Whether the saying diamonds are forever is implying real diamonds or manmade diamonds ... it's smart to know the differences before you spend a large chunk of change on a permanent ring.
Synthetic diamonds are made in a laboratory or factory at high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. The process takes a couple of weeks.
Genuine diamonds are also made from high-pressure, high temperature; but they are made naturally near the earth's mantle and take over one billion years to form. They are then brought to the surface through volcanic eruptions.
There is also a huge difference in price. Synthetic diamonds cost about one/third or 10% less than real diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds with a yellowish or other colored tint will cost you around $5,000 per carat. For a real diamond the cost goes up four times that amount.
Bankrate.com wanted to see what diamonds both women and men would rather.
"Definitely a naturally occurring diamond." "Because it's a one of a kind, it's not mass produced and I know that no other woman anywhere else will have it. So it's just unique."
"Well I'd rather a man-made because of the whole South Africa situation and I've heard such bad things about the way diamonds are mined that I'd just rather have an artificial one. And you know what? No one's going to know the difference anyway."
"I think just being together, the only thing that would really be significant for something. Diamond or anything materialistic is not significant in the love that you have for each other."
"A natural earth produced diamond. I just think it would be prettier."
When determining the difference in appearance ... even a trained professional could have a hard time. Synthetic diamonds generally have fewer imperfections than natural diamonds. Therefore, a perfect diamond is either extremely rare or manufactured to look that way.
For Bankrate.com, I'm Theresa Heintz.