Real Diamonds: How To Tell if a Diamond is Real
Are you thinking about buying diamond jewelry? Whether you're shopping for yourself or a loved one, it's important to know what you're looking for. Diamonds are one of those things that people want to be sure they're buying the real thing—and with good reason! The last thing you want is to spend a lot of money on something that turns out not to be worth the cost.
So how do you tell if your diamond is real? It's actually easier than you think! While there are plenty of tests that professionals and jewelers can do, here are some simple tips you can use at home to ensure you're getting the real deal.
One way to identify whether a diamond is natural is by looking at its luster. Luster refers to the way light reflects off the surface of a diamond. If you hold your diamond up against a mirror and can see your reflection clearly in it, then it's likely your diamond has good luster. However, if there are dark spots where you can't see your reflection clearly, this could indicate your diamond has poor luster and therefore isn't real.
- Lightly colored diamonds, like white and yellow, have low luster. These diamonds have a dull finish and appear cloudy or milky when you look at them.
- Darker-colored diamonds, like brown or black, have high luster because they are polished to remove inclusions (blemishes) and make the surface appear smooth. These diamonds sparkle more than lighter ones do because they reflect more light off their surfaces.
A diamond’s color is rated on a scale of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Most natural diamonds are graded between J and M. The closer the grade is to D, the whiter it will be. Because most people prefer a white diamond over any other color, this is what you’ll find in most jewelry stores. Canary diamonds are a deep yellow and go beyong the D to Z scale.
Diamonds come in many colors and hues, from colorless (D-F) to faint t yellow (H) to very light yellow (I-J). Colorless diamonds are rare, so they can be expensive. If you want a white diamond, but don’t have a big budget, try looking for one with an I or J grade instead of an F or G grade.
The most important factor in determining a diamond’s quality is reflection. Reflection refers to the amount of light that bounces off the surface of a diamond, which allows you to see it. The more light, the better your diamond’s reflection will be—and therefore its overall appearance. A good rule for determining if you have a high-quality stone is to look at how intense and pure your stone’s color appears when compared to other diamonds of similar size and clarity grade.
If you want to get an even better idea of how much light will bounce off your diamond, try holding it up to a mirror or window. You should see slightly blurred images of yourself in your reflection, which indicates that there is a lot of light reflecting off your stone.
You can also test this by holding up another gemstone next to or above your diamond. If you can see their reflections clearly, then yours should be even clearer, because it reflects more light than theirs does!
Weight is an essential factor in determining the authenticity of your diamond, whether you weigh it yourself or someone else is doing it for you. Diamonds are heavy because they're made of carbon, and carbon atoms are tightly packed together in a diamond's structure—so tightly packed that they make up over 90% of its mass!
If you have a choice between two identical-looking stones, one being denser than the other (which means more atoms per unit volume), then chances are good that the denser one is an authentic diamond, while the less dense one isn't.
To test for a diamond, you can use a bit of water. When the diamond is exposed to moisture, it will fog up. This is because diamonds are hydrophobic and have a high rate of absorption for carbon dioxide gas when placed in water. If the stone doesn’t fog up at all, then it is not a real diamond. However, if it fogs up on any part of the stone and stays that way after you remove your finger from the surface, then you know that this is an authentic natural-born diamond!
The same concept applies to other gemstones, as well as tungsten carbide or cubic zirconia (CZs). The only difference here would be that CZs do not react like real diamonds when they contact with water, so they won't visibly fog up when exposed to moisture. Most other gemstones react similarly by producing bubbles, or even become opaque under certain conditions, depending on how much oxygen exists around them.
Hardness & Durability
Diamonds have the highest hardness of all natural minerals, with a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamonds are therefore harder than most other gemstones; sapphires and rubies are almost as hard as diamonds. This means they have a high resistance to scratches and can withstand many blows without damaging their surface. In fact, if you were to drop your diamond onto concrete from a height of one meter (3 feet), there would be only an extremely small chance it would suffer any damage at all.
To determine whether a stone is a diamond, you can test its hardness by rubbing it against something with a lower rating on the Mohs scale. If your stone scratches or dents your testing material, then it's likely not a diamond!
Diamonds also tend to be durable when exposed to extreme temperatures or conditions, such as heat or cold, which are often used in jewelry manufacturing processes, such as casting and polishing.
The Thermal Conductivity Test
The thermal conductivity test is a quick way to tell if a diamond is real. A thermal conductivity test measures the heat conductivity of a diamond and can quickly determine whether it's genuine. One method involves placing two or three drops of water on your diamond. If it sinks into the stone, it's likely not real. If it floats on top, however, your jewel may be authentic!
When you drop water onto your diamond, if it sinks into the stone, that means there are imperfections in its structure, and therefore less thermal conductivity than in an authentic diamond. The water will spread across these imperfections and create a thin layer at the surface of your stone—this is what allows for floating rather than sinking!
So what does this mean? It means diamonds with low thermal conductivity will sink in water, and those with high thermal conductivity will float! If you're looking at buying a new diamond ring or necklace, but aren't sure if it's real or not, try this simple trick at home before committing to anything!
Diamond Tester/Crystal Tester
A diamond tester is a small device that can be used to test the authenticity of a diamond. The most common type of tester is the crystal tester, which uses a small light that shines through your stone and determines whether the stone is pure carbon. If it’s not pure carbon—and only diamonds are—then it will appear different under the light, and you can tell that it’s not an authentic diamond.
The problem with these testers is that they don’t work on all types of stones. Some crystals can pass through without being detected by these testers, so they aren’t always reliable. These testers are available in all of our jewelry stores, and they’re very simple to use, and can also detect lab grown diamonds
UV Light Check
How to tell if a diamond is real? Another way to spot a possible fake is by using UV light. Diamonds are made of carbon, and when UV light hits them, they may fluoresce. If you shine a black light on your diamond, and it glows, it is likely a real diamond. If it doesn’t glow, it may still be real, but you should look into further testing.
This method isn't foolproof—some fakes can be made to fluoresce, but most won't. Most experts recommend this method as a last resort, because it's easy to mess up and blow your cover.
The Fire Test
If you’re serious about finding out whether your diamond is real or fake, you can put the stone through a fire test. Use a lighter to light the stone for approximately 30 seconds, before dropping it in cold water. If it’s a real diamond, the stone will remain unharmed, but if it’s fake, it will shatter to pieces. This will happen, as weaker materials cannot handle the rate at which the materials expand and then contract due to the heat of the fire.
In conclusion, it's important to remember that not all diamonds are created equal, and it takes a trained eye to recognize the real thing. Natural diamonds will cost more than their synthetic counterparts, but they're worth it for their beauty, durability, and value.
If you're looking for a diamond that won't break the bank but still has an authentic look and feel, then a natural diamond is for you!
In doubt if your diamond is real? You can bring it into London Gold for inspection and testing. If it is a larger diamond over .5 carats, we can also help send your diamond to an internationally recognized lab for certification.