Moissanite is the most convincing diamond imitation with its high refractive index and extreme hardness, about 9.5 on the Mohs scale. An effective way to identify it is checking the stone in question for double refraction. The stone has to be viewed through its kite shaped crown (top) main facet at the culet (bottom point). As you see in the pic there is a doubling effect where it would not occur in the singly refractive diamond.
January 12, 2013
November 29, 2012
Everyone has their own taste when it comes to clothing, art, cars and even diamonds. The clarity, one of the 4 Cs in diamond, is the amount of or lack of inclusions inside the diamond. These are natural characteristics that were captured inside the diamond crystal which typically formed 1-3 billion years ago. The brilliance and dispersion (rainbow colors and reflections), are all about the cut specifications, not clarity. So what’s your taste in diamond? High clarity or bigger and less expensive?
November 12, 2012
This natural seen in the picture leaves a flat spot from the crown view since it has extended all the way through the girdle from the pavilion.
A small natural is common and does not affect the clarity grade or the beauty of this diamond.
Trigons (triangular impressions) often occur in naturals indicating grain direction of the diamond.
Naturals are the original surfaces or skin of a rough diamond. Naturals can be located anywhere on a polished diamond, but usually they are on or around the girdle. The size of a natural determines whether it is a blemish or an acceptable common characteristic.
When a cutter is not concerned with clarity a large natural (or naturals) will remain on the crown or pavilion. On imperfect diamonds, large naturals will not affect clarity; hence weight retention is the highest priority. (The more the stone weighs, the more valuable it will be.)
An ideal natural will be enclosed in the girdle, not extending into the crown or pavilion. A natural extending into the crown is a larger negative than into the pavilion, because, upon looking down on the stone, a natural that just breaks into the pavilion will probably not be detected. Obviously when the natural strays into the crown, it is more easily seen and taken into account in clarity grading.
On higher clarity stones, the cutter must be very aware of how large the natural will appear after completing the polishing process. The goal of the cutter should be to locate two opposite naturals of the same size, leaving them small enough to be hidden when viewed from the crown. This also means that the naturals must not interrupt the outline shape of the stone.
Naturals are an obvious reference for identifying authenticity in diamonds. Some naturals can look similar like a polished facet, whereas others are rough and can be confused for a chip. Indented naturals look like cavities; again these would fall into the inclusion category since they occur below the surface. Trigons are triangular-shaped impressions on the natural that also indicate grain orientation to the cutter. Naturals have a very distinct appearance unlike chips and facets, so it is important to familiarize yourself with this common characteristic. On the diamonds that you have available to look at, focus on the girdle area and when you’ve located the first natural, turn the stone 180 ° to see if the cutter did a good job in obtaining maximum weight retention. Many times the opposite natural will not occur due to other issues, such as inclusion removal.
April 18, 2012
This is a large classically shaped octahedral diamond crystal. This particular specimen is a very low clarity but a great conversation piece. Mounted in a 18K yellow gold pendant. Notice the telltale trigons, triangular growths, formed in the opposite directions of the octahedral face.
April 14, 2012
Cameo is a salt or freshwater shell. Sometimes it occurs in a translucent state but usually opaque. Common colors are white, gray, yellow brown or orange. Better cameos are layered so the carver can contrast the relief as it goes deeper. The following picture is a very unusual size depicting a strong contrast of colors.
March 28, 2012
Imitation, synthetic or natural diamond?
Don’t confuse the term “imitation” with “synthetic”. Synthetic diamond is a copy of nature down to its molecular structure. A synthetic diamond is the same atomic structure as natural diamond (outside of the crystal growth direction) including the same physical properties. An imitation is a stone that is made to look (or imitate) an authentic diamond such as cubic zirconia or moissanite. Metallic flux inclusions can be detected in synthetic diamond with fiber optic light reflections. If the diamond is inclusion-free look for the typical yellowish to yellowish-green fluorescence in synthetic under long wave ultraviolet light. Internal graining under 10X power may display an hour glass type effect.
March 13, 2012
We’ve all heard the old saying “A diamond is forever.” Forever is an overstatement but since diamonds are extremely hard and do resist any kind of scratching, this would be a likely assumption. Diamonds will often break, given the right circumstances. How could an extremely hard substance break? It’s so hard that it’s brittle. Actually diamond’s toughness is rated “good” (not “excellent” like the gemstone jade). Remember that there is a significant difference between hardness and toughness. Hardness is simply the resistance to scratching and toughness is the resistance to breakage, to powdering or to flattening under repeated pounding. While diamonds are suitable for everyday wear, it is important to remember that they are not indestructible. Enjoy them, but treat them with respect. Insurance is also a good idea for pieces that are too expensive to replace should they become damaged.
February 5, 2010
Our intent at Lovelady Diamond is to keep you the buyer, informed in making diamond jewelry purchases. With accurate information you can buy confidentally and enjoy that special piece of jewelry for years to come. Your feedback is always welcome. Thank you for reading.