How To Spot Fake Diamonds
Real diamonds are notoriously expensive. This has created a thriving market for look-alike stones that mimic diamonds closely. High-leaded glass, cubic zirconia, and moissanite are popular stones that can pass for diamonds. If you’re not sure what kind of stone you have, try these tests to see if it’s a real diamond.
Examine the Diamond Under Magnification
Looking at the stone through magnification will help you identify any flaws. In a diamond, these small imperfections are known as inclusions. While people naturally look for diamonds with as few inclusions as possible, it’s nearly impossible to find a diamond that’s truly perfect. Therefore, the absence of inclusions nearly always indicates a fake diamond.
A loupe is a specialized magnification device that’s used by jewelers to get a close look at precious stones. Loupes are conical in shape and don’t have a handle like an ordinary magnifying glass. A loupe can easily provide the magnification that you need to start looking for inclusions. You can also use it to examine the stone for changes in color and flakes of minerals. A regular magnifying glass can help you do the job as well if you can’t get your hands on a loupe.
In rare cases, a real diamond may be flawless. If this is the case, you have a very valuable stone in your hands. If you believe that you’re in possession of a flawless diamond, you should have it inspected by a professional jeweler so you can properly value and insure it.
Look at the Diamond Under a Black Light
Most diamonds will reflect a blue light when examined under a black light. You must turn off all other lights and place the diamond under a black light only to perform this test. If the stone glows blue, it’s a real diamond. A green, yellow, or gray glow usually means that the diamond is fake. If you don’t see a noticeable glow or find that the color is very faint, the test is inconclusive. This is not a foolproof way to identify a fake diamond, so you should pair this test with several others for more informative results.
Test the Diamond With Water
Water is one of the simplest and most accessible tools to test a diamond with. This test is quick and easy and will help identify some, but not all, fakes. Drop the diamond into a glass of water and see if it sinks or floats. A stone that floats is always a fake. A real diamond is so dense that it will sink to the bottom. However, not all stones that sink are diamonds. Continue with further tests and examinations to learn more about the likelihood that you have a real diamond.
Fog Up the Diamond
Condensation shouldn’t stick to the surface of a real diamond. Therefore, you can often spot a fake simply by breathing on the stone and fogging it up with your breath. Since diamonds conduct heat efficiently, they don’t stay foggy for long. A real diamond will fog up momentarily, but clear quickly. If your stone stays foggy for several seconds, it’s likely a fake diamond.
Inspect the Diamond’s Setting
Real diamonds are too precious to set in something like sterling silver. Diamonds are nearly always set in gold or platinum. The inside of the ring may give you some clues as to the material that you’re looking at. A karat marking like 10K, 14K, or 18K will tell you how pure the gold is. A marking that reads “PT” or “Plat” refers to platinum. Other markings you might find on these precious metals include numbers such as 770 or 900.
A marking that reads “CZ” clearly denotes that the stone in the ring is cubic zirconia and not a diamond. If you don’t find any markings at all, this can be another indicator that you have a fake diamond. To verify the metal used for the stone, you can speak with a qualified jeweler.
See If the Stone Shatters
This is a risky test and one that you should only use if you don’t want to preserve the stone if it’s a fake. Hold the stone in a flame using a set of pliers for about 40 seconds, then drop it into a glass of cold water. This forces the stone to expand under the heat of the flame and quickly contract in the cool temperature of the water.
Glass or cubic zirconium will shatter when exposed to these conditions. They’re not strong enough to withstand the stress of the fast expansion and contraction. Diamonds can resist such a test and should not be affected by the changing temperature.
Look Through the Diamond
A real diamond is powerfully refractive. This means that the stone will bend light, making it difficult to look through. If you have a loose diamond, you can test it by laying it on a piece of newspaper or the page of a book. If you’re able to look through the stone and still clearly see the letters, it’s probably not a real diamond. A true diamond should make it too difficult to see the print. You can also use this test with just a dot on a piece of paper. If you can see the entirety of the circular dot, your diamond is likely fake.
Consult With a Professional
The only reliable way to know if you have a fake diamond is to have a professional jeweler examine it for you. This way you’ll not only find out if the stone is real or fake, but you’ll also learn more about its properties and what it’s really worth. Even real diamonds vary greatly from one to the next. An experienced jeweler will let you know what kind of quality and value your stone has.
Our professionals at Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers can conclusively identify real diamonds and let you know if you have a fake. If you’re interested in selling your diamonds, we’ll be happy to make you an offer and help put some cash in your pocket quickly. Contact us to learn more about identifying or selling your diamond.
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