Are manmade diamonds real diamonds? Yes. Even Neil deGrasse Tyson, Patron Saint of Science, thinks so. 

Here’s the scoop. We can count on Neil to enlighten us on a number of topics. We can count on him to destroy ignorant pundits on cable news channels, to teach us about the wonders of the universe, and to consistently provide fodder for internet memes. 

We can also count on him to give the ultimate smackdown to cultured diamond doubters. Cultured diamonds, as their name suggests, are man-made. They are not, however, cubic zirconia, which is made from zirconium dioxide. Lab created diamonds are grown using carbon atoms, just like diamonds found in nature.  Scientists make cultured diamonds using something called the Chemical Vapour Deposition Process, which grows a cultured diamond from the “seed” of a mined diamond. 

Still not convinced? In this video, Neil deGrasse Tyson asks renown gemologist Ara Arslanian of New York’s diamond district to distinguish one cultured diamond from two mined diamonds. In a classic “one of these things is not like the other,” Arslanian uses standard gemologist tools to inspect the small stones, only to misidentify the lab-grown diamond. 

So, diamond doubters beware – even for the experts, these differences are negligible.