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Gems & Gemology, Fall 2012, Volume 48, No. 3

Characterization of a Synthetic Nano-Polycrystalline Diamond Gemstone

Elise A. Skalwold, Nathan Renfro, James E. Shigley, and Christopher M. Breeding
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Characterization of a Synthetic Nano-Polycrystalline Diamond Gemstone
A potential new synthetic gem material in the form of a faceted 0.88 ct brownish yellow nano-polycrystalline diamond (NPD) has undergone a full gemological examination, including detailed spectroscopic analysis, for the first time. While the material’s implications for the gem industry are still unknown, NPD’s optical characteristics along with manufacturing improvements make it a potentially important synthetic for gemologists to be aware of, even though very few samples have been faceted and future production costs and availability for gem purposes are uncertain. Features seen with magnification may provide an indication of its nano-polycrystalline nature, and the identification of this material can be confirmed by spectroscopy and other advanced testing methods. NPD is an entirely new kind of synthetic diamond, and its development illustrates the ongoing research on diamond properties for a number of important applications beyond the field of gemology.

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