Our guide to ensuring your diamond is 100% real and the importance of Diamond Certification.
Diamonds are one of the most coveted gemstones in the world. They are known for their unparalleled beauty, durability, and high value. Unfortunately, the demand for diamonds has also given rise to the production of fake diamonds, which are made to mimic the look of real diamonds. These fake diamonds can be difficult to distinguish from real diamonds, especially to the untrained eye. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key characteristics that can help you spot a fake diamond, whether you are buying jewellery or simply trying to determine the authenticity of a diamond you already own.
Allure Jewellers only sell authentic, certified diamonds which have been fully appraised by our in-house diamond experts and we work hard to remove fake diamonds from circulation. By the end of this post, you will be better equipped to identify the telltale signs of a fake diamond and make informed decisions about your diamond purchases.
At home Tests to Authenticate a Diamond
If you are looking to purchase a diamond for a piece of jewellery such as an engagement ring, it's important to ensure that you're getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, there are many fake diamonds out there that can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. While professional diamond testing is the most reliable way to ensure the authenticity of a diamond, there are also a number of at-home tests that can help you determine whether a diamond is real or fake. These tests do have some limitations so undertake these to get an idea or confirm any suspicion you have before taking it to a professional for accurate testing.
Check for Imperfections
Real diamonds are not perfect; they have imperfections, such as inclusions or blemishes, that can be seen under a microscope. However, fake diamonds are often flawless and have no imperfections. If you're looking at a diamond that appears to be too perfect, it's either a very high quality diamond or likely a simulated diamond or fake stone.
The Fog Test
The fog test is a simple way to determine if a diamond is real or fake. Hold the diamond in front of your mouth and breathe on it. If the diamond remains foggy for a few seconds, it's likely a fake diamond. Real diamonds disperse heat quickly and won't hold onto moisture.
The Weight Test
The weight test is one of the most straightforward ways to determine the authenticity of a diamond. The basic principle behind this test is that real diamonds are denser than fake diamonds, which means that they will weigh more for their size. To perform this test, you will need a diamond scale or a jeweller's loupe that can measure the weight of a diamond. Start by weighing the diamond and recording the weight. Next, consult a diamond weight chart or a diamond carat calculator to determine whether the weight of your diamond is consistent with its size and shape. If the weight seems significantly lower than it should be, it could be a sign that the diamond is fake. However, it's important to note that this test should be used in conjunction with other tests to confirm the authenticity of a diamond, as some fake diamonds may have been intentionally cut to a specific weight to mimic the weight of a real diamond.
The Scratch Test
The scratch test is a popular method for testing the authenticity of a diamond. It involves scratching the surface of the diamond with a harder material to determine if it leaves any marks. As diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, they should not be scratched by any other material. To perform this test, you will need to rub the diamond against a piece of rough material, such as sandpaper, ceramic plate or glass, and observe the results. If the diamond leaves any marks or residue on the material, it could indicate it is fake. However, it is important to exercise caution when performing this test as it can cause damage to the diamond if done incorrectly and be very careful not to recommend this test on diamonds that are not yours as you could cause damage to someone else's property.
The Water Test
The water test is a simple and effective method for testing the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that diamonds have a high density, which means that they will sink in water. To perform the test, fill a glass with water and carefully drop the diamond into the glass. If the diamond sinks to the bottom, it is likely to be a real diamond. If it floats or remains suspended in the water, it is likely to be a fake. However, it's worth noting that this test isn't always conclusive, as some fake diamonds are made with materials that have a similar density to real diamonds, causing them to sink. Therefore, it's important to use this test in conjunction with other tests to confirm the authenticity of a diamond. Make sure the diamond is not set into metal either as the metal or ring mount will cause its weight and density to be greater than a diamond and it is likely to sink anyway.
Check for Hallmarks / Mount Quality
Checking for hallmarks and mount quality is an essential step in ensuring the authenticity of a diamond. A hallmark is a stamp or mark on the metal of a piece of jewellery that indicates the purity of the metal, and it can be used to verify the authenticity of a diamond. Look for hallmarks that indicate the type of metal used, such as 18K or 14K for gold or 925 for silver. The mount, or setting, of the diamond can also be an indicator of its authenticity. A real diamond is likely to be set in a high-quality metal, such as gold or platinum, whereas a fake diamond may be set in a lower-quality metal, such as brass or copper. Additionally, examine the mount for signs of wear or damage, as a poorly made or damaged mount may be an indication that the diamond is not authentic. In any case, it's always recommended to have a professional diamond appraisal and to purchase from a reputable jeweler to ensure that you're getting a genuine diamond.
The Heat Test
The heat test is another method used to determine the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that real diamonds are highly resistant to heat, whereas fake diamonds are not. To perform the test, heat up a metal point, such as a needle or paperclip, using a lighter or a candle flame, and then touch the hot metal point to the diamond for a few seconds. Be sure to use caution and avoid touching the metal to the diamond's surface as it can damage the stone. If the diamond is real, it will not be affected by the heat and should not show any signs of damage. However, if the diamond is a fake, it will likely be damaged by the heat and may even shatter. Alternatively heat the diamond with a lighter, be sure to wear fireproof gloves, and when it is sufficiently hot, drop it into a glass of cold water. You could use a pair of tweezers or tongs to hold the hot diamond. When the diamond is rapidly cooled in the cold water it should stay intact if it is genuine. If the stone is fake or made from other materials, it can shatter.
While these tests can be effective, it is not recommended to try it at home as it can damage the diamond and is best left to professionals. Additionally, it's important to use multiple tests in conjunction with each other to confirm the authenticity of a diamond.
UV Light Test
The UV test is a simple and effective way to check the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that diamonds tend to glow blue under ultraviolet (UV) light, while many fake diamonds do not. To perform the test, you will need a UV light source, which can be purchased online. Shine the UV light on the diamond and observe the colour of the light that it emits. If the diamond glows blue, it is likely to be a real diamond. If it does not emit any light or glow a different colour, it may be a fake diamond. However, it's important to note that not all diamonds will fluoresce under UV light, and some fake diamonds may have been treated to fluoresce under UV light. Therefore, again it is recommended to have a professional diamond appraisal to ensure that you're making an informed purchase.
Test Diamonds Using Reflectivity and Refraction
Using reflectivity and refraction is another way to test the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that diamonds have unique optical properties that cause them to reflect and refract light in a specific way. To perform the test, hold the diamond under a bright light source and observe how it reflects and refracts the light. A real diamond will reflect light in a bright, rainbow-coloured pattern, known as "fire," while also displaying sharp, well-defined edges when viewed from different angles. Additionally, a diamond will refract light, causing it to bend as it passes through the stone, resulting in a noticeable "sparkle." In contrast, a fake diamond may have duller, less defined edges, and may not display the same level of fire or sparkle. However, it's essential to note that some high-quality fake diamonds may also have excellent reflectivity and refraction, making this test less reliable.
Newspaper or Book Read through Test
The newspaper or book read-through test is another simple way to test the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that diamonds have a high level of refractivity, which causes them to bend light as it passes through them. To perform the test, place the diamond on top of a newspaper or a book and try to read through the diamond. If the letters appear distorted or doubled, it's a sign that the diamond is real. A fake diamond, on the other hand, will not have the same level of refractivity, and the letters will appear clearer when viewed through the stone.
The Dot Test
The dot test is a simple and effective way to test the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that real diamonds refract light differently than fake diamonds, creating a unique pattern of dots when viewed through a jeweller's loupe. To perform the test, place the diamond face down on a piece of white paper with its culet (bottom point) facing up. Using a jeweler's loupe, observe the diamond's table (top surface) and look for a series of small black dots that resemble a pattern of arrows. If you see these dots, it's a sign that the diamond is likely real. However, if you don't see any dots or the pattern looks different, it may be a fake diamond.
The Sparkle test
The sparkle test is a quick and easy way to test the authenticity of a diamond. This test is based on the fact that real diamonds are known for their exceptional ability to reflect light, creating a sparkling effect that's hard to replicate with a fake diamond. To perform the test, hold the diamond under a bright light source and observe how it reflects the light. A real diamond will create a dazzling, intense sparkle that's hard to miss, while a fake diamond may appear duller and less reflective. Additionally, real diamonds will have a consistent sparkle that remains constant as the diamond moves, while fake diamonds may have a more inconsistent, choppy sparkle.
Expert Techniques to authenticate your Diamond
While at-home tests can be helpful in detecting fake diamonds, there are several expert techniques that professionals use to test the authenticity of a diamond. These techniques often require specialised equipment, knowledge, and expertise, making them more reliable and accurate than at-home tests. Some of these techniques include spectroscopy, X-ray imaging, and thermal conductivity testing, which can provide detailed information about a diamond's chemical composition and internal structure. Additionally, experts may use professional loupes or microscopes to examine a diamond's facets and inclusions, allowing them to identify even the smallest discrepancies that could indicate a fake diamond. These expert techniques are essential for diamond dealers, appraisers, and gemologists who need to accurately determine a diamond's authenticity and value.
Using a Loupe Magnifier to Inspect the Diamond
Using a loupe magnifier is a common technique used by professionals to inspect a diamond and determine its authenticity. A loupe is a small, handheld magnifying glass that allows you to view a diamond at a high magnification, making it easier to spot any imperfections or irregularities that could indicate a fake diamond. By examining the diamond's facets and inclusions with a loupe, experts can assess its clarity, color, and cut quality, which are important factors in determining a diamond's value. Additionally, experts may use a microscope to inspect the diamond at an even higher magnification, allowing them to see even the smallest details that may be invisible to the naked eye. While at-home tests can be helpful, using a loupe magnifier is a crucial technique for professionals who need to accurately evaluate a diamond's authenticity and value.
Use a Diamond tester to check for Thermal Conductivity
Using a diamond tester is a reliable and accurate way to test the thermal conductivity of a diamond and determine its authenticity. A diamond tester works by measuring how quickly a diamond conducts heat, which is a unique characteristic of real diamonds that can't be replicated by fake diamonds. To perform the test, the diamond is placed on the tip of the tester, which then sends a small amount of heat into the diamond. The tester then measures how quickly the heat is conducted through the diamond, with real diamonds conducting heat at a much faster rate than fake diamonds. If the diamond conducts heat quickly, it's likely to be real, while a slower rate of heat conductivity may indicate a fake diamond. While this technique requires specialised equipment, it's a valuable tool for professionals who need to accurately determine a diamond's authenticity and value.
Testing Electrical Conductivity to spot fake Diamonds
Using electrical conductivity is another expert technique used to test the authenticity of a diamond. This method works by measuring the diamond's electrical conductivity, which is a unique characteristic of real diamonds that is difficult to replicate in fake diamonds. When exposed to an electrical current, real diamonds conduct electricity differently than fake diamonds, allowing experts to accurately determine the diamond's authenticity.
Accurate weight measurements to Authenticate Diamonds
Additionally, using accurate weight measurements is also important in identifying real diamonds. Real diamonds have a precise weight, with any deviation indicating a potential fake diamond. By using precise and accurate measurements, experts can detect even the smallest inconsistencies that could indicate a fake diamond. While this technique requires specialised equipment and expertise, it's an essential tool for diamond dealers, appraisers, and gemologists who need to accurately evaluate a diamond's authenticity and value.
In conclusion, there are several effective methods for testing the authenticity of a diamond, ranging from simple at-home tests to more advanced techniques used by experts. By using a combination of these methods, you can better ensure that the diamond you're purchasing or owning is real and not a fake. While at-home tests can be helpful, it's important to keep in mind that they may not always be accurate, and for high-value diamonds, it's essential to have them evaluated by a professional. With the knowledge gained from these techniques, you can confidently navigate the world of diamond buying and selling, knowing that you're able to identify and avoid potential scams or frauds.
Our Bottom Line Recommendations
If you have a number of Diamond Jewellery pieces or have been gifted or inherited diamonds or diamond jewellery you can purchase a relatively cheap diamond tester from Amazon. More expensive ones are available if you want to produce better, more accurate results. If you are unsure, please contact our team and we will gladly appraise your diamond and jewellery and provide you with accurate information about your diamonds.