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Diamond: REAL or FAKE?

The word DIAMOND is often used to describe just about anything, something that shines, cut with facets. At MCDécarie, when we talk about diamonds, we refer to the eternal stone, made of carbon. The others are just imitations; substitutes. We don't like to talk about FAKE diamonds, especially since some of these replacements are of high quality. Here, we will compare the two most common types of substitutes: synthetic moissanite and cubic zirconium (zirconium).


Diamonds, from the Latin adamas which means "indomitable" or "invincible", have been used for more than 6 centuries as an ornament, talisman or cutting object. They are so tough that they stand at the top of the Mohs Scale, about 4 times harder than sapphire, which has a hardness of 9. Its physical properties make diamond a stone definitely superior to others. It is also the only gem that can be worn every day on a ring and passed down from generation to generation, without its quality being altered.  

The diamond, whether natural or made in a laboratory, must be made of carbon in cubic form, in order to qualify as such. We won't shade here between synthetic or natural diamond, but you can learn more about lab-grown diamonds here.

Its strengths:

- Eternal, it will pass generations.

- Hardness: only another diamond can scratch its surface.

- Refraction: its fires and its adamantine radiance make the sparkle of this stone unique and captivating.  

- Diamonds retain a certain value over time.

Its weak points:

- Quite expensive, especially for large stones or high quality stones.

- Diamonds are classified according to the 4Cs; a diamond of lower overall quality will not have the optimal sparkle sought.


diamond circle pendant 3_edited.jpg


Natural moissanite comes from a meteorite discovered in 1893 by Henri Moissant. Being very rare in this original form, when we talk about this gem, we refer to the synthetic version introduced on the market in 1995. It is certainly the best substitute for diamond, because with its 9.5 hardness, it does not scratch or otherwise, only very little with the years. In addition to being easily confused with the naked eye, synthetic moissanite thwarts some diamond detectors. Its brilliance is impressive, moissanite having a higher refractive index than diamond. If you love rainbow colored sparkles, you won't be disappointed!

Its strengths:

- Difficult to detect with the naked eye; even thwarts some diamond testers.

- Cheaper than an equivalent natural diamond, especially on large stones.

- Very durable.


Weakness :

- Less hard than a diamond.

Synthetic Moissanite


CZ is a lab-made stone, but has no natural equivalent. Wrongly called "zircon", it should not be confused with natural colorless zircon, which is much less common and more expensive. Its name refers to its composition of zirconium oxide and its cubic molecular structure. It's a bit of a hybrid between natural zircon, made up of zirconium silicate, and diamond with its cubic structure. This stone simulates diamond very well and can be confused at first glance.  

Its strengths:

- Very good resemblance to the diamond.

- Its price: it is a very affordable stone.


Weak points:

- Loses luster after a few years.

- With its 8.5 hardness, if worn every day on a ring, it will scratch over time.

Different names: cubic zirconium, CZ, cubic zirconia, zirconium oxide, cubic zirconia, zirconia, cubic zirconia, zirconia...

cubic zirconium

Your choice

Our mission at MCDécarie is to inform you about the different possible options so that you make the best choice for you. We always offer the possibility to compare the prices of the different options. And we'll take the time to advise you on their value for money.  


The truth is, if you choose a CZ instead of a large diamond, your stone won't cross generations, but your jewelry will possibly cost $5,000 less. Or if you choose a synthetic moissanite as your center stone, you'll have a beautiful, long-lasting stone for a fraction of the price of a diamond. Finally, if you choose a 1ct natural diamond, but your budget only allows you to opt for a lower quality diamond, you may be disappointed with your stone, which will shine less and still look dirty. Never be embarrassed to choose one stone or another; make your choice according to your needs, your tastes and your budget. Finally, let's stop saying FAKE diamonds and just call the stones by their real names!

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