While thoroughly examining a diamond for its worth is best left for the expert eyes of gemologists, spotting a real diamond from a fake one can be a quick DYI job. In a recent piece on the subject, Business Insider spoke to Reyne Hirsch, a 20th-century decorative arts expert and consultant for the global online marketplace Lofty, who explained about the ways to spot a fake.
1. Look at the diamond through a loupe
Buy a loupe (which is essentially a magnifying glass) in any jewelry store, and look for the following:
• Imperfections (practically every natural diamonds have imperfections, while a fake will be flawless);
• Observe the diamond’s edges. A natural diamond will have sharp edges, while a fake stone will have rounded edges;
• And finally, look at the mounting and etchings to spot the metal used: “If the metal is gold-plated or silver, chances are it’s not a diamond, because why would you put a nice stone mounted in such a cheap metal?” Hirsch said. “Most diamonds are mounted in gold or set in platinum. Additionally, of the setting looks like it’s of poor quality, “that probably means it’s not going to be a real diamond either”.
2. Rub Sandpaper against the stone
If it’s real, the stone will remain perfect. If it’s a fake, it’ll scratch.
3. Do the fog test
This is an easy one: Breathe hot air on your stone. A fake diamond will fog up for a short period of time, while a real diamond will not retain the heat, and therefore won’t fog up at all.
4. Hold it to the light
Hold the stone to the light. A real diamond will sparkle gray and white from the inside, and reflect rainbow colors onto other surfaces from the outside. A fake diamond will have rainbow colors that you can see inside the diamond.
5. Look at the stone’s refractivity
You can conduct the following test if the stone isn’t mounted. Diamonds are sparkly because of the way they refract and bend light. Fakes like glass, quartz, and cubic zirconium “may mimic a diamond’s brilliance, but they have much lower refractive indexes”, says Hirsch.
Place the stone over a newspaper, “and the light will scatter inside the real diamond and prevent a black reflection. A fake diamond will let the black shine through, and you may even be able to read a word through it, depending on the size of the fake stone”. If your diamond is mounted, make sure you can’t see through it to the mount itself.