A diamond simulant, diamond imitation or imitation diamond is an object or material with gemological characteristics similar to those of a diamond. Simulants are distinct from synthetic diamond, which is actual diamond having the same material properties as natural diamond. Enhanced diamonds are also excluded from this definition. A diamond simulant may be artificial, natural, or in some cases a combination thereof. While their material properties depart markedly from those of diamond, simulants have certain desired characteristics—such as dispersion and hardness—which lend themselves to imitation. Trained gemologists with appropriate equipment are able to distinguish natural and synthetic diamonds from all diamond simulants, primarily by visual inspection.The most common diamond simulants are high-leaded glass (i.e., rhinestones) and cubic zirconia (CZ), both artificial materials. A number of other artificial materials, such as strontium titanate and synthetic rutile have been developed since the mid-1950s, but these are no longer in common use. Introduced at the end of the 20th century, the lab grown product moissanite has gained popularity as an alternative to diamond. The high price of gem-grade diamonds, as well as significant ethical concerns of the diamond trade, have created a large demand for diamond simulants.