A Gem Question

What exactly are the differences between Diamonds, Cubic Zirconia, and Diamonique? How do jewelers tell them apart?

It’s dead easy if you know what you’re looking for.

For starters, CZ is a good bit heavier than diamonds. Also, the facets on CZ just don’t line up right. (It really helps to do a side by side to see what I mean… after you get the initial idea of their differences, it’s easy to tell without them being next to each other.) Also, CZ tends to be not as well polished. The better polished ones are easier, but you still can tell.

As for the other synthetics, such as diamonique, it’s best to get a damn good professional. They’re trickier, and I don’t know much about them.

That should be “The better polished ones are a little harder to tell, but you still can.”

If you are remotely considering buying a diamond, please think twice. They are among the very worst investment of any sort that you can make. Yes, a properly cut diamond throws light like no other stone, but getting your money’s worth is not even a remote possibility.

Although many colored gemstones are artifcally enhanced in nuclear reactors, natural stones are a better investment. A high quality natural gem stone, like a ruby or emerald, will retain a significant portion of its purchase price long after you exit the shop.

Zirconia are basically worthless. They break up laser light very nicely and fool chumps but do not represent any sort of investment.

According to this site, CZ = Diamonique. Ergo, no diff.

IANAGemologist, though I worked for one big jewelry chain, and multiple stores in one small regional chain. Hence, my opinion:

I always thought that CZs looked bluer, that is they seemed to reflect blue light, whereas diamonds sparkled white. I’m sure I’m totally wrong, but it was something I noticed.

Real diamonds will almost always have inclusions (unless you’re looking at a $50K/1ct stone). Ask for a loupe, look for specks.

Ask for a diamond tester. Little machine, beeps for yes.

Weigh it. Part of my job was to weigh the loose stones once a week, to make sure they were the right stones (yes, someone (not I) found one had been switched once).

I buy and sell diamonds for a living.

Zenster Please stick to food threads. This is meant in the fondest of meanings. You bring up emotional issues which were never intended and cloud the issue.

To address the issus of value which Zenster raised–never, ever, use the term investment when talking about a diamond. An investment is a CD which is worth 6% more than you paid for it at the end of the year. An investment is a mutual fund, which, while it may have some uneven years, tends to keep pace with inflation.

Diamonds/Colored gem stones are worth a fraction of what you pay the day after you leave the shop. I don’t care whether you got a great deal from your brother, or whether you just bought the finest natural 1 carat ruby that ever you saw, you can’t get your money back, or even close on your purchase. Enjoy your purchase, wear it proudly, but you will never get back what you paid for the diamond/gemstone.

To the OP– anyone who has to buy/sell diamonds as a profession, you can tell a diamond by its “flash” most of the time. I sometimes see a “CZ” which makes my poor old eyes have to resort to the diamond tester. “Beep”, as Sue said. But, wait!!

They now make a synthetic material called “Moisenite” which beeps on thermal conductivity units. Damn! So we bought a $250+ tester which will detect this new synthetic.

Probably within the next 10-20 years, there will be perfected lab-grown, synthetic diamonds which are actually diamonds, just not naturally occuring diamonds. When that happens, all bets are off.

Thanx for your straightforwardness!

I’ve always felt uneasy paying $100-$1000 for a piece of jewelry (ever since I hooked up with my girlfriend/fiancee/wife). About half the time, the sales clerk says something to the effect of it either being an investment or that it’s worth X times more than what I’m paying for it (like I’ll find someone that will pay me that much for it). But always in my mind is: “they just found this pretty rock in the ground, polished it, and mounted it on gold”.

But the pieces I’ve bought my wife that really make her face shine are worth it. Unfortunately, her engagement ring both lost a prong (and almost the diamond) and became too tight on her finger (“Funny how that ring shrunk, dear.” :rolleyes: ), so her $900 engagement pebble is sitting in a box awaiting remounting.

I have several pieces of diamonique jewelery and I wear them with my diamonds. It is difficult to tell them apart without close inspection. I have one ring that is a flawless, colorless carat diamond and is appraised at $4,500-$5,000. Now whether I could actually sell it for that amount is a different story- not that I ever would. It’s beautiful, and it’s a family heirloom.

The main reason I buy Diamonique is price. For about $200 I bought a 5 carat total weight tennis bracelet set in 14k gold. Each stone is 10 points. It is beautiful and believable. I’m not scared to death to wear it either. My “big stone” is insured but I don’t wear it all the time because I am so afraid of losing it.

I believe the setting is as important as the stone when it comes to this type of jewelery. Save on the stone if you want,but make sure you get solid gold and not goldplate or goldtone. I have bought some vermeil pieces that are gold over silver, very pretty but in time the gold could wear off with use. I usually only buy this type of piece if it is really unique.

BTW I have bought quite few things in the pawn shops at very reasonable prices. I take them to the jeweler and have them cleaned and inspected and also get a rough appraisel. The jeweler will usually do this for a nominal fee.

I don’t care if it’s real-as long as it’s pretty. What about colored diamonds-like blue diamonds?

AWB said

A new prong should cost $15-25. The ring can be sized up a size or even two for $15-30. Even if the head holding the diamond needs replaced(sometimes cheaper than retipping and replacing prongs) it should only cost $40-65. Why would you need a remount?

I also apologize to Zenster for saying what I did. I feel strongly about people talking in any way about any jewelry as an investment. It ain’t.

You might also consider reading my response in What exactly does an appraisal mean (jewelry) where I tell it like it is.

Guin Colored diamonds are quite often produced artificially by irradiation, exactly as Zenster said . A more treacherous part of the industry I can’t imagine. Even if you got a genuine natural colored fancy diamond, when and if you go to sell it, they’ll tear you a new one. Trust me.

Someone once told me that dimonique is just processed by man where as a natural diamond takes millions of years, is that true?

When I meant is was too small, I meant that her finger grew too big to take it off. After a couple of abortive attempts, I had to cut it off with wire cutters.

What about the Hope Diamond?