Sona Diamond Simulant – Information and Review (XPS analysis)

Sona Diamond Simulant has made a number of claims about their product, including statements that it is a non-CZ simulant created by high-pressure melding of natural diamond and sapphire, and that it has a special ‘sapphire’ coating.

Please note that Sona Diamond was sold by two different companies – (C3 Jewelry, Billy Clayton) and their reseller, (Cleve Phillips).
There was an apparent split in 2009 between these entities, so that no longer sells the same product.

In June 2009, sued (C3 Jewelry) for False Advertising, Unfair Competition, and Libel (defamation).  This resulted in a successful Consent final Judgement and Injunction in favor of BetterThanDiamond in June 2010.  Among other terms, is now property of and you may visit there to see details of the lawsuit.

Their claims in Nov, 2007 included this press release from

“Sona Diamond, a Israel scientific gemological facility announced a revolutionary, patented process called formula A1203. A process of extreme heat and pressure applied to real diamond and sapphire to form a composite hybrid diamond simulant. The Sona Diamond will create a new category that blurs the line between natural diamond and simulant.

This scientific achievement is a milestone both for Sona Diamond and for the jewelry industry, as it represents the first known jewelry usage of a non-cubic zirconia form of diamond simulant.”

As well as the following claims on and (11/2007):

*”If you have a plain old Cubic Zirconium, and you compare the Sona Diamond to it, you will see a huge difference in the cut, and the refraction index”.
*”Sona Diamond has a special coating of a sapphire material”
*”Each Sona gemstone has a special Sapphire coating on the outside of the gemstone”

To test this claim, in November of 2007, we hired Anderson Materials to independently purchase and test their non-CZ simulant via XPS analysis.

The results: 

1. The gemstone is yttrium-stabilized cubic zirconia. [ In other words, its the plain old CZ that they claimed you could see a huge difference in when compared to a Sona Diamond]

2. No aluminum was found, therefore there is no sapphire infused into this surface. The carbon concentration was very low after the sputter removal of only 20 nm, so no significant diamond material could be infused into the gemstone surface.

3. This gemstone was oxygen-enriched, not slightly deficient the way many other cubic zirconia gemstones are.  This probably means that some carbon dioxide and water have reacted with the Zr in the near surface region, which commonly does occur with zirconia in time.

In otherwords, the independent testing shows the Sona Diamond Simulant to be ordinary cubic zirconinium.  (And thus, not the first non-CZ simulant, made from natural diamond and sapphire fused together).

We note that the surface oxygen reaction spotted is theorized to be why plain CZ’s go cloudy….the Asha diamond simulant’s amorphous diamond coating prevents this reaction and is one benefit of our amorphous diamond process.

This aritcle is taken from


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