Global How to distinguish a diamond > Checking diamonds for authenticity

How to distinguish a diamond > Checking diamonds for authenticity


Dia­mond is the most valu­able nat­ur­al stone in the world, and dia­mond jew­el­ry is an extreme­ly prof­itable asset.

Cubic zir­co­nia, cubic zir­co­nia, moissan­ite, rock crys­tal or glass are equal­ly pop­u­lar mate­ri­als used in jew­el­ry. But they do not occur in nature. These are syn­thet­ic stones made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry.

A spe­cial­ist jew­el­er or an expe­ri­enced sell­er can dis­tin­guish a real dia­mond from a dia­mond and fakes with the naked eye, even with­out exam­i­na­tion. But for the aver­age buy­er, this is a prob­lem­at­ic issue. There­fore, how to accu­rate­ly iden­ti­fy a dia­mond in a piece of jew­el­ry, we will explain in detail in this arti­cle.

How is a diamond different from a diamond?

Dia­mond is a nat­ur­al uncut stone. Its name comes from the Latin dia­mon­dum, which means “hard­est”, “invin­ci­ble”. The name refers to its hard­ness. It ranks first on the Mohs hard­ness scale with a score of 10/10. For com­par­i­son, steel is 7. Its gem cut is called “bril­liant”.

The pro­duc­tion of syn­thet­ic stones has long fas­ci­nat­ed peo­ple, they have learned in lab­o­ra­to­ries to make dif­fer­ent types, sim­i­lar to gems that are found in nature. The first syn­thet­ic dia­mond sub­sti­tute was devel­oped in Swe­den in 1953, and then in the USA in 1954. Due to its hard­ness, it is used in indus­try for the man­u­fac­ture of grind­ing wheels.

What is the difference between a diamond and a diamond?

For many peo­ple, dia­mond and dia­mond are syn­ony­mous. How­ev­er, these are two dif­fer­ent names.

  • Dia­mond — this is a faceted dia­mond — a valu­able stone that has been pre­served in the struc­ture of the Earth for mil­lions of years. It is formed from crys­talline car­bon par­ti­cles at high tem­per­a­tures and pres­sures. It is rare, and there­fore its price reach­es dizzy­ing rates.
  • Dia­mond — rough dia­mond, which has a medi­um bril­liance, as well as a mat­te sur­face. After prop­er pro­cess­ing and pol­ish­ing, dia­monds turn into a beau­ti­ful dia­mond. They are nat­u­ral­ly cre­at­ed so not all will be of the same val­ue.

The unique­ness and qual­i­ty of a dia­mond is deter­mined by the 4C para­me­ters, which includes four degrees:

  1. dri­ve, on which the actu­al weight depends. The greater the weight of a dia­mond, the high­er its price;
  2. col­or. Dia­monds come in blue, black, brown and yel­low. Real col­or­less dia­monds are the rarest in nature. The GIA scale is used to deter­mine the col­or. It starts with the let­ter D (clear dia­mond) and ends with Z (yel­low dia­mond);
  3. clean­li­ness. Absence of flaws and for­eign bod­ies inside the stone;
  4. faceting — the process of grind­ing and the name of the shape of the stone. To form a dia­mond, the dia­mond must be pol­ished due to its mat­te sur­face and irreg­u­lar shape. Prop­er pro­cess­ing and shap­ing will improve and obtain a stone that is imme­di­ate­ly used in jew­el­ry.

The most expen­sive is the round shape of K‑57 with a bright play of light. Sub­ject to all pro­por­tions, it reflects almost every­thing that falls on the stone.

There are oth­er types of cuts: “heart”, “emer­ald”, “mar­quise”, “pear”, “oval”, “princess” (square), etc. The choice of cut does not affect the beau­ty of the dia­mond, but it affects its val­ue. A round cut is 15–20% more expen­sive than a square or rec­tan­gu­lar cut.

How to test a diamond at home?

On the Inter­net you can find many tips on how to dis­tin­guish a dia­mond from a fake. How­ev­er, some of them can lead to incor­rect con­clu­sions or even dam­age the set­ting of the stone. Below are some proven and effec­tive ways to rec­og­nize a dia­mond.

  1. A real dia­mond is not per­fect. This is imme­di­ate­ly vis­i­ble, it has minor flaws that can only be seen under an elec­tron micro­scope, and not under a mag­ni­fy­ing glass. These stones are the most expen­sive and rarest, so they are dif­fi­cult to find on sale. Fakes almost always look per­fect, have a smooth sur­face, and there­fore are very attrac­tive. This can be seen even in the pho­to.
  2. How to dis­tin­guish a real dia­mond from a fake one with sand­pa­per. This method is effec­tive but quite risky. You need to wipe the jew­el­ry with sand­pa­per. But this can dam­age the prod­uct if the grain­i­ness of the sand­pa­per on the Mohs scale is low­er than that of the stone. In this case, it is very easy to make a mis­take.
  3. Put a stone on a news­pa­per or on a book. Dia­mond refracts light pass­ing through it. This prop­er­ty of a dia­mond is very dif­fi­cult to fake as it is a phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tic. Unfold a piece of news­pa­per and place a stone on it. If you can read the text through it or see black fuzzy let­ters, it is very like­ly that it is a fake — most often cubic zir­co­nia. A real dia­mond should refract light in such a way that it is impos­si­ble to read the text through the stone.

But this method of how to iden­ti­fy a dia­mond is also prob­lem­at­ic, espe­cial­ly if you need to check the authen­tic­i­ty of a stone in a piece of jew­el­ry. In this case, it can­not be used. How­ev­er, there is a risk that a dia­mond that is too flat may fail this test.

  1. How to rec­og­nize a real dia­mond by its bril­liance. It is not true that only a dia­mond shines beau­ti­ful­ly in the sun. Moissan­ite, fian­ite or even cut glass have a beau­ti­ful radi­ance that reflects all the col­ors of the rain­bow and their shades. But real dia­monds should always reflect mut­ed grays and whites or sparkle with a del­i­cate orange-red glow.
  2. Ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty. There is a myth that dia­monds are good con­duc­tors of heat. Bring the stone to your mouth and blow warm air on the stone, as we do on a mir­ror or glass. If the dia­mond does not cloud for a long time, it is real. Arti­fi­cial — will hold fog for a few sec­onds.

Anoth­er way is to blow through the dia­mond sev­er­al times in a row. If the dia­mond is not real, drops will start to appear on it pret­ty quick­ly when you breathe for a long time. But a lot depends on how you breathe on them and on the sur­face you breathe on.

  1. How to test a dia­mond in water. This is the eas­i­est method because real dia­monds don’t get hot. Throw a stone into hot water. If a crys­tal mea­sures its tem­per­a­ture and main­tains it for a while, then it is zir­con.

How to distinguish a diamond from cubic zirconia?

Some women can­not imag­ine a ring with­out a dia­mond, while oth­ers pre­fer a cubic zir­co­nia ring, which is much cheap­er. Lifestyle, work and bud­get are also of great impor­tance. Jew­el­ry with cubic zirko­nia is cre­at­ed so that every­one can afford beau­ti­ful jew­el­ry (ear­rings, rings, neck­laces).

Cubic Zir­co­nia is not the equiv­a­lent of a dia­mond, but a col­or­less stone that has no ana­logues in nature. It is con­sid­ered an imi­ta­tion, an inex­pen­sive sub­sti­tute for dia­mond. Appeared on the jew­el­ry mar­ket in 1973 and since then has remained num­ber one in terms of beau­ty and val­ue (cubic zir­co­nia is cheap­er than dia­mond).

Dis­tin­guish­ing these two stones is much eas­i­er if you can com­pare them.

  • Ori­gin. Cubic Zir­co­nia is a stone obtained in the lab­o­ra­to­ry. There is no doubt about this.
  • Hard­ness. Dia­monds are the hard­est stones, mean­ing that noth­ing can scratch or scratch them (except anoth­er dia­mond). Fian­ite, on the con­trary, is sub­ject to mechan­i­cal dam­age.
  • Clean­li­ness. Dia­monds come in vary­ing degrees of clar­i­ty, but most jew­el­ry has small inclu­sions. There­fore, they are not per­fect­ly clean, but with defects. Stones made in lab­o­ra­to­ry con­di­tions do not have flaws and pol­lu­tion.
  • Refrac­tive index. The depth of the glow of the dia­mond is much greater. In the case of cubic zirko­nia, it is worth choos­ing ring mod­els with­out a built-in bot­tom, so that the light pass­es through it unhin­dered and empha­sizes its beau­ty even more.

What is the difference between a real diamond and zircon?

The first thing to con­sid­er is gloss. While both zir­con and dia­mond reflect mul­ti-col­ored iri­des­cent reflec­tions, close inspec­tion reveals a white-gray flash with­in the dia­mond.

One of the signs of how to under­stand that they want to sell you a fake dia­mond, not a real one: as the hard­est of all nat­ur­al stones, it can­not be scratched.

Zir­con is so soft that it can be eas­i­ly scratched.

The edges of dia­monds, even after pol­ish­ing them to a dia­mond shape, always remain sharp, they can­not be pol­ished, and the edges of zir­co­ni­um are always soft­er, spon­ta­neous­ly blurred with time. An impor­tant prop­er­ty is tem­per­a­ture — dia­monds, even if left in the sun / under a lamp for a long time or thrown into hot water, will still be cold to the touch.

How to distinguish moissanite from a diamond?

Syn­thet­ic moissan­ite is gain­ing more and more pop­u­lar­i­ty in the jew­el­ry mar­ket. It is sil­i­con car­bide (SiC), a very rare min­er­al. It was dis­cov­ered by the French chemist, Nobel Prize win­ner Fer­di­nand Hen­ri Moissan in 1905 in frag­ments of a mete­orite from Dia­blo Canyon in Ari­zona (USA).

Moissan­ite went on sale in mid-1998, caus­ing quite a stir in the indus­try. A large num­ber of moissan­ites were sold as dia­monds. Some of them still remain in the hands of unin­formed buy­ers. Since then, many jew­el­ers have come across them, agree­ing that there is no uni­ver­sal way to check whether it is a real dia­mond or not, or moissan­ite.

Main dif­fer­ence:

  • in high refrac­tive index and light scat­ter­ing. Dia­mond has no refrac­tion rays;
  • The sur­face of moissan­ite is quite smooth. In dia­mond — rough;
  • the bril­liance of a dia­mond is bright, that of moissan­ite is mut­ed, close to vit­re­ous;
  • moissan­ite has only white nee­dle-like fil­a­men­tous inclu­sions par­al­lel to each oth­er. A dia­mond has many dif­fer­ent inclu­sions;
  • moissan­ite hard­ness on the Mohs scale is 9.25 — the joints of the faces will be more round­ed than that of dia­mond, whose hard­ness is 10, and there­fore the joints of its faces are more pro­nounced;
  • grind­ing lines on moissan­ite appear in the same direc­tion on adja­cent faces; in dia­mond, grind­ing lines on adja­cent faces are not par­al­lel to each oth­er;
  • the den­si­ty of dia­mond is 3.52, that of moissan­ite is 3.22. If a dia­mond is immersed in a liq­uid of a cer­tain den­si­ty (for exam­ple, meth­yl­ene iodide 3.33), it will sink. Moissan­ite immersed in the same liq­uid will stay afloat.

How to distinguish a diamond from glass?

For this you need a mag­ni­fy­ing glass. The first thing to look out for is stains and debris inside the stone. Each dia­mond, even the high­est qual­i­ty, has inclu­sions inside, that is, small impu­ri­ties. This is a nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non. The size and vis­i­bil­i­ty of the spots affect its val­ue. A fake dia­mond made of glass will not have such flaws at all.

It is also worth pay­ing atten­tion to the cut — in the case of a real dia­mond, all edges are sharp, and all oth­er mate­ri­als may have more round­ed edges. This is because they are much soft­er and more brit­tle, mak­ing them dif­fi­cult to han­dle.

The final con­fir­ma­tion of the authen­tic­i­ty of a dia­mond is a cer­tifi­cate, which should always be asked for when pur­chas­ing jew­el­ry. It defines weight, cut, col­or and clar­i­ty (i.e. the so-called 4C rule), val­i­dat­ed by rep­utable gem grad­ing orga­ni­za­tions.

How to check a diamond in a ring?

Put the ring on your fin­ger and see how the light reflects. The dia­monds on the inside sparkle white and grey, while on the out­side the col­ors of the rain­bow are scat­tered. A fake jew­el will shine inside and out with all the col­ors of the rain­bow.

Dia­monds are pre­served exclu­sive­ly in gold or plat­inum. If the ring is made of sil­ver, gold-plat­ed sil­ver or med­ical gold, there is zir­con or anoth­er crys­tal.

How to check a diamond in earrings?

Hold the pieces up to the light and look through the stones. Only a point of light in the cen­ter will be vis­i­ble through the dia­mond. And in the dia­mond itself there are inclu­sions in the form of crys­tals and cracks. In arti­fi­cial ana­logues — in the form of chan­nels, nee­dles.

One of the ways to check the authen­tic­i­ty of a dia­mond is to run a stone on the glass (on a shop win­dow, which is pos­si­ble when choos­ing jew­el­ry in a store, on a win­dow at home or on a glass bot­tle). If it is real, then a scratch will remain on the glass.

Con­sid­er these rec­om­men­da­tions. They are very use­ful in life. Know­ing how to tell a real dia­mond from a fake one will ensure that your jew­el­ry pur­chas­es are always a suc­cess!


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