A Bozeman woman faces felony theft charges after a man claims he bought $112,000 worth of fake jewels.
According to court documents, 47-year old Georgia Cold placed an add on Craigslist saying she was selling off a gemstone business inherited from her mother.
The man claims between May and August of last year he bought $90,000 worth of gems, and another $22,000 in September. Court records say Cold claimed they were diamonds, but they were actually synthetic substitutes.
We wanted to know more about how to distinguish between imitation diamonds and the real thing. We reached out to local jewelers in Bozeman to get to the bottom line.
Charles Saatjian works at Jewelry Studio and has grown up in this industry. He even went to the Gemological Institute to study the precious stones.
"There is a saying, if you don't know jewelry, know your jeweler," said Saatjian.
When we asked Saatjian about moissanites, they had one in the store. We asked him to compare it to a real diamond putting them side by side.
We also spoke to Babs Noelle. She is the owner of Alara Jewelry in downtown Bozeman. She said if you are dealing with a true professional, they should be willing to let you take a closer look at what you are purchasing."They should have a microscope available to show you the stone under magnification," said Noelle.
Noelle also explains how there are differences specifically between a moissanite and a diamond that a professional should be able to discuss with you.
"Diamond is singly refractive, it kind of bounces light through it once, where a moissanite is doubly refractive," said Noelle.
For those who are in the market for the a sparkly new addition to your jewelry box and you want the real thing, retailers we spoke to say its good to develop a trust with your jeweler.
"You should be dealing someone who is in the jewelry profession, who can help you through this process. Yes, you are going to pay a different price. Part of what you are paying for is security and professionalism," said Noelle.