Although this chapter does not really belong in a Handbook of Diamond Grading, some of the most important diamond substitutes and their properties should be mentioned and short hints given to help to differentiate between them. In this context we are not discussing the synthesis of diamonds but only refer to diamond imitations, i.e. natural, synthetic or artificial products, which can be used as diamond imitations. Today diamonds are produced synthetically not only in mesh sizes; in 1969 the General Electric of America produced synthetic rough diamonds in good quality weighing 1.5 ct. However, the production costs are so high, that under today's conditions a synthetic diamond costs roughly three times as much as a natural diamond of the same quality. At the moment it is not feasible for synthetic gem diamonds to be marketed.
The following gemstones, synthetics and artificial products are currently in commercial use as diamond substitute:
Quartz, Beryl, Topaz, Sapphire, high and medium Zircon.
Synthetic Rutile, synthetic Spinel, synthetic Sapphire.
Strontium Titanate (Fabulite), Yttrium Aluminates (YAG), Galliant, Linobate, Djevalite, Zirconia.
Diamond-Spinel-Sapphire-Fabulite-Topaz doublets and variations.
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