The Importance of Diamond Inspections & How to Do a Basic Inspection Yourself

Not every diamond shopper is an expert, we know that. What do you look for even when you do not have sophisticated inspection tools at your fingertips?
In terms of diamond inspection, it involves ensuring that all the properties, statistics, and aspects of the diamond are up to standard and meet your requirements. For those of you looking to purchase a diamond, we have compiled the perfect guide for you to refer to before making your purchase.
Simon G. LR2350 Underhalo Diamond Engagement Ring
Simon G. LR2350 Underhalo Diamond Engagement Ring
During the process of buying a diamond, you will want to make sure all the details are checked and considered.
Whether you're purchasing a diamond ring or inspecting your own jewels, you may want to be certain that the stone you've chosen is authentic. Below, we’ve provided some actionable tips and tricks on how to perform a basic inspection at home and what you can do to ensure your diamond is authentic in the first place.
  • The Basics: What to Know For Your Diamond Inspection
  • Preparing for In-depth Diamond Inspection at Home
  • What to Look for When Inspecting Your Diamond
  • The Whiteflash Difference: Diamond Inspection Done For You

The Basics: What to Know For Your Diamond Inspection

In the market, there are a number of diamond substitutes, with some having their own value and others not so much. Additionally, it is important to understand the difference between mounted and loose diamonds. The authenticity of a loose diamond is more easily determined without mounting it in a setting, and flaws are more easily detected.
There is no doubt that you want your stone to stand the test of time. Therefore, if you have any doubts about the authenticity of a diamond, you should consult a reputable jeweler.
It is valuable for a buyer to have a basic understanding of diamonds before making a purchase. To get a good idea, you can use the same grading system as professional jewelers and gemologists.

The 4C’s of Diamonds

Providing the diamond is certified, your next step is applying The Four C’s. This is where personal preference and budget will come into play, but here is our advice for conducting your inspection.
In order to determine the value of a diamond, there are four main factors to consider. To make an accurate diamond assessment and avoid buying something not worth your emotion or money, you have to know all four C's: Clarity, Color, Carat Weight, and Cut.
In-depth laboratory analyses of diamonds are carried out by organizations like the American Gemological Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), while even the novice can easily understand the importance of 4C’s.
Mounted diamonds can often conceal flaws, cracks, and chips. Additionally, mountings usually reflect light into the diamond, which makes it difficult for anyone but a reputable jeweler to determine the stone's true clarity or color.
The tests below can be done both on loose and mounted diamonds, but you'll likely be able to differentiate between real, fake and quality diamonds if you have a loose diamond.

Fog Test

Place your diamond in front of your mouth and, like a mirror, fog it up with your breath. If the stone remains foggy for a few seconds, then it is most likely imitation. Real diamonds do not fog up easily because condensation does not adhere to their surface.

Water Test

Put the diamond in a glass filled with water, and drop it in - a real diamond will sink when it is dropped into water because of its high density. Diamonds that float to the top or middle of the glass are likely simulants.

Black Light Test

This one requires an ultraviolet light source, also known as a black light. In your home, turn off the lights and place the diamond under the UV light. Observe the reaction and the color it emits; many diamonds will glow blue under UV light, but not all.
In contrast, if you see a bit of green, gray, or yellow fluorescence, the gem is likely not a diamond. However, this is not a conclusive test and not every diamond will reveal a blue color, which is why diamond experts should use advanced equipment to test the stone.
If you would like a more in-depth guide, we have provided everything you'll need to conduct your own inspection at home, even with the limitations.

Preparing for In-depth Diamond Inspection at Home

The preparation of yourself and your environment prior to an inspection may seem obvious and unnecessary, but it is essential.
In order to be successful in your diamond inspection, you need the tools, the environment, and the experience.
As a first step, you should always keep your diamond and jewelry clean, or any area of interest that you wish to inspect. And when inspecting a diamond engagement ring avoid touching it with your bare hands. The reason for this is that diamonds are notorious for attracting grime and grease, and you cannot inspect diamonds accurately with a dirty surface.
In the hands of professionals, diamonds are usually inspected using tweezers.
It is highly recommended that you practice holding diamonds with tweezers if you are new to the process and have no experience holding them before. Dropping or losing an expensive diamond is definitely not something you want to happen.
For those who aren't comfortable using normal tweezers, locking tweezers or claw grip tweezers are the next best alternatives. By using these tools, you won't have to worry about dropping the diamond unintentionally.
Second, you need a light source that isn't too bright or too dark. A LED light that is too strong can cause eyestrain, so it should be avoided. For jewelry inspections, fluorescent or diffused lighting is best.
In a jewelry store, you may want to ask the spotlights to be dimmed while you conduct the examination. It would be better to find a location in the store where the spot lighting isn't too blinding.
You'll also need a loupe, which magnifies small details up close so jewelers can see them more clearly. A loupe differs from a magnifying glass simply because it lacks an attached handle and its lens frame is slightly conical.
A loupe is most commonly used by jewelers when inspecting diamonds to determine the clarity and class of the stone. A wide selection of them can be found online for a reasonable price if you don't own one yet. Either way, they’re a great tool to have in your jewelry arsenal.

What to Look for When Inspecting Your Diamond

After acquiring the loupe, check for inclusions through it. The presence of tiny, natural imperfections in a mined diamond indicates that it is a real diamond. See if there are any minor color changes or flecks of minerals, it is more likely that a diamond is real if it shows these interesting and naturally occurring characteristics.
The absence of flaws or imperfections does not necessarily mean the diamond is a fake, but it could mean it is a rare flawless diamond. Real diamonds typically have imperfections, but this method should not be relied upon as a final determination.
You may initially see a blurry image through the loupe because the image is not focused. The tweezers' hand can be shifted inwards or outwards to adjust focus. A 10X loupe is recommended. Higher powers are available but focusing them properly is very challenging.
It is important that you keep your louping hand still at all times. When your image is in focus, look at the diamond from above and note what you see. In order to ensure that you did not miss any minor inclusions, you should inspect every facet of the diamond and view it from different tilt angles under proper lighting.
In general, lab-created diamonds tend to have fewer inclusions because they are created in controlled environments.
Remove the loupe after you have positively identified the diamond's inclusions, and look at the diamond with your naked eye to see if you can spot them. The stone is not considered eye-clean if there are any inclusions visible without magnification.
Despite the fact that these tests aren't foolproof, they'll give you a general idea of whether your diamond is legitimate or not. The most important thing to remember is to take your diamond to a professional jeweler for evaluation if you have any doubts about whether or not it is a real diamond. If you purchase from a reputable jeweler in the first place, those concerns are alleviated.
Besides providing you with information about your diamond, they can also give you peace of mind that your jewelry is secure and durable.
High-quality 360-degree videos, light-performance images and certification from expert jewelers will enable you to understand the diamond fully. The comprehensive information and advanced imaging that we provide at Whiteflash lets you experience diamonds in a holistic way, unlike any other online diamond retailer.

The Whiteflash Difference: Diamond Inspection Done For You

Many diamond shoppers may be surprised to learn that the vast majority of diamonds offered for sale on the internet have never been evaluated or even seen by their sellers.
Indeed, even diamonds listed with documentation and images (or videos) are overwhelmingly a form of "virtual inventory" and are not in the possession of the merchant listing them. Most of these diamonds are actually stored overseas.
In contrast, with our industry-leading ISO 9000 certification, Whiteflash performs full evaluations and quality controls on every diamond and jewelry item we sell. We have complete access to the diamonds, unlike other online retailers who pull from vast inventories they do not directly have in their possession, or have the means to do so.
We offer the same comprehensive gemological inspections and light performance imaging evaluations on our Virtual Selection Service diamonds as we do on our in-house diamonds.
Using our Virtual Selection category, you can find diamonds of interest and speak to an experienced diamond consultant for more information.
When we list virtual diamonds or source them for you, they are typically available, but they are always subject to prior sale before funds are received. You can choose to either have your payment refunded or to have a comparable diamond found if the stone is not available.
We will send you an order confirmation if you decide to have the available diamond brought in. All shipping, insurance, and our comprehensive gemological report and performance images are free!
Following receipt of your payment, we will have the diamond shipped to Whiteflash where our gemologists will examine it carefully and image it. During the diamond inspection, if there are any problems such as chips, scratches, or any discrepancies between the diamond and the lab certificate, you will be informed.

Passing Inspection and Expectations

One way Whiteflash simplifies your diamond purchase is by providing you with all the details you need to be informed, empowered, and educated. All of our A CUT ABOVE® super ideal diamonds are posted to our website with a full set of the most rigorous evaluations and light performance images. Our goal is to ensure that the diamond you purchase meets your expectations, as well as ours.
A diamond that passes inspection will be sent to our photography department for actual photographs and light performance imaging including ASET and IdealScope.
In addition to the technical light performance diagnostics, a 360 HD video will be provided to show the diamond's dynamic light handling capabilities. Using the video, you can appreciate the diamond's quality and beauty in a tangible way.
Your diamond consultant will then forward you all the results of our analysis for your approval.
Whiteflash Diamonds
In the event that you decide not to proceed with the purchase, you will receive a refund of 100% of your payment within five business days. If you prefer, you may use your payment towards another diamond of your choice.
Our goal is to ensure that your diamond is completely verified and tested and that you end up with the diamond that is perfect for you. So, whether you go with an in-house diamond or one that we source for you, you will always receive the full benefit of careful Whiteflash inspection, analysis and professional advice.
Our consultants are all AGS and GIA credentialed, and they don't get paid on commission. Due to this, we are able to focus solely on a brilliant customer experience, without pushing you to buy anything that is not right for you.
Our team will guide and advise you, and match you to the best possible options for your important purchase So please have a look at our loose diamond offerings, with all the fuss of diamond inspection taken care of. If you need any help at all, our expert team are just a message or call away and are happy to support you in finding the perfect diamond.

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