Charles & Colvard moissanite with an authenticity card and “lifetime” warranty.
Back in the late 90’s, synthetic moissanite was introduced into the jewelry market as a cheaper alternative for diamond. But what really is moissanite and how did it came about?
In its natural form, moissanite is scientifically known as silicon carbide (SiC) and is very rare in quantity.
Currently, Charles & Colvard is the largest supplier of synthetic moissanite in the world. Besides holding exclusive patents to creating them in the laboratory, Charles & Colvard also operates specialized labs where they cut and polish the rough stones. The polished moissanite stones are then distributed via jewelry stores and retailers on the Internet.
As an avid gemstone collector, I purchased a 0.50 carat moissanite for my personal studies and this has allowed me to capture some interesting photographs to share with readers.
In this write up, I’m also going to show you how to identify a moissanite gemstone easily with a 10X loupe.
Moissanite vs diamond side by side comparison.
Moissanite has been marketed as a low-cost option for a diamond engagement ring due to its appearance and diamond-like properties in clarity & hardness. Because of the massive differences in value, unethical people can take advantage of moissanite by misrepresenting them as real diamonds.
When moissanite first hit the market, there were numerous stories of consumers and jewelers (yes, even the professionals!) who got caught in a web of deception and scams. You see, unlike other diamond stimulants, most of the tests conducted with basic gemological equipment cannot detect differences between a moissanite and a diamond.
As a consumer, how are you going to protect yourself when you are buying a diamond ring? And if you are shopping for a moissanite engagement ring, how do you know that you received a real moissanite instead of a CZ stone?
I am going to share with you an easy method of telling moissanites apart from real diamonds. It doesn’t require any state of the art equipment or expensive tools. All you need is a 10X loupe and a keen eye for details.
Diamond testers offer a quick and easy way for laypeople to test their diamond jewelry for authenticity. However, most diamond testers in the market utilize a heat probe to identify a diamond based on its heat conductivity.
While such diamond testing equipment will work for most types of diamond simulants, they cannot differentiate moissanite from a diamond because both of these gemstones have similar thermal properties. As a result, the diamond will return a false positive result and you can see this in the video below.
Unlike many other types of diamond simulant, moissanite displays an optical effect called double refraction. This means that when a light ray enters the gemstone, it is slowed down, bent and split into two light rays.
The best way to observe this effect is to view the gemstone at an angle from the crown (bezel) facet. By bringing a 10X loupe and focusing on the culet through the bezel facet, you can check the gemstone for a “doubling facets” effect.
From the photograph above, you can see that there is a “secondary blurred image” caused by the double refraction property of moissanite. This is indicated by the red arrows and is a tell tale sign the gemstone is definitely NOT a diamond.
Doubling is a sure way to distinguish Moissanite from diamond.
The test should be repeated again by varying the angle of tilt and observation of the culet through the crown facets. If the doubling effect shows up again, this should confirm your suspicion that the gemstone is NOT a diamond.
When viewed through the bezel facet, the reflections of the pavilion facets of the diamond should be crisp and sharp. Notice how there is only a single reflection as opposed to a blurry look seen in moissanite?
To confirm the test, you should tilt the diamond and try to inspect the stone from another angle. If the experiment gives you similar results, then it should be pretty safe to conclude that the stone you are currently viewing has a single refraction property.
Note that this test is only applicable for differentiating diamonds from moissanite or gemstones with doubling properties. In order to differentiate diamond from other simulants such as cubic zirconium with high accuracy, all you need is a simple diamond testing tool (~$15).
With all that said, here’s the most important tip for you to take back. When you are shopping for diamond jewelry, make sure you only buy diamonds that are been graded by GIA or AGS. This is the best method to protect yourself in an expensive transaction as fraud could sometimes be deliberate or accidental.
For further peace of mind, you might want to consider an inspection by a 3rd party appraiser regardless of all the “certifications” or documents that already come with the purchase.<< Prev Page