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:
- drive, on which the actual weight depends. The greater the weight of a diamond, the higher its price;
- 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);
- cleanliness. Absence of flaws and foreign bodies inside the stone;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!