Simulants, Synthetics and Treated Diamonds
A diamond simulant is any natural or man-made product produced to resemble a diamond. A simulant may be similar in appearance to a diamond, but has different chemical or physical properties.
Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite are both simulants.
AMS2 has the capability to detect simulants and DiamondSure™ will refer all simulants for further testing.
A synthetic shares the properties of diamond but is a man-made product. Unlike a diamond, it is not natural but synthesised in a laboratory in a relatively short time. Synthetics are not new and have been used effectively since the 1950s for industrial and technical purposes. Their growth environment produces differences in the growth structure at atomic level, leading to easy identification with the correct instruments. CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) and HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) stones are both synthetics. User interpretation of DiamondView™ images will give an unambiguous result.
There are many ways of treating a diamond to enhance its colour and clarity; laser drilling and fracture filling for the clarity and coating, irradiation and HPHT treatment for the colour.
Clarity treatments can be easily identified by an experienced gemologist using a loupe or microscope. Most treatments that affect colour result in a ‘fancy’ coloured stone.
For a small percentage of diamonds, HPHT treatment will result in a colourless diamond. These treated diamonds are difficult to identify by eye and require more sophisticated testing. DiamondPlus™ can aid in this testing.