Diamond Nexus Lab Exposed

For several years now a company based in Wisconsin has been marketing their brand of cubic zirconium as a diamond simulant, a true man-made synthetic diamond, and now the world's most technologically advanced gemstone. So which is it? According to two different and independent lab analysis, one performed by Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc., and another by EAG Labs, the Diamond Nexus "Diamond" is nothing more than "ordinary cubic zirconium" commonly known as CZ.

Bait and Switch Advertising

A diamond simulant means that it looks-like a diamond. A synthetic diamond is molecularly identical to a diamond (true carbon crystal) only it is man-made. If one searches through the various search engines for "man made diamond" or "synthetic diamond", it is very likely you will come across one of the following ads:

However it appears that these ads are a type of bait-and-switch advertising. Upon entering the website, one quickly realizes that they are not selling lab-created synthetic white diamonds at all, but a diamond simulant. If you have done your homework, this will come as no surprise because no company currently has invented an economically viable way of creating large white diamonds.

Independent Laboratory Testing of Diamond Nexus Stone

The next question the visitor may have is, "If it is not a diamond, what is the Diamond Nexus gemstone?" And this is where things become even less clear. One will quickly notice that they claim it has nearly all the same physical and optical properties as a diamond, but it is not a diamond. So what is it?
To answer this question conclusively, a competitor of Diamond Nexus labs, BetterThanDiamond.com, hired an independent material analysis laboratory, Anderson Materials, to analyze a Diamond Nexus Stone. Dr. Anderson personally purchased a stone from DiamondNexusLabs.com to ensure he was getting the stone directly from the source.

Laboratory Test Results: DNL stone is an "ordinary cubic zirconium"

What were the results of his lab analysis?
Here are a few key excerpts:
  • The principal elements of the gemstone are zirconium, yttrium, and oxygen. Therefore it is a "common cubic zirconium"
  • No Hafnium, Iron, Nickel or Cobalt were detected despite Diamond Nexus Labs listing them as being present in the FAQ's page of their website.
  • An excess of oxygen was observed on the surface. This may be due to the reaction which can cause cubic zirconium to become cloudy; and is observed here in an early stage due to the great surface sensitivity of XPS.
  • The claim that the gemstone is polycrystalline must come from a misunderstanding on their part. A polycrystalline cubic zirconium gemstone would be very undesirable...The polycrystalline material is good for furnace bricks, but not for gemstones, especially given their claim to make the World's Finest Diamond Simulant Gemstones.
  • Trace amounts of carbon were found on just the very surface of the stone. Based on his testing, Dr Anderson concluded that this carbon was absorbed from hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, and is NOT part of the composition of the DNL CZ, despite their claims.
The above analysis is very solid proof that Diamond Nexus Labs' "most technologically advanced gemstone" is nothing more than an "ordinary cubic zirconium": a diamond simulant that has been mass produced for three decades. Several years have passed since this analysis was performed by Anderson Materials, yet Diamond Nexus to this day has failed to provide any proof of their own to backup their claims despite the relatively low cost of such an analysis. If you take the time to search the website all you will find are testimonials, claims, and promises, but no real evidence.

Where is Diamond Nexus' Proof?

One has to question if this company truly has scientific laboratories where this amazing gemstone has been created, why is it so difficult to present the slightest bit of evidence? Where are the labs? Where are the scientists, the work papers, the lab results, etc.? Why are other diamond substitutes such as Moissanite sold by 1000's of companies around the world, yet only one company in Wisconsin sells their CZ?
If one takes the time to put the pieces together, one quickly realizes that Diamond Nexus markets its products similar to a late night infomercial: all promises, all guarantees, all customer "testimonials", and nothing but unsubstantiated claims.

Verdict: Overpriced "Ordinary Cubic Zirconium"

If you choose to purchase from Diamond Nexus Labs, understand that you are purchasing a piece of jewelry set with "ordinary CZ" according to Anderson Materials (and EAG labs, see the update below). They may have a good return policy, but understand that you are essentially paying for that return policy through a 300 - 500% markup on their jewelry (a markup that is virtually unheard of in the jewelry industry).
Cubic zirconium stones have finite lives and will eventually lose their fire and brilliance and become dull. Learn more about the Cubic Zirconium (CZ) and how it compares to Moissanite. If you are looking for a unique, durable, beautiful gemstone that will be forever brilliant and fiery, we would strongly recommend Moissanite.

UPDATE: June 2009

Evans Analytical Group® (EAG) is "the world's leading, fully integrated and independent material characterization services organization, with 15 locations in seven countries located throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States."
After Diamond Nexus began claiming a sapphire type coating in roughly June, 2009, IPCyberCrime.com was hired by BetterThanDiamond.com's attorneys (http://middreut.com) to make the purchase of a Diamond Nexus Stone in order to preserve the details of the testing at the strict level required for use as evidence in legal proceedings (chain of custody, etc).
The purchased stone was then forwarded by IPCyberCrime.com to Evans Analytical Group (http://eaglabs.com) for analysis.

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