How To Tell a Real Diamond By Eye - Or Can You?

How To Tell a Real Diamond By Eye - Or Can You? - Idaho Pawn & Gold

Samuel Reading |

Brilliant diamond on black surface

Purchasing a diamond is a huge investment, and you probably wonder if there is a way to tell if a diamond is mined or a lab-created diamond. The two look the same to the naked eye, and it is impossible to distinguish the difference.

There are jewelers with years of experience who can't tell the difference. What do you do if you are only interested in buying a mined diamond and are concerned there are lab-created diamonds available everywhere? Mined diamonds have tiny imperfections. There is no perfect natural diamond; a natural diamond will weigh less than a synthetic diamond of the same shape. Diamonds conduct electricity better than other stones. A tester will clearly indicate whether a diamond is mined or lab-created. A real diamond will show conductivity, while other stones like moissanite and cubic zirconia will not.

The thought of buying a fake diamond for the price you would pay for a real diamond is unsettling.

Professional jeweler services and pawn shop brokers often have the equipment needed to tell the difference. The testing equipment isn't cheap to purchase, but if you are buying diamonds regularly and in the business of mounted and loose diamonds, you want to make sure you know the difference.

Idaho Pawn and Gold Offers Free Testing and Appraisal Services with The GIAid100 Diamond Tester

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was established in 1931 as the world's foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. It is a non-profit institute that provides knowledge, information, standards, and education about gems and jewelry. GIA was the creator of the 4cs and the International Diamond Grading System in 1940, the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality. The GIA has 60 years of diamond and gemstone research and identification, making them a leader in distinguishing natural diamonds from lab-grown diamonds. The GIA id100 features colorless to near-colorless diamond identification and now includes blue to green and brown diamond identification. The results provided by this tester are supplied within 2 seconds of testing, and the evaluation can be completed on mounted and loose diamonds .9mm or greater in diameter. Idaho Pawn and Gold wants to ensure you know what you buy, sell, or use as collateral for a loan. Diamond At A Jewelry Store Makes Bad Financial Sense​

What if you don't have a diamond tester?

Various tests provide information about your diamond to determine if the diamond is real or fake. To begin, be prepared to take the time to inspect diamonds thoroughly. Not all diamonds will present the same, and it is recommended you visit a reputable jeweler or pawnbrokers like Idaho Pawn and Gold and have your diamonds tested if you want to know for sure.


Fluorescent Under UV Light Test

Diamonds tend to emit a soft colored glow when subjected to ultraviolet light like a black light, and about 30% of diamonds will do this. According to GIA, some diamonds emit a bluish light or, more rarely, a yellow or orangy light. Once the UV light source is removed, the diamond stops fluorescing. Fluorescing is not a grading factor like the 4Cs. The terms describe the character: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong. The diamond fluorescing may or may not affect the price of the diamond. There are diamonds with a blue-colored glow, but not all diamonds glow under UV light. Colorless or near-colorless diamonds that colorless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds sell at up to a 15% discount since the fluorescence is perceived as a defect. Lab-grown diamonds don't fluoresce. For now, a natural diamond has this ability, which may be a trait that differentiates the lab-grown diamond from natural diamonds.

Fog Test

Before you conduct the fog test, make sure the diamond is clean and free of grease. Creating a light fog on the surface of the diamond by breathing on it may help to determine if the diamond is real. Moisture and heat from your breath will cause a fog on the diamond surface. If the fog dissipates right away, the diamond is real. If the fog takes a few seconds to go away, the diamond is likely to be a fake diamond. Diamonds conduct and disperse heat rapidly. Diamonds have stiff chemical bonds between light carbon atoms, which gives them high thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity may be similar in moissanite, so it may not be the best test to determine if a diamond is natural or moissanite.

Diamond Sparkle Test

Diamonds sparkle. A diamond will bend and refract light off the diamond's lower surfaces up to the flat top surface, giving off a "sparkle." This is known as brilliance, and a genuine diamond has true brilliance. Lab-created diamonds and stones like Cubic Zirconia will not refract light as well. They will have less brilliance if any at all. You can take a newspaper or written page like in a book where there is a great deal of writing. Put the flat surface of the diamond on the page. Can you read the letters on the page? The diamond is a fake diamond if the letters can be read even if they are blurry. A real diamond will have facets that refract the light in different directions. The refracted light If the diamond is real, its facets will refract the light in different directions rather than in a straight line. The refracted light makes it impossible to read the letters. You can also complete a dot test. Get a clean white piece of paper and draw a small dot. Lay the diamond on its flat side on the paper. When you look through the pointed end of the diamond, there will be a circular reflection inside the diamond. If this happens, the stone is fake. The diamond is real if you can't see the dot or a reflection.

Scratch Test

Diamonds are one of the strongest gems that can cut through glass. Take a glass or mirror and scratch the surface using your diamond. If you can make a scratch, there is a good chance the diamond is real. Remember, the science behind lab-created diamonds is improving, so some lab-created diamonds may also be able to pass the scratch test.

Does it Sink in a Normal-Sized Drinking Glass?

If you fill a regular drinking glass with water and drop loose diamonds into the glass they will sink if they are real diamonds. The stone is probably fake if it floats underneath the water's surface.

White Topaz vs. Natural Diamonds

A gemstone with the closest resemblance to a natural diamond is White Topaz, White Sapphire, and White Zircon. White Topaz is softer than a diamond, and it is easily scratched by other materials and isn't strong enough to pass the scratch test. If you look at the gem with a magnifying glass, you can see the scratches on the gem's surface are not real diamonds.

Why Is it Important to Have Authentic Diamonds?

Diamonds are durable, beautiful, and an investment that holds their value. If you are shopping for a diamond necklace, diamond ring, diamond tennis bracelet, or diamond and gold earrings, having an actual diamond is essential for long-term durability and beauty. A fake diamond will weigh more than a real diamond of the same size and shape, about 55% more. A true diamond has refractive qualities a fake diamond doesn't possess. Light will bounce in different directions, and it will "sparkle." Some tests won't be able to tell the difference if your stone is real or fake. A pawnbroker who knows what tests to perform and has the proper equipment like the GIAid100 Diamond Tester will provide peace of mind. At Idaho Pawn and Gold, the team is trained to look for true diamonds vs. fake diamonds set in white gold before they commit to an offer. This ensures that you will find not only genuine diamonds on their retail floor but also be able to find high-quality jewelry even if you are looking for natural gems that aren't diamonds.

Idaho Pawn and Gold also provide testing with its Sherlock Holmes 3 (Diamond Testing For Lab Made and Fluorescence).

The Yehuda detector detects lab-grown diamonds – loose diamonds, single diamonds, and those mounted in jewelry. The tester detects white diamonds within the D-K color range, and it is relatively easy to detect cubic zirconium, moissanite, and diamond-coated cubic zirconium. Diamond testers are straightforward and take the guesswork out of determining the value of a diamond. This provides confidence to both the buyer and seller.

Idaho Pawn and Gold

At Idaho Pawn & Gold, the goal is to provide an inviting atmosphere to customers and a healthy workplace for team members. The business is filled with integrity and a place where customers are treated with the respect they deserve. Idaho Pawn and Gold opened in 2014 and now has three stores conveniently located in Boise, Meridian, and Nampa, Idaho. The owner is dedicated to helping people and providing stellar pawn services. Money and profit will always be prioritized well after ensuring Idaho Pawn, and Gold customers’ needs are met and satisfied. Idaho Pawn & Gold offers buying, selling, and collateral loan services. They provide free testing and appraisals while you wait. For more information, stop in today or visit