One of the most popular questions jewelers get asked is this: How can you tell if a diamond is real? It’s a valid question and one that deserves a great response along with some helpful tips on how you can find this out in the comfort of your own home.
How Can You Tell if a Diamond Is Real: First Things First
First, there are mined diamonds (pure carbon), man-made diamonds (pure carbon) and diamond simulants (not carbon, always a type of zirconia). With these three main categories, jewelers can generally tell the difference between all of them when inspected under a loupe (a high intensity magnifying glass).
Mined diamonds are the ones you usually buy at local jewelery stores like Kay’s, Zales, Michael Hill, Fred Meyer, Costco, Tiffany & Co., James Allen and Blue Nile. Man-made diamonds are exactly the same but are created in a lab setting and cost about 30% less than mined diamonds and have no negative social issues. They come from companies like Brilliant Earth, D. Nea and Gemesis. Next there are diamond simulants (cubic zirconia) which include Diamond Nexus, Agape, Nue Diamonds and Mia Donna. All are beautiful diamond alternatives but will never test positively for being made of pure carbon and being a diamond.
So let’s say you have a ring that you are curious about. Perhaps it’s an heirloom ring you’ve inherited. Or maybe you’ve been given an engagement ring and you want to get it appraised. Either way, going to a jeweler is the easiest and fastest way to determine what your stone really is. Simply visit your local jeweler (not mall jeweler) and ask them if they have a moment to put it under a loupe. Generally it doesn’t take long and the jewelers are usually accurate. If you really want an official appraisal, make an appointment and sit down to get your ring appraised. This is good to get more info on the overall piece as well as finding out if the diamond is real.
How Can You Tell if a Diamond Is Real at Home?
First, don’t do the old “scratch glass test” because ultimately you could end up scratching your diamond. What is this test? It is one that some have suggested to tell how hard the stone is by taking the top of the ring and scratching it on glass. According to to this test, a real diamond will scratch glass. However, in reality, even diamond simulants or other gems can scratch glass. You simply don’t want to risk scratching your diamond because they still can scratch, even though they are one of the hardest gems around.
Another test is the “fog test” where you breath your warm air onto the stone and if it stays fogged up for more than a few seconds, it is not real. A real mined diamond will not stay fogged
Another way you can tell if a diamond is real at home is if your stone is loose and you weigh it with a loose cubic zirconia and compare which is heavier. Diamonds are always half the weight of cubic zirconia.
Check the cut of the stone, too, and see if there are flaws. If there are flaws but the cut has good depth, it is likely a diamond. If it is too white and too perfect, it is a cubic zirconia (or an extremely high end F color graded diamond!)
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