Lab-Grown

3 Moissanites With Fraudulent Inscriptions Submitted to GIA Lab

Lab-GrownJan 28, 2021

3 Moissanites With Fraudulent Inscriptions Submitted to GIA Lab

The stones were sent into the Johannesburg lab and researchers detailed their discovery in the fall issue of Gems & Gemology.

At left, the fraudulent inscription seen on the lab-grown moissanite, with the GIA report number partially redacted for privacy; at right, GIA’s standard procedure in cases of fraudulent inscriptions is to make the number illegible. (Photo by Tuan Griezel, © GIA)

Johannesburg—Three stones submitted to the Gemological Institute of America’s lab in Johannesburg, South Africa turned out to be moissanites inscribed with GIA report numbers belonging to natural diamonds.

It is a first such discovery for the laboratory.

GIA reported on the finding in the fall 2020 issue of Gems & Gemology, in an article in the Lab Notes section authored by Sicebiso Hlatshwayo and Sally Eaton-Magaña.

The note specifically addressed the first of the three stones received, a 1.02-carat round brilliant recently submitted for a Diamond Grading report.

Standard testing showed the stone was not a diamond, and further tests proved it to be a synthetic (lab-grown) moissanite, Hlatshwayo and Eaton-Magaña wrote.

They noted simulants are “often” submitted to the lab for diamond grading but are easily rooted out using the standard grading process.

This is the first time, however, the lab has come across a fraudulent inscription on a diamond simulant, and the fake was apparent to graders for a number of reasons.


The 1.02-carat round brilliant lab-grown moissanite that was inscribed with the report number for a natural diamond of the same weight (Photo by Innocentia Nzuza, © GIA)

First, GIA checks all stones with a pre-existing inscription.

The report number on the 1.02-carat round brilliant moissanite belonged to an E-color natural diamond of the same carat weight graded in 2019.

The measurements of the stones, however, were “quite different” due to the fact that the two materials have a different specific gravity, Hlatshwayo and Eaton-Magaña wrote.

The specific gravity of diamond is 3.52 while moissanite’s is 3.22, which means that moissanite, any moissanite, has to be slightly larger than a diamond to equal its carat weight.

“Since the specific gravity of moissanite is smaller than diamond, it is less dense and needs to have a larger volume for the same weight,” GIA explained in an email to National Jeweler.

In addition, the font used for the inscription on the moissanite was “distinctly different” from GIA’s usual font and, while GIA does not assign clarity grades to lab-grown moissanite, the stone in question is equivalent to a VVS2, while the clarity grade on the report for the natural diamond is VVS1.

The lab note in the fall edition of Gems & Gemology did not provide details on the other two lab-grown moissanite submitted with fraudulent inscriptions, as they did not come into the lab until after the article was written.

Those stones “were handled in a similar manner,” Hlatshwayo and Eaton-Magaña concluded.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

FinancialsSep 17, 2021
Consumer Resilience Buoys August Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales rose last month in spite of the rising Delta variant and supply chain constraints.

CollectionsSep 17, 2021
Sydney Evan Celebrates 20 Years with Capsule Collection

It showcases the brand’s signature motifs in new ways.

Events & AwardsSep 17, 2021
Here’s This Year’s Robert M. Shipley Award Winner

Plus, the winners of the many other awards presented at AGS Conclave.

Brought to you by
What is your Health Care Coverage Strategy?

Health care coverage is a big expense for small businesses - find out how to lower costs long-term instead of every 12 months.

CollectionsSep 17, 2021
Piece of the Week: Maggi Simpkins’ Powerful Pink Diamond

It’s part of Sotheby’s “Black & Brilliant” sale, opening today.

Weekly QuizSep 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Sept. 13-17, 2021.
Take the Quiz
TrendsSep 16, 2021
Amanda’s Style File: Fun With Geometric Shapes

The clean lines of these 15 designs feel fresh for fall.

SourcingSep 16, 2021
Diamond Jewelry Demand Continues to Fuel Rough Sales

De Beers noted how strong the Vegas shows were, while Alrosa grappled with supply issues in August.

Brought to you by
3 Reasons Your Store Should Add An Estate Category

Increase profit margins, generate traffic and attract new customers with an Estate assortment by partnering with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

Events & AwardsSep 16, 2021
Gem Legacy Is Having Another Benefit Auction to Celebrate 3 Years

All proceeds will go toward its miner toolkit initiative.

×