Diamond simulants- (simáuálant [s’mmyələnt]) – Definition: simulating: serving to imitate or reproduce the essential features of something.
I have been sworn to always tell you the truth about gemstones, I have taken the Gemologist’s oath, so I have to start off by saying…. a diamond simulant is not a diamond!!!
Don’t let anyone fool you! A diamond is a diamond, a clarity enhanced diamond is a diamond, a synthetic (lab grown, man made) diamond is a diamond.
A diamond simulant is another gemstone that just looks like a diamond but it is not a diamond. This gemstone simulates a diamond, so it is called a diamond simulant… pretty complicated, huh! Diamond simulants have been around for hundreds of years…. for more information, please see…. Fake Diamonds.
A little bit of recent diamond simulant history
The diamond simulants that have been developed in the past 30 years are certainly impressive! I remember when CZ (synthetic cubic zirconia) was first put on the market in the mid 70s, there were some jewelers who were running around crying… “it’s the end of the world!!!”. CZs are a very good diamond simulant but they are really not that difficult to separate from diamonds; and Synthetic Moissanites are even easier to identify as a diamond simulant!
If you know what to look for, the best test is to look at the diamond simulant using 10X magnification. There have been some easy to use testing devices developed to help in separating diamond simulants from the real thing. Sometimes it is difficult to know for sure when it comes to very small stones by just looking at them. But it can be a bit difficult….
I love diamond inclusions!…. ???
Diamond inclusions, are the fun little things that are included inside of your diamond, they are always nice to see. Not only does it give your diamond some character!…. it will immediately help identify the gemstone as being a real diamond. Diamond simulants normally don’t have any easily seen inclusions.
On the Internet, I have seen a lot of advice and videos on how to test to see if you have a real diamond or a diamond simulant…. the same 6 lame “tests” have been regurgitated over and over again. And most of these myths started with a boob that published a book that is full of misinformation about diamonds! Most people, probably about 99.99%, would not be able to tell the difference between diamonds and diamond simulants by using any of these tests!
Maybe the only test that could be of any use is when you place the stone over some fine print and if you can see the text through the stone it may or may not be a diamond. So if you need to know if it is a diamond and you want to do a “test”, go get a phone book (plenty of fine print in that!), turn to the yellow pages, now look up a good local jewelry store, go visit them and if you ask nicely, they might be able to give you a “real or not real diamond” answer.
And the winner is….
The two most common diamond simulants that are seen today are CZ (Synthetic Cubic Zirconia) and Moissanite (Synthetic Moissanite). Both of these diamond simulants have been found in very small amounts in nature but are now made in the lab…. hence they are actually synthetic (man made) gemstones.
Cubic Zirconias have been around for 30 years. CZ is usually the favorite choice of most manufacturers of costume jewelry. CZ comes in many different colors, is not very expensive, and because of it’s lack of hardness CZ shouldn’t be used in rings that will be worn on a daily basis. It will look great for many years if worn in a pendant, earrings, pins, etc. but if it is worn in a ring, bracelet, or cufflinks it will not hold up very well…. it will get scratched, abraded, and even chipped or cracked in a relatively short period.
Moissanite has been around for a little over 10 years. Moissanite is a very good diamond simulant and because of its hardness it is a better choice for uses in rings (engagement rings) and bracelets. Moissanite does have a problem with having a slightly lower body color (it tends to be slightly greenish) and it is really much more expensive than CZ.
Adding up all the pros and cons…. Cubic Zirconia ends up being the overall winner of the diamond simulants war!