Lab-grown Diamonds and Gemstones
A lab-grown (also know as synthetic or cultured) gemstone is a real gemstone in every sense: chemically, physically, atomically and optically. The only thing that differentiates it from a mined gemstone is its point of origin. This blog post has more information on lab-grown gemstones.
Lab-grown gemstones have a significantly lower impact on the environment, and are typically created by skilled laborers that receive fair wages and benefits. There is much more regulation in regards to the environment and labor practices with lab-grown than mined gemstones. If you are concerned about the environment and sustainability, then a lab-grown diamond or gemstone is your best option.
Lab grown diamonds are rated the same way that mined diamonds are (the four c's). The only way to tell the difference is that the lab grown diamonds are laser inscribed as such on the girdle, which can only be seen under a microscope.
Synthetic is not to be confused with simuland. A diamond simulant is something that may resemble a diamond, but does not possess all the same properties as a diamond. Common simulants include cubic zirconia, Moissanite, white sapphire and lead crystal. Simulants are usually available for mere dollars, or hundreds of dollars per carat, while mined and synthetic diamonds are thousands of dollars per carat.
Some brands of lab-grown gemstones are Chatham Created and Moissanite.