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Bench Jewelers Guide to Working with Asha®
Setting with Asha® is very straightforward - if you have set CZ, you can set Asha®, which is an enhanced CZ.
Due to its amorphous diamond treatment, Asha® is stronger, harder, and more durable than CZ, but if you take the same care in setting it as you would for CZ, you should experience no problems.
What is it?: Asha® is a patent pending combination of hand cut, high-end CZ core treated with a proprietary optical layer (with a Refractive index higher than diamond), and then infused and sealed with an outer layer of extremely pure man-made amorphous diamond (pure carbon with ~85% diamond bonds).
Just like a cultured pearl uses an inner shell bead with an outer layer of pearl nacre, the Asha® combines an inner core with an outer layer/infusion of extremely pure amorphous diamond.
Top problem: The number one problem we have had with jewelers setting Asha® - they often forget that it is not diamond, which creates problems during polishing. Do not use metal polish that contains diamond grit or use any aggressive types of rouge near the Asha® - you will run the risk of scratching the Asha® if so. Asha® is approximately as tough as sapphire, and thus softer than silicon carbide (moissanite) and diamond. We highly recommend you pre-polish the prongs before completing the setting, in order to minimize any potential danger of scratching the stone during polishing.
Identification: Asha® will not test positive on a thermal diamond tester. Amorphous diamond, which is roughly 85% diamond bonds, has a different heat signature than gem diamond which is 100% diamond bonds. Version 6 stones are identifiable from Plain CZ by using a digital refractometer - Asha will test 2.20 - 2.24 Refractive Index, vs. plain CZ normally testing 2.16 Refractive Index.
Heat resistance: Great care must be taken when employing any work on a setting involving torch work - you must protect the Asha® from heat. If you heat the Asha®, you will run the risk of shattering the core, and blackening the amorphous diamond as some of the internal bonding will convert to graphite (amount depends on time time and intensity of exposure to heat), leaving you with a scorched looking stone.
Setting princess stones: The princess cut is the most difficult to set, due to the sharp corners. We recommend you soften the corners of the princess cut at the point where it will meet with the prong or metal for your setting using a diamond wheel. This will greatly reduce the chance of chipping during setting since the corners are sharp.
If you have other questions on Asha® or need other technical advise, please feel free to contact us via our website at https://BetterThanDiamond.com
Asha is our registered mark.