Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gem ♥ Love ♥: PERIDOT

The birthstone for August is the beautiful, unique apple-green gemstone Peridot.  (It's pronounced "pair-i-doe"---the "t" is silent.)  The plural of Peridot is Peridots.  It's such a gorgeous, bright green color that is unlike anything else.   Here are some interesting facts about this beautiful gemstone:
  • Legend has it that Peridot was Cleopatra's favorite gem!
  • There are two gemstones that are found deep in the earth, and not found in the earth's crust:  diamond and peridot!
  • Peridot is formed in the earth's mantle, in the upper levels of magma, about 20-50 miles deep.
  • Volcanic activity, and tectonic activity,  bring Peridot to the surface.
  • Peridot is the rare gem variety of Olivine.
  • Peridot is one of the only gemstones that comes in just one color.
  • It can vary in color from yellow-green to olive to brownish green.
  • Peridot looks best in sunlight (sparkling green) and does not change color in different lighting.
  • It is commonly a transparent stone, but larger carat weight stones can have inclusions/cloudiness.
  • It has a Mohs hardness of 6.5-7.
  • It is sometimes called "the poor man's emerald".
  • It has been mistaken as emerald in royalty's crown jewels.
  • Peridot comes from Burma, Vietnam, the United States, Brazil, China, and Pakistan.  The finest quality comes from Burma and Pakistan.
  • 80-95% of the world's Peridot comes from Peridot Mesa, located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona---the most productive locality for peridot in the world. 
  • The largest cut Peridot weighs 310 carats and is in the Smithsonian
    46.16-Ct. Peridot, Largest from Pakistan, Perfect Color
  • Peridot is a relatively inexpensive gemstone in small sizes, but the value goes up with stones over 5 carats, with 10-15 carat stones very rare and expensive.  
  • There is no known treatment to improve the color or clarity of peridot, so peridot is always an untreated gem!
  • In Russia there are some cut peridots that came out of a meteorite, which came down in eastern Siberia in 1749.
  • In ancient times, Peridot was considered a gift from Mother Earth and signified springtime, or the annual creation of a new earth.
  • In antiquity and the Middle Ages, people believed the cosmos were reflected in gemstones.  Peridot was assigned to the planet Saturn.

Diamond and Peridot Parure belonging to Archduchess Isabelle of Austria Circa 1825

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Little Info About Diamonds: Color

Although I love jewelry and pretty much anything that sparkles, I've never really been a "diamond person".  I've always been drawn to colored gemstones---blues and greens especially.  However, recently I've been reading about diamonds and how they're graded, and also actual lab-created diamonds (not CZ) and I thought I'd share a little about what I've learned lately---in case there are others who, like me, never knew much at all about diamonds!

The Four C's

Okay, I have heard about this but I really didn't know what it meant:  Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight.  The last "C" is obvious!  But what about Color?  Aren't all clear diamonds the same--clear?
  • Color isn't the most important diamond characteristic---there are many beautiful stones that aren't perfectly clear (colorless).
  • Not all diamonds are colorless--also called "White Diamonds"---and all other diamonds are judged against Colorless.
  • The GIA (Gemological Institute of America)  has a set of guidelines to grade diamond color. Graded diamonds are compared to the color of control stones, which are preselected gems of a specific color.
  • Diamonds are graded loose (so the metal setting doesn't affect the color).
  • Diamonds are placed table (top) down with the pavillion up and are looked at with a 10x loupe.
  • Diamonds are assigned a color grade from D (colorless) to Z (brownish).  Colorless "D" diamonds are VERY rare.
    VERY subtle!
  •  D-E-F grades:  colorless
  •  G-H-I-J:  nearly colorless
  •  K-L-M:  faintly tinted, yellow usually
  •  N-O-P-Q-R:  yellow tinted, visible with the naked eye
  •  S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z:  yellow to brownish, visible even when mounted 
On the other end of the spectrum, colored "fancy" diamonds (blue, black, yellow, pink, green, purple, red) are even more rare and more expensive!

Other factors can affect diamond color:
Flouresence: GIA diamond reports and many other lab reports indicate whether or not a diamond exhibits fluorescence, which means the diamond's color changes when it is exposed to ultraviolet light. Since UV radiation is a component of daylight and is also present in fluorescent lit rooms, diamonds with this characteristic can appear to change color quite often.

Settings That Enhance Color:
A loose diamond that appears lightly yellow to the naked eye will usually appear more colorless when mounted in a white setting like platinum or white gold. 

Diamond Color Treatments:
Stages of HPHT Treatment
Sometimes diamonds are treated with HPHT (High Pressure/High Temperature) processing.  This is a permanent treatment.  This can turn an otherwise less-desirable brown diamond into a colorless diamond.  The Federal Trade Commission requires that any HPHT treatment be disclosed.

Coatings are sometimes used to temporarily enhance a diamond.  These will eventually wear off, and are almost always done with the intent to deceive the customer.   This brilliant orange coated diamond changed to yellow when it was heated during a retipping process:

Sometimes dots or larger areas of blue ink are applied to the underside of a yellowish diamond, hidden by the setting, to make the stone seem whiter.  This will wash off.

Creating Colorful Diamonds
Irradiation, followed by a high heat treatment, can turn brown and yellow diamonds into fancy colored diamonds.  The color is usually permanent.

"Fancy" Colored Diamonds
The Aurora Collection is made up of 296 naturally colored diamonds. Owned by diamond collectors Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman, they are on display in a new gallery at the Vault, in London.

Natural colored diamonds come in all shades, hues and colors of the rainbow, with some of the most popular colors being shades and combinations of pink, blue, brown, yellow, orange, green and red. They are generally smaller than other diamonds and are used primarily in fashion jewelry. Yellow is the most commonly-occurring fancy color, while red, blue and green diamonds are extremely rare.
Faint Green, Very Light Green, Light Green, Fancy Light Green, Fancy Green, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Deep

Fancy color diamonds are graded in two ways:  the stone's basic hue, such as pink, yellow, blue, green, etc.,  and the diamond's intensity. Both color characteristics form the basis for determining a fancy colored diamond's worth.  Usually, the more intense the color, the rarer and more expensive the diamond will be. For example, a fancy light pink diamond costs less than a fancy vivid pink diamond of equal size, shape and clarity.
The Blue Hope Diamond - est. worth $250 million!

The GIA uses nine categories to grade color diamonds.

  1. Faint
  2. Very Light
  3. Light
  4. Fancy Light
  5. Fancy
  6. Fancy Dark
  7. Fancy Intense
  8. Fancy Deep
  9. Fancy Vivid
Color is the most important factor in determining a color diamond's value. Clarity is not as critical, and unless inclusions are directly on the diamond's table, most are not noticeable to the naked eye and will not affect the look of the diamond -- or its sparkle.

Pink Diamonds: Natural fancy pink diamonds are rare, and account for only a fraction of one percent of the Argyle Diamond Mine's entire production of pink diamonds. Pink diamonds mined in India, Brazil and Africa are usually lighter in color than the intensely pink Argyle diamonds.  Pink diamonds are primarily divided into five color categories:

  • Pink
  • Purplish pink
  • Brownish pink
  • Orangey pink
  • Pink champagne
Pink diamonds with no secondary coloring are the rarest and most expensive of all pink diamonds. This color of pink diamond ranges from a faint pink, resembling a white diamond with just a slight pink hue, to very sweet colored fancy pink, to a vivid pink, also referred to as a "raspberry pink," and finally a deep, almost reddish pink. The closer to red a pink diamond's coloration is, the more rare it is and therefore the more expensive.

What is the rarest colored diamond?
The Moussaieff Red, a 5.11-carat, Fancy Red diamond with an IF clarity grade, is known as the largest internally flawless red diamond in the world, sold for $8 million in 2001.

Red. Diamonds that are certified as "red" are so rare that most diamond dealers have never seen one! Blue is the next rarest color. Blue diamonds are almost exclusively mined in Australia and South Africa.

Well, I am NOW a "diamond person"!  Definitely would love having one of those Fancy Blue or Green Diamonds!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fused Quartz, Sold as "Gems" From Thailand -- Buyer Beware!

I've written about this a couple of times here on my blog, because I find this so amazing!  There are some REALLY beautiful rings (and earrings) with utterly fantastic settings being sold on ebay (and etsy).  These pieces are coming from Thailand, sold by a variety of sellers on ebay from Thailand, but all feature the same, err, distinctive-looking fingers holding the rings.  And at first glance, it's like bidders are getting AMAZING deals on huge carat-weight gemstones, like BIG aquamarines and gigantic sapphires, with colors that are dazzling.
"Morganite" (what??)  ring for $25

This all started when I sincerely considered buying an aquamarine ring from one such seller on etsy--it was spectacular, and I do love aquamarines and emeralds.  I've been an aquamarine collector since I was 18 and have purchased many pieces from jewelers in Chicago's Jewelers' Row Landmark District, and in Los Angeles.  But one person left feedback at the etsy seller's shop that said their jeweler told her the stone was fake AND the sterling wasn't really silver--it was plated!!

But sometimes buyers are wrong, and that was just one out of almost 100...yet, it did seem too good to be true!  So I started doing some research online and that is how I've discovered that the etsy buyer was absolutely RIGHT.  The stones ARE fake!!!  I don't need to see a stone in person, or have it tested at my (VERY reputable) jeweler to know when something is not right.  Plus, using "google image search" has led me to the same ring sold elsewhere for $9.99, not $100!  So totally glass.

It's one thing to sell a "simulated" gemstone, or CZ, or man-made stone when you say upfront that it is indeed man-made.  There are so many gorgeous simulated gemstones---I'm all FOR lab created or simulated.  It's another thing altogether to claim the stone is "from Africa" and "heated" and so forth, when that's a total LIE.  It's fraud.  People are being defrauded by the hundreds every single day!

Fused Quartz - 100 Carats for $10.  Pretty!
I've found a website that sells "fused quartz" and "fused silica" rough as well as CZ rough crystals.  HERE is their website. You might think, "Oh, quartz, at least it's a gemstone..." but you'd be wrong.  Fused quartz is GLASS, not quartz crystals. You can see that, for example, the "emerald fused quartz" looks incredibly like a real emerald, like perhaps a "treated" or glass-infused emerald.  And that's just a piece of rough! I can imagine how beautiful it would be when faceted and polished. This is sometimes cut and sold as "hydro quartz".  If you look up fused quartz, you can read for yourself that IT IS GLASS.  Despite the "quartz" word in the name, it is a form of GLASS.  It is melted and poured into bars, as opposed to crystals that are grown.  That same website offers all sorts of simulated gems for the jewelry industry, including fused silica which they call "jeweler's silica" and the ruby and sapphire are very good fake corundum and, of course, there is beautiful simulated aquamarine.  (It's also glass.) Note the Mohs hardness--5.5 to 6 which is the same as plate glass!

These 8-17 Carat "Padparadscha" Rings for $24.99.  REAL Padparadscha is $16,000 and Up
These sellers on ebay are selling GLASS as various gemstones.  This glass is faceted and polished and sold as gemstones---THEY ARE NOT!   This "fused quartz" glass is NOT to be confused with lab-created gemstones:  lab stones ARE gemstones, just created by man (rather than mined from the earth).  These Thai stones do not possess the same chemical and physical properties of gemstones---these are WORTHLESS glass stones.   Here is a list of just some of the sellers with nothing but FAKE GLASS GEMSTONES being sold as Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Emerald, Ruby, Morganite, Kunzite, White Topaz, Blue Topaz, London Blue Topaz, and other gems----ALL GLASS.  And these sellers are so easy to find--they all begin their titles in listings with certain words, such as "splendid", "amazing", "alluring", "astonishing" or "sumptuous" or my favorite, "bewitching", and many others.  Just add the word "ring" in the search box and TONS of jewelry is there to see---thousands of listings!  Here are just 11  sellers on ebay...check it out:

$35 direct from Thailand, or $109 on etsy!
All of these stores have the same jewelry, the same hand holding it in most pictures, the same "spinning" turntable pictures, the same descriptions ("heated" "Africa" and luster described as "dazzling" or "astonishing" etc. etc.).  All jewelry made with glass stones by some Thai manufacturer, and then sold under a number of different seller names.

I see a U.S. seller on etsy who is now offering the same "padparadscha sapphires" and other rings----same hands holding them, same weird descriptive words----but for BIG prices, like over $300.  It's still NOT a sapphire (because a 10-ct.  Padparadscha sapphire of that size would be staggering -- TENS of thousands of dollars!) and it's still a scam, regardless of the seller.  The sad part is that this particular seller has some possibly genuine vintage gemstone rings, and a few of these "ravishing" and "enchanted" obvious fakes.  (The phony "paraiba tourmalines" are definitely NOT "refreshing", and are the same hands holding them as pictured above.  Sad.) 

Here's an auction site in Thailand that offers some loose gems (maybe real?) but most items are the same exact items (rings, etc.)  found on ebay, same hands holding the pieces, etc.  The website is very slow to load.  One main seller is someone called "allgem" and prices are cheaper, in general.  But still WAY too expensive for glass. A picture of their "aquamarine" earrings is here, above right.

I'm sure it's all a numbers game for the Thai manufacturer:  sell as many pieces of jewelry as possible, with a LOT of different seller names in case they are closed down by ebay one by one, then take the money and run!  Before people find out that the "sapphire" they purchased is glass.

It's awful, isn't it?  I'd think Thailand as a country would put a stop to this, because it's REALLY ruining the entire country's reputation as a source for fine gemstones. There are even warnings to American travelers to avoid buying the fake gemstones there.  Read the U.S. Travel consular website and in particular the very long paragraph describing fake gem scams---to buyers who see the gems in person and are still fooled:

   "The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) receives over a thousand complaints each year from visitors who have been cheated on gem purchases...You can find detailed information on gem scams on numerous websites..."


It's perfectly GREAT to buy non-gemstone jewelry.  Seriously, the rings from Thailand are GORGEOUS and if having something beautiful is what makes a person happy, go for it!  But be aware that you aren't getting a gemstone at all.  If you love it, that's what matters.  But DON'T buy these as "investment pieces" because they're only worth about $25---if the sterling is genuine!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"A Sucker Born Every Minute"?

I feel fascinated with the current jewelry and stones coming out of Thailand lately.  There are some GORGEOUS looking stones, some set in rings or bracelets etc., and they are SO pretty.  I mean, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a beautiful CZ or simulated gemstone. At. All.  These pieces are available all over ebay, on Thai auction sites, and even etsy (sadly) and nearly all the pictures are the same ones used for all kinds of sellers everywhere----the same, terrible looking cadaverous fingers holding a ring, for example.  (see my previous post HERE)  And doesn't everyone know about "google images search"??  I just right click on an online picture and select "search image on google" and many times, I'll see other sellers offering that ring.  Price differences are astounding----the same ring for $100 on etsy is $25 on ebay or $9.99 on an auction site.

Image from Auction--and found elsewhere
So this morning, I came across this ebay auction for a "tanzanite" ring with "white topaz" in sterling silver and there are 16 bids which drove the price up to $154.50 as I write this (with 25 minutes left to bid).  It's a really pretty ring, isn't it?  Odd, non-tanzanite color though...  I love it -- except it's NOT tanzanite at all.  This same stone can be found elsewhere, or even by this very same seller, using google image search, marketed as "Ceylon sapphire" (which it's not), "blue tourmaline" (Nope), "amethyst" (not even close!)  and even "blue purple ametrine (???)" (again, not).  I can't be sure what it is exactly, but it's not a gemstone----could be glass, a colored CZ, a coated CZ, quartz, doublet, I don't know for sure.  It's being marketed as different "gemstones" so we can all use our brains to know that it's NONE of them.  Not a gem---otherwise, it would be sold as the gem that it is, right? Right.

What I do know, is that it's fraud.

Sad there are at least 15 bidders on ebay who have been fooled.  Sadder that the Thai gemstone market is now totally saturated with these phony stones.  It ruins it for everyone---we should ALL be outraged.  Thailand has been known for it's rubies and sapphires and other gems---but lately it's known for the fakes being sold, worse than China nowadays.  And that says a lot!

 Besides, a tanzanite that is 6-carats would be about $6,000.  AND it would be a different color because quality tanz is a deep vibrant blue-purple, not this washed out blue stone that looks like, well, glass.

People seem to always try to find a "deal", like they're thinking they're getting a $6,000 gem for $150.  So do they think they are pulling a fast one on this Thai seller on ebay?   Other way around people!!!

HERE is a link to a real, legit tanzanite dealer, with stones to compare color.  Also, I like their tagline: "Tanzanite--a thousand times rarer than diamond."  True.  And it's very expensive too.

You should really check out that ebay seller's other items, especially the emeralds!  Neon green!!  haha!  Also they are very poorly cut, and you can really see that when you look at their list of "emeralds"---see the windowing at the center of each?  Bad.  No genuine gemstone would be cut like that.
The "inclusions" are probably cracks caused (on purpose) by heating the stones then rapidly cooling them, like anyone can do with glass marbles for example.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Emeralds: Natural, Enhanced...?

Emerald is one of the four "precious" gemstones, along with diamond, ruby and sapphire, and some people include Aquamarine in the "precious" catagory.

Emeralds often have inclusions or fractures.  In fact, a natural emerald with only minimal fissures is VERY rare and is worth far more than a diamond of similar carat weight and clarity.

Many fine quality emeralds used in jewelry have minor surface flaws. Oiling, a routine practice that’s been done for many hundreds of years, improves the appearance of the stones and does not affect their value or durability.

Newer technologies make it possible to sell extremely flawed, low-quality emeralds that previously would have had to be discarded. Without "clarity enhancement," any observer would see these stones as defective, or extemely unattractive.  But after enhancement, they look good to all but a trained gemologist observing them under high magnification.

Problems with the enhancement may not show up until much later. Meanwhile, emeralds of poorer and poorer quality are finding their way into jewelry.

Clarity enhancement has a serious effect on valuation. A fractured-filled emerald is worth significantly less than one of comparable appearance that is not "enhanced."

Because emerald is so likely to have fractures, suppliers often fill the fractures with non-gem material. This masks the flaws and improves the appearance of the stone. Literally hundreds of proprietary formulas are used to fill fractures and fissures. The transformation of a stone’s appearance can be dramatic.  However, there are problems with fracture filled emeralds:
Fracture Filled on Left, Before on Right

  • Fracture-filling is not considered a permanent treatment.

    Fillers are likely to break down under cleaning with steam or ultrasound, they can be harmed by heat from a jeweler’s torch if the stone is reset, or they may simply break down over time. A filling may turn dark or white or simply deteriorate, leaving the fractured stone in its original condition. In some cases, fillers may even expand over time, causing the stones to shatter.
  • Fracture-filled stones are worth considerably less than unenhanced emeralds of similar size. It’s essential that the treatment be disclosed at every step in the selling chain.
  • Fracture filling may be done to emeralds that have only slight fractures, or it may be done to stones that are riddled with fractures—unattractive, low-quality stones that in their natural state no one would want.
  • Fractures in an emerald not only make the stone less beautiful but also weaken it. An emerald that has its fractures filled in will look better to the naked eye, but it’s still a brittle stone, susceptible to breakage.
 A trained gemologist can detect the extent of fracturing and filling, but most jewelers are not trained gemologists and may not even examine the goods they sell.

Emerald is my birthstone and I LOVE them as well as the other beryl, Aquamarine.  I'll have to go and take a closer look at my emerald jewelry----not that I care, really, but I'm curious after doing this little bit of emerald "research".  I had a 3-stone emerald ring that I LOVED but one day while working at home, I looked down and the center stone was GONE, but the prongs were fine.  I'm guessing the emerald shattered and fell out, since I never did find the stone anywhere.  Maybe it was enhanced and then shattered--I guess I'll never know! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Etsy Vintage.....Shoes??? Ick.

~ Taking a Quick Break From Jewelry to say... ~

I know there are people who feel squeamish about buying earrings that may have been worn before, like modeling them in pictures.  I understand it's illegal in some states to even return earrings to the store where they were purchased.  I am not entirely sure why, since ear piercings are healed (aren't they??) and it's no more "dirty" than, say, wearing a ring (you never know where that hand has been! LOL).   Or wearing used clothing---it can be washed or dry cleaned.

Earrings are made out of metal, and you can easily disinfect metal posts with alcohol, for example.  Maybe even just good ol' soap and water.

But etsy's "Fashion" email today included, among other things like a pine cone crown* (??), pairs of vintage hiking boots and shoes that are previously worn.

WHAT THE......???????

How about these 'vintage' shoes?!
How on earth is that sanitary??  Why would ANYONE want to put their feet into boots or shoes that contain who-knows-what kinds of potential fungus or viruses or bacteria or blood or other bodily fluids??  You can't disinfect shoes!!  (Although I read that you can put stinky sneakers in the freezer for a couple of days to kill bacteria...uh, no thanks!)  Maybe viruses only live on hard surfaces for a few hours, but spores can live indefinitely until they're "reactivated" by moisture.  And the inside lining of shoes isn't a "hard surface" anyway--it's soft and porous, ick.   And not only that, but someone else's foot "broke in" those boots or shoes so they conformed to THEIR feet, not yours, so...???   I'm not even going to think about how gross this is any more...

...except I'm thinking, how is is this any less horrible than buying used, dirty underwear that can't be laundered for the purpose of wearing?  Would you ever think of putting that next to your body?   Seriously.

In shoe stores when I was a kid, you'd have to wear something on your feet before trying any shoes on, and even that seemed so icky to me.

I can't be the only person who thinks buying USED SHOES or BOOTS is awful, sickening, disgusting, unsanitary and unsafe!?!!!   BLECHHHH.  No thank you! 

*Update:  someone actually purchased that "tiara" made out of glued-together pine cones today, for $55 plus $10 shipping!  (Cone head, anyone?!)   I guess there is a market for anything!  Maybe I should make a matching one for a guy to wear as a pine cone beard for $55!!  Yeah, no.

*** ...And now, back to jewelry! ***

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Red Coral
Earth is 71% covered with water (which leaves 29% of the planet comprised of land).   Of all the water on our beautiful blue planet, 97.5% of the water is saltwater.  And the world's oceans contain two precious organic gems:  coral and pearls!  As organics, both are products of living creatures.  Coral is created by coloies of marine animals called "coral polyps", and marine and freshwater mollusks make pearls  The most valuable coral colors are red and pink, but a lot of red and pink coral on the market is dyed.   The decision to harvest coral from the seas is a very controversial subject today.
Golden South Seas Pearls

Pearls come from both the ocean and from freshwater.  They come in all sizes, colors and shapes---from large, round Golden South Seas pearls and Black Tahitian pearls, to baroque pearls, Akoya saltwater pearls, tiny rice pearls, freshwater pearls, pearls in white, cream, pink, lavender, peach, black, peacock... all are beautiful and unique!  Natural (not cultured) pearls are rare and very expensive, but cultured pearls allow every person to own a strand of pearls or set of pear earrings at affordable prices.

30 million-year-old insect trapped in Amber
Amber is one of the major varieties of organic gems.  Ancient trees secreted resin that, over time, solidified into "copal"-- a hard, oil substance.  Then, over millions of years, the oil gradually leached out of the copal, leaving behind Amber.

Dominican Blue Amber
Amber is found in a range of colors, from dark brown to a light lemon yellow and even a creamy white.  The rarest forms of Amber are deep red called "cherry amber", green amber, and even a blue variety found only in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Selling CZ as a "Man Made Diamond" -- Fraud? Absolutely.

You know, I think the internet is a fabulous thing---you can find out all kinds of information in just a few seconds; you can have an online business, which is a wonderful thing for people who need  or want to work out of the home; the list goes on.  I'm ALL for people, men and women, who have their own Etsy shop and it's so fun to go shopping there.

But on etsy, just like anywhere else, there are some "less than honest" sellers.  And I'm not talking about sellers who might not realize something, or have been led to believe something that isn't true from a vendor (example: buying loose gemstones that aren't what they're told).  I'm talking about the unscrupulous ones who will say anything to make that sale!

Here is a photo of my 3-stone pink CZ ring in sterling that I want to list on etsy:

Basically identical ring, different sellers--one honest, one not.
Tonight, I was searching on etsy for rings similar to a pink CZ 3-stone ring that I have been trying to photograph.  No matter what lighting, indoors or outdoors, even in very dark lighting, the pink stones look purple in my pictures!  (Pink CZ are color-shifting stones.)  The picture above is the best one out of hundreds of shots so you can see it was difficult!  So I was searching etsy to see how other sellers have photographed their pink CZ stones---indoors? Daylight? So forth.  And I came across a ring that looks identical to mine, but I read their description---it's THE WORST pile of, well, b.s.!  Good God!!

I would like EVERYONE to know that:

  1. There IS such a thing as a "man made diamond" or a "created diamond".  Gemesis and Diamond Nexis are companies that make pure carbon diamonds, in a lab.  These created (or synthetic) diamonds ARE actual diamonds---they have the same physical and chemical properties as a natural "mined" diamond.  These are 100% PURE diamonds---just made in a lab.
  2. Created real diamonds are very expensive---almost the same as a mined diamond.
  3. A created canary 1-carat round stone runs about $4,000---not at all inexpensive. 
  4. Created diamonds, just like mined diamonds (remember--they are THE SAME) both have a Mohs hardness of 10. 
  5. Created and natural diamonds CAN GET SCRATCHED and can chip over time!  Diamonds are not indestructible.
  6. Created real diamonds are available in clear and canary (yellow)----they do NOT come in PINK!
  7. Anything else that has been made to LOOK like a diamond is just that---a diamond SIMULANT.  These include CZ, Moissanite, Swarovski crystals, glass, and some clear gemstones as well, such as topaz and white sapphire.  These stones are not diamonds, but just look like diamonds and are used in jewelry as affordable alternatives to diamonds.
  8. Pink CZ have been around for awhile and were called "Pink Ice" long ago.
  9. Pink CZ are color-shifting stones---different shades of pink or lavender or even blue-purple in different lighting.
  11. All CZ will cut glass, like a diamond will cut glass
  12. CZ have a Mohs hardness of 8.5; rubies and sapphires have a Mohs hardness of 9; Moissanite has a Mohs hardness of 9.5; Diamonds have a Mohs hardness of 10. (See below)
  13. If you shine a UV light on a diamond and it fluoresces (blue is the most common color), then it is a REAL diamond, mined or man-made.  To test a blue diamond, it will fluoresce red or green.  However only about 1/3 of diamonds do fluoresce---but those that do, are real.
  14. Also, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MAN-MADE TANZANITE.  There are lab grown SIMULANTS which look like Tanzanite, but without the chemical properties of the gem. 
 Gemologists can identify stones by their hardness, among other tests.  The Mohs scale  runs from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest mineral of all, Diamond.  Nothing else is a 10.  Synthetic Moissanite is a 9.5---nothing else is a 9.5.  Sapphires and Rubies are a 9---only corundum is a 9.  CZ is an 8.5, and so forth.  This seller is claiming their "created diamonds" are a 9.5----well that would mean it's moissanite, right?  So why don't they say so?  Because they know if they say "moissanite", then Charles & Colvard will come down on them HARD for lying.  C&C doesn't mess around!! ONLY MOISSANITE HAS A MOHS HARDNESS OF 9.5.  No other diamond simulant is a 9.5.  CZ is an 8.5---still very hard, still cuts glass, and is THE most diamond-like simulant.
AND MOST OF ALL, I'd like everyone to know that there is NO SUCH THING as a "created diamond" or "man made diamond" that is pink.

The seller offering this "man made diamond" in pink is selling CZ and making outrageous claims that the stones are something they are not.  They are NOT diamonds; they are NOT moissanite; the old claim that somehow Russian CZ (or in this case, "Russian man-made diamonds") are superior is simply not true and is an outdated selling point from the '90s.  If, for example, they were offering actual clear "man made diamonds" in a ring the size of their pink 3-stone ring ($89.99) it would cost somewhere in the $30,000+ neighborhood. 

The seller is also offering "aquamarine" which is obviously NOT the genuine gemstone---looks like green glass, or perhaps quartz (I'm being generous).   I have seen virtually ALL of their rings on Thai auction sites, as well as on dhgate (a Chinese "factory" sweatshop type of website) including their "created Tanzanite" which again is either CZ or treated quartz or glass.  There is a lot of "tanzanite quartz" in Thailand and China these days.

It's just SO SAD that there are people like this, taking advantage of others by selling them CZ (or perhaps even glass, who knows?) while claiming these are "diamonds" in any way.  FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD and this seller should be ashamed!!  Their feedback is ridiculous to read: "
Absolutely Beautiful!! The pink diamond turns different shades of pink - depending on the lighting ...and ohhh how it sparkles! I love it!! Thank you ... for your outstanding customer service and integrity!! i will be back!!
I underlined the "integrity" comment---how very sad!!

It's too bad etsy allows shops like this.  It will just take ONE buyer who takes the ring to a jeweler to realize the fraud involved here, and then a lawsuit... but by then the seller will have closed up and moved to another venue.


This goes beyond "creative marketing" to all-out lying about the "value" of a piece of jewelry.  What's wrong with saying that it's a CZ?  CZ are beautiful stones (considered gems!!) that are graded in quality, like diamonds, and will remain beautiful for a lifetime.  No need to make false claims!

I generally mind my own business but in cases like this, with blatant lies with intent to commit fraud, I get very angry.  You should be, too.