So, after a lot of work and testing of a number of 'soft launch' Forever Brilliants, here are the final results:
1 - Forever Brilliants sold after the soft launch of approx 3/17/12 are no longer coated. They have moved to a new process as they claimed. We tested under EDX/TEM as a final check.
2 - We have a very good idea of the new process (but will not disclose as professional courtesy since they are marking it as proprietary). It is different than the Amora ehancemement.
3 - In testing and review, the Amora enhanced tested 1-2 color grades better than equivalent same cut/ same carat Forever Brilliants.
4 - The Forever Brilliants typically have surface damage issues from their different process - photos below. Basically, damaged surface on the bottom in terms of irregular 'ostrich skin' topology, and the top half (crown) can have burn marks. Photos of all these issues below.
5 - We remain confident the Amora enhanced are thus whiter and better even with the 'new' Forever Brilliant process, and of course all Amora enhanced 6mm+ come with independent color grading to prove the color grade.
6 - All that said, Amora enhanced will be eventually phased out in the future. We will be moving into Amora GEM in the future, and similarly, CTHR has announced now that they are moving towards having all Moissanite run through the Forever Brilliant process.
Thus, there won't be anything to treat in terms of raw stones in the future regardless if all raw moissanite is phased out.
Anyway, we consider the coating issue resolved at this point.
Thus, lets quickly discuss the new FB surface issues and color grading results:
1 - The bottom half (pavillion) of Forever Brilliants have surface damage (hilly surface and 'ostrich skin' effect) as you can see below in these photos.
Look through the stone at the bottom half and see the whitish and irregular surface on the bottom:
Here are two more views with tinted lighting to highlight the surface defects:
And this is looking top down through the table with darker tinting:
The damage 'level' varies stone to stone.
Top side (crown) - some FB's had burn marks on the crown - always on the top only:
We're waiting on certs for some of the FB's but here are the verbal results compared to Amora enhanced:1ct Round:
Amora enhanced = H
Forever Brilliant = I2ct Round:
Amora enhanced = H
Forever Brilliant = J/K (not finalized, assume J)
More are on their way to the grading lab, but the above appear to be representative.
I'll post the final grading reports once we have them, but the main news now is that FB's are not coated now, and that issue has been resolved.
The Forever Brilliant process does apparently create unique surface issues/damage, and color grade is not as high as Amora enhanced. The Forever Brilliant color is however an improvement over unenhanced, albeit with surface issues.
Certs coming, and then we're moving on to focus back on our own products since we're not getting paid to be CTHR's quality inspectors