The independent testing below is specifically in regards to our Diamond Simulant. We utilize the International Gemological Institute (IGI) to test our diamonds. IGI is the oldest institute of its kind. They are the only international certification lab to entirely ensure consistency in IGI reports across the globe. Today, IGI issues more than one million reports per year. Their reputation as an industry leader is unmatched. Each of out diamonds has an IGI certificate, viewable before purchase.
Independent Testing of the Diamond Simulant
A question we are often asked is, “Isn’t your stone just a CZ?” It is not. It is different from a CZ in four key ways: weight, hardness, coating, and chemical composition. These differences result in a superior Diamond Simulant with qualities much closer to that of a mined diamond. This document contains six independent sources which will verify the difference between the Diamond Simulant and a CZ.
Conclusions reached from independent sources:
Significant independent tests from multiple sources conclude that the Diamond Simulant is not a cubic zirconia and has markedly different, and for commercial jewelry purposes, a significantly superior set of physical and chemical characteristics.
The DN Mark IV simulant offers significant improvements over cubic zirconia by largely solving the physical problems inherent in cubic zirconia, which render the cubic zirconia less desirable as a jewelry-quality gemstone. The most notable of which is that CZ is much softer than a diamond. That combined with a slightly porous surface, allows it, over time, to absorb elements in its environment and thus become discolored or "cloudy".
Finally, the DN technology brings the optical factors of the stone more in line (in fact, almost exactly) with a natural diamond.
Document 1: Bjorksten Lab - Specific Gravity: CZ vs. DN Gemstone
Madison Wisconsin based Bjorksten Laboratories independently tested a 6.5mm DN gemstone against two different 6.5mm cubic zirconia and found the DN gemstone to have a specific gravity 33% greater then the mean value of the two cubic zirconia tested.
Why is specific gravity important?
The Diamond Nexus (DN) Mark IV gemstone is both heavier and harder than cubic zirconia. The easiest way to differentiate the two stones is simply to weigh them. The DN Mark IV gemstone is approximately 25 to 35% heavier for a given volume of material. A simple fact of physical chemistry is that two substances of equal volume and density that have different specific gravities (weights) cannot be made of the same substance. Thus, simply weighing a DN gemstone and comparing it to the weight of a cubic zirconia of the same size (volume) will categorically prove that the stones are two distinctly different materials.
Document 2: Auburn Materials Lab - Destructive Chemical Component Test
To further substantiate the differences between our stone and a CZ, an independent destructive chemical test was commissioned from Auburn Analytical Laboratories. This is a test which analyzes the material composition of an item when it is broken down to its base chemical composition. .An uncoated DN Mark III stone was used to avoid contamination from the proprietary DN Coating. The results of this test confirm that the DN gemstone contains several substances which are not found in cubic zirconia, such as hafnium, gadolinium and cobalt.
Why is this chemical composition difference important?
The DN Mark IV gemstone has a different chemical composition than cubic zirconia. The addition of hafnium and gadolinium to the matrix during the formation of the crystals gives the material different physical properties. The DN Mark IV gemstone is both heavier and harder than cubic zirconia because of its chemical composition.
Document 3: Metallo Test Lab - Spectrographic Analysis:
CZ vs. Diamond Nexus Gemstone
Swiss-based research firm Metallo Test Lab did a spectrographic analysis of both an uncoated Diamond Nexus gemstone (coating removed to prevent contamination and to give a true result of the base or substrate material) and a cubic zirconia. The resulting spectrographs show a significantly different light return “signature” between the DN gemstone and cubic zirconia, again demonstrating that the two materials are quite different.
Why is a spectrographic analysis important?
A spectrographic analysis is a kind of test that determines the chemical elements in an item through the measurement of the wavelength and spectral line intensity produced by any one of several methods of excitation such as arc, flame, infrared and X-ray. Because the Diamond Nexus stones have a different light return signature from CZ, we again show through this test that our Diamond Simulant are not composed of the same material as CZ.
Document 4: Georgia Tech - SEM and EDX testing of Coated DN gemstone
To test the integrity and complete coverage of our coating, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was commissioned to perform scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) testing of a coated DN gemstone. The results showed that the only elements detected were carbon, oxygen and AL203 (corundum) No trace of the substrate material was noted. This shows conclusively that the DN gemstone is entirely “sealed” in the coating material.
Why is understanding the differences in coating important?
The previous tests demonstrate that the DN gemstone is a separate and distinct substance from common cubic zirconia, with markedly different physical and chemical properties. The next differentiator between the two products is that the DN Mark IV gemstone has a proprietary coating technology applied to the gemstone. The technology and process of this coating is U.S. Patent Applied For.
There are other companies in the industry that offer a "coated CZ” product. Jewelry and gemstones offered by companies such as Better-Than-Diamond.com and the Honk Kong based company Carat are examples. In all cases analyzed, these products used common cubic zirconia as the base material and then are typically coated with an "amorphous carbon" technology. These products are often falsely advertised as being "sealed in a diamond", "diamond infused", etc.
Amorphous carbon, or “DLC” (Diamond Like Carbon) as it’s known, is not diamond. It is in fact a form of graphite (as is common pencil lead). Graphite is dark in color and not at all transparent. So, in order to not discolor the stone, this coating must be applied to such a scarce and thin degree as to be nearly imperceptible and for all realistic purposes essentially non-existent. The thickness of the amorphous carbon coating used on DN’s competitor’s products has to be measured in angstroms, which is a scale of measurement used on the atomic scale. A coating this thin and unsubstantial has absolutely no impact on the physical, optical or wearability characteristics of the stone.
The DN Mark IV gemstone, conversely, is coated with a patent applied for technology that is substantial, visible under microscopy, and has tangible and verifiable beneficial effects on the physical and optical qualities of the gemstone.
The DN Mark IV gemstone coating consists of AL203 corundum (sapphire) and other proprietary materials. It is applied to a thickness of approximately 130nm. (Over 10,000 times thicker than competitor’s DLC coating) The effect of the coating is to seal and significantly lower the porosity of the stone. This eliminates the possibility of the stone absorbing elements in its environment and becoming discolored as other inferior diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite often do. Further, the coating is not completely transparent, and the slight blue color spectrum shift brings the optical radiance and dispersion factors of the stone closer (in fact, almost precisely) in line with a natural diamond.
Document 5: Swarovski Light Laboratory - EMI Electron microscopy
imaging Diamond Nexus gemstone coating
In a separate experiment, a successful attempt was made by the Swarovski Light Laboratory to measure the thickness of the DN coating and to actually capture an image showing its thickness and the reduction in surface porosity achieved. The testing found a coating thickness range of 131.2 nanometers to 149.2 nanometers and also visually showed a significant reduction in surface porosity.
Why is the thickness of the coating important?
The process of using a coating called "DLC"(diamond-like coating) has been around for years and is truly just “amorphous carbon" or pencil lead. When a stone is coated with amorphous carbon, the coating must be exceedingly thin as to be essentially non-existent. Otherwise, the stone would be discolored. This type of a coating, since it does not provide any measurable protection to the stone can be easily rubbed off by the consumer. Our coating, which is much thicker, cannot. Our substantial coating seals the Diamond Simulant's surface, greatly lowers porosity, and makes the Diamond Simulant impervious to outside contaminants. It also increases the hardness and the ability of the Diamond Simulant to resist scratches. This is a measurable and important difference between our stones and our competitors.
Document 6: Provisional Patent Application - Partial and redacted
As mentioned in the sections above, we are proud of the measurable and significant difference our stones have compared to the offerings of our competition. Our stone has a different composition than a CZ and our coating too is not merely amorphous carbon, but a thick (1000 times thicker than our competition) significant coating which lowers the porosity of the stone, and significantly increases it s hardness and refractive index.
For these reasons we have applied for a patent for our product. We have not included here all of that documentation for proprietary purposes, but you can see that the patent has been applied for.