While diamond synthesis isn't something new to the trade, it's still a hot topic all around the international jewelry industry. "Will synthetic diamonds influence the prices of earth-mined stones in the long run?". "How do we protect ourselves from man-made diamonds being peddled as natural gemstones?". There are a lot of questions that many experts are currently concerned over.

Laboratories like Gemcamp and GIA can detect synthetic diamonds using advanced instruments that read photoluminescence imaging and electromagnetic absorption spectra, but to people who are just looking to buy (or sell) diamonds, it can be daunting to realize just how many ways they can be fooled by unscrupulous individuals.

Synthetic diamonds grown using the chemical vapor deposition process, or CVD for short, are almost impossible to distinguish without specific gemological equipment. Many visitors to our laboratory here in Quezon City, have already submitted diamonds that turned out to be man-made through controlled, artificial growth methods. Around 60% of them did not know, or were not sure about the nature of these stones, which causes some concern over honesty in the jewelry trade.

In the US, a company called WV Lab Grown Diamonds uses the CVD technique to pursue ultra-high qualities of synthetic diamond. Their products have now been elevated in size ranking, as the lab has just announced its most recent 6 carat production through trade sites like Rapaport.

Their facility, located in Washington, D.C., aims to pursue forward leaps in the field of diamond synthesis, remarking that the future will probably hold even bigger sizes of CVD man-made diamonds for the public to enjoy.

A 6 carat, colorless diamond was recently created at facet-grade quality. The company stated that their product would price similarly to a 3.5 carat natural diamond in the same color and clarity grade levels, but that's still their own appraisal on the item. (We do not endorse nor confirm their estimate.)

As far as Gemcamp's independent research shows, synthetic diamonds were often priced at 75% the value of their natural counterparts back in 2009. Now, during last year's March expo in Hong Kong, our team of gemologists asked around to find out more regarding the current prices of CVD synthetic stones. One large manufacturer (brand shall remain private), was willing to sell its products initially for 60% the price of a natural counterpart, but later settled for 50% after negotiation.

Man-made diamonds can be a great product for jewelry buyers who are looking for a specific set of criteria in their stones. We will not however, comment on their investment worth, as our position still remains neutral. Research publications from our laboratory only publishes data gathered by our gemologists in and outside of the Philippine market.

We can only attest to the investment appreciation of natural diamond, as it has been stable appreciative asset when evaluated throughout the past decades. Much of the public's interest in natural diamond has paved the way for labs like GIA to create and fortify the grading systems we all follow today, creating a way for industry experts to price and essentially commoditize natural diamond, similar to gold, platinum or other precious metals traded internationally.

What are the most preferred carat sizes for people here in the city? Well, since we've asked around about color, shape and clarity preferences, it would only be right to complete the survey with asking Filipinos how big they want their diamonds to be.

Naturally, we had some light-hearted joking that followed this question, such as replies like "as big as a golf ball!" or "like a closed fist". Obviously people do appreciate carat sizes here in the Philippines, as visual presence is one of the things people look for in a diamond purchase.

Although joviality aside, there was a balance to the ratio of price versus carat size. Our population seemed to be split into three groups when it came to their most favored selections. Some preferred sizes of a third to one half carat, but wanted several stones in a single jewelry piece to make its appearance appear bigger and brighter. These "illusion" style arrangements are quite popular here in our country at the moment.

Other interviewees told us that they would only buy stones that weighed 1 carat or more, but maxed out the range at 2.5 carats. These sizes were fast-moving, and still held considerable value as hard asset investments. It's quite practical to consider both of these selections actually.

The last grouping wanted stones that ranged from 2.5 or 3 carats to 5 carats. This group was smaller in quantity, but represented those who took diamond-buying to the next level. Large stones in this range were still moveable in the trade, of course, but here in the Philippines they might not be as fast-moving as smaller stones due to relatively higher prices. These gems are serious investments and can fetch up to millions of pesos (in the correct color and clarity grade levels).

Most buyers in the Philippines seem to prefer stone sizes that are either "small" (0.50 ct. or lower), but could be made to look bigger through specific jewelry setting designs, or "solitaire" carat sizes (1 ct. , 2 ct. or 5 ct.) that hold more substantial investment value, but are considered as fast-moving assets due to high demand on the market.

Diamonds with larger carat sizes are rarely seen, even here at the laboratory. Stones of 10 or 15 carat sizes could cost as much as a small house, or several condominium units. Most filipinos would rather diversify their purchases if granted this much flexible spending power. Still though, to possess diamonds of this size is rare, and can be a powerful status symbol in the highest societies of the country.

One thing we observed accidentally though, is that a lot of Filipinos tend to assume that larger stones are automatically imitations. The mentality of "it's too good to be true" kicks in, and the dismissive assumption fills their minds quite quickly.

Carat size is one of the 4C's of diamond quality, and we'll be teaching more about it soon, when we reveal the schedule for our upcoming gemstone identification and diamond grading workshops.

It’s an open secret that Valentines’ day often marks the start for many couples’ romantic journeys together. Such a day hosts the perfect mood to plan a passionate surprise for that special someone in your life.

With the ambience of love and excitement in the air, there are certain varieties of gemstones that can compliment the day’s warm sweetness. Perhaps one known to all, is the peerless beauty of diamond. Stones that stand the test of time, can represent the commitment forged by two people over many years of ups and downs.

Pink diamonds are also a romantic favorite, especially in many European countries that see the pastel hue as an intimate display of emotion and endearment.

Sapphires are also some of the most beloved stones used for gifts on this auspicious day. Many who choose the blue sapphire, do so for its tantalizing depth of color and vibrantly dark saturations.

Oceanic blues can convey feelings of loyalty, fidelity and commitment, all important values needed for the fulfillment of a healthy relationship. Sapphires, along with tanzanites, make up most of the royal-blue gemstone supply currently on the markets.

Another lovely Valentines’ gemstone is the saltwater pearl. With a soft and satiny blush of iridescence, fine pearls accentuate the beautiful characteristics of a feminine figure. Their symmetrical yet demure curvatures blend a sense of awe and mystery into an outfit’s design, fitting well with the classic elegance of womanly beauty.

Gems, although not a necessity for true love to manifest, can be delightful little reminders of one’s care and appreciation. We invite you to treat your lover this season, to a night out on the town. Whether or not gifts are given, remind your soulmate that he or she is cherished adamantly. 

The world can change timelessly, and random circumstances will always test the mettle of every relationship, but to be in love with someone simply means being there for them always, regardless of whatever comes your way.

The team here at Gemcamp Laboratories wants to greet a very happy Valentines Day to all of the wonderful couples out there who have visited us over the years. We wish you the most fruitful relationships, and the best of stories to come.
Over the past few months our gemologists have had several people come up to us with a great diversity of materials, from moissanite to diamond-coated cubic zirconia, to synthetic lab-grown diamond. Many of them would say that a certain electronic diamond tester registered their item "within the diamond level", and therefore that indication supposedly led them to self-prove their item's natural authenticity.

The very first thing we would ask them (politely and respectfully) is, "If you're indeed certain about your item, and the credibility of your "automatic" tester, then why would you opt to come to our laboratory in search of further answers?". By this time, many of them would often reply something along the lines of 'taking a second opinion', or 'just having to be 100% sure of things'.

Here is a collective commentary from our gemologists who have been working in the jewelry trade for many years, even before Gemcamp's establishment as a gemological laboratory. Having been a part of jewelry companies in the Philippines, and in different parts of America, exposure to different brands and types of diamond testers was quite inevitable, and so logically tests, experiments and conclusions were drawn based on our concrete observations. These are not meant to be product reviews, so we will not be mentioning any specific brand or item, just our informed opinion of an widely marketed instrument that we have tested ourselves in many situations.

Let me begin by saying that we do have a diamond pen-type tester at the laboratory, patented and manufactured by one of the best instrument makers in the United States. It's a great tool that can help us separate some certain imitations from diamond, but even this tester is only ever used with extreme caution. Pen-type testers like these are divided into three types: Thermal conductivity testers, electric conductivity testers, and multi-type testers (both heat and electrical conductivity).

Thermal conductivity testers were the earliest ones invented, supposedly allowing people to separate their diamonds from the most prominent imitation at the time, cubic zirconia. When used properly in ideal situations, the testers would register a visual and audio signal denoting a pass or fail result for diamond authenticity.

Now, to put it plain and simple- moissanite, newer types of proprietary synthetic crystals, certain rough rocks and mineral compounds, and ALL synthetic (lab-grown) diamonds are capable of fooling thermal testers very easily, even if these are warranted to be in proper working condition. Thermal-conductivity based diamond testers can indeed designate some other materials as "diamond", even if these materials are composed of something else. This is because there are other gem-like materials that exhibit similar thermal conductivity properties comparable to diamond.

Next up, we have electric conductivity testers and multi-testers. These testers are slightly more advanced, normally being able to distinguish moissanite from diamond. Though despite this technology and moissanite's known difference from diamond in its measurable electrical conductivity, we ourselves have already witnessed many of these testers pass regular moissanite samples as diamond. We have also seen how tester readings can greatly vary depending on room temperature, recent human touch / contact with the stone, and even how hard you press the probe agains the material being tested. There are way too many influencing factors that could disrupt a test's performance.

Man-made synthetic diamonds, which are also made from pure carbon, will automatically register as "diamond" when tested with any electro-thermal conductivity tester. It is important to note that this test will not differentiate natural diamonds from synthetic ones.

While we do acknowledge the thermo-electric conductivity tester or modern "diamond tester" to be a supportive and important test in gemology, no gemologist from our institution would rely on the results of this test alone, even if he or she used a calibrated and quality-assured instrument from our laboratory suite. It has just never given us the confidence to do so. At best, instruments like these are simply used as a screener-test or secondary test for eliminating a few known diamond imitations.

Pen-hold testers are alright as supportive tests, when performed honestly and correctly, but aside from not being fool-proof in the best of conditions for every single stone, fraudulent sellers and individuals can make use of dirty tricks to purposely change a tester's result. The sensitive internal wiring of many pen-type diamond testers can sometimes change over time. They can also be dismantled and altered by external parties to reflect a higher sensitivity than recommended.

Some vendors have even discovered faults in certain diamond tester models that have allowed them to exploit the pressure differences of those machines to their advantage. Applying more pressure or less pressure can sometimes affect the resulting verdict ever so slightly, giving question to their accuracy relative to the motive of whoever is performing the test.

From our combined experiences in the jewelry trade, working with many of these machines, our conclusion and warning to the public is simple:

If you have no other means of testing a stone, using an electronic diamond tester (properly and in the right condition) is better than simple guessing. However, we do not believe that these machines are 100% accurate in any way, all of the time. They can indeed make mistakes, and we have seen a lot of them misread imitations as diamonds, so be careful.

We will not name any brands or models, as this post is not to demean the value of these instruments. It is strictly just the observations we've accumulated over the years in our industry. These machines are still useful to an extent, even in our own laboratory. For melee sized stones already mounted onto jewelry, a pen-type tester may be your only applicable test in specific scenarios. Like every type of test, whether it be for refractive index, pleochroism, optic character or thermal conductivity, there are always stones that can break the mould. Multiple tests must always be considered without exception, so that you can avoid very costly mistakes.

Be sure about your stones. There is a reason that gemological laboratories caution the usage of these instruments. Always take care that you apply the right amount of pressure in an environment that is conducive to proper testing.

Thermal conductivity and electric conductivity testers are objectively unable to separate natural diamond from synthetic diamond due to their same atomic structure and composition. More advanced spectrometric instrumentation is required to determine whether a diamond is natural or man-made.
Over the past year, Gemcamp's local gemologists have been conducting a trade survey all across the different areas of Metro Manila. We wanted to find out about the diamond preferences of Filipinos today. Of course, differences in age obviously diversified the main results of this survey, but we were indeed able to figure out some interesting bits of information.

In our first ever community-driven survey, we set out to ask over 100 high-end jewelry buyers which popular diamond shapes and cutting styles they preferred the most. 

Even if the laboratory doesn't buy or sell diamonds or gemstones, some of us thought to share this knowledge with the Philippine jewelry-buying public. It might be of advisory use, or possibly just a good read to pass the time while you're waiting for an appointment or event to start.

In any case, we'll begin first with this article, talking briefly about how Filipinos decide on the shape they prefer the most for their diamonds and diamond jewelry sets. We do suppose that it's no surprise, across every age range the unanimous preference was for the standard round-brilliant cut. With a total of 57-58 facets, the round brilliant cut is the currently the world's most popular cutting style for all high-end precious gemstones.

We were more curious about the other shapes to be honest, as all of us already expected the RB cut to take the top spot. About 34% of the people we asked preferred a different shape however. This list talks a bit more on these other shapes and why Filipinos tend to prefer them over most other cuts.

 The Oval Shaped Cut in a Full Brilliant Faceting Style

Oval cuts are inherently the most similarly shaped cuts to the round-brilliant style. Their curved, yet over-arching forms showcase an air of minimalist classicism, finding a balanced placement between the familiarity of round cuts and the elegance of 'emerald cuts'. Most of our surveyed population chose this shape as their favorite cut after the round brilliant, stating that it simply looks like a much larger (and much more imposing) version of the latter. Oval brilliant cuts are widely popular for use in rings as solitaire or center stones. They are also a good choice for earrings, pendants and even cufflinks, due to their tantalizing symmetry and broad lengths.

The Rectangular Shaped "Emerald" Step-Cut Style

Next on the list, we have the 'emerald cut'. For those of you who are not familiar with this cutting style, the emerald cut is a rectangular-shaped cut with bevelled corners. It was so named this way because many of the raw emerald crystals unearthed from Colombia in the 1900's were very elongated in one dimension, therefore gem cutters always cut the rough stones into long rectangular shapes in order to save the most weight. This cut also requires all of the gem's facets to possess four sides or edges. We call this faceting preference, a step cut. Step cuts have rectangular, trapezoidal or square facets, as opposed to brilliant cuts, which have triangular and kite shaped facets.

Emerald cuts create the most regal appearance for your diamond, according to the opinions of many here in the country. Their specific faceting style however can also be a double-edged sword. The orientation creates the opportunity to make the stone appear more brightly transparent, making this cut the best choice for very high-clarity diamonds. On the other side of the range, low-clarity stones may find that their inclusions would look more obvious and significant when fashioned as emerald cuts.

The Two Square Shaped Cuts, "Princess" and "Asscher"

For our third most favourite fancy cut, we have a tie between two square shaped variants, each one faceted differently in either the step-cut or brilliant-cut polishing styles.

Both the "princess" and "asscher" cuts (as they have been coined by the trade) are some of the most popularly used styles for diamonds today. One boasts an unparalleled sharpness when it comes to light reflection, with a crisp allure that stems from miniature pinpoint flashes of spectral color and scintillation. This arises from the multitudes of thinly-partitioned facets placed on its gleaming, elegant surface. The other in turn, promotes a strictness of clarity and pristine transparency, just like the "emerald cut", but while also showcasing a geometric grandeur that can only come from the minimalistic appeal of symmetrically angled forms.

A lot of proprietary cuts and fancy shapes exist out there in the market today, and some of which don't seem to be doing as well in terms of demand. For many Filipinos and Chinese-Filipino families, the pear-shaped or droplet shaped brilliant cut can sometimes give the impression of a lastings sadness, due to its outline resembling the visage of a teardrop. Little superstitions like this seem to play a bigger factor than some of us realize, as they can govern the buying-trends of not only small family clans, but entire societies as well.

Heart-shaped diamonds, while popular among the younger millennial population for their jovial and intimate appearance, is not as thoroughly appreciated today by the older generations. These shapes are seen as romantically thematic, and not everyone decides to buy an expensive diamond to give as a present to their lover. Diamonds that are to be given as gifts for great aunts, sisters or even those that are bought for basic self-satisfaction, rarely come in the form of hearts. Investment diamonds also don't regularly come in heart-shapes, as people would normally prefer faster moving shapes on the market, like rounds and ovals.

As we continue to document our findings, we do hope that these small tidbits of information can become helpful for those currently shopping the local jewelry trade here in Metro Manila. Some specific shapes are great for investment purposes, others might be ideal for fancy and elegant party-wear, and some are best suited for special themed occasions like Valentines' day surprises or romantic gestures.

Next up we'll publish results from our second and third surveys about color and carat-size preferences in the nation's most bustling city.

Image Credit: Graff Diamonds and Respective Photographers
Amethyst is the violet to reddish-purple variety of quartz. Its name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, which roughly translates to "remedy from intoxication" referring to a long lost belief that stones protected their wearers from becoming drunk after taking wine.

It's currently the most popular purple gemstone collected worldwide by jewelry owners and gemstone afficionados. Despite its current affordability on the markets however, Amethyst at one point was as rare and valuable as ruby, sapphire and emerald. It wasn't until the 18th century and the discovery of large amethyst geodes in the mines of Minas Gerais (Brazil), that the stone's supply skyrocketed internationally. This may have brought prices to more normal levels, but it also allowed this beautiful gem to reach every little corner of the world, lending its appreciative beauty to many different societies and cultures.

Amethyst is the designated gemstone for the entire month of February. Its deep and affectionate purplish hue is simply perfect for the incoming Valentines' day romance.

People from Metro Manila love using amethyst as a favored gemstone in their bracelets, beads and even rings. Some of the older texts on crystal beliefs and gemstone healing, suggest that amethyst is believed to increase nobility and spiritual awareness in a person. It's contact with the wearer's skin was also said to impart healing properties that cured general ailments and insomnia.

All quartz varieties, including amethyst and its cousin Citrine, exhibit piezoelectric properties. This means that when a crystal is subjected to a certain amount of force, movement or pressure, its structure will release a tiny charge of electric energy, and vice versa. This fact was made extremely useful in many various industries, such as watch-making / horologie, due to the precision of the movements generated through the unique property.

Amethyst for the longest time, was a revered gemstone associated with royalty and exclusivity. Its color was paralleled by no other in the range, not even by purple sapphire. This led many jewelers to use it in their masterpiece creations, even after the Brazilian sources were found. Crystals tend to come in clear, almost eye-clean qualities, which is perfect for designer-cuts and modified faceting. Amethyst is now quickly becoming a favorite of modern gem-cutting artisans for its pure clarity and deep saturations.

A word of caution for collectors though, it might not be wise to expose your amethyst stones to very bright sources of light and heat. Amethyst's color comes from a complicated atomic defect associated with the iron impurities in its crystal lattice. Some people who want to change amethyst to Citrine, heat their crystals in specific controlled environments with precise temperatures. The fact remains however, that some exposure to strong heat / light may cause the stone's dark purple to fade lighter over long periods of time.

(Below is a picture of Bolivian ametrine, a bicolored crystal variety of quartz that's created by partially heating raw amethyst. Photo credit to Kingstone Gems.)

2018, Japan-- It's been observed that the local jewelry-owner population has been selling off unwanted jewels for cash at an all time high. Re-selling their old items to buyers in China and India, and seeking a much more simple lifestyle. This coincides with the Japanese practice of danshari, and can be observed right now in a large section of the country's older generations. Shedding the jewel-encrusted accessories in favor of vacations abroad with the family, or delicious dinners with friends, seems to be a popular notion nowadays in cities like Tokyo and some other vastly populated areas.

China has been one of the biggest international markets for jewelry this decade, and this statistic seems to be growing by the year, as most of the country's newly-rich generations seem to be acquiring a taste for luxury-as-an-investment.

In order to re-sell their diamonds and jewelry however (many of which are inherited from their grandparents or parents), people normally have to seek out the help of gemological laboratories in order to accurately identify and appraise their items. Once this is taken into account, they often liquidate their gemstone assets through friends, word-of-mouth, or through online exchange sites that even allow trade overseas.

Despite this trend, it is not uncommon for the owners to sell off their items for less than what they had originally paid for. Selling your gemstones to pawnshops or even jewelry shops will usually entail low prices, as business people who purchase them only do so for profit. Be prepared to wait a long while, if you are wishing to get your original monetary amount back. Although diamond does appreciate, so loose diamonds (unset) are particularly fast-moving in some countries like the Philippines and India. It is still possible to sell them for a profit, if you are able to get accurate information on price valuations from a reputable gemologist appraiser.

The two biggest trends causing the re-sale of old jewelry these days are: The utilization of money gained for more practical purposes- such as paying for housing, or diversifying assets, and also for diminishing luxury clutter- or basically creating a minimalist way of living. Most Filipinos these days actually engage in the luxury-purchasing of tech-related products. It's been shown that these are sometimes bought by younger generations (even for gift-giving) rather than fine jewelry items. Millennials have also been documented to sell-off heirloom jewelry to people who would appreciate them more, and instead just use the cash to buy iPhones, tablets or new laptops which they could use for both work and leisure.

Diamonds and gemstones are sold and resold according to their identities and grades. People looking to re-sell their jewelry items should consult with a proper gemologist so as not to undervalue or overvalue their possessions, as well as to avoid getting cheated or swindled.

Gemstones and diamonds are some of the most stable hard assets, so selling them for a high price is still very much a viable option, even for the private sector. Just make sure that you know what it is you're selling. Seek out gemological support from experts in the field. Our laboratory has helped Filipinos save hundreds of thousands of pesos by simply giving them information on their gems that could help them better price their items for the market in fair and realistic conditions.

Apart from Japan and the Philippines, other countries in Asia seem to be continuing their purchases of diamond and diamond related jewelry at a steady pace, with some highs and lows peaking throughout this past 2017. China in particular has been consuming a great percentage of the jewelry market, growing its luxury sector by exponentially higher rates compared to previous years.
The adornment of colored stones is becoming a lasting trend within the halls of many monarchs from the West. From princess Diana's ocean blue sapphire ring, to the ruby engagement ring Prince Andrew gave to Sarah Ferguson when he proposed. A movement towards large and valuable colored gemstones seems to be gaining traction as more and more of the public markets flock to the admiration of their vibrant hues.

Princess Eugenie, age 27, had recently just announced her upcoming wedding to James Brooksbank at the Windsor venue that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are also scheduled to be using earlier in the year. While the two royal couples are most likely going to plan some of the most extravagant celebrations in history, we can see an early glimpse of that grandeur from the elegance of their wedding jewelry.

Gem experts and gemologists have valued Eugenie's Padparadscha sapphire engagement ring to be worth around £100,000. Padparadscha is a term in the gem trade that refers to sapphires that possess a pinkish orange to orangey pink hue, and finely intense saturations. This range of color has grown in popularity over the recent decades as a fine variety of fancy sapphire. While blue hues are vastly more common (and popular), Padparadscha hues are more totally associated with the finer markets and high-end jewelry pieces. Some even tout it to be worth more than its high-end blue counterparts, given its scarcity and relatively modern rise to fame.

Eugenie's center sapphire is also surrounded by a total of 12 diamonds, two of which were cut into pear-shapes to give a more contemporary feel to the design. Like her mother's and Princess Diana's ring, this particular center gem was also fashioned into a brilliant oval-cut style, pursuing the classical elegance of royalty, while deviating slightly from the traditional round shape most commonly seen in the trade.

Meghan Markle's own engagement ring, hosting three brilliantly cut earth-mined diamonds, is estimated to be worth around half of Eugenie's, probably fetching around £50,000 at current market prices. Diamonds have indeed come a long way, and are even being transitioned as a commodity investment- like gold or platinum, by some big named companies. Despite their growth, colored stones seem to be pacing faster in terms of overall increase in market reception and demand.

Royal wedding jewelry has since deviated from the realm of large solitaire diamonds, ever since the unveiling of Princess Diana's famous blue sapphire. Her descendants and many other monarchs across the world have been venturing into the realm of sapphires and colored gemstones for their precious gifts.

Corundum varieties like ruby, blue sapphire and Padparadscha colors are all the rage these days, blending beautifully with high fashion collections, royal engagements and even celebrity preferences. Many who choose to use these rare and illustrious stones tend to seek out something just outside the realm of traditional luxury, developing their taste for a more diverse type of lifestyle.

Diamonds are being faked everyday, so Gemcamp wants the public to gain awareness on a few easy-to-read flags that could raise your alert on the topic of whether or not a diamond should be tested for being fake.

Even if you aren't a gemologist, it's still possible to employ some smart tips and buying tactics when looking to purchase a new diamond. You can also use these bits of information to check your own personal collection for any doubtful signs that your stone might actually be an imitation and needs to be evaluated and authenticated by a gemologist. Be aware that these signs are only indicators or observations that are not often seen in natural diamonds. While their presence is still possible in a very small population of genuine stones, it is very unlikely.

If Your Diamond Shows Too Much Fire or Dispersion During Rocking and Tilting

While diamond is known for having strong "fire", which is basically the spectral color flashes you see when you rock and tilt the stone, two very famous imitations actually possess a higher dispersion rate. Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite both disperse white light into beautiful spectral colors as well, and they do it to a higher degree when compared to diamonds. Moissanite displays 2.4 times more "fire" than diamond, which can become visually evident, but might also be overlooked by the inexperienced buyer.

A Rough or Polished Diamond that Possesses Multiple "Scalloped" or "Curving" Fractures in Several Different Directions

Most gemstones when fractured, will show a scalloped, shell-like texture that gemologists refer to as a "conchoidal fracture", now while this can still also appear in diamonds, it really depends on the direction of the breakage. Diamond is one of the few gemstones that possesses several planes of cleavage, or atomic weakness. This makes them slightly more prone to breaking in a "step-like" fashion. Stones that do show a signs of fracturing or breakage should depict cleavage signs, at least in certain directions, instead of having several conchoidal fractures like glass, or CZ.

There Seems to Be Significant Signs of Abrasion and Scraching on the Surface Diamond (Especially During Post-Purchase Years)

As the hardest natural mineral in the world, cut diamonds should be very resistant to abrasions and surface blemishes caused by wear-and-tear. It is still possible for them to be scratched, chipped or bruised, but much less likely compared to fakes. Keep an eye out for high amounts of abrasion near the facet junctions, which can look like multitudes of sugary or grainy scratches that populate the edges of an already-polished stone.

The Stone Appears Slightly "Watered Down", Or Too See-Through When You Look at It With the Naked Eye

Diamond's high refractive index, combined with its hardness factor should allow for an optimum amount of light reflection when properly cut. Light should enter the stone, bounce around within its interior facets, and return to your eye. Many imitations, like colorless quartz, glass and even some cubic zirconia, will have brilliance that appears to muddled or watered down. This is because they possess different properties, which affect the way light travels through their material. When cut with the ideal proportions of diamond, these imitations may not present the same grade of brilliance (light reflection) that a diamond would show, and therefore look too see-through. Be careful though, some diamonds that are cut too shallow, will also appear this way, because of an effect called "windowing", where angles are proportioned inadequately and light leakage occurs.

These signs are not certainties, they are only indicators that you may want to have your diamond checked with a gemologist to make sure that it's actually a diamond. With all the rampant fraudulent business in the jewelry trade these days, many sellers too quickly give in to the temptation of vending a 10 dollar cubic zirconia as a 10,000 dollar diamond to novice buyers who don't yet know how to tell the difference. It is our mission here at Gemcamp to help Filipino diamond buyers make the best use of their funds and prevent themselves from being tricked into buying fakes and imitations.
When jewelry stores, gemstone dealers, or even your friends talk about these documents, what do they mean exactly? Here's a little bit of knowledge for you to familiarize yourself with one of the gem trade's most commonly used terminologies.

The term diamond certificate commonly refers to a specific gemological report that illustrates and defines the species, variety, grading and characteristics of a particular stone. For diamonds, laboratories like Gemcamp employ graduate gemologists from some of the world's top gemological schools, in order to properly identify and evaluate a stone. This is important because aside from influencing the monetary value equivalent of a diamond, gemological report grades also help you identify your stone and separate it from others.

Diamond reports contain particular information sections like the exact carat weight of a stone, down to one or two decimal places. A carat is one fifth of a gram, so this measurement is precise enough to serve as a good means for ID'ing your diamond. In light of frequent reports about jewelry theft, especially in Metro Manila, it always helps to have anything that can add more support to the identification of your property. Gemological reports can also describe and plot the specific 'inclusions' and blemishes' on a diamond, which are sort of like its fingerprints in terms of uniqueness. Many diamonds can be matched to their reports simply by checking the plot drawing against their actual appearance under a 10x loupe or microscope.

A diamond certificate or report, serves as a gemstone's ID card, to help buyers, sellers and jewelry owners to gain assurance and security against possible item fraud.

Laboratories must be properly equipped with the right instrumentation to properly identify and grade stones. Diamonds are compared against calibrated 'master stones' to determine a color grade. Likewise, only an experienced gemologist who has seen several hundred stones can efficiently determine grades for clarity and cut.

Note that there is a distinct difference in gemological reports issued by professional laboratories versus fancy-clad certificates that come free with the purchase of a jewelry item from a store. Laboratories conduct thorough testing without any motivational gain from the type of results that are given, making them immune to bias and completely objective. They do not sell you gemstones or try to convince you to buy something from their owners. Everything is about honest and open disclosure, for the client's knowledge and benefit only.

Software and instrumentation that measures reactions to photoluminescence are also needed to separate natural diamonds from man-made or 'cultured' diamonds, which are atomically same, but grown artificially in a lab. Man-made diamonds, despite their chemistry, do not possess the same value as natural diamonds. As of 2017, man-made diamonds produced by chemical vapor deposition sell for about 40% of a natural diamond's value (assuming the same grades). This data was taken from international jewelry trade fairs by the Gemcamp laboratory's gemological research team.

If you want to be certain about your gemstone's identity and value, find a reputable gemology lab and schedule a visit. Having reports made for your gemstones also gives them a 'report card', with grades similar to the ones we used to receive in school. This document can help you sell or liquidate your stones by providing clients with an essential third-party documentation of your item, dismissing bias and promoting a fair and ethical transaction. Gemcamp laboratories serves the Philippine public as one of the most modern laboratory facilities that helps people identify, grade and document their jewelry possessions today.

Note that diamond certificates and gemological reports are products of private institutions subject to limitations and restrictions. Each laboratory or institution may abide by a different set of policies and requirements.