How to Determine a Real Diamond

Want to know how to determine a real diamond? The process encompasses a range of tests, from the simple and fairly conclusive to certification by an expert. Depending on your need for the assessment, determining whether a diamond is real or fake can assist you in everything from the care of the gemstone to insurance or commodities appraisals. When in doubt, take your gem to a professional jeweler, who will likely be able to determine a true diamond just by looking at it or running some simple tests.

Simple Tests
A visual study of the diamond is one of the easiest ways to determine whether a diamond is fake. Look at the broadest surface of the gem with a loupe or magnifying glass. If the surface exhibits lots of tiny scratches, the gem is likely not a diamond. Since diamonds are extremely hard, there are few items that will scratch the surface. Multiple scratches indicate that the substance is softer and therefore not a diamond.

Except for the most expensive diamonds, a real diamond will have some kind of flaw, however tiny. Small inclusions, carbon spots and other imperfections are common in diamonds, while flawless gems are characteristic of fake diamonds.

If you have a loose stone, you can try another easy test. Invert the gemstone over a piece of newspaper, and try to read the letters through the diamond. A cut diamond will fracture the newsprint enough so that the letters are indecipherable, but a fake diamond will reflect the letters so they can be readable.

Expert Tests
If you have access to an ultraviolet light emitter, you can tell whether your diamond is real or fake. Diamonds are made of 100 percent carbon, which glows blue under ultraviolet light. If the gem glows blue, either faintly or strongly, chances are it is a real diamond. This test is not completely foolproof, however, because there are a few gems out there, both real and fake, that also glow blue. Also, the highest quality diamonds will have a very light, almost imperceptible blue glow.

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