To anybody who doesn’t know much about diamonds, you may look at a cubic zirconia or moissanite stone, hold it next to the real thing and have no idea which stone is the diamond. If it’s a CZ, it will look far too perfect in clarity, but it will also lack the brilliance and scintillation of a real diamond.
If it’s moissanite, it could be much harder to tell because these guys do a much better job at the imitation game. These things are truly like the Benedict Cumberbatch of the diamond world. Let’s say that you were bequeathed a diamond ring from a relative. How do you know if it’s a real diamond ring? If it is, you may have something of real value on your hands. Just as easily, you could have a dud, and your dear old aunt may have gone to her grave not knowing that all her life she had been duped. Before you take the diamond to a jeweler, there are a few ways to spot a fake.
1. Look at the diamond under a loupe.
A loupe is a little magnifying glass, which magnifies objects to ten times their size – it’s that thing that jewelers use when peering into a gemstone. Under a loupe, a real diamond will have little imperfections – called inclusions. A diamond spends thousands of years forming in the middle of the Earth, so what can you expect? A fake diamond will be flawless under a loupe – it will also have curved edges and not rigid edges like a real diamond.
2. Breathe hot air onto the diamond.
Just like your breath on a window would fog up the glass, a fake diamond will fog up and stay fogged up for a few seconds. If you blow on your “diamond” and the heat disperses quickly, you have a real diamond on your hands. Because fake diamonds are more like glass, you’ll get more fog. It’s one of the simplest steps to take if you want to know if you have a fake rock or not.
3. Use sandpaper to test the diamond’s strength.
Diamonds are one of the strongest things on earth – they are pretty much indestructible. However, fake diamonds are not. If you take sandpaper to the rock and you get some abrasions, you have a fake diamond. A real diamond will show absolutely no abrasions. In fact, a real diamond will be the one abrading the sandpaper. It may be a little daunting to take a piece of sandpaper to something that may be worth a lot of money, but there’s nothing to worry about if it is, indeed, a real diamond.
4. Hold the stone up to a light.
Another great test to find out if you are dealing with a fake is to hold the stone up to a light. Under a light, a real diamond will do all sorts of crazy things. For one thing, it will sparkle grey and white on the inside of the diamond – this is known as brilliance. On the outside, the diamond will give off a rainbow – this is called fire, or scintillation. A fake diamond, on the other hand, will give off a rainbow on the inside.
5. Bring your diamond to a jeweler for a final test.
Of course, you also want to bring your diamond into a jeweler to have the official word from a professional. If it is a real diamond, a professional jeweler will be able to have the stone appraised and certificated so that you can know exactly how much that bad boy is worth. In the end, if you decide to sell your diamond, you’ll want to go through a professional diamond broker, like North American Diamond Brokers, all of our employees are GIA graduate gemologists who are known for their comprehensive expert consultation.