You just get a diamond and you don’t know whether it is real or not. How to tell if a diamond is real? Of course, you can always have a diamond expert to check it. But that is not the only way to do it. There are tests that you can try to find out whether a diamond is real. We have a list of tests that you can try below.
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Table of Contents
- 1. If It Is Mounted, Do Check the Mount
- 2. Fog It Up
- 3. Drop It Into a Glass of Water
- 4. Find the Imperfections Using a Magnifying Glass
- 5. Or Use a Loupe
- 6. Using a Black Light
- 7. Perform a Scratch Test
- 8. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real by Using Heat
- 9. Reading Test
- 10. The Dot Test
- 11. How Does It Sparkle?
- 12. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real Using a Diamond Scale
- 13. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real using a Diamond Tester
1. If It Is Mounted, Do Check the Mount
Diamonds are either loose or mounted. A loose diamond is a diamond that is not mounted in a setting. Because of this, a loose diamond is a lot easier to test. A mounted diamond, on the other hand, is mounted in a setting and therefore, more difficult to test.
If your diamond is mounted, check the mount. Diamonds are expensive. Because of this, a real diamond will only be set in high-quality materials. For example, yellow gold, white gold, platinum, halo setting rings, and so on.
To check the setting, look for the markings inside the center of the ring. The markings 18K, 14K, and 10K indicate the gold type used in the setting. The markings Plat and PT refer to platinum. If the markings are numbers like 950, 900, 770, and 585, those indicate gold or platinum, and so on.
Speaking of mounted diamonds, the mounting of a diamond can hide potential chips and cracks. The mounting can also reflect light into the diamond, which makes it difficult to assess its color or clarity. That is, unless you are an expert jeweler or gemologist.
Planning to buy a mounted diamond? If you are, consider asking the jeweler to remove the diamond first. This way, the diamond can be thoroughly inspected while it is loose.
2. Fog It Up
This one is a very easy and quick way to determine whether a diamond is real. Just put the diamond in front of your mouth and then use your breath to fog it up. If the diamond is real, the fog will clear up in a second or two. If the fog stays for three or more seconds, chances are the diamond is fake.
You may be wondering the reasoning behind this. Why is it so? Why a real diamond clears up a lot quicker than a fake one? The answer is in the heat-dispersing quality. A real diamond disperses heat instantaneously. Fogging it up is just not possible. A fake diamond does not have this property.
Now you know how to tell if a diamond is real without any tools at all. Before doing the fog test, make sure that the diamond is clean. If your diamond is dirty, clean it up and remove any oils present if there is any.
3. Drop It Into a Glass of Water
This one is also easy. For this test, you need a glass filled with water. Just grab a glass and fill ¾ of it with water. Then, drop the diamond into the glass. If your diamond is real, it will sink to the bottom of the glass. If it is fake, it will float at the surface or underneath the water.
All real diamonds have high density. This is why if a real diamond is dropped into a glass of water it will sink to the bottom. Fake diamonds don’t have the density that real ones have. Some fake diamonds have enough density to sink, however. So, you might want to try another test on our list.
4. Find the Imperfections Using a Magnifying Glass
Diamonds look amazing. But, despite their gorgeous look, they are imperfect. Don’t be mistaken, however. Their imperfections don’t reduce their attractiveness or value. If anything, these imperfections are something you would want to find in your diamond as it is a good indicator that your diamond is real.
Most real diamonds have flaws, also known as inclusions. Knowing this, how to tell if a diamond is real? That’s simple. Just look for flaws by using a magnifying glass. Use a magnifying glass and hold up the diamond. Look if there are any flaws in it. If there are, it is likely that your diamond is real.
If you cannot find any flaws in your diamond, it is most likely to be a fake diamond. Do all diamonds have flaws? No. Not all of them have flaws. There are diamonds that don’t have any flaws. These diamonds are either very expensive or lab-created.
5. Or Use a Loupe
Alternatively, you can also use a loupe. A loupe is a magnifying device often used by jewelers and jewelers to examine gemstones. Of course, that includes diamonds as well. How to tell if a diamond is real by using a loupe is similar to that of a magnifying glass. It uses the same principle: look for the flaws.
The difference is that a loupe allows you to see the minute details of the diamond up close better than a magnifying glass. Want to try this but don’t have a loop? If you don’t have a loupe, you can look them up online. There are plenty of good loupes at reasonable prices out there.
6. Using a Black Light
A black light can be used to determine if a diamond is real or fake. Obviously, you will need a black light for this one. After you get a black light, go to a room and turn off the lights. Then, place the diamond under a black light. Wait and see how it reacts.
How to tell if a diamond is real? Most real diamonds when placed under black light will reveal blue fluorescence. If you see a medium to strong blue color, your diamond is likely to be real. If you see a slight green, gray or yellow fluorescence instead, chances are your diamond is not real.
Keep in mind that although this test can give you a good idea about whether or not your diamond is real, it is not conclusive. Why? Because there are real diamonds that don’t reveal a blue fluorescence when placed under a black light.
7. Perform a Scratch Test
The scratch test was once a widely popular method to determine the level of hardness of a gemstone’s mineral. This test involves scratching a mirror and a gemstone. The gemstone is scraped along the mirror to see which one will get scratched.
Diamonds, being made of very strong materials, will scratch the mirror if put to the test. One thing to note is that fake diamonds (like cubic zirconia, moissanite, and black spinel) are durable and scratch-resistant. As such, using a mirror is not accurate in determining whether the diamond is real or fake.
There is another way to do the scratch test: using sandpaper. If you don’t want to scratch your diamond, skip this method. If you insist to test your diamond this way, prepare sandpaper. Rub the sandpaper’s gritty side against the diamond. If your diamond is real, it will not be affected by the sandpaper.
8. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real by Using Heat
A heat test can help you find out whether your diamond is real or not. To do the test, you will need to expose the diamond to an open but controlled flame for 30 to 45 seconds. Because this involves fire, you need to be careful when doing this test.
Use a tool (a pair of rubber-based tweezers, fire-proof gloves, or a set of players) that allows you to hold the diamond without getting a burn. Then, burn the diamond for 30 to 45 seconds. Once the heating time is over, immediately put the diamond in a container filled with cool water. Wait and see what happens.
How to tell if a diamond is real this way? Well, if the diamond is real, it will be left unscathed. Diamonds can withstand heat as they conduct and diffuse it evenly. Fake diamonds cannot withstand heat. The sudden switch from heat to cold will ruin them. Don’t try this test if you don’t want to ruin your diamond.
9. Reading Test
Yes, reading test. For the diamond, of course. As the name suggests, this involves reading through the diamond. Any diamond can be tested this way. This test is quite easy to do. Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a newspaper or any other paper with black text on it.
- Turn your diamond upside down.
- Look through the upside-down diamond and try to read the letters on the paper.
How to tell if a diamond is real? Easy. If your diamond is real, you will not be able to read through the words on the paper. If, however, you can read the letters on the paper (including if they are blurry), your diamond is fake.
10. The Dot Test
In case you don’t have any newspapers to use, try the dot test instead. Like the reading test, this test makes use of the refractive qualities of diamonds. Just get a white piece of paper and place it on a flat surface. Then, use a pen to draw a small dot and place the diamond on the dot with its flat side down.
How to tell if a diamond is real or not with this test? This is how: look down onto the white paper through the diamond’s pointed end. If you cannot see the dot or a reflection in the diamond, it is real. If you can see a circular reflection, then it is fake.
11. How Does It Sparkle?
How a gemstone reflects and refracts light can be a good indicator of its authenticity. Because of this, a sparkle test can determine whether the diamond of yours is real or fake. This test is typically accurate because the way a gemstone refracts light cannot be altered.
All you have to do is to hold the diamond under a normal lamp. Then, observe the sparkle of the diamond. Is the diamond provides an exceptional sparkle? Or does it give off a more rainbow of light? Take note of your diamond’s sparkle.
When exposed to light, real diamonds really sparkle. Fake diamonds, on the other hand, sparkless. You can tell if your diamond is real if the light reflection has shades of gray in it. If you see more iridescent colors instead, chances are your diamond is fake.
12. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real Using a Diamond Scale
A diamond scale is a great tool to identify the authenticity of diamonds. Not everyone has access to this tool, but you can be certain that your local gemologists or diamond jewelers will have it. A diamond scale is a very fine-tuned scale, capable of measuring small differences in weight.
To test the authenticity of your diamond, get a fake diamond with a similar size, and shape. Then, compare the weight of the two. If your diamond is real, it will weigh less than the fake one. This is because real diamonds weigh less than fake diamonds.
A fake diamond like cubic zirconia, for example, weighs approximately 55% more than a real diamond with a similar size, shape, and carat. A diamond scale allows you to see these minute differences in weight.
13. How to Tell If a Diamond Is Real using a Diamond Tester
A thermal conductivity probe, also known as the diamond tester, is a tool used by gemologists to determine a gemstone’s thermal conductivity. Real diamonds are excellent heat conductors as they can disperse heat rapidly immediately after being heated.
If your diamond disperses heat at a fast rate, it is likely to be real. If, however, it disperses heat at a slower rate, then it is fake. Keep in mind that synthetic moissanite stones can disperse heat at a similar or equal rate to real diamonds, so this test can be inconclusive when it comes to moissanites stones.
Now you know how to tell if a diamond is real. Most of the above is practical and easy to do. Do keep in mind that while these tests are useful, you should not regard them as conclusive or foolproof. If you want to be really certain, the best thing to do is to have a diamond expert check it for you.