How to Determine a Genuine Diamond

Published: 21st November 2011
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There are many fake diamonds out there. People have mastered the art of faking diamonds that sometimes, novice jewelers have a hard time telling which is real, and which isnít. If youíre planning to buy your own piece of diamond, here are some tips you can remember and do:

- Look at the diamond under a microscope and magnify it 10X. If you canít find or see any inclusions (flaws), then the diamondís a fake.

- If a diamond has 0.4 carats or more, look for the original certificate of authenticity from GIA, IGI, or HRD.

- If you go to a jewelry store and be offered a diamond for a low price, then thereís something fishy. A store has to charge a mark-up price of about 50-150% to make up for its rental fees, personnel wages, as well as its security and utilities expenses.

- Real diamonds have flaws or what are often called inclusions like black spots, cloudy areas, and more. So if youíre being sold a diamond without any flaws, then it might be a fake, like a cubic zirconia.

- Hold the diamond up and try to peer through it from the side. If you can see right through it, then itís a fake.

- Fake diamonds will be more or less mounted on fake settings. It would be pointless to mount a fake diamond on a real gold or silver, so fake diamonds would have fake metal settings too.

- Try to scratch the diamond on a piece of glass. If the glass is cut or scratched without damaging the exterior of the diamond, then itís real.

- Try the reading test. Get a newspaper and then set the loose diamond on the newspaper. If you see the black smudges marked by the letters printed on the newspaper, then the diamondís a fake. A real diamond is made up of a highly intricate infrastructure that it becomes impossible to see through it clearly. This is because the diamondís surface refracts light.

- Try the sandpaper test. Diamonds are real hard and durable so itís quite hard to scratch their surface. Try to scratch a piece of diamond youíre being offered against sandpaper. If the surface becomes scratched or cloudy, then itís a fake.

- View the diamond from different perspectives Ė from the top, bottom, and sides. If the sparkle and reflective quantities are all the same, then itís a fake. Real diamonds do not have perfect or consistent sparkles or reflections all throughout their physical make-up.

- Look for double refractions or doubling effect. This happens when you try to view the diamond from the top and you tend to have these ďdouble visionsĒ. If you see these double visions, then itís not a real diamond but probably a silicon carbide (Moissanite).

- Check for rainbow reflections. If you see rainbow reflections, then itís a fake diamond. Real diamonds would have reflections in different gray tones.

- Try to breathe on the diamond to create fog on it. If the fog stays there for a couple of seconds, then itís a fake. Real diamonds disperse heat quickly, so by the time you hold it up and observe, the fog would have already cleared up.

These are just some of the ways to know if the diamond you plan to purchase is real or not. They may sometimes come as a show of distrust to your jeweler, but itís your job to make sure youíre getting your moneyís worth.
Stephanie Scott is a consultant of Brilliance LLC. One of the leading diamond retailers based in Florida. The company offers thousands of certified diamonds, as well as large selection of fine jewelry, engagement rings and more.

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