you are in the market for the diamond look, but not
the diamond price, you will almost certainly encounter
rather large stretches of truth (or flat out lies)
during your shopping process.
its unclear what brings so many fraudulent claims to
the diamond simulant market, arming yourself with some
basic education can help ensure you don�t fall prey
to deceptive marketing.
Thus, we present the most common misrepresentations
and relevant answers in the diamond simulant market.
simulant is not CZ:
If the seller does not clearly identify what
their diamond simulant is, you can very safely assume
it is a form of CZ.
There are certainly differences in quality and
appearance of CZ (due to formulaic modifications and
cooling modifications), and the cutting/polishing will
affect final appearance, but unless specifically told
otherwise, you can very safely assume it is a type of
only two main-stream simulants that currently have
significant changes to that statement are moissanite
(which is silicon carbide, with no CZ component), and
Asha, which is a CZ core encased with an outer
amorphous diamond coating.
are other types of product used as diamond simulant
(including glass, YAG, and white sapphire) but CZ is
by far and away the most popular diamond simulant
because it does a very good job of imitating diamond,
and regardless of brand name, you should assume that
CZ is the case unless provided evidence otherwise.
CZ has carbon in it:
one has shown the ability to produce an optically
clear form of CZ that includes any significant levels
of carbon. Hence, all claims like �our CZ contains 30%
carbon� have always proven to be false and deceptive
claims, largely designed to inflate the customers
perception of their diamond simulant.
spent a good deal of money conducting SEM (scanning
electron microscope) testing on a number of
competitors who made this claim and proved they were
false. Further, if
any competitors do make such claims in the future, we
will certainly put their product to the test and post
independent testing results.
uses the fact that carbon and zirconium are
drastically different sizes to allow the amorphous
diamond (carbon) to infuse/penetrate into the upper
layers of the CZ core, so it does contain carbon
diamond bonds via
the coating process.
However, that is very different than claiming a
significant percentage of carbon is naturally mixed in as part of the CZ formula
itself, which has yet to be done.
sell "perfect man-made diamonds"...and
"Science has made perfect synthetic white
diamonds a commercial reality":
There is no commercial seller on
the market today able to produce and offer to the
public true lab-grown white diamonds,
much less perfect (i.e. flawless and colorless) ones.
it does happen, you can also expect the pricing will
be thousands of dollars per carat (cheaper than
natural, but diamond is diamond and it has value), and
not $100/ct. Cutting
costs for diamond can easily run $100+/ct alone, so
just that cost ensures true lab grown white diamond
for the gem market will not go below that.
a seller is telling you that you are buying a lab
grown white diamond, ask for an independent grading
you can be very sure you are buying a simulant
deceptively represented as a lab diamond.
Related to that, it is against FTC regulations to
market a diamond simulant as "diamond",
"synthetic diamond", "man-made
can purchase real yellow, pink and blue lab-grown
diamonds (in limited quantities and for smaller
sizes), but not white. See http://TakaraDiamonds.com
for two sites with legitimate, lab-grown
comes from outer space, mined on the moon, etc:
moissanite available for sale is produced in a
laboratory, just as all CZ is produced in a laboratory.
Moissanite (silicon carbide) was first discovered on a
meteorite, but the amount was negligible.
Hence, the moissanite in jewelry use is
technically "synthetic moissanite". Similarly,
CZ has been found in very small amounts naturally
occurring and thus CZ for jewelry is also "synthetic
for both moissanite and CZ, because the natural
amounts are so incredibly small, the synthetic term is
an amorphous diamond coating doesn't make any
frequent claim of competitors to Asha who don't have
the resources to produce their own amorphous diamond
coating, here are some sample photos that will quickly
show that an amorphous coating can make a significant
change to the optical characteristics:
Note the mirror like
finish of the coated coupon, which reflects the pink
sapphire held over it.
details on the amorphous diamond coating used in the
Asha can be found here.
moissanite is whiter than other moissanite.
Technically, there is only one supplier of moissanite
(Charles & Colvard, see www.moissanite.com) and
they have always refused to color grade, so its
basically luck of the draw what you get.
are some claims about proprietary heat treatment for
making it whiter being done by some sellers, but as a
general rule, the only way to get whiter moissanite is
to buy a large lot, color grade them yourself, and
send back the ones you don't want. However, C&C
hates when you do that...
7)All CZ is the same:
can be made with different dopants, and can be
produced to a number of different quality grades
depending on quality and % ratios of the different
ingredients. The cooling process, and of course, the
actual cutting and polishing also impact its final
All CZ has the same primary
ingredient (zirconium) and therefore shares common
strengths and weaknesses, but to say they are all the
same is like saying all wine is the same because all
wine is made from grapes.
simulant is not CZ and we'll prove it by showing how
it is heat tolerant:
recent TV article about the Australian simulant maker
Gordon Max impressed a lot of customers because they
stated that their simulant was not a type of CZ, and
to prove it they torched a "ordinary" CZ,
and then appeared to do the same thing to their
simulant. The CZ turned yellow but their
simulant didn't. What gives?
remember myth #1 above. If they won't tell you
what it is, you can safely assume its CZ. This
was validated by an independent composition analysis
done by Gary Holloway which showed that their simulant
has the exact same composition as a Signity Star CZ.
how then did their CZ stand up to the heat that
another CZ turned yellow with? It was done with
standard magic, otherwise known as sleight of
hand. Basically, they really heated the
"ordinary CZ", but by keeping the torch far
away from the Gordon Max, and rapidly moving the flame
back and forth to avoid heat buildup, made it look as
though the Gordon Max was being heated when in fact
close inspection shows it was not.
heated...note the tip of the tweezers turning
bright red due to heat, and how close the flame
Gordon Max being
Note how far away the flame is, the fact that the tip
of the tweezers remains black (cool).
What you can't see from the still photo is that they
the flame around to further avoid any heat build
like diamond, our simulants are so hard they will even
simulant makers like to act as if cutting glass is an
impressive feat, or something that only diamonds can
do (and hence imply their simulants are as hard as
glass is not that hard compared to most crystals -
only 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness (Diamond is 10,
Sapphire/Ruby are 9, etc), and thus the ability to
cut/scratch glass would pretty much be a
use of cutting glass as a test if it is a diamond or
simulant probably hearkens back to the early days of
diamond simulants, when the most common simulant *was*
glass. Thus, seeing if it could cut/scratch
glass would actually be a valid test (150 years ago)
to differentiate between a glass simulant and
This is an article still in progress, and your
feedback is welcome.
Please visit our message
board thread discussing this article here.