5 Quick and Handy Tips for Spotting a Fake or Real Diamond at Home



5 Quick and Handy Tips for Spotting a Fake or Real Diamond at Home


Diamonds represent luxury and sit on top of the hierarchy of precious stones and jewelry pieces. It is likely for this reason they are handed down as heirlooms and given out as engagement rings. Given their rarity and finite supply as far as natural diamonds are concerned, substitutes and simulants have circulated and sometimes passed off as the real deal.

[ photo: unsplash.com ]


How Can You Tell If Your Stone Is a Fake or Real Diamond?

The easy answer is to leave the matter to a gemologist with his or her expert eye and an array of tools. However, you can perform specific tests at home to confirm your stone’s identity on the surface.

Before learning of those tests, know the definitions of certain terms that surround diamonds:

● Natural diamonds: crystallized carbon mined from the bowels of the earth.

● Lab-grown or synthetic diamonds: man-made diamonds engineered in environments that mirror the temperature and pressure that create natural diamonds. Although they are produced in an artificial setting, synthetic diamonds are real.

● Simulated diamonds: stones that look similar to diamonds but differ from natural or synthetic diamonds’ chemical and physical composition. Examples are cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, yttrium aluminate garnet (YAG), zircon, glass, and white sapphire.

● Fake diamonds: refer to simulated diamonds, diamond simulants, substitutes, or imitations. They are produced naturally or synthetically and priced lower than diamonds.

Indeed, some fake diamonds are valuable like white sapphires and topaz, although they don’t have a high resale or retail value compared to their real counterparts.

Scratch It

Diamond scores 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, which takes into account the resistance of a material, metal, or mineral to being scratched. The diamond is not the hardest substance on earth, but it can scratch against the glass with a Mohs hardness value of 5.5. That’s the test itself: to check if your stone leaves a scratch on the glass surface or not.

Note: doing this test may damage your stone. The results are also not foolproof because other gemstones can leave scratches as well.

A variation or a reverse of this test is to rub the stone against sandpaper with the intended effect of seeing no scratches on the surface of the diamond. Again, the action may result in a ruined stone if it’s fake. 

Breathe to Fog It

It’s fairly simple. Hold the stone near your mouth as you breathe onto its flat surface the way you fog up a mirror. The ideal outcome is for the stone to clear up quickly. It’s because a real diamond does not retain heat, whereas a fake counterpart like moissanite will remain fogged for a longer time.

Transparent or Not

Put the stone on top of a newspaper, and try to read words from the paper through it. Refraction, or refractivity, is at work here. It’s one of the reasons behind a diamond’s brilliance, whereby light enters through the stone and scatters into bursts of color. However, the result may not turn out accurate if the carat of the diamond is low or if it is set in a ring or jewelry. CZ is also transparent.

Under the Black or UV Light

Position it under a UV light source, and check for any color change, a hint of blue, perhaps. Real diamonds have fluorescence that makes them glow under UV or black light. The intensity of this quality varies among diamonds. In fact, some real diamonds may not have this fluorescent quality at all.  

Sink or Float

This test is meant for loose stone or one that is not mounted into a ring. You will drop the stone to a glass of water and wait for it to sink. The test examines density, as diamond has a high density, three times that of water. Nonetheless, a large piece of cubic zirconia sinks, making the result far from conclusive.

The Perfect Stone for You

If you have a loupe, which is a magnifying glass used by jewelers, you will see that nature’s diamonds have imperfections—that’s one thing that sets the real from the fake.

The price is not an indicator of authenticity, as there are diamond rings priced reasonably. These rings are made from natural diamonds and nestled in a yellow- or white-gold band. Indeed, a diamond’s price has more to do with the weight or carat, color, cut, and clarity.  

These tips barely scratch the surface. Our dear readers may have something to share in the comments section.

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