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Fake diamonds fool Internet buyers

All that glisters is not gold – and "precious" stones, including diamonds, rubies and sapphires, bought at overseas stalls and on the Internet may be anything but.

New Zealand Jewellery Appraisers Society president Dennis Blacklaws says he has seen "well in excess of two to three dozen" fakes at his Lower Hutt diamond and gem laboratory in the past year and the problem appeared to be increasing.

The warning follows the case of a Wellington man overcharged for a fake diamond.

The man paid $3000 for an engagement ring, advertised as 18-carat white gold with a one-carat diamond, from an Internet auction site.

The Australian seller provided a valuation certificate "which looked pretty correct", stating the ring was worth A$7500 (NZ$8090).

But the ring turned out to be worth $2000.

Though it was genuine white gold, the stone was synthetic moissanite.

Comments

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shawn

What do yu know about the simulated diamonds sold by Diamond Nexus Labs in Wisconsin?

I hear they look closely to diamonds and are much cheaper.

Thanks for your response in advance.

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Denny's Response

The stones sold by the Diamond Nexus Labs are cubic zirconia with a lot of marketing hype. Since most of the “testimonials” and “reviews” of this product seem to be written by the company, it is difficult to sort out the facts from fiction. The bottom line is that cut and polished cubic zirconia can be purchased for about $10 a carat or less. What shoppers are willing to pay for the marketing hype is where the company makes its money. There is nothing wrong with using cubic zirconia in jewelry if the buyer knows it and pays the appropriate price. Just do not expect a cubic zirconia product to be something better or different than what it really is, cubic zirconia.

TAMARA KEM

I HAVE MORAL ISSUES WITH THE WHOLE DIAMOND INDUSTRY, NOT TO SAY THAT I DONT HAVE DIAMONDS, I DO HAVE SEVERAL THAT WERE PASSED DOWN THRU MY FAMILY. MY HUSBAND AND I ARE GOING TO PURCHASE A NEW WEDDING SET ANI WAS HOPING THAT YOU MIGHT DIRECT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OF THE BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR A DIAMOND.

Denny's Response
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Diamond rings are certainly not for everyone. It is only tradition, not a law, that an engagement ring has a diamond. Many couples have metal bands; others use precious or semi-precious gemstones instead of diamonds. The choice is yours and there are endless options open to you.

I would be interested in knowing what your moral issues are with the whole diamond industry since I am part of that industry. The diamond industry is the source of income for hundreds of thousands of families in underdeveloped countries around the world. The current economic downturn has already cost tens of thousands of jobs in the mining and polishing part of the industry in countries where there is little other work to be had. While there have been abuses of the diamond industry (as with gold, silver, oil, lumber and just about every other commodity), consumers who stop buying diamonds because of events twenty years ago forget the lives they are impacting today.

I'm a newbie and appreciate all the information I can get. Thanks.

Angelica

Cubic Zirconia is not a daoimnd. It might look like a daoimnd and be almost as durable as a daoimnd but it's still a Zirconia. They're great as a cheap alternative to daoimnds but like the other answerers said, they can go cloudy eventually. The other nice thing about CZ is that the quality of it doesn't differ much from jeweler to jeweler, so whether you're buying it from Walmart of Tiffany's the stone will have the same qualities but you still need to look after the ring.As for the investment, I'd look at the CZ ring as the investment. You don't need a daoimnd and like you said, you can't eat it or use it. So rather be practical and get the cheaper ring. If your friends go on about "fake stones" then tell them that your love isn't fake and that there's more to your relationship than a shiny piece of earth. Maybe in ten years time you can change the stones or get another ring. The value of daoimnd rings depends on the cut and setting because some of the more trendy rings do depreciate when the trends change. But my mother has a solitaire daoimnd and I know that it's value has actually increased in the last 30 odd years.And I just wanted to add: There are no slaves in South Africa. All the miners are free workers with salaries, contracts, medical insurance and such things. But yes, it is a dangerous job but mining of any kind is dangerous. Coal mining is just as dangerous and people still buy petrol.

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