Originally Posted by West24
no it doesnt, every synthetic is an exact chemical copy of the natural gemstone. they just arent that, natural. synthetic sapphire, spinel, etc. and if a gemmologist did the proper tests they would know it was synthetic.
The only man-made diamonds in the marketplace are Apollo diamonds. They are as expensive or more expensive as mined diamonds and they are small. No other manufacturer sells man-made diamonds that I know of. http://www.apollodiamond.com/
All the diamond "simulant" stuff is just that, simulant. They are not carbon-based stones. They are cubic zirconia. They can be quite beautiful and are very cheap. If you are paying for than $150 for a top quality 2carat CZ you are buying some marketing line.
Other gems can be made synthetic (synthetic sapphire in particular can be gorgeous), but diamond is very difficult and expensive to do. If anyone knows of a company other than apollo doing this post it up.
Also, there is a HUGE variation in cut quality within the GIA "excellent' designation. You can look at two diamonds with identical specs and one is alive and the other is dead. You must see the stone or order from somewhere that will let you buy and return several stones to get the one you like. If you are in nyc buying a great diamond is easy. If not, whiteflash sounds great. Blue Nile has less detailed info about their stones (like the cut angles).
Costco has some very nice rings at a nice price. If I wasn't going to do a shred of research, I would buy there in a heartbeat knowing I wasn't getting ripped off. If possible, however, get a GIA certed stone. Costco carries both GIA , AGS, IGI and maybe even EGA certs. GIA and AGS are the most strict and well respected.
The folks on pricescope.com are nuts about diamonds. I learned a lot from them in a week and got a diamond the recipient loves with great specs for an excellent price. I got a sapphire as well and a couple of great settings .