Last Updated on 12/02/2020 by Wit Sudjaiampun
Last Updated on 06/03/2020 by Wit Sudjaiampun
3 reliable ways to tell if a diamond is real
How to tell if a diamond is real or fake? The answer is very simple but what is harder than that is to determine how beautiful a real diamond is.
Many have wondered “How do I tell if a diamond is real” before.
If buying a real diamond engagement ring stands for love and stability, then, does a fake diamond ring mean false love and unfaithfulness?
What would you do if you found out later that the engagement ring you bought is worth only a fraction of what you paid – because it is fake?
You and I, what we have in common is that we both do not like being deceived.
But in real life, some merchants are not faithful to their customers. They sell fake diamonds at a lowered price but they tell you that the diamond is real. That is why, before buying a diamond, you should do some research on where you should buy said diamond.
To protect yourself from being cheated when you buy diamonds, I will advise you on how to tell if a diamond is real or not. These techniques can be used to ensure that what you will receive is appropriate to the amount you pay.
How to Tell if a Diamond is Real in 3 Situations:
- Larger diamonds that are over 0.18ct.
- Smaller loose diamonds that have not been set.
- Diamonds that have been set.
How to Tell if a Diamond is Real? – Larger Diamonds
In buying an expensive and large-sized diamond, I count this as a “High Engagement Purchase” that needs time to consider the purchase. It could take days to weeks, and so a good merchant will give you time to decide – they should not rush you to immediately make the purchase.
Telling if a diamond is real or not is very easy. That is because nowadays, most of the diamonds over 0.30ct will likely come with a certification from an institution. If you know that your specific diamond has a certification, I can give you 2 easy steps to verify if the diamond is real or not.
- 1. Ask for Certifications from GIA/HRD/IGI
Before you make the purchase, ask the shop if they will provide certification. Generally, diamond stores will be able to find certifications from reliable institutions such as GIA, HRD, and IGI for you. They are renowned institutions and are widely accepted in the diamond business.
You should ensure that the certification is actually from a lab, not just a certification the shop has produced by themself. Many shops will create their own certifications to value their diamonds higher than what they are worth. In other words, they are tricking you.
- 2. Check the Edge of the Diamond for Laser Inscriptions
For checking real diamonds with GIA certifications, I advise you to bring a 10x magnifier. You can check the diamond’s 10-digits laser inscription by viewing the edges through the magnifier. Those 10-digits laser inscription must match the numbers on the certification that you have in your hand, to make sure that they are matching.
This method works best on diamonds that have a prong setting because the diamond is lifted from the ring and so it is easy to see the laser inscriptions through a magnifier.
This method does not work for diamonds that have channel settings because their edges will be hidden inside, thus viewing it is not possible. So when you ask yourself “How to tell if a diamond is real?”, you will also know what type of setting that diamond has so you will be able to choose an appropriate method.
How to Tell if a Diamond is Real? – Smaller Diamonds
Checking diamonds of smaller sizes such as 0.01ct-0.02 might be a bit too difficult, as even the experts will have to fully concentrate all of their attention on checking the diamond with a 10x magnifier.
That is why I will offer you easy “common sense” methods with some combinations of technology (if you can get your hands on said technology) to check if that small diamond is real – or fake.
- 1. Place the Diamond on a Ballpoint Pen Ink (Dot Test)
This is the easiest method of verifying the diamond. All you have to do is draw a dot on a white piece of paper with a blue ballpoint pen ink, then you will place the diamond face down onto the dot.
Real, natural round shape diamonds will have a total of 58 facets – that means that the ink will be reflected in all directions and so you will not be able to see the dot at all.
As for the case of artificial diamonds (a.k.a. fake) or Cubic Zirconia (CZ), you will be able to see the ink clearly as if you have placed a piece of glass over it.
- 2. Weighing It (Precision Test)
If you have the chance to visit the diamond store, you might be able to ask them to help you weigh the diamond. Weighing the diamond will give you a rough knowledge of if that diamond is real or fake.
A 1 carat diamond weights around 0.20 grams but 1 carat CZ will have around twice the weight of a real diamond which is around 0.40 grams.
This might not be the best method to check if a diamond is real if your diamond is not exactly 1 carat or in cases that you are not sure how much your diamond weighs.
- 3. Diamond Tester
Few will have the opportunity to use the diamond tester if they are outsiders to this industry but this tool is quite a reliable one. It is used for testing if a diamond is real or not.
Previous models of the diamond tester will measure the electrical and thermal conductivity of the diamond. If the diamond tester was one of the more advanced models, it will also measure the diamond’s reflectiveness.
If you can, you should test both the electrical and thermal conductivity of the diamond because fake diamonds made from “Moissanite” will have the same thermal conductivity as a real diamond but its electrical conductivity will differ.
If you are curious and have the desire to check if your diamond is real or fake. I recommend you to test it with a diamond tester with light indication and stability to relative humidity.
How to Tell if a Diamond is Real? – Set Diamonds
Checking a diamond that has been set into a casing by using the methods mentioned above will be quite difficult. So let us use an easier method, the effectiveness of these methods may entirely depend on experience. If you have had the opportunity for many diamond viewings, it will not be difficult for you.
- 1. Check for Scratches
Before all else, I must warn you – you should never intentionally scratch the diamond on anyone if you do not want your diamond to be damaged without cause. It does not matter if your accessory is made from real diamonds or fake diamonds.
If you have some older diamond accessories which have been kept away in a closet, take it out and look for scratches. If it is a CZ diamond that has been worn regularly, there will certainly be scratches.
If the diamond is real, there will be no scratches. That is because diamond is the hardest material according to science. That fact is the origin of the proverb “Diamonds cut diamonds” because that is the only way a diamond can be scratched – by another diamond.
- 2. The Breath Test
Real diamonds have good thermal conductivity and so they do not retain heat. If you blow hot air on the diamond – similar to how you would fog up a mirror, it will fog up for only a moment, then it will return to normal.
But because Moissanite has similar thermal conductivity to a diamond, this method is not considered to be the best way of testing your diamonds.
- 3. 10x Magnifier (Loupe)
The best method, which has been used by experts for a long time, is using a 10x loupe (can also be used to check monk amulets). Not only will you be able to check if the diamond is real or fake, but you will also be able to check the quality of the diamond by solely relying on your professional experience.
Generally, once magnified, you will be able to see a double line on the facets of the diamonds if they are fake or made from Moissanite.
In addition to that, if you magnify the edge of a real diamond, you will be able to see a texture similar to ice. You might also see coarse grains on the edges. This shows the true natural surface of a diamond. CZ, if magnified, will show a smooth surface – because it is artificially created by humans.
Conclusion: It Is Easy to Tell if a Diamond Is Real or Fake
Knowledge of diamonds is something that requires extensive experience and dedication in studying it. That is because diamonds come in a variety of grades and shapes – some things are harder to teach than others.
What is even more difficult than differentiating between real and fake diamonds is seeing the true value of a diamond – of how beautiful and valuable it is.
Other than that, most diamonds you will encounter from common diamond shops will have been set onto a casing and so experience in checking the clarity and color of the diamond is crucial for determining the value of the diamond.
If you are the average diamond buyer who has not had extensive experience in checking diamonds, you can use the methods I have recommended to you in the sections above and try them out on your diamonds.
If you are still not sure, you can have a close-by pawnshop to help you verify your diamond as well.
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