Whether you inherited some fine jewelry, received jewelry as a gift or found a ring on the beach, most people’s first question is is it a genuine diamond. Diamonds are a lot more valuable than their doppelgangers like cubic zirconia, white sapphires, and cut glass, so it’s easy to understand why someone would want to confirm that their diamond is real.
If your diamond comes with a certificate from the GIA, you can stop reading now. With a GIA certification, you can sleep soundly knowing your diamond is absolutely genuine. If not, there are a few tricks for determining if your diamond is real.
Ultimately, the only way to truly and confidently determine whether a diamond is real is to ask a reputable jeweler. Jewelers have tools at their disposal that can easily determine which are the real deal. However, if it is not a natural diamond a stone must be sent off to a laboratory, like the GIA, who have a lot more tools at their disposal to determine exactly what the stone is. They are able to determine if a stone is a lab-grown diamond, an enhanced diamond, or just white gemstones that resemble diamonds, such as sapphires, and synthetic diamond alternatives, such Cubic Zirconia or even glass.
Since there is a vast array of synthetic alternatives to diamonds available from CZs to Synthetic Moissanite, it is impossible to determine between these gemstones with specialized tools. Likewise, intense magnification is required to distinguish between natural and lab-grown diamonds. A jeweler will be able to differentiate between diamond and non-diamond jewelry, delivering absolute confidence on whether a diamond is real.
This guide is useful and practical yet no single at-home test should be regarded as conclusive. A diamond expert has the proper experience and equipment to confirm if a diamond is real or fake.
THE SCRATCH TEST
Did you know that a diamond is one of the strongest substances on earth, making it easy to cut through glass? Something like a scratch test could help you determine if the diamond under the question is, in fact, real. For you to go through with the scratch test, you need a plate glass and a loose diamond. Place the glass on a table (or any platform) and use your diamond to scratch the surface of the glass. If it scratches the glass, chances are good that the diamond is real. But, it’s important to know that the scratch test could damage your diamond in the process. It’s also not the most effective way to see if your diamonds are real since other gemstones can have the same effect on the glass.
THE FIRE TEST
If you’re serious about finding out whether your diamond is real or fake, you can put the stone through a fire test. Use a lighter to light the stone for approximately 30 seconds before dropping it in cold water. If it’s a real diamond, the stone will remain unharmed, but if it’s fake it will shatter to pieces. This will happen since weaker materials are not able to handle the rate at which the materials expand and then contract due to the heat of the fire. Unlike real diamonds that were formed under intense heat and pressure billions of years ago.
USE A DIAMOND SCALE
Not everyone has access to a diamond scale at home, but if you take it to your local diamond jeweler, they will be able to weigh the diamond for you. If the diamond is a fake, it will weigh more than an actual diamond of the same size and shape. The reason behind this is cubic zirconia (a synthesized material) weighs approximately 55% more than an actual diamond. If your diamond is certified or has a grading report, you can match it to the weight recorded. If you would like to perform this test, it’s crucial to have two stones of the same shape and size (one that you preferably know is real).
THE FOG TEST
A quick and easy way to find out whether your diamond is real or fake: try fogging it up with your breath. If it clears up after one or two seconds, then your diamond is real, but if it stays fogged for three to four seconds chances are that you’re looking at a fake. The reason for this: Diamonds disperse the heat instantaneously making it impossible to fog up while non-diamonds don’t have the same effect. For this test to work, make sure that your diamond is clean and that no oils are covering the stone.
THE TRANSPARENCY TEST
For this test, you will need a newspaper and a loose diamond. Place your diamond face down, with the pavilion facing up, on a section of text in a newspaper. If you can read the letter through the diamond chances are that your stone is fake. But if the letters are blurry this is one indication that your diamond is real. Make sure your diamond is clean before going through with this test.
THE FLOATING TEST
This is probably one of the easiest, although not conclusive, ways to find out whether your diamond is real or not. For the floating test, you need a loose diamond and a glass of water. If the diamond is real, it will drop to the bottom of the glass due to the high density of the stone. If the diamond is a fake, it will float on the surface of the water. Not all fake diamonds float in water so don’t take the results of this test as conclusive.
For the best results visit your nearest diamond store where an appraiser will be able to evaluate and inspect your diamond. The appraiser should be able to tell you whether your diamond is real or fake using specialized equipment. Remember to ask for a certificate or grading report when purchasing a diamond. This will most certainly put your mind at ease.