What is the mineral group of diamond

Fake diamonds

Not to be confused with synthetic diamonds.

Real diamonds with different faces
Location: Miba Mine, Bakanga Region, Kasai Oriental, Congo
Photo: Christiane David

Quartz crystal made in a Russian laboratory
Photo: John W. Holfert

Another synthetic Russian quartz
with a rare C-surface
Photo: John W. Holfert

Since the end of the Middle Ages, alchemists have tried in often adventurous ways to produce gold, which they did not succeed, but cheated not a few kings and gullible people. However, forgeries and imitations of the king of precious stones, diamonds, are even older. Diamond forgers are already reported in the ancient Indian Garudapurana (400-1000 AD). Raganiganthu, which appeared in India between 1235 and 1250, speaks of 14 names of the diamonds, of which at least eight were forgeries. In the Venice of the Renaissance, the Council of Ten passed a law in 1487, which threatened the harshest punishments for gem counterfeiters.

Counterfeiting as a generic term includes imitations, imitations or substitute materials. Imitations are mostly diamonds replaced by cheap products that look similar. The first almost credible, visually similar diamond imitations were made from colorless lead glass, which are called rhinestones after their inventor, the Viennese Strasser. Extreme dispersion, which even surpasses that of diamonds, was created with the rutile synthesis in 1947.

It is not uncommon for clear, colorless quartz to be called diamond; some of them, like the Herkimer diamonds, are based on very curious stories.

Modern diamond imitations are synthetic stones based on zirconium oxide, which began their triumphal march in the jewelry world under the name of zirconia. Moissanite, zirconia, YAG, GGG and YAP have a great visual similarity to diamonds; the synthetically produced moissanite even comes very close to the hardness of diamond with its hardness of 9 1/2. The very latest diamond imitations come from Russian laboratories.

Crystals, which are usually named after their origin

  • Alaska diamond: quartz
  • Alencon Diamond: Quartz from Galochère, Alencon, Dept. Orne, Lower Normandy, France
  • Arkansas Diamond: Quartz from the Ouachita Mountains; Crystal Mountain, Mount Ida, Jessieville, Hot Springs, Marble Township; Arkansas, USA
  • Bohemian diamond: quartz from Pribyslavice, Bohemia, Czech Republic
  • Bornholm diamond: quartz
  • Briancon diamond: Identical to> Dauphiné diamond
  • Bristol diamond: quartz
  • Condorcet diamond: Quartz from Condorcet, Nyons, Drome, Rhone-Alpes, France
  • Cornish diamond: quartz
  • Dauphiné diamond: double-ended quartz from St. Christoph-en-Oisans, Bourg d'Oisans, Isère, France
  • German diamond
  • Herkimer diamonds: double ended quartz. Mohawk Valley, Herkimer County and Lake George, New York, USA
  • Hot Springs Diamond: Arkansas Diamond
  • Irish diamond: quartz
  • Isle of Wight diamond: quartz
  • Lake George Diamond: Quartz:> Herkimer Diamonds
  • Little Falls Diamond: Quartz: Old name for Herkimer diamonds
  • Marmorosch diamond: quartz from Transylvania, Romania]
  • Mexican diamond: quartz
  • Mirabeau diamond: quartz. Remouzat, France
  • Paphos Diamond: Quartz from Paphos, Cyprus
  • Patagonia Diamond: Quartz from Paragonia, Argentina
  • Schaumburger diamonds

    • Lower Saxony (Externtal, Vlotho, Weser)

      • Bösingfeld, Nalhof
      • Goldbeck, Rinteln
      • Taubenberg, Hohenrode
  • Slave diamond
  • Stolberg diamond

Other minerals called diamonds because of their sheen

  • Ceylon diamond: colorless zircon
  • Diamond spar: brown corundum
  • Matura diamond: colorless, fired zircon
  • Saxon diamond: colorless topaz
  • Immature diamond: zircon

Synthetically produced diamond imitations

These include synthetically produced white and colorless corundum, colorless spinel, slightly yellowish rutile, strontium titanate and synthetic stones with a garnet structure.

  • GGG (Galliant): Artificial stone. Gadolinium Gallium Garnet. Colorless to yellowish, looks like zirconia
  • Moissanite: Artificial stone (synthetic. Si carbide). Almost identical in appearance to diamond; Imitation diamonds for jewelry use.
  • Simili: glass imitation> str
  • Strass: colorless diamond imitation made of lead glass (partly with silver foil underneath); replaced today by zirconia
  • YAG: Yttrium aluminum garnet type. Colorless diamond imitation, which is produced by the crucible pulling process
  • Zirconia: Artificial colorless, yellowish, orange, greenish, violet stone made of baddeleyite (zirconium oxide); Hardness 8.5. Cubic zirconium oxide stabilized with Y oxide or Ca oxide.

Pictures and links


  • Brenneisen, C.M., 2005, Schaumburger Diamonds
  • Dragstedt, O., 1972; Gemstones in colors
  • Keesler, P., 2002; Mohawk Valley Crystals
  • Malzhan, W., L.H .; 2005; Moissanite: the perfect imitation
  • Rössler, L .; 2000: Gem etiquette