How to Tell the Difference: Real Diamonds or Fake Diamonds
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but just like best friends in real life, it’s important to know when they are fake. Just like you would want to know if your real-life BFF was talking about you behind your back, you definitely want to know if that stunning diamond necklace you are coveting is really just a glass imposter. So how do you tell real diamonds from simulated diamonds? Before you whip out that credit card to purchase yourself a new dazzling diamond, make sure you take every precaution to ensure that you are not splurging on something that turns out to be a fake.
First, never buy a significant diamond without a certificate from a reliable lab. Diamond grading labs are independent sources of unbiased information about a diamond’s authenticity and quality. If the seller does not provide certification, that is reason to suspect he may be selling simulated diamonds. Two of the most well respected and dependable labs are the AGS Lab and the GIA Gem Trade Lab. (For those interested in cut quality and light performance, the AGS certificate stands well above the rest). And even if the diamond is being offered with a certificate, it is still necessary to get the diamond verified against the certificate by a qualified jewelry professional.
Second, take a close look at the diamond itself. The beauty of a real diamond lies in its incredible ability to take in, bend and reflect light, dispersing it in a shower of sparkles and flashes of colored light. Fake diamonds, despite being cut into a similar faceted structure, will not exhibit the full range of fire and brilliance that real diamonds do. And a real diamond, being the hardest known natural substance, can be cut and polished to extremely sharp edges and the facet junctions remain crisp even after extensive wear. Simulants tend to have rounded or abraded facet junctions when viewed under magnification. Some of the newer simulants such as cubic zirconia and synthetic moissanite look pretty good, so don’t trust your eye completely unless you have training and experience.
Additionally, cubic zirconia actually weighs over 50% more than real diamonds. So a CZ that is the equivalent size of a given diamond will actually be significantly more in carat weight. If you suspect a diamond may not be real, find out the exact measurements and weight and see if they match up.
Price is another clue. If it seems too good to be true, it very well may be a fake. Deal only with reputable professionals or arrange to have a professional evaluate your diamond BEFORE you have paid for it, otherwise you may become the victim of a scam.
In addition to visual inspection and weights and measurements, gemologists have several sophisticated tests to distinguish real from simulated diamonds including fluorescence and thermal conductivity. Through a combination of these tests a qualified professional can easily separate a real diamond from fake diamonds.
For more specific questions ask our experts