How To Tell If A Diamond Is Real

A look at ways to tell whether or not a diamond is real or fake.

It's been said that diamonds are a girls best friend... quite an improvement in value over man's best friend, don't you think? Unfortunately, there are a variety of unscrupulous jewelers who try to pass off glass stones or cubic zirconium as the real thing. Is it possible for a person to tell if their diamonds are real or not without having to go to another jeweler or get them appraised? Not only is it possible, but it's much easier than you might think.

One simple test to tell wither or not a diamond is real is to simply breathe on it. Unlike glass, diamond is a very hard stone... it's made up of highly compacted carbon molecules, and isn't as prone to fogging as glass and some synthetic diamonds are. If you breathe on the stone and it gets damp and foggy, then chances are it's not really a diamond at all.

Another test to see if a stone is a diamond or not is to take a small piece of glass or a mirror and rub a corner of the stone on it. A common test in the movies, it can actually work in real life as well... after all, diamonds are harder than glass, and are more than capable of scratching them when pressure is applied. The drawback to this test is the fact that if it's not a diamond, there's at least a small chance that your stone can actually be damaged by doing this. Of course, this would prove that it's not real... but at what cost do you want your proof to be found?


Unfortunately, there are ways that some jewelers save money on diamonds that will make stone able to pass both of these tests. Instead of using a completely fake stone, a very small piece of real diamond will be placed on top of the fake stone. This gives the surface the hardness and resilience of a real diamond, but the majority of the "stone" is glass or some other material. Luckily, there's a home test to detect this, as well.

To see if your stone has simply been "topped" by a diamond, place it into a clear glass of water and look at the stone. Not only will the water magnify the stone that you're looking at, but the way that water bends light as it passes through can cause it to strike the stone differently. Imperfections in the stone that were previously unseen (such as the line where the real diamond top meets up with the glass or fake diamond stone) can become both visible and magnified in this manner. It's not foolproof, but it will work in a wide variety of cases. (As it can increase the visibility of imperfections, this method can also be used to detect lower-quality diamonds that are being passed off as higher-quality.)

Of course, the only way to know for sure as to exactly what your stone is worth is to get it appraised... if you do this, take it to someone who is certified and who works in a higher-class establishment. That way, they're much less likely to try to defraud you as to the actual value of the stone. Try to keep in mind, though, that unless the sole purpose of the stone is it's value, it shouldn't really matter whether it's real or not... diamond jewelry is most often given in love, and it's the sentiment behind it that should matter most.

© High Speed Ventures 2011