Q. What’s the difference between Natural Diamond, Lab Diamond, Treated Diamond, Hybrid Diamond, Simulated/Synthetic Diamond, CZ, and Moissanite?
A. Natural diamonds are created deep within the Earth over billions of years with immense boost pressures (700,000+ psi) and heat applied to carbon. Eventually the carbon forms into a cubic bond making it one of the strongest known naturally occurring structures. On a hardness scale, Diamond is a 10 which makes it able to withstand abuse. No special maintenance/care is needed.
Lab Diamonds are chemically exactly the same as natural diamonds, just created in a lab using similar process as what the Earth would do naturally in an accelerated fashion. Since there’s more control in a lab environment, it’s far easier to create a flawless diamond. Three major upsides of lab generated stones is they’re conflict free, about 1/3 the price for equivalent quality of natural created stones, and you can get them in many different colors!
Treated or Enhanced Diamonds are usually natural diamonds which have been modded to fix imperfections to make a lower quality stone appear as a higher quality stone, or to alter the color. A coating may be used in some areas that can discolor or degrade if excessive heat and/or chemicals are applied (usually ammonia). It’s important to let a Jeweler know if a diamond has been treated before any repair/refinishing work.
Hybrid Diamonds are comprised of mostly non-diamond material internally and coated with a very hard top layer to withstand abuse. They can also be referred to as Simulated/Synthetic Diamonds.
Simulated/Synthetic Diamond/Simulant term varies widely depending on who you ask. Essentially it means not-a-diamond.
CZ / Zircon are sometimes referred as simulated/synthetic diamonds. Cubic Zirconia is Zirconium Dioxide, and Zircon is Zirconium Silicate (two different things). Both brilliant, and from the naked eye at a distance may appear very similar to diamond. Although very economical, some of the major drawbacks is on the hardness scale it ranks between 7.5-8.5 which means it’s prone to damage during abuse, and color/clarity may change over time.
Moissanite is Silicon Carbide (SiC) in hexagonal bond, almost always lab created because it’s usually only found from space rocks (meteorites) which makes it magnitudes more rare than naturally occurring diamonds. In fact, it was first discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893 right here in our own backyard of Arizona. Sometimes it’s referred to as a Simulated/Synthetic diamond. However, calling it a diamond simulant is really unfair because the stone looks nothing like a diamond when compared side-by-side. Even from a distance, the brilliance and rainbow sparklyness is far superior than a diamond which is one main reason why the popularity has exploded in recent years. It’s also very durable, with a hardness scale of 9.5 that allows it to tolerate abuse, and is totally maintenance free! Why does Silicon Carbide sound familiar? Because it’s used in ultra performance braking systems in supercars such as Porsche Carrera GT, Bugatti Veyron, Corvette ZR1, McLaren P1, Bentley, Ferrari, and Lamborghini! No joke, rotors for a ZR1 are about $12k! SiC is also used in ceramic ball bearings in many turbos too! So if you’re a true gearhead, Moissanite is your friend. When we showed this side-by-side with a diamond to normal people on the street, they chose Moissanite 5 out of 5 times because “its prettier”. Being lab created guarantees conflict free and every stone is practically flawless. There really is no downside to this amazing gemstone!
Q. Why does my diamond look not as good as in the TV commercials?
A. We generally use lower quality natural Earth made diamonds strictly to keep costs low. The Earth is very dynamic, and rarely creates a perfect diamond. Under magnifying you’ll see internal blemishes inside the diamond, on the cuts face, or it won’t be 100% clear or colorless since other minerals could be infused during formation. Besides, the lower quality gems are the forgotten stones in the jewelry business and sometimes end up being orphans or crushed down to be used in drill bits, grinding stones and such. When the Earth does create a near flawless diamond, it’s reflected in the price. As an example, lower quality diamonds we use (under .10 CT) may range from $40-$120, whereas higher quality diamonds (same size) will range $300-$900. All cuts we use are good or above since cutting has been automated by CNC for some time. If you prefer a minimum grade earth/lab stone, just let us know and we will source one and create a ring to fit!
Q. Are these stones certified? Where do they originate from?
A. I’m going to be 100% transparent. We source our stones, natural or lab from anywhere (ebay, etsy, Amazon, direct from wholesellers – mostly in India). The stones we use are typically melee, under 0.10 CT (which generally do not come with certificates or serial numbers), and origins are essentially provided by verbal guarantee. We do test by electronic method, UV light and most importantly inspect under 20x+ magnification every stone to determine if it matches the sellers description. If we aren’t 100% confident of what we are dealing with, it will not be set in jewelry or sold. We’ve encountered many stones that were described as Moissanite or Lab Diamond which ended up being glass or CZ. Natural stones are easy to determine, whereas the lab generated gems can be a bit of a challenge. If a certificate is important, please let us know which institution is acceptable and we will source a stone of your liking, just be aware that certified stones has a substantial price increase due to the paper trail required.
Q. What is Sterling Silver, 925 silver, plated silver, plated gold, etc..
A. Our hand made fine jewelry uses solid 925/Sterling Silver (which is the same thing), it’s 92.5% Pure Silver mixed with some other metals to add strength. The early turbo rings were not stamped 925 on the inside even though they are indeed 925. The mass produced jewelry is not considered fine jewelry, only the hand made items. Product descriptions will indicate whether it’s solid or plated. We do not typically stock 10k/14k/18k/24k solid gold, platinum, or rhodium strictly due to the cost. So instead those variants will be plated. Plated jewelry is typically solid brass with a middle layer of Rhodium, and outer layer of gold (chemistry reasons why this is done, if you’re interested just ask). The unfortunate downside to plated jewelry is it does wear over time, and deep scratches will show the underlying layers. If solid gold is deeply wanted, we can do it, however the average price as of writing this FAQ for the average women’s ring amount of gold for 14k is $200, 18k is $300, and platinum is $500.
Q. Can you inscribe something on the ring?
A. Yes! However, a brand new ring will be created from scratch just for you, so there could be an extensive delay as we wait for a stone of your choice to arrive.