Gem Type Group Hardness Refractive Index Specific Gravity
Diamond Diamond 10 2.41 3.52

By the time you finish this article, you’ll probably think I hate Diamonds.  Since that is not true, I’m going to start by talking about what I love about Diamonds.
   There are many good things about Diamonds from a physical and scientific standpoint.  We don’t think about it much, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that Diamond is the hardest thing on the planet. In fact, the whole hardness scale is based on giving Diamond a rating of 10! We reap the benefit of this in so many ways.  First, consider that every other gemstone we love is cut and polished with Diamond.  Even if you don’t like Diamonds, you have to appreciate the beauty that its hardness brings to our lives.  Second, all of us that have or have given our spouses Diamonds’ benefit by knowing that because of its hardness, it can be worn every day without concern of wear and tear.  No other gem can be used with the same freedom.  Less considered but also an indirect benefit of its hardness is Diamonds amazing ability to remain bright and brilliant with minimal cleaning.  There are many Diamond alternatives out there that after cleaning look favorable next to Diamond.  Wait a few weeks and do the comparison again!
   Diamond also has many other properties that stand out as excellent.  They may not be 10’s in those categories, but nevertheless enhance its overall value.  Without going into detail, I want to at least note that Diamonds’ high refractive index and excellent dispersion are characteristics that lead to its scintillating beauty when faceted.
   Now let’s talk a bit about the bad.  In some ways we cannot blame anyone but ourselves.  We have created a monster in the huge demand for natural Diamonds. All the problems we read about are because of money, not Diamonds!  We have long since been able to manufacture Diamonds for our commercial needs, so the majority of the money issues come from the demand for gem quality.  Oppression, murder, wars, and drugs are all because people are fighting over the money.  People like to blame DeBeers but it really is not their fault.  If the demand was not there, the motivation to monopolize the industry would not be there.  In fact, you have to appreciate the wisdom and business savvy needed to recognize this and be the first stable entity to succeed at it.
   Today, the world is banding together to come up with solutions to the problems in the industry and with the abusers of the market.  This is clearly helping, but what is really going to change the industry drastically in the next decade is synthetics and treatments. It won’t be due to direct competition, but simply the fear of fakes. We’re already learning that synthetic Diamonds are being created that cannot be detected even with expensive equipment.  And much of this equipment is still in research and development. Some treatments are nearly impossible to detect and the capability of the companies that provide the enhancement improves daily.
   That is what is scary about Diamonds.  I’ve always been a hands on guy that likes to know my product is genuine and why. There are a handful of scary colored stones in the market today that are tough if not impossible to determine if they are genuine.  In most cases the difference in value is not significant enough to be overly concerned.  The market normally compensates with a drop in price of the genuine article and an increase in knowledge regarding the enhancement to a level that demands disclosure.  It will be interesting to see how Diamonds respond to similar battles in the future.  There’s an argument that the value of verified genuine Diamonds will increase.  You decide.

Diamond Alternatives