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March 31st, 2008

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March 31st, 2008

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Fake diamond fools even experts

March 31st, 2008

Excerpts from Chicago Tribune

February 11, 2003

Edition: North Sport Final, Section: Tempo, Page: 2


Fake diamond fools even experts


Author: Sabine Morrow, Cox News Service.


It’s nearly as hard as a diamond, boasts more brilliance and fire, costs a fraction as much and — get this — it can and has fooled many jewelers into thinking it was the real McCoy. 

Such a gem isn’t wishful thinking, although the original did come from a star.

Sue Schlotter, manager of Farsi Jewelers in Atlanta, has been selling the gem for about three years.  “We do mostly special orders on moissanite. We combine them with diamonds.  We also do replacements. I have a diamond earring that I lost, so I had the exact one made with moissanite and no one can tell it’s not a diamond,” she says.

The diamond Schlotter replaced was just under a carat. A diamond replacement would have cost about $2,000, but she spent $500 on a moissanite instead.

Diamonds’ cachet – But why purchase a man-made gem when part of a diamond’s cachet is that it’s such a rare jewel?  That’s a total myth.

Consider that in 2001 the United States imported more than 17 million carats of natural-cut and uncut diamonds worth more than $10.5 billion, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  “To date, less than 1 million carats of moissanite have been produced for sale to the public,” Thomas says.

Much of moissanite’s appeal is that its properties so closely approximate those of diamonds. It’s the hardest known man-made substance and hits only

slightly below that of diamond on the Mohs scale, which tests and rates the hardness of minerals on a 10-point scale. A diamond tests 10 and moissanite comes in at 9.25.

While no other substance matches the thermal conductivity of a diamond, moissanite is close enough to make electronic diamond testers beep positive.  And that makes some merchants and customers more than a bit nervous.

But not Joe Ellis, owner of Cherokee Pawn in Alpharetta, Ga., who quickly spotted the moissanite when handed a diamond, cubic zirconia and the

moissanite without being told what they were.It almost looks too good,” he said as he peered at the nearly 1-carat moissanite through his jeweler’s loupe.  “My gut says it isn’t real.”

Beyond instinct – Still, Ellis didn’t rely solely on his experienced “gut.” He brought out the diamond tester. It beeped, indicating that the stone was a diamond.  “This is a moissanite,” he insisted, an assertion he confirmed with another piece of equipment specifically designed to identify moissanite.  It beeped; the stone indeed was no diamond.  “That’s the problem with it,” Ellis said. “It’ll fool a diamond tester, and that’s how a customer can get the shaft.”

It’s another matter to talk to customers about how they like their moissanite jewelry. Try to find someone who will confirm having bought any.

“It’s like plastic surgery,” says Joan Carver, an associate with Landau.  “Everybody loves it, but nobody will admit to having it done.”

Say it with…Moissanite? Man-made ‘diamond’ is a gem

March 31st, 2008

Excerpt from USA Today

November 01, 2002

Section: Life, Pg. 07e

  Say it with . . . Moissanite?

Man-made ‘diamond’ is a gem


Author:  Kelly Carter


Moissanite, an increasingly popular man-made gemstone, is ready for its close-up.

This season, look for Moissanite to adorn Allison Janney and Stockard Channing on The West Wing and Alex Kingston and Ming-Na on ER. Lyn Paolo, the costumer designer for both shows, is a fan.

Off-screen, the diamond-like jewel is a hit with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Minnie Driver, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Capriati and Access Hollywood ‘s Nancy O’Dell, who often wears a pair of Moissanite stud earrings to casual outings and on the red carpet.

They look just like diamonds but they sparkle a bit more,” O’Dell says.  “You can dress them down or dress them up. That’s the great thing about the stone.” 

Brooke Shields wore a custom-designed Moissanite piece when she hosted the Costume Designers Awards in 2000.

A Faux Best Friend; Left Gasping by Diamond Prices and Morals? Moissanite May Be a Sparkly Buddget Option.

March 31st, 2008

Excerpt from Washington Post

January 23, 2002

Edition: F, Section: Style, Page: C12

 A Faux Best FriendLeft Gasping by Diamond Prices and Morals? Moissanite May Be a Sparkly Budget Option. 

Author: Christina Ianzito


Continental Jewelers on Connecticut Avenue has a glass case displaying a pretty engagement ring. Its white-gold setting is studded with three pale, glittering jewels. You’d never guess it, but those little rocks aren’t diamonds. They’re moissanite, says storeowner Jim Gianforte — man-made stones from a North Carolina company called Charles & Colvard. Because they’re not the Real Thing, the ring costs $1,150 rather than $8,500.


Charles & Colvard CEO, Robert Thomas explains that his company hopes to attract the pragmatic women out there, “the sophisticated people who understand what jewelry is, who are starting to think, ‘Wait a minute. I can have a beautiful engagement ring and spend $2,000 rather than $20,000, and we can spend that $18,000 on a down payment for a house.’” Or on a new car, a few weeks in Tuscany, a favorite charity or a trip around the world.


      Copyright 2002 The Washington Post