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Diamond, Lab Grown & Moissanite, what's the difference?

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

In a world where choice is considered freedom , diamonds have become part of this radiant liberty now more than ever before. 'Tis the symbol for prosperity, self-expression, and unconditional love.

New technologies have enabled an array of new diamond alternatives to become available to the modern day consumer. Broadly categorised, it can be grouped into Diamond Substitutes and Diamond Simulants.

But first, what's the difference between a Diamond Simulant and a Diamond Substitute?

Diamond Substitute.

Any gem (whether natural or synthetic) used in place of a naturally mined diamond as an imitation or a substitute.

Diamond Simulant. These are not imitation gems but gems that are specifically created to share the identical, optical and/or anatomical properties of naturally mined diamonds.

The focus of this article is centred around the Diamond Simulant options.

The first option is Lab Grown Diamonds (Eco Diamond ™ Type I ), the second is Lab Grown Original Moissanite ™ (Eco Diamond ™ Type II ).


Lab grown diamonds are as real as it can get. They have the same optical, chemical, thermal, and physical features as naturally mined diamonds. In South Africa, lab grown diamonds are priced approximately 10% to 15% less than naturally mined diamonds.

It provides a great alternative for the environmentally conscious consumer.

Benefits of lab grown diamonds:

  • Proof of origin guaranteed!

  • Real as it can get - Lab grown diamonds have the same optical, chemical, thermal, and physical features - Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

  • [Manmade] diamonds are diamonds - Federal Trade Commission, August 2018

  • Planet Positive - creating a lab grown diamond takes less energy than extracting natural diamonds from the earth via industrial mining.

  • Price Friendly - Large diamond sizes can become very costly, especially with top 5 colours and flawless clarity. Lab grown diamonds are generally 10% to 15% cheaper than their natural counterparts.


Man made Moissanite is the choice stone of many millennial bridal couples, it’s backed by our lifetime guarantee and available at a fraction of the cost of its natural counterpart. Original Moissanite ™ has the same optical, thermal, and physical features as naturally mined diamonds and priced up to 70% less than naturally minded diamonds.

It provides a great alternative for the price and size conscious consumer.

Benefits of Original Moissanite ™ :

  • Lifetime Warranty - each Original Moissanite ™ is so high in quality that it comes with a warranty for life.

  • Double Sparkle ™ Guarantee - cut to the highest precision standards, Original Moissanite ™ is polished to ensure maximum fire, scintillation and brilliance. It shines like no other!

  • Certified at Source - at origin each Original Moissanite ™ is certified at source to enable full transparency and integrity.

  • Planet Positive - creating an original Moissanite ™ takes less energy than extracting natural diamonds from the earth via industrial mining.

  • Price Friendly - Original Moissanite ™ are generally priced 50 to 70% less than their natural counterparts.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite became popular at first as "the diamond from space" when french chemist, Henri Moissan, discovered the mineral Moissanite in 1893 from a meteor crater in Arizona, USA.

Moissanite is a naturally occurring mineral with chemical formula SiC 'silicon carbide' (carborundum)

While Moissanite exists in nature, it is so incredibly rare that it must be created in a lab to produce pieces large enough to be cut into gemstones. When cut and faceted, Moissanite is by definition, the world’s most brilliant diamond simulant. Original Moissanite ™ is produced by C3 Inc under U.S. patent US5723391.

Other types of Moissanite:

There are broadly two types of faceted Moissanite available. Original Moissanite ™ and Russian generic Moissanite.

Original Moissanite™ comes with a Lifetime Warranty as well as Double Sparkle guarantee and is Certified at source, while Russian Moissanite is a copy that is priced much less but does not come with Lifetime Warranty. All other current modern day Moissanite is regarded as generic and it is empirically observed to loose its brilliance and transparency after some time. Any non-Original Moissanite ™ supplied with a lifetime warranty is simply a reseller warranty and not guaranteed by the original manufacturer.

In closing, diamond simulants have reignited the artisanal jewellery industry and afforded a new market for many to enjoy.

Regardless of your personal bias, there is a diamond with a do good conscience for everyone to enjoy.

LOUIE DANIELE Diamond Co ® since 1998

Pricing Comparisons


2.00ct E VS1 Round Brilliant

Eco Lab Grown Eco Moissanite Natural Diamond

ZAR 194,000 ZAR 22,000 ZAR 450,000

1.50ct E VS1 Round Brilliant

Eco Lab Grown Eco Moissanite Natural Diamond

ZAR 104,000 ZAR 17,000 ZAR 240,000

* prices estimated at time of this article.

* prices calculated at exchange rate 15.00

* prices may exclude vat

* prices subject to change without prior notice

* prices not final selling prices, but indicative

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