Some Days are Diamonds…  And some days are very definitely not.

[Picture of large, gorgeous diamond that wouldn’t download should be here.]

“What the h— are you talking about? That’s a ten carat, VS1, E color diamond worth half a million dollars.”

“That’s a very large diamond simulant worth a tenth of that,” Emma snapped.

“It was a diamond when I gave it to you.”


Well, Emma is in a spot of trouble, isn’t she?

Proving she didn’t pull the switcheroo is going to be difficult, but she didn’t have any problem recognizing the ‘diamond’ was  synthetic moissonite.

How did she know?

Synthetic moissonite is much closer to diamond in most physical properties than any of the traditional gems that have been or are being used to mimic diamonds.

Cubic zirconia, colorless sapphire, colorless beryl, and colorless topaz, among others, have all been substitutes for diamonds. A competent gemologist can tell that they are not what they pretend to be by appearance or with a few simple tests. This is a delightful thing in the modern world, where highly sophisticated tests using highly expensive equipment are required to prove almost anything.

Synthetic moissonite is very close to diamond in many of its properties:

Diamond is the hardest of all gemstones (10); moissonite is close (9.5);

Diamond has a specific gravity* of 3.22; moissonite, 3.52;

Diamond has a refractive index of 2.42; moissonite, 2.648 & 2.691. Huh?

And therein is the big, visible difference, a difference that can be detected with 10x magnification. Owing to the different structure of the two gems, light is split in the moissonite but not the diamond. To the observer, looking down into the stone

(with the ever-present 10x loupe beloved of gemologists), the lines where two facets meet will appear as double lines. What you would see is ||  versus |   (No, Emma does not have a moustache!)

*Think of specific gravity as a measure of the heft of a substance as compared to an equal quantity of water. If the SG is less than one, it floats. If it’s more than one, it sinks.

Okay. School’s out! Go back to enjoying the beautiful gems.

[Picture of a scattering of beautiful diamonds that wouldn’t down load should be here.]