3 simple ways to tell if a diamond is real or not
As the diamond industry is getting bigger and bigger, it can be very useful to know some tips and tricks about testing the properties of the gemstones and knowing for sure that the diamonds are authentic – how they should look and shine and what are the qualities of a real diamond.
Here are three simple ways of discovering if a diamond is authentic and how valuable it is.
Refractivity refers to a diamond’s ability to bounce, bend and refract light. Real diamonds have the ability of sharply refracting the light that passes through them, the result being their strikingly brilliant appearance. In contrast, stones with a lower refractive index, like glass and quartz, have a reduced sparkle. It is important to know that the power of a stone’s brilliance is an inherent property of it, so it is difficult to alter it in any way, even if it’s about the manufacture of a cutting expert. So, observing the stone’s refractive index by taking a close look through the gem, you could have a firm opinion regarding its authenticity and be able to distinguish the real diamonds from the fake ones.
Given the refracting property, there are two methods for testing real diamonds:
First step is to make sure that the diamond is clean. Then, it should be turned upside down and placed on its flat side, with the pavilion facing up, in a section of the newspaper with a lot of lettering. One of the conditions for this test to be reliable, is the area to be well illuminated in order to have bright lighting. Another one is that there are no objects which may be casting a shadow over the diamond or the newspaper.
If you are able to read through the gem, even if there is a slight blur , or you can see distorted black smudges, probably the stone isn’t a diamond , or it is a fake one. A real diamond will refract the light in multiple directions from its various facets instead of a straight line, bending the light so sharply that you wouldn’t be able to make out the print. This powerful refraction is preventing you from clearly seeing through the diamond and to read the lettering.
The dot test also examines the refractive properties of a gemstone. Start the test by drawing a small dot on a piece of white paper placed on a flat surface. Lay down the stone on its flat side over the dot’s centre and ensure the area is well lit with no shadowing. Through the pointed end of the diamond, look directly down to the paper. If what you see is a circular reflection of the dot inside the gemstone, then this gemstone is not a real diamond. Through real diamonds the dot shouldn’t be seen at all nor reflect circularly.
Similar to the case of the newspaper test, the powerful refractive properties of a natural diamond will allow the light to bounce in different directions, and this is why you will not see the dot through the diamond.
One-of-a-kind sparkles that give real diamonds the stunning look consist in the unique and special capacity that this precious gemstone has for reflecting the light. The inside of an authentic diamond sparkles in gray and white, while the outside should reflect all colours, like a rainbow, onto other surfaces. Otherwise, a different stone or one that intends to imitate diamonds, would reflect a lot of colours onto their surface.
Being also known as “the sparkle test”, observing the way diamonds are reflecting is an easy method of testing if your jewellery carries one real diamond or not. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of the optical properties of a diamond, as well as helping to indicate whether the diamond is a genuine, natural diamond or not. The results will be the same for both a lab-grown diamond and a mine one.
How can you actually take this test? By simply holding the diamond beneath a light source, for example a lamp, and examine how the light reflects off from the diamond. If there is a white, blinking quality of the diamond, named scintillation, and the reflections of rainbow light, then you can be sure that you are possessing a real diamond.
Of course, the best way to perform this test is having a point of comparison, in order to be more relevant. For instance, you can try this test with a cubic zirconia too and compare the results with the diamond. This way, you will be able to identify the striking differences between the two different gemstones.
Taking into consideration that the price of real diamonds is a lot higher, it goes without saying that they are being set only in qualitative jewellery, such as valuable materials like platinum, white gold, rosé or yellow gold. This information can be a starting point in testing the authenticity of a diamond, in case it is already placed in a ring. You can simply check the type of mount that’s been used. To determine if the setting is truly as it is described, look inside the ring’s centre for markings.
The markings PT and carat are references for platinum, while notes such as 10K, 14K, and 18K indicate the type of gold that was used. If there are numbers like 585, 770, 900, and 950, these are also indicators for precious metal being used like platinum or gold. If you see a “C.Z” marking, it means that the gemstone used is actually cubic zirconia and not a real diamond. If there are any markings for silver such as 925, there’s a lot of chance of it being a fake diamond, as silver is not so expensive and it is not plausible that real diamonds are set on it.
The tests above can be used to check diamonds’ authenticity, though, because of the complexity of synthetic gemstone materials, the best way to find out if a diamond is real or not is to consult a diamond expert or a jeweller to review it properly. Experts are well-trained , and they can never be wrong in analysing a diamond’s authenticity.