"20/20" Finds Jewelers Confuse Moissanite and Diamonds

February 12, 2001

"20/20" Finds Jewelers Confuse Moissanite and Diamonds

ABC's newsmagazine "20/20" put created moissanite to the test last week to see if jewelers and consumers could tell the difference between the man-made gemstone and a diamond. 20/20 took a 1-ct. moissanite ring to 10 jewelers in the Washington, DC, area and asked them to make a rough estimate of the ring's value. Five of the jewelers were fooled by the moissanite and thought the gem was a diamond. Even a jeweler using an electronic diamond detector misjudged the moissanite.

Consumers in the "20/20" study weren't much better at telling moissanite and diamonds apart. While three brides-to-be at the Greater Bridal Expo in Manhattan easily picked the diamond from the mix of stones, their fiances had some trouble. Online at ABCNews.com, users were asked to look at three images of rings – one diamond, one moissanite and one cubic zirconia. Almost 70% of voters guessed the wrong stone was a diamond, and 45.7% thought the moissanite was a diamond.

The summary of the "20/20" report and the diamond, moissanite and cubic zirconia images can be found online at ABCNews.com. For more information on how to spot diamond impostors, see Professional Jeweler's June 2000 article "Checking for Fakes".

- by Julia M. Duncan