the hardest material after diamond and comparable with boron – and high temperature-resistant. It can be of various colors graded from J to K on the diamond color grading scale. It is used as abrasive material, as protection circuits in motors and pulse power systems, for anvils, electronic applications and of course in jewelery. But for traditional lovers of diamond jewelery silicon carbide can't compare with real diamonds.
As for synthetic diamonds they ARE real diamonds but created by man. Synthetic diamonds are also called created, cultivated, man made and lab grown diamonds. Long since people had been making efforts to find out the secret of growing the most precious gem on the planet. The secret revealed however the process of growing diamonds is rather complicated. All the gems are cultivated separately under high pressure high temperature. Thus, synthetic diamonds are resistant to intense heat and pressure.
Moreover, lab grown diamond have mined diamond in its core. So they are of the same chemical composition as natural diamonds. As a result they possess all physical properties of earthly-occurring diamonds: they are solid, though, scratchless, wearproof and durable.
Lab grown diamonds can boast to have optical properties of mined diamonds: the same luster and brilliance. They are equal to natural diamonds but for their origin. The Federal Trade Commission asserted in its Jewelery Guides and Information that synthetic diamonds possess “…essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named.”
Synthetic diamonds are real diamonds, aren't they?