Moissanite is the most similar to diamond than any other stone. Whether it is the looks or some other key characteristics of the stone, moissanite is the one that comes close the most. Trained professionals with proper tools and experience may tell their difference, but an average person won’t be able to tell.
Diamond testers check the heat conductivity of the gem, and the heat conductivity of moissanite is very similar to the diamond; this is why a basic diamond tester will give the test result of moissanite as a diamond.
What Makes Moissanite Unique?
Moissanite actually came from space, for those who didn’t know. The first discovery of its fragments was found in Arizona desert after the meteor impact on the site. Moissanite is a crystal of Silicon Carbide (SiC).
It cannot be found anywhere on earth where it is been produced naturally. Moissanite is being synthesized in the lab to be created artificially for a jewel. To put in other words, they are a lab-grown gem. Moissanite is being used as jewelry since the 1990s and looks as much like a diamond with a lot lesser price.
Primary Tips for Tester Users
Check the Battery
Sometimes there might be rapid bleeping on the light occur due to the lack of battery power of the tester. If the LED fades, again and again, there is a high chance that the problem is with the battery. Most of the time it is problem with the batteries in such cases.
Better change the batteries, because this is a frequent issue. Buy some good-quality batteries, not the cheap ones. There are many good alkaline batteries out there such as Duracell, UCAR, or Procell. But they might be a little bit costly than your regular $2 batteries.
Avoid Testing Hot Stones
If you repeatedly keep on testing the same stone, again and again, that stone will just heat up. When you test a heated-up stone from the repeated test, it won’t register as a diamond in the tester for that moment. Even if the stone is diamond, it will show this wrong result until it cools down.
By doing this not only you are wasting your time, but you are also wasting the battery. Give it some time to cool down if you want a proper result. You will see that the inconsistent result that you were seeing minutes ago, will now start giving you the result that is normally supposed to give.
Keep the Tester Probe Clean
Always clean your tester probe by rubbing at right angles in a circular motion. Make sure it is clean before running any test, or there is a chance you might get inaccurate results. They will show this problem sometimes, especially if it has not been used for some time.
You will face this same problem even with a diamond tester or a multi-tester, not just with moissanite testers. If the tester tip (probe) isn’t clean, the sensitivity of the tester is sure to show some malfunction. Cleaning your tester’s probe sometimes will help you avoid such problems.
For e.g.- when you leave a multi tester probe dirty, it won’t give you the proper read with the stones. Sometimes you will see, these testers tend to give the wrong reading with a stone you know is legit. This does not necessarily happen all the time because your tool is busted. It can happen due to the reason I stated, yes, dirty probe!
Clean the Stone
Always remember to clean your stone too. It is important for your tester to give an accurate reading, for that cleaning your stone before a test is crucial. Wipe it with a clean cloth, but avoid cleaning with a handkerchief or shirt sleeve; as they tend to leave a grease layer on the stone.
Use soft clothes to clean the stone. The best would be if you can use alcohol to wipe them with because they leave no residue and evaporates quickly. Use cotton wool or tissue paper to wipe the alcohol from the stone.
When you have old models for tester or a cheap model, you will have to clean the stone more thoroughly to get an accurate reading. You can use water as a substitute if you do not have alcohol, but do not use a proprietary jewelry cleaner.
Some of the proprietary jewelry cleaners tend to have a substance that leaves some kind of coating on the stone after cleaning. That layer of coating can confuse the tester with errors in reading. When you are using a tester of the latest model, only wiping with a clean cloth is sufficient enough. Cleaning your stone is as much important as keeping your testers probe clean, for adequate reading to display.
How to Operate Different Kinds of Probe Tip
Always try to place the tip at a right angle. When you are using a retractable tip, you have to press hard enough for it to retract. Your tester with a retractable tip won’t work properly if you do not press hard enough.
If you are working with a fixed tip, make sure it makes contact properly with the stone when you press. Press firmly for proper contact but do not press with all your might, otherwise, you might break the probe. Try to hold the tip at a right angle, so it won’t break.
When using the tester, always make sure that the probe came in touch with the stone properly. Always mind the angle, as mentioned before. There is a READY light or signal on display that will bleep when testing. Make sure the fingers are in contact with the metal plate of the tester, otherwise it may not make the conductivity.
Also, make sure that you can see the center of the stone and the tip are touching. Use a magnifier or your reading glass for spectating properly.
Know About in Which Temperature the Tester Won’t Work
A much cheaper model tester does not work well in cold weather. Some of them don’t even work if the stone itself is cold. There is a saying that if the stone is cold enough to see your breath, then there is a high chance that a tester won’t work on it. Some models are designed to work in cold but, even they won’t work if the temperature goes down below zero.
How to Operate a Moissanite Tester
To distinguish between real moissanite and a fake one, it is important that you know how to verify them. A Moissanite tester is very helpful when it comes to authenticating moissanite. Here is some step-by-step instruction on how to use a Moissanite tester.
The first step of this test would be turning on the power switch of the tester. There is a power indicator light, it will let you know if the power is on. The instrument will start to warm up and the preparation indicator will light up, once it is ready for use.
The three-color indicator will brighten up if the weight of the diamond is being tested along with its temperature. The three-color indicator light will adjust itself with the temperature and position.
If there is a needle cover, take it off to hold the instrument. You need to touch the conductive plate, which should be on the back of the tester. Use your index finger to touch the plate and hold it to make the probe come in contact with the surface of the gem you are testing. Hold firmly to run the test appropriately.
Judge the Result
Spectate the reaction your tester gets from the stone. If color lights show they are on the ninth or more than the ninth on the meter, accompanied by a beep, then it probably means that the tested stone is indeed a diamond or moissanite.
If it shows less than nine without the instrument making any sound, then it is an imitation or fake. But there are precautions to take if you want proper readings.
Make sure you do not test metals with the tester, it was designed for non-metallic minerals. By doing so will only reduce the overall life span of the instrument. Do not touch the probe with wet hands or avoid touching the probe with hands at all.
Coming into contact with wet objects on the probe will ruin it. Do these to avoid probe oxidization. Whatever you are going to test with this instrument, make sure they are clean and free of any oily grease.
How Does a Moissanite Tester Work
When you use a moissanite tester on a stone, it does not magically tells you the identity of the gem. There is a process that it runs, and through the outcome of the result, it lets you know whether the stone is moissanite or not. I am going to discuss that method here.
When you put your tester in contact with the gem, it simply measures the electrical conductivity of the stone. You have to make sure you are touching the conductive plate on the back of the tester with your index finger so that current can travel from your hand to the metal plate of the tester and then through the stone and the setting of the jewelry to your other hand. And then through all the way round your body to go back to the first hand and eventually, to the tester again to clarify it is conductive.
The explanation may seem lengthy to you but to simply put it in with straight words, moissanite is electrically conductive and other stones such as diamonds are not. Diamond and moissanite look a lot alike, and people especially confuse with them two.
Why You Need a Diamond Tester?
If you test a gem as a diamond with a diamond tester, then you should test it again with a moissanite tester. After running the test with both the diamond tester and moissanite tester, you can confirm the origin of the stone.
This is because moissanite also reads like a diamond on a diamond tester. Diamond testers run heat conductivity on them, and moissanite is also a good conductor of heat, as much as a diamond. So when you only run a diamond tester on them, no matter if they are diamond or moissanite, both of these gems are going to be identified as a diamond on the diamond tester.
When you want to identify moissanite or a diamond’s authenticity, you run a diamond tester on them first. Then you go and run a moissanite tester on them to finally confirm which one it is. Though there are some exceptions, a very rare type of diamonds and black diamonds also conduct electricity.
Instructions for Testing
These testers were meant to be tested on stone. Do not go around and use them on any material other than stones, like metal, your fridge, or your own finger. Doing so will show the result positive, as in ‘Moissanite’. This does not mean your tester is broken or anything.
You have to know that these tests are run based on the conductivity of the object. Any objects that are electrically conductive will be read as moissanite, that is how they were designed. They were designed to be tested on gems to differentiate between a diamond and moissanite, not your fingers!
It is no use to just own a moissanite tester if you do not have a diamond tester. What will you do with just the moissanite tester? It will be only testing the electrical conductivity of the stone, what use will be that to you if you did not test that stone with a diamond tester before?
Accidental Circuit Break
If it is unable to make a circuit, then you won’t be getting any valid reading. It would be useless to touch the metal plate of the tester if you have rubber gloves on, or if you are not touching the metal plate at all. Another example of circuit break could be: if someone has artificial hips or artificial knees, they won’t be getting proper readings.
Also, there is this possibility that if you touch the setting of the jewelry when testing, you can accidentally make a circuit and make the tester read ‘MOISSANITE’. If you mistakenly place the probe tip very close to the setting, electricity will jump on giving the tester a moissanite read.
This misreading is another reason why you get the wrong result many times when testing on a small stone. Clean the stone before running any test, otherwise, the grease over them will sometimes read even a diamond as moissanite. (You do not want that to happen, do you?)
If you use any sort of proprietary jewelry cleaners on your stones, the layer of grease can also be electrically conductive. This can lead you to give misreading. Wipe the stones carefully with a clean cloth or clean them with alcohol. Alcohols evaporate away very quickly, no need to worry about them giving misconduct.
What If You Used a Multi-Tester?
The Multi-tester can run both the diamond test (Heat conductivity) and moissanite test (Electrical conductivity) in this same instrument. They have a microchip in it which can combine readings from both tests and tell you if a stone is diamond or not.
At the beginning of the first few seconds of the test, you won’t get any correct readings from it. You have to put the probe on the center of the stone and hold it firmly while you wait. There is no use in removing the probe and putting it against the stone again and again, or sliding it against the stone, or pressing too hard than necessary. Doing so will get you nowhere.
You need to have a steady grasp on the tester while you are using it. If you do not hold the tester steadily, you may keep getting the wrong results. Again, if you press it too hard and let it go again and again just to press it, you won’t be getting any result.
Use reading glass or magnifying glass when using the tester to see closely whether you are using it correctly or not. If the multi-tester shows you no reaction on thermal conductivity, then it means that it could be anything other than diamond.
The multi-tester will do the same when running an electrically conductive test. It tells you if it is moissanite or not, or it could be any other electrically conductive gemstone. The tester does not necessarily tell you what the stone is, it only detects if it is a diamond or moissanite. Anything else that gives no reading, is categorized by almost the same results. They could be anything.
You cannot say with 100 percent guaranty that a tester (multi-tester/ Diamond tester/ Moissanite tester) will give you a completely accurate result. No matter which model or brand you use, there are always exceptional cases with some stones.
Always remember that moissanite read as a diamond on a diamond tester. The job of a moissanite tester is to read through the electrical conductivity, as mentioned above. And there is always a chance for a Multi Tester to test on a non-categorized object, which it is unable to identify.
You should know that there are two types of diamond that are electrically conductive. They will be read as Moissanite on Moissanite testers or even Multi testers. One of these diamonds is Type II diamond. They register as moissanite because of their quirk.
Their chemical composition allows them to be electrically conductive, which is very rare among diamonds. They are very indistinguishable from other diamonds, and you may never come across them. They do exist and can be found by people who work in gem laboratories or work with diamonds every day as a jeweler.
Another rare kind of diamond such as this is the black diamond. They are also electrically conductive and will register as moissanite in various testers. Black diamonds cannot be tested as a diamond. They tend to create a lot of commotion among tester users, and then end up in gem laboratory to verify authenticity.
Other Options for Moissanite Testing
If you do not own any diamond tester, moissanite tester, or any multi-tester, there are other options to test moissanite. Another way to distinguish moissanite other than using a tester is briefly elaborated below-
Refraction: When a ray of light is shined upon moissanite, it tends to give double refraction. Meaning, the light which falls upon the line between the facete will be multiplied. This does not happen with a diamond.
There are also other refractive stones, such as:
Another good way of distinguishing moissanite is seeing the way they sparkle. When you flash a light on the moissanite, they give a colorful sparkle with multiple colors. This is because moissanite has a considerably higher refractive index than a diamond. A diamond has a refractive index of 2.42, where a Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.63.
The instruction for using a Moissanite tester is quite simple. I have discussed them above thoroughly and they will possibly serve you the purpose for recent models. Make sure you understand the procedure whole you read, it is not that complicated.
Keep in mind that, you cannot entirely depend on a tester if you want to be 100% sure about the authentication of a stone. There are exceptions, as I mentioned earlier. You need to run the test carefully with proper attention if you want dependable results. Try your best to be steady while you run the test, that would give you a pretty reliable reading.
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