Imposters Too

Last year I wrote a couple of articles (“The Imposters” and “From Ziamonds Vault”) where I took a little time off from evaluating diamonds to critique simulants and synthetics. Since the publication of those articles I’ve been inundated with requests to review other cubic zirconia companies—Orleans Counterfeit Diamonds (www.orleansjewels.com), Body Jewels.com, Czplatinum Inc (www.czplatinum.com) and Jewelers Direct, Inc (www.czjewelry.com). These are my findings. Note: I ordered loose a 1ct marquise, round and emerald cut from each company. This is the bread and butter stuff. If they can do a decent job on a basic one carat then they will probably get everything else right.

Orleans Counterfeit Diamonds

When I opened the package from O.C.D., I discovered that the three stones had been placed in a single plastic bag with a piece of cotton. A C.Z can chip another C.Z if they bang into each other. Strike one. The first stone I looked at was the marquise. It looked bright, had a good length to width ratio but when I louped it I found a baby size chip on the pavilion. (Nothing I probably couldn’t live with). The second stone I examined was the round. My first impression was that it looked a little flat (dead). Take a look at what I saw in photographs 1-A, 1-B, and 1-C.

There were crater size chips on the table and star facets of the crown. It’s as if I was looking at the dark side of the moon! Not acceptable! Strike two! The last stone the emerald cut, had chips on the keel (bottom of the rock) as well as polishing drag lines all across the stone. Strike three! For $50.00 a carat I should have gotten a magnificent hand cut C.Z. Opinion: Overpriced, poorly packaged, inferior quality.

Body Jewels.com

The box from B.J, had three attractive gold lame´ drawstring pouches (see photo 2A) and a packing slip. There was no paper work explaining how to clean or take care of my new product, nothing about any guarantees or even the prices I paid, just my three little pouches. In each pouch I found the stone sitting on a small white cushion enclosed in a plastic case (the absolute best way to ship a loose stone!). See photo 2B.

As before, I looked at the marquise first. It was immaculate; sharp crisp edges, no rolled faceted junctions and expertly polished. The round was also bright and full of life! When I examined it further I found a very small chip on the pavilion (no big deal at all). The emerald was superb – one of the best hand polished jobs I’d ever seen on a C.Z. All the stones were well proportioned. Opinion: Good packaging, poor documentation on guarantees or cleaning, but excellent quality at a reasonable price.

C.Z. Platinum

C.Z. Platinum was more economical on the use of plastic cases and like Orleans Counterfeit Diamonds placed all three stones into one container. See photo 3A and 3B.

The marquise looked fair but had an unpolished girdle that lightly hazed the look. The round arrived broken! It looked like a windshield that had been pummeled by a hail storm! See photos 3-C, 3-D, 3-E.  The emerald cut looked flat and lifeless, like plastic. All the pavilion main step facets were abraded. Opinion: At $25.00 a carat a fair price for non hand cut C.Z.’s. The warranties and return policies were stated clearly in the packaging materials, but the C.Z.’s are just run of the mill.

Jeweler’s Direct

The price I paid for each stone was just $12.00! I expected machine-finished C.Z.’s. Boy, was I in for a surprise! The rocks were beautiful!! Well cut, hand polished, sharp, crisp, magnificent! As good as any C.Z, I’ve ever seen in my life and at truly a wholesale price. The emerald shape was cut to 65/65 specs; the round didn’t have a nick on it and the marquise shone like the sun. Opinion: In this round of imposters I was clearly smitten with Jewelers Direct. A great product at an unbelievable price! Take a look for yourselves.

(All photographs were taken by acclaimed photographer and artist Ricky Fernandez)

 

 

by Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book “How to Buy a Diamond.” More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy®