Is It A Real Diamond?

by Lesley-Ann Graham

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend and that it is the true symbol of love. Their sparkle makes them absolutely attractive to the ladies. A diamond takes time to form; and skill to shape and perfect – just as relationships are. They say nothing compares to a diamond. They are rare and precious gems.

But are you sure that what you gave your fiancé is really a diamond? It may look like a diamond, shine like a diamond, yet be anything but this costly gem. It may not even cost half of what you paid for it.

There are now many imitation diamonds out in the market. It is difficult to tell with the naked eye that the stone one is holding is the real thing or not. They are usually very well made. The best known imitation diamonds are moissanite and cubic zirconia.

Moissanite is a synthetic gem. It is not a fake diamond at all. It is a mineral that appears very similar to a diamond.

Moissanite is made in a laboratory using silicon carbide crystals. They have a more brilliant shine than diamonds. They are also less expensive, usually costing a mere 10th of the cost of the real thing.

Moissanite was discovered in the late 1800’s in Arizona, at the bottom of a meteor crater. It wasn’t until 1995 that it was discovered that there was a way to make these stones into jewelry. The process was perfected and cutting styles that would allow the moissanite to truly sparkle were crafted.

Moissanite stones are popular with couples who are working on a tight budget and want a ring with a bigger stone. That it sparkles so beautifully is a plus in their book. It is also pretty strong stone and is quite close to a diamond in hardness. Buyers should know though that moissanite tends to have greenish or grayish tint instead of being colorless.

Cubic Zirconia on the other hand was discovered in 1937 by two German scientists. It is created by heating and combining yttrium oxide and zirconium oxide in a complicated process perfected in 1970. To the naked and untrained eye, it would be difficult to distinguish a real diamond from a cubic zirconia stone if the imitation piece is well cut.

The most famous name in the retail of cubic zirconia is Swarovski and Co. Being less costly than the real gem; cubic zirconia has been used by the wealthy, the elite and the celebrities to decorate almost any fashion piece from jewelry to bags to clothes. There’s even a motorcycle encrusted with it owned by socialite turned actress, Paris Hilton.

If you want to get a diamond and want to avoid purchasing an imitation piece, you need to find yourself an honest jeweler. You also need to learn the basics of buying a diamond (namely the four C’s – cut, clarity, color and carat). Best of all, make sure that you get a certificate issued by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) identifying the uniqueness of your diamond.

Will your fiancée mind if you gave her an imitation gem? Only if you told her it was the real thing, would be our guess. After all, everybody hates to learn that they have been deceived. Better to let her make the choice and work within your budget.

About the Author: Lesley-Ann Graham runs – a valuable wedding planningresource with articles, tips and advice to help you plan your perfect wedding!