It’s important to know what to look for in jewelry, especially if you’re investing a hefty sum on your dream diamond. And since diamonds are a girl’s best friend, it would be wise to get acquainted with the real deal and be able to distinguish them from stones that can fool the eyes.
You may not have an experienced eye yet, but if you start observing carefully now, you’ll get a good grasp of other gems used as diamond substitutes in the market. And who knows, maybe you just might save yourself or your girlfriend from purchasing a fake one in the future.
Below are a few ways to test if a diamond is authentic:
Scratches. Look closely on the surface of the diamond. If it’s dull from little nicks and scratches, then you don’t need to think twice. It’s fake. Remember, a diamond is the hardest natural stone. The only thing that can scratch or break it is another diamond. If the diamond can cut or scratch class, then it’s the real deal.
Transparency. In this test, your diamond should be real if you cannot clearly read newspaper text when you place the diamond on it. The text should be blurry. But then again, depending on the cut of a real diamond, you may still be able to clearly read the text. This is just one way to check if a diamond is real, you should still try other tests.
Sparkles. Diamonds are known to have high refractive index, which simply means it sharply bends the light that passes through it which creates that frosty sparkle. So if it sparkles more, your diamond could pass the test. In recent years, unfortunately, this test cannot be a strong basis to asses if your diamond is real. There are synthetic diamonds like moissanites that sparkle more than the real thing.
Take it to an Expert
To be able to distinguish a real diamond from moissanites, you should take the diamond to a jeweler who will shine a light through the stone and use a lens to examine it. The resulting light from a real diamond should be bright white, while a synthetic stone will project colored light.
When you take the diamond to a jeweler, he can put it under this special light. A fake diamond made of glass will not glow under UV light, a cubic zirconia will give off a yellow glow, while a real diamond will glow blue.
The Great Pretenders
Moissanite – This jewel is harder than stones such as emerald and ruby. It’s 10% more sparkly than a diamond and can also be quite expensive. It can cost about a third of the real thing.
Cubic Zirconia – It’s harder than most gemstones and sparkles more than crystal. This is the inexpensive counterpart of Moissanite and is widely used as a synthetic stone for bracelets, earrings, and pendants.
White Sapphire – Although commonly blue, sapphires can occur naturally in different colors like yellow and purple. White sapphire is rare, but since this jewel can be chemically treated and shaped to exhibit properties similar to diamonds, it has become a chic but cheap alternative to actual diamonds.
One way to avoid ending up with a fake one is to go directly to a reputable diamond dealer. But if you’re really interested in buying the diamond of your choice from a private party, always ask for a grading certificate or any proof that the diamond is authentic. If you’re still in doubt, have it double checked by a gemologist who can perform all the possible tests before you decide on buying it.
Author George S. is an advertising consultant for Brilliance Loose Diamonds and Fine Jewelry. He encourages consumers to raise awareness for Spotting Fake diamonds whenever there is an opportunity.