Let’s help you find out if it’s worth the insurance payment or whether you can gift it to your child to play with. Below you’ll find interesting facts about how to identify a fake gem, what action you can take, and what other categories of stones your gem can belong to if it’s not a diamond.
How to Identify a Fake Stone—5 DIY Methods
Yes, you can find out whether you have a real diamond or not through simple DIY home experiments. We list the five most effective tests to try.
1. Using a Loupe
If you don’t know yet, a loupe is a magnifier that you can purchase from almost any jeweler or you can shop for one online. You’ll look at your diamond through the device to view details about it.
Here’s what to look for:
- Look at the edge: When you compare fake and real diamonds, the first will have rounded edges while a real gem will have sharp ones. Inspect the exterior through your magnifier to determine its authenticity.
- Imperfections: Because real diamonds are natural objects—not synthetically made or produced in a factory—there are bound to be small, imperfect details in each one. They’re created during the diamond’s formation beneath the soil. With no quality control in nature, imperfections are inevitable.When you look at the diamond via the loupe you should be able to see these small imperfections and if there are none, you may be holding a fake.
- What is the quality of the mountings?Jewelers working with authentic diamonds will also use expensive settings, using metals like platinum or gold. If you realize cheap metals are used the stone could also be less valuable than you thought.
2. Using Sandpaper to Test Your Diamond
You probably know diamonds are some of the most durable substances on earth. If it’s a real diamond, sandpaper shouldn’t cause any damage to its surface, so rub your stone with a piece of sandpaper and look for scratches. If there are any scuffs you may be sitting with a fake gem.
3. Just Breathe
Simply blowing your breath across the stone can help you determine its authenticity: time how long the stone stays fogged up. Real diamonds only fog up for 2 seconds or less.
Fake stones can seem fogged for as long as 4 seconds and if that’s what you notice, it’s time to have your diamond tested by the pros.
4. Shine a Light
Part of the attraction of diamonds is how they can make light reflect, with the ‘brilliance’ of a diamond referring to the light it produces internally. But diamond reflections are unique: where fake stones produce sparkle that contains many colors, diamonds only reflect it as gray or white.
5. Read Through Your Diamond
We’ve mentioned a diamond’s ability to reflect light, but it also refracts it. Real diamonds’ refractive index is high, unlike that of fake stones. You can measure this by trying to read through your diamond. Just take a newspaper and look at it through your stone.
If you can’t read, that’s good news: authentic stones refract light which prevents you from reading. Fake stones will often allow easy reading through them.
So, What do You do Now?
The tips used above aren’t enough to confirm your stone’s authenticity, but if they make you suspect you’re sitting with a fake, it’s time to contact a geologist. This is not an ordinary jeweler, but rather someone who has skills and experience regarding authenticating stones.
Working with a pro, rather than a novice means you’ll make sure you don’t accidentally get a real stone classified as a fake.
What Else Can it Be?
Not having a real diamond doesn’t necessarily mean your stone is worthless. Some beautiful and still valuable stones look like diamonds. But it’s important to find out what you have, so you can determine whether it warrants insurance payments or whether you rather want to give it away. Chances are, if your stone ends up not being a diamond, it will fall into one of these categories.
- Synthetic diamonds: If you own one of these, your diamond was formed in a lab. Yes, it will resemble diamonds in how they look and feel. They even have similar chemical features. But a diamond that’s not completely natural will be worth much less than the real thing; up to 30% less.
- Cubic zirconium: This stone is synthetic and it’s produced in different colors, white as well. You can often recognize it by the fact that it will show scratches. They don’t cost much and you won’t get much if you were to try and sell it.
- White sapphire: You may be used to black, pink, and red sapphires, but you do get white ones too. This is a gem worth keeping because it’s still very valuable. It’s also very durable, so if your stone turns out to be a sapphire it’s not all bad news.
- White topaz: Once again you’re probably used to this stone in other colors such as gray, brown, or red. But there are also some white topaz stones on the market and it’s easy to confuse them with diamonds. It’s still valuable, but of course, it’s not as durable as a real diamond. It will scratch easily.
- Moissanite: Here you still have a valuable stone because moissanite is rare and it’s also quite impressive. You can recognize this gem by the rainbow colors it will produce in its sparkle, rather than the white and grey synonymous with diamonds.
Whether you’re inheriting a diamond, planning on buying one for yourself or shopping for an engagement ring, it’s vital to know a little about these stones. Know how to handle the situation, such as ensuring it and even maintaining it. We also suggest you get a certification of your diamond, so you know its real value. If you have any more tips for other consumers about testing or caring for their diamonds, please leave a comment below.