Real vs Fake Diamond – How to Spot the Differences
Buying a diamond is an emotional purchase, so of course you'll want to know whether or not a diamond is real before you sign on the dotted line. Whether you're in the market to purchase a diamond ring or you want to inspect your own jewels, it's normal to want to know the authenticity of your stone. Diamonds have several "fake" counterparts that can easily be mistaken for real diamonds—natural gems with a strong resemblance to diamonds are colorless sapphire, colorless topaz and colorless zircon.
There are also gems created in a lab, like YAG (yttrium aluminium garnet), GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet), CZ (synthetic cubic zirconia) and synthetic moissanite that look like real diamonds to the average person.
So, as the average person, how can we spot the fakes?
How to Spot the Differences Between Real and Fake Diamonds
People used to think that the “scratch test” was the easiest way to test a diamond. The test is to simply scratch the loose stone against a mirror. The idea is that if the stone is hard enough to scratch the mirror, it’s probably a diamond. However, most well-made synthetic diamonds will seem authentic if you only use the scratch test. Here are some other tests with more reliable results.
Testing diamonds with water: Get a glass and fill it with water (it doesn't matter what type of water you use). Drop the diamond into the glass of water. Due to the high density of diamond, when dropped into water a real diamond will sink. If the diamond floats to the top or middle of the glass, it's fake.
Testing diamonds with a magnifying glass: Hold a magnifying glass up and look at a diamond through the glass. Look for imperfections within the stone; if you're unable to find any, then the diamond is most likely fake. Real diamonds have imperfections referred to as inclusions (read more about that in our blog on diamond inclusions LINK)
Testing diamonds with your breath: Place the stone in front of your mouth and, like eye-glasses that need cleaning, fog it up with your breath. If the diamond stays fogged for a few seconds, then it's probably a fake. A real diamond won't fog up easily since the condensation doesn't stick to the surface.
If you have a loose stone or piece of diamond jewelry and you are unsure about its authenticity, try some of these home tests. Or, bring the stone to a well-known jeweler, who are sure to have electricity testing, UV lights, and more tools that can determine the difference between a real diamond and a fake.
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