The high price of gem-grade diamonds, as well as significant ethical concerns of the diamond trade, have created a large demand for materials with similar gemological characteristics, known as diamond simulants or imitations. Simulants are distinct from synthetic diamond, which is actual diamond having the same material properties as natural diamond. Enhanced diamonds are also excluded from this definition. A diamond simulant may be artificial, natural, or in some cases a combination thereof. While their material properties depart markedly from those of diamond, simulants have certain desired characteristics—such as dispersion and hardness—which lend themselves to imitation. Trained gemologists with appropriate equipment are able to distinguish natural and synthetic diamonds from all diamond simulants, primarily by visual inspection.
The most common diamond simulants are high-leaded glass (i.e., rhinestones) and cubic zirconia (CZ), both artificial materials. A number of other artificial materials, such as strontium titanate and synthetic rutile have been developed since the mid 1950s, but these are no longer in common use. Introduced at the end of the 20th century, the lab grown product moissanite has gained popularity as an alternative to diamond.
Other articles related to "diamond simulant, diamond simulants, diamond":
... stone, they have been used in the construction of composite or doublet diamond simulants ... There have even been reports of diamond-on-diamond doublets, where a creative entrepreneur has used two small pieces of rough to create one larger stone ... In strontium titanate and diamond-based doublets, an epoxy is used to adhere the two halves together ...
... crystals of the cubic phase of zirconia are commonly used as diamond simulant in jewellery ... Like diamond, cubic zirconia has a cubic crystal structure and a high index of refraction ... Visually discerning a good quality cubic zirconia gem from a diamond is difficult, and most jewellers will have a thermal conductivity tester to identify cubic zirconia by its low ...
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