WHAT IS A DIAMOND?
All you need to know about Diamonds
What is a diamond?
A diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form of carbon, but diamond almost never converts to it.
Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilized in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools. They are also the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth.
Because the arrangement of atoms in diamond is extremely rigid, few types of impurity can contaminate it (two exceptions being boron and nitrogen). Small numbers of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors).
Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometres (93 and 155 mi) in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometres (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved various minerals and replaced them with diamonds. Much more recently (tens to hundreds of million years ago), they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites.
Synthetic diamonds can be grown from high-purity carbon under high pressures and temperatures or from hydrocarbon gas by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Imitation diamonds can also be made out of materials such as cubic zirconia and silicon carbide such as moissanite. Natural, synthetic and imitation diamonds are most commonly distinguished using optical techniques or thermal conductivity measurements.
Actually diamond has four main characteristics such as clarity, cut, carat and color. Each characteristic has an impact on cost and price of diamond. It is important to know what these characteristics are and how they affect the diamond’s price.
Four C’s of Diamond
Many times you heard about 4C’s of diamond as these work as a determinant of a diamond ring price.
1 - Carat
Carat is the weight of a diamond. One carat is 1/5 of a gram. The weight or carat of diamond is an important factor that defines its cost. One carat is divided into 100 equal points.
Size and weight of diamonds are two different characteristics. Normally, 6.5 millimeter diameter is considered an ideal size for one carat weight of diamond. When a diamond has size lower than 6.5 mm diameter but has the same one carat weight, it is worth will be less.
2 - Color
Most commonly people love to buy a diamond that fall into grade range of D to F as this range has colorless diamonds; the value of these diamonds are higher than other. Price of colorless diamond is high as they are rare. Some people think that they should always buy a diamond from D-F grade range since other grades are not pretty; it’s not the right approach. Diamonds belongs to grade range lower than F also sparkle and shine but with stronger color tone. A person can choose any color depending on his taste but if he needs colorless or white diamond then it’s simply mean he will have to spend more.
A factor which is related with color is named as Fluorescence which is caused by boron trace amount inside the diamond. Fluorescence is activated by ultraviolet light. When you check the GIA certificate that accompanies with a diamond, you are able to find a special category of this factor.
In this heading or category, gemologists describe it as faint, medium,medium blue, strong, blue, strong and intense blue. It’s advisable to get a diamond which comes with blue range of fluorescence and try to skip diamond with white and yellow. An interesting thing to know at this point is the effect caused by fluorescence. It is believed that a diamond with intense fluorescence has positive effect.
3 - Clarity
Diamonds are formed within the earth , under heat and pressure therefore, every diamond born with birthmarks which are named as inclusions. When there are small impurities inside the diamonds then these are called inclusions while impurities found on the surface named as blemishes. Clarity defines the extent or degree of imperfections that are present in a diamond.
There is 11 point diamond clarity scale that is creating by Gemologist Institute of America or GIA. This scale starts from flawless point and ends at prominent inclusions. Flawless means a diamond with no inclusion. This diamond is extremely rare.
A diamond which has a lot of inclusions will not very bright as impurities inside it do not allow the light to pass in the best manner.
4 - Cut
Cut is the most important characteristic of the diamond. It determines how the light which enters into the diamond from the above will be reflected back to the eye of observer. A perfect cut diamond reflects light to its optimum. However, when you get a diamond with deep cut, it will not show the extreme brightness; it seems that light leaks from it. As far as shallow cut diamond is concerned, it will also leak the light and it would never be as brilliant and bright as an ideal cut it. Ideal cut is when diamond cutter will go for perfect size to weight ratio that is 6.5 mm diameter for one carat weight.
A natural mined diamond is formed naturally, from high temperatures and pressures beneath the Earth's crust. A Lab created diamond is grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using advanced technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop when they form within the mantle, beneath the Earth’s crust.
Diamond vs Moissanite:
What Is The Difference Between a Diamond and a Moissanite?
The biggest difference between diamonds and Moissanite is how they sparkle. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond – 2.65 vs. 2.69. This means it will bring you more brilliance than a diamond.
You will find below the comparison between diamonds and moissanites.
|Brilliance Refraction Index (RI)||2.42||2.65-2.69|
|Hardness Mohs Scales||10||9.25-9.5|
|Toughness||Good to Excellent||Excellent|
What Color Is Moissanite?
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), provide standards for gems and precious stones. The famous 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight), are now used as the industry standard for grading diamonds and lab-created stones.
Diamonds are graded for color using an alphabetical scale from “D” that represents the most colorless diamond to "K" that represents some slightly tinted.
- Colorless: (D-E-F),
- Near colorless: (G-H-I)
- Slightly tinted: (J-K)
Moissanite color ranges is from colorless (D-E-F) to near colorless (G-H-I).
All of our Moissanite gemstones and Moissanite engagement rings found on our website are from Charles and Colvard's Forever One collection, which are the highest quality stones available on the market today. They are guaranteed to be colorless and VS clarity or better.
Moissanite is a stone as stable, and durable, as a diamond. The brilliance and the color will never change over time.
Is Moissanite a Diamond?
Moissanite is a gemstone by itself that is practically indistinguishable by the naked eye. In fact, even under a microscope they are rarely different. A gemologist has to have a special tool to determine if a stone is a diamond or moissanite.
Some investigation where done by 20/20 and took a moissanite engagement ring to 10 different jewelers. Half of them declared it was a real diamond. Even their diamond detectors tested positive!
Is Moissanite a synthetic diamond?
Moissanite is both a synthetic, and a lab-created diamond. Moissanite is a diamond simulant because it is made to look like a diamond. It is synthetic because it is made in a lab. The molecular structure of moissanite is almost the same that is found in Diamond.
Moissanite is our favorite diamond alternative. It is highly dispersive (rainbow sparkle!), and durable for a lifetime like a diamond.
Is moissanite a diamond alternative?
Moissanite is the most popular diamond alternative for couples on a budget.
Moissanite is as stable as a diamond. Therefore it is impossible to fade or change the color overtime.
See below prices comparison:
GIA Certified Diamond
(Round, F color, VS1 clarity)
Moissanite Forever One
(Round, D-E-F Color, VS1 clarity or better)
How Much Does Moissanite Cost?
On average, a moissanite costs 90% less than a diamond of similar size and quality. This drastic difference in price is a major selling point for many people who choose moissanite for their jewelry design.
Because moissanite is so brilliant and durable, it has become the best diamond alternative. It is available to almost all of the well known shapes.
You will see below some side to side price comparison of the most popular shape.
GIA certified Diamond
(F color, VS clarity)
Moissanite Forever One
(D-E-F Color, VS+ clarity)
Does moissanite test as a real diamond?
Moissanite will test positive using a traditional thermal diamond tester used in jewelry stores. The reason is due to the very similar heat signature of Moissanite and diamond stones.