Friday, May 22, 2009

What Is Considered A Synthetic Diamond?

First, let’s define synthetic.  In the world of grass, synthetic means plastic grass.  I know, I have it in my backyard.  It looks pretty good too.  I don’t have to mow it, water it, or weed it. I wish the homeowner’s association would let me install it in the front yard! 

In the world of cars, synthetic motor oil is sold all the time – and it seems to work just fine in an engine. But I don’t really know what it is.

In the world of fashion, synthetic means polyester leisure suit… 

 In the world of bling, synthetic describes a stone that has been created in a laboratory, under the guidance of man, and it has the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone it represents.  For example, synthetic ruby – if a gemologist does some standard gemological testing on it, the optical properties would be that of ruby. Chemically, the laboratory has produced ruby.  Physically, it is red and has the same hardness as natural ruby, so it can be polished just like a ruby. However, since it was produced under controlled conditions, there are internal characteristics which tell the rest of the story. Interesting, huh?!

 It takes a pretty good gemologist to make a positive identification.  Without knowledge – also known as education, and without practice – also known as experience, this gemologist may arrive at the wrong conclusion – costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars.  But I digress…

 The point is the word synthetic means different things to different people and things. So the jewelry industry is debating whether it’s a good word for you, the consumer.  Does it make you think it’s a fake diamond?  Like fake grass, which, of course, is man made plastic, not man made grass. Does it hold more value to you than a CZ or synthetic moissanite?

 The truth is, it’s more costly to produce synthetic diamond than to produce an imitation diamond, such as synthetic cubic zirconia (CZ). And, it’s more difficult for a gemologist to identify a synthetic diamond than it is to identify a CZ. Most importantly – to some people – it’s impossible to spot a synthetic diamond by just looking at it at a party!  There are lots of savvy people who can spot a CZ from across the room!

 In some cases, it takes advanced testing by a professional laboratory with VERY EXPENSIVE equipment (and smart people) to identify a synthetic diamond. In some cases, gemologists can recognize the internal characteristics which indicate synthetic.  In all cases when gemologists are fooled it’s because they haven’t taken a class on all the technological advances in the field of bling!  BTW – the next time someone tells you they are a gemologist, ask to see their diploma and then look at the year it was earned.  If it’s more than two years ago, ask them for proof of continuing education. 


Posted via email from Whiteflash Diamonds posterous


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