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How would you know if a diamond is real?

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Most people turn to a professional jeweler to sort out if their stone is real or fake. But there are some easy home experiments to know if you are dealing with the real or not. Thus, if you are skeptical of a gift you’ve received or would just want to be sure about the stone’s authenticity before the purchase – here is what you can do.  

Natural gems with a strong resemblance to real diamonds are colorless sapphire, colorless topaz, and colorless zircon. Some are lab-created like YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet), GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet), CZ (synthetic cubic zirconia), and synthetic moissanite that look like real diamonds to the average person.

We talked to Emily from Fergusjames.com, a diamond ring designer in Dubai, and here’s what she has to say: 

Mounted and Loose Diamonds

A real diamond will never get set on cheap metals. They mostly get set in a material like white gold, platinum, yellow gold rings in pave or side-stone setting, and halo settings. Check for the stamps engraved on the underside of the ring, notes like (10K, 14K, 18K, 585, 750, 900, 950) shows gold and PT represent platinum while C.Z stands for cubic zirconium which is synthetic and not a real diamond. If the ring material is fake, there is a greater chance that the diamond is fake as well.

Fog Test

Put the stone in front of your mouth and fog it like you would a mirror. If it stays fogged for a couple of seconds, it’s probably a fake — a real diamond disperses the heat from your breath instantaneously and won’t fog up easily. Even if you wait in between fogging it up and looking at it, it will still clear much faster than a fake. This is certainly the easiest and most convenient test you could find!

Water test

Similarly, a quick and easy test is the water test – except that no salesman would allow you to dip their jewelry in water. Try this test at home. Drop the stone in a glass of water and see if it sinks to the bottom. Due to its high density, a real diamond will sink. A fake one will float at the top or underneath the surface.

Heat Up the Stone

This is a more dramatic test compared to the others. Make sure you’re taking the appropriate safety precautions before you begin. Heat up a suspect stone with a lighter for 30 seconds, then drop it straight into a glass of cold water. The rapid expansion and contraction will overwhelm the tensile strength of weaker materials like glass or quartz, causing the stone to shatter from the inside. A real diamond is strong enough that nothing will happen.

Black Light

Many (but not all) diamonds will exhibit blue fluorescence under ultraviolet or black light, so the presence of a medium to strong blue confirms that it is real. The absence of blue, however, does not mean a stone is necessarily fake; some diamonds do not fluoresce under UV light. Very slight green, yellow, or gray fluorescence under ultraviolet light may indicate that the stone is moissanite. This test is convenient and effective, thus it’s used by most diamond owners and sellers.

Refractions 

Diamonds sharply bend or refract, the light that passes through them, resulting in their strikingly brilliant appearance. Stones like glass and quartz sparkle less because they have a lower refractive index. A stone’s brilliance is difficult to alter in any way, even with an expert cut, because it’s an inherent property of the stone. Subtler diamonds like rose, emerald, and most vintage diamonds do not have the typical fire and light flashes – but these diamonds are real too. They are just cut differently, causing lesser refractive surfaces and subsequently lesser scintillations. 

Observe for Reflections

A real diamond’s reflections usually show up in various shades of gray. Look straight down through the top of the diamond. If you see rainbow reflections, you’re either dealing with a low-quality diamond or a fake one.

Get an X-ray Examination

Diamonds have a radiolucent molecular structure, which means that they don’t appear in x-ray images. So the next time you go for your medical check-up make sure that you take your diamond ring with you as well!

In conclusion, finding a fake or real diamond shouldn’t be a problem. These simple experiments can be easily performed anywhere!

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