Difference Between Diamonds and Pearls

Minerals that are used as jewels and industrial goods emit an exquisite look have been a common part of our lives. However, choosing the right jewel may be a task at times.


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Diamonds and pearls are among the most confusing pair of natural minerals. While the two may seem to have similar properties, they vary on several grounds.

Diamonds vs Pearls 

The difference between diamonds and pearls is that diamonds originate from mines. On the other hand, pearls originate from the soft tissue of a living shell mollusc. Diamonds are generally more durable as compared to pearls. Diamonds came into existence about 500 years ago. In contrast, pearls have been a part of ancient history for at least 7500 years.

Diamonds vs Pearls

Diamonds is a natural mineral that has four prominent qualities: clarity, cut, carat, and colour. Every characteristic of diamond has a significant impact on its demand as well as price.

Diamonds have a life of a billion to around 3.5 billion years. The measuring unit of a diamond is the carat. At most times, a one-carat diamond is significantly expensive. 

Pearls are charming jewels that have several attractive qualities. Some of these characteristics are lustre, round shape, and uniqueness.

The pearls of superior quality are known to emit a metallic mirror-like lustre. Pearl may be green, pink, silver, black, grey, green, or olive.

The pearls of large size are harder to find. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDiamonds Pearls 
Extraction Diamonds are extracted from mines. Pearls are obtained from sea oysters. 
Origin of WordThe word diamond originates from the Greek word adamas meaning invincible. The word pearl originates from the Middle English perle meaning sea mussel. 
Appearance Diamonds are transparent in appearance.Pearls are opaque in appearance. 
Peculiar Trait Diamonds are known for their brilliant sparkle. Pearls are preferred for the luster and color that they offer. 
Uniqueness All the diamonds appear alike once they are cut and polished. Every pearl has its own individuality as no two pearls are similar to each other. 

What are Diamonds?

Diamond belongs to the category of native minerals. Structurally, diamond emerges from a combination of carbon atoms.

Diamond is regarded as the hardest of all-natural minerals.

In addition, diamond also has a high level of thermal conductivity. The arrangement of carbon atoms in a diamond is significantly rigid.

As a result, it is rather impossible to break it.

Just like any other mineral, the diamond may also be contaminated by impurities. Such impurities may change the colour of diamond to green, blue, brown, pink, orange, and red.

The optical dispersion and refractive index of diamonds are very high. Diamonds may last for as long as one billion to 3.5 billion years.

Diamond offers several advantageous physical characteristics. 

One of the most common uses of the diamond is an ornament that signifies the wealth of a person. Due to their high prices, diamonds are often worn by the rich and well-off.

Another use of diamonds is in industrial settings where it has an application for cutting hard materials. The price of gem-grade and industrial-grade diamonds varies immensely. 

Over the years, synthetic diamonds have come into use. In contrast to natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds are man-made. They are usually manufactured in a laboratory.

Most of the synthetic diamonds are yellow. Diamonds are tested for their originality using a scratch test that depends on the hardness of the mineral. 

What are Pearls?

Pearls refer to hard, and brightly shining objects which have a common use as accessories. Pearls originate from the soft tissue of a living shell mollusc.

Pearls have varying shapes and sizes. However, the most ideal size of a pearl is round and smooth.

Some other kinds of pearls known as baroque pearls are also in common use today. 

Pearls are measured in terms of their exquisite quality. The most demanded pearls are the ones that are found in the forests and therefore, are found in rarity.

The pearls found in the wild are known as wild pearls. The most common types of pearls available in supermarkets are the farmed pearls from oysters.

Imitation pearls are also in wide circulation. 

Although the ideal colour of pearls is white, they can be dyed yellow, purple, blue, brown, or green. The pearls of superior quality are known to emit a metallic mirror-like lustre.

The physical composition of pearls consists of calcium carbonate. As a result, pearls are soluble in vinegar or any weak acid solution as well. 

In the earlier years, pearls were found in different parts of the world. However, most of the pearls today are restricted to seas off Bahrain.

There are several types of cultured pearls such as Keshi pearl, Tahitian pearl, and black cultured pearls. Thus, pearls vary in shape, size, availability and costs.

Main Differences Between Diamonds and Pearls 

  1. Diamonds are extracted from mines. In contrast, pearls are obtained from sea oysters. 
  2. All the diamonds appear alike once they are cut and polished. On the other hand, every pearl has its individuality as no two pearls are similar to each other. 
  3. Diamonds are known for their brilliant sparkle. In contrast, pearls are preferred for the lustre and colour that they offer. 
  4. The word diamond originates from the Greek word Adamas meaning invincible. On the other hand, the word pearl originates from the Middle English perle meaning sea mussel. 
  5. Diamonds are transparent in appearance. In contrast, pearls are opaque in appearance. 
Difference Between Diamonds and Pearls


  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1861/03/diamonds-and-pearls/305495/ 
  2. https://pearlwise.pro/pearls-vs-diamonds-comparison/ 
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