There are many Synthetics and Simulants sold on-line.
Our Gem Laboratory regularly receives near-colorless transparent crystals for identification. Often because the jewelry was purchased on-line or at an estate sale or flee market and the seller sold them as, or it was hoped by the buyer that they were diamond.
One such stone finding it’s way into the jewelry market is phenakite. Phenakite is misidentified most often as quartz or diamond. Phenakite is colorless, pale yellow, pink, or brownish and valued at approximately $85 per carat. Colorless Quartz at $2 per carat (because it is so abundant) is more often misrepresented as Phenakite.
Interestingly, phenakite was named in 1833 from the Greek word for “deceiver.”
Needless to say, the value of phenakite is very different from both quartz and diamond.
Faceted and polished phenakite, shows little fire but can be very bright, which is why labs have synthesized this mineral and may use them as diamond imitations in jewelry. The most common diamond imitations are high-leaded glass (i.e., rhinestones), cubic zirconia (CZ), and lab-grown moissanite. But white sapphire or topaz can also be used as alternatives to diamond. Sellers are required to disclose the gemstones and any treatments used.
Despite the outward similarities to quartz and diamond, phenakite has very different optical and physical properties. One indicator is that phenakite has birefringence and a lower specific gravity, which would rule out both quartz and diamond as a possible identification for this stone.
Simulants are much less expensive than Natural “real” earth mined diamonds. Imitations allow consumers to enjoy the flash and dazzle of diamond-like jewelry and to inexpensively own the latest fashion trend. But no matter how convincing the illusion, all diamond simulants have optical and physical characteristics that can be identified by a trained gemologist.
Get a Jewelry Judge Double Check!
Come in for a Jewelry Judge Consultation so you know what you have, as well as, verify you received what you paid for!