New age diamond simulants have all the look and beauty of genuine diamonds at a ridiculous fraction of the price. It is no wonder that polycrystalline synthetic diamonds have become a popular choice for savvy Hollywood celebrities and sophisticates looking for an ethical alternative to conflict diamonds, a popular choice when traveling when theft risk is an issue, or wearing them daily because they are, from a practical standpoint, indistinguishable from mined diamonds.
After you compare costs, coveted mined diamonds can be North of $10,000 per carat and Moissanite is about $525 per carat, it simply makes good sense to consider polycrystalline synthetics as a mined diamond or Moissanite alternative at approximately $79 per carat. Here are some important questions and answers so that you can discover more about 21st century polycrystalline as a diamond-substitute gem material:
How does the fundamental gem material of a mined diamond compare to a modern polycrystalline gemstone?
Mined diamonds are carbon (C); the most sought after synthetic diamonds are principally polycrystalline. Carbon conducts electricity/heat and polycrystalline does not. Polycrystalline jewels are designed to emulate mined natural diamonds aesthetically. They are not carbons and will not scientifically test as mined natural diamonds. Of the millions who enjoy wearing synthetic diamonds, none have reported being approached when they are out socially by someone admiring their jewelry with scientific testing equipment. Diamond simulants are diamond alternatives that mirror mined diamonds to the naked eye.
Can a jeweler tell the difference between a mined natural diamond and a synthetic polycrystalline diamond?
All mined natural diamonds have structural flaws called inclusions. A competent jeweler under magnification can see that polycrystalline gemstones are perfect and void of birthmarks. That distinction alone should signal to a jeweler that synthetic diamonds are not mined natural diamonds. Most jewelry store counter salespeople, who often call themselves "jewelers," are not professional jewelers or gemologists and cannot tell the difference, and it is for that reason that many jewelry stores invest in scientific testing equipment. When a proficient jeweler in a retail store, not an inexperienced sales clerk, sees a synthetic diamond without birthmarks, he/she should be able to tell the difference without further testing. There are no reports from that anyone can tell the difference without close magnified scrutiny and years of expertise, or scientific testing equipment.
Will polycrystalline synthetic diamonds test positive on a diamond tester, the kind a retail jewelry store would use?
No, they will not. The heat signature is different and this is reflected when testing by a diamond tester. Diamond testers simply measure heat conductivity; they do not actually detect the presence of carbon. Thus, retail jeweler diamond testers are sometimes fooled by colorless sapphire and Moissanite stones. If you are buying Moissanite at $525 per carat solely because you believe it will test positive on a diamond tester, this is probably an error. You will find that no matter how long or how many times you wear diamond simulant jewelry out in public or out socially, that no one will approach you with scientific testing equipment and ask to test your gemstones.
Are synthetic diamonds cut by hand?
No, they are cut by incredibly precise computer-controlled laser cutting machines. These sophisticated and enormously expensive machines create an optimized cut that perfectly aligns the facets of the stone for maximum light refraction. The best polycrystalline stones are then hand finished and inspected by master gem cutters. The term “hand-cut diamond” is a bit of a misnomer. In this day and age, few, if any, market quality diamonds are entirely cut by hand without mechanical assistance. Hand cutting was primarily done before the days of precise machining techniques, and a completely hand-cut stone can never be as accurately faceted as a stone cut with computer-aided machining processes.
Gemologists agree that polycrystalline synthetic diamonds are glittering and brilliant because they come closer than any other gem material to matching, often besting the characteristics of a mined diamond. If there can possibly be criticism about modern synthetic diamonds, it is that they are too perfect. Generally, these remarks are only made by the pretentious who think there is prestige in overpaying, despite the fact only the buyer really knows the difference because of the huge savings they realized. Polycrystalline synthetic diamonds, with more fire, are the intelligent de facto choice.
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