This guide will help the people who have jewellery collections or pieces and need to identify if they are genuine or not. If you have some jewellery pieces that you want to authenticate, then this guide will let you know, using at-home tests as well as some tests that a diamond professional can conduct with the specific equipment.
The easiest yet the most effective way to test a stone is to observe if it’s a genuine diamond or not by using a relatively inexpensive diamond tester. Or, you might need a more qualified tester who can also identify a wide range of diamond options.
If you’re unfamiliar with the diamond’s components and structure, you might believe that your jewel is a diamond while it’s a completely different stone like a Moissanite or Cubic Zirconia. So, it’s important that you know how to identify a counterfeit diamond.
This guide will help you perform some practical at-home tests, which are very important. All the diamond professionals have enough experience with proper equipment to identify if your diamond is a genuine or a fake one.
Different Methods to Find If the Diamond is a Genuine One or a Fake One
1) Water Test
You can use this simple test to verify if the diamond is genuine.
Take a glass and fill it ¾ with water and then carefully drop a stone in the glass.
If your diamond is genuine, it will sink. If it floats below or at the water’s surface, it’s a fake diamond.
Reason: A genuine diamond will always have a higher density than the water and the water test will show if the gemstone matches the density level.
2) Heat Test
For the heat test, take a glass and fill it with cold water. Wear heatproof gloves while holding that stone. Then heat the stone using a lighter for about 40 seconds.
After that, drop the stone straight in the cold water. If the stone shatters, it’s made from lower components and it’s not a genuine diamond because any genuine diamond will not show any reaction.
This technique tests the strength and quality of your stone. Due to the quick contraction and expansion of the heat, weaker materials like Cubic Zirconium or glass will break or crack.
As diamonds are among the strongest materials that exist on the planet, they are resistant to these heat tests. The heat will disperse quickly and your diamond will not have any effects of the temperature change.
Reason: Diamonds are made from very strong materials so they are resistance to any kind of high heat.
3) Fog Test
For a fog test, just hold your diamond or ring between your fingers, breathe on it and throw some air there. A slight amount of fog will be created on the diamond because of the moisture and heat of your breath.
If fog dissolves immediately, you have a genuine diamond. If it takes a few seconds to dissolve, it might be a fake diamond.
Reason: Diamonds efficiently conduct the heat so it disperses quickly.
4) UV Light Test
If you want to test the diamond in another way, place it under a UV light to observe the reaction. The majority of diamonds will release a blue coloured glow. However, some diamonds won’t glow under the UV light. If a stone doesn’t glow, the results won’t necessarily suggest that it’s fake.
If this test isn’t conclusive, the best option is to have a diamond jeweller or expert use their advanced equipment for testing the stone.
5) Mount & Setting Test
If the diamond is placed in a diamond engagement ring, you need to check the mount and settings used in them.
Due to a diamond’s expensive price tag, a genuine diamond will come with high-quality jewellery. For instance, a genuine diamond is always fitted with the materials like yellow gold, platinum, white gold, surface or side-stone settings such as halo engagement rings.
To analyse if the settings are properly described, look at the inner side of the ring for markings. For example, marks like 10K, 14K, or 18K indicate the gold type used. Markings like ‘Plat’ or ‘PT’ means platinum. Numbers like 585, 770, 900, or 950 respectively indicate gold or platinum. If the “C.Z.” stamp is given, it means that the gemstone is a Cubic Zirconia and not a genuine diamond.
How to Test a Diamond At-Home Using Refractivity?
Whenever you see the diamonds sparkling, it’s due to their ability to curve and refract the light. When the light strikes the angled surfaces of the lower half portion of the diamond, it’s refracted through the diamond’s top surface to our naked eyes. When the diamond sparkles dazzlingly, it’s called radiance.
Stones like Cubic Zirconia which aren’t genuine diamonds won’t refract the light. To test the refractivity of a diamond’s you can use different tests such as following:
6) Newspaper Effect Test
To test a diamond’s refractivity, carefully place the stone’s flat side down on the newspaper page in the area with plenty of writing. Make sure that the light is bright and no people or objects are casting a shadow on the diamond.
If you can read the letters printed in the newspaper, even though the letters are slightly blurred, you have a fake diamond. This is because with genuine diamonds, the facets would divert the light in a different direction and not in the straight line. Due to the light refraction, you can’t see clearly through your diamond and read the letters of the newspaper.
This newspaper test is mainly used for loose diamonds. If your diamond is fitted in the ring then use the fog test or get it reviewed by a diamond professional.
7) The Dot Test
The dot test is the best option if you don’t have any newspapers to use.
Take a white paper, place it on a flat surface and draw a smaller dot with the pen. Place the stone on the dot with its flat side down, the pointed end of your diamond should be down on the paper. If you can see the circular reflection within the gemstone, then your stone is not genuine. If you can’t see the reflection or a dot in a stone, your diamond is a genuine one.
Reason: A genuine diamond comes with powerful refractive qualities so the light will bend in various directions rather than going in a straight line. That’s why you won’t see the dots or letters through a genuine and natural diamond.
How to Test a Diamond At-Home Using Refractivity?
Besides refractivity, you may test the stone’s reflectivity. Although refractivity affects the direction of the light bounces, reflectivity means the quality and amount of light which gets reflected off from the stone.
The reflectivity includes both the white sparkle and with colour light which shines off from the diamond’s table.
To examine the reflectivity, you should use a sparkle test.
8) Sparkle Test
This test doesn’t need any equipment except your eyes. Simply hold the diamond under a regular lamp and observe how the light reflects off the stone. If you can see a white light reflection very well then it’s a genuine diamond. A genuine diamond also reflects the coloured light in a great way.
If you compare the genuine diamond with a fake one, you will notice a great difference in the coloured and white light sparkle which only the genuine diamond can provide.
How to Ensure that the Diamond is Real?
While different tests can be done to identify if the diamond is genuine or not, it’s recommended you enlist the help of a specialized diamond expert who will assist you in determining if the diamond is a genuine one. An expert gemmologist who has a degree of Graduate Gemmologist (GG) is able to tell you if the diamond is a genuine one.
Simply bring your diamond or stone to an expert and he/she will be able to help you get complete peace of mind as they use many proven tools and methods to decide if the diamond is a genuine one.
9) A Loupe Test
A diamond expert uses a loupe which is a specially made magnifying glass used for gemstones, diamonds, and jewellery. While using the loupe, an expert will search the imperfections and blemishes of the diamond. While the fake diamonds can be flawlessly constructed, a genuine diamond will have small imperfections known as inclusions.
10) Thermal Conductivity Probe or The Diamond Tester
Besides a loupe, gemmologists also use a thermal conductivity meter, use this tool is used for determining a gemstone’s thermal conductivity. As diamonds are active conductors of heat, a diamond disperses the heat quickly after getting warmed.
If a gemstone disperses the heat at a slower pace, your diamond is a fake one. The synthetic moissanite stones usually have similar heat dispersement to genuine diamonds, which makes this test questionable with moissanites. You can choose from many of diamond testers, available in the market.
11) High Profile Weighing Test
Usually, jewellers and gemmologists have a fine-tuned scale to measure even smaller weight differences. A genuine diamond’s weight will be less than fake stones like Cubic Zirconia. However, only superior scales for weighing Carats can detect those minute differences.
To perform this test, select a fake diamond which is roughly equal in the size and shape. Use that stone as the comparison to the diamond that you are testing.
12) Electricity Conductivity Test
Finding a fake diamond can also be done by using an electricity conductivity test done by a gemmologist or jeweller. Any diamond will conduct electricity better than all other stones.
Any electricity tester can give a clear answer regarding whether the stone is genuine or made in the lab. A genuine diamond will show conductivity whereas other stones like Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite will not.
How to Test a Genuine Diamond vs. Moissanite?
Due to the growing presence of the synthetic Moissanite in the market, it has become very important to utilize a jeweller’s tool to get genuine diamonds. These tools immediately find if the diamond is fake or genuine.
13) X-Ray Test
To review stone’s internal molecular qualities, you can send it to the professional diamond testing lab. They have x-ray machines that can tell if your stone has a radiopaque molecular structure or a radiolucent molecular structure. Genuine diamonds are always radiolucent whereas fake gems like Crystals and Cubic Zirconium have additional radiopaque features.
14) Microscope Test
Gemmologists or jewellers use 1200x magnification with a powerful microscope to analyse the stone in depth. With this magnification level, they can see small differences and inclusions in the genuine diamonds compared to moissanite.
15) The Scratch Test
In the past, the scratch test was a widely used method to know the hardness of the gemstone’s mineral. This test was performed by scraping the loose gemstones along the mirror to observe if the stone would scratch or the mirror.
As the diamond is made from very strong materials, the fakes like moissanite and cubic zirconia are scratch-resistant and fairly durable as well. So, the scratch test isn’t accurate. The better options are a thermal conductivity test or you can also use a professional loupe tool to inspect it.
How to Identify Other Stone Which aren’t the Genuine Diamonds?
With the ever-increasing popularity of other gemstones, let’s take a quick look at some steps to identify a stone which looks like a genuine diamond with the naked eyes but are in fact not genuine.
16) How to Identify Synthetic Diamonds?
With the increasing popularity of synthetic diamonds, it has become very important to identify the difference between natural diamonds and lab-created diamonds. Synthetic diamonds come with similar molecular and chemical components to the genuine diamonds.
Due to their complex internal qualities, it’s recommended that you review your diamond using an expert. The expert will do the conductivity test and use high magnification to analyse the stone. You can’t detect any difference with the naked eyes between a synthetic diamond and a natural diamond.
17) How to Identify White Sapphires
The sapphires are available in many colours including blue, white, and they look clean & clear with the naked eyes. Normally, white sapphires are posed as diamonds however they don’t provide the signature sparkle of the diamonds with the contrast of the dark & light areas.
If the stone looks more blurred in colours that means that it doesn’t provide distinct light with dark parts so, it’s likely to be a white sapphire.
18) How to Identify Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic Zirconia is among the easiest fake diamonds to identify using different authenticity tests. You can use the sparkle test to easily measure the amount of sparkles and fire the stone releases.
Additionally, Cubic Zirconia reflects the orange-tinted light and they also weigh more than the genuine diamonds. They also don’t have any inclusions or imperfections. Genuine diamonds always have the inclusions which can be detected by naked eyes or under the diamond professional’s microscope.
19) How to Identify Moissanite?
Possibly the finest example of the fake diamonds’ world is synthetic Moissanite. You can’t judge it with naked eyes and it requires the expertise and experience of a diamond expert to properly identify.
To differentiate between a genuine diamond and a Moissanite, you have to do an electricity conductivity test. We can’t use a thermal conductivity test here for identifying the Moissanite as they have virtually identical thermal conductivity as diamonds.
20) How to Identify White Topaz?
The white topaz might look like the diamond at first view, however many characteristics separate it from a genuine diamond.
The exteriors are softer than a diamond and they get easily scratched by the other materials. You can have a closer look at a white topaz through magnification to observe if it has any scratches on its surface as the diamonds won’t have any scratches due to their sturdy composition.
There are many tests available such as the thermal conductivity test and the fog test, which can help you determine if a diamond is genuine or not.
However, because of the other complexities of the synthetic jewel materials, we recommend that you consult a diamond jeweller or expert to review your princess cut solitaire engagement ring if you want to buy engagement rings online. These professionals are well-trained and know exactly how to identify a fake diamond.
You can certainly use the diamond education given in this article initially or you can hire diamond experts while buying a diamond and you’ll never face a problem in identifying if the diamond is a genuine one or a fake. Any genuine diamond purchased will come with a legitimate AGS or GIA or UGI certificate, so you simply need to make sure that the diamond matches the certificate.
If you have further questions coming to mind, you can check out our other articles where you will get the answers to the majority of your queries with honest and useful tips.