Suppose you’ve received or bought a pair of diamond earrings, and now you’re undoubtedly questioning if the stones are genuine diamonds, other white jewels, or artificial replicas. In short, you’re probably curious as to how to determine if a diamond is real or not.
Numerous artificial diamond equivalents can now be mistaken for genuine diamonds. White topaz, white sapphire, and white zircon are just a few examples of natural stones that have a strong resemblance to diamonds.
If you have diamond earrings and are unsure about their authenticity, it’s best to consult with a trustworthy jeweler. What if you’re in a rush? Well, here are some simple tests you may do at home to determine if your diamond earrings are genuine or fake.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
The Distinction Between Mounted and Unmounted Diamonds
There are various diamond alternatives on the market, some of which have real value – while others do not. That’s the first thing you must take note of when shopping for diamonds. Beyond that, it’s essential to understand the distinction between mounted and unmounted diamonds.
You see, a loose diamond, or one that has not yet been put in a setting, is easier to evaluate for both its genuineness and imperfections. The mounting can conceal any flaws and chips, as well as emit light into the stone, making it more challenging for anyone other than a competent jeweler to analyze the diamond’s color and clarity.
If you wish to buy a mounted diamond, ask the jeweler to take it out first so you may check it while it’s loose.
Diamonds Vs. Faux Diamonds
A diamond-like appearance may be seen in a variety of white gemstones. For example, the following are all common diamond simulants:
- Cubic zirconia
- White zircon
- White topaz
- White sapphire
- White spinel
- Quartz (rock crystal)
However, these substances have a variety of physical, chemical, and visual qualities that are much different from those of a genuine diamond.
The easiest technique to detect a false diamond is to take it to a jeweler and have it tested for thermal and electrical conductivity. That necessitates the use of costly equipment, but it can distinguish the diamond from the aforementioned fakes.
It’s significant to mention that lab-created diamonds have the same qualities as natural gems and will pass these tests. So, the only method to check if a stone was created in a lab is to submit it to a gemological laboratory.
Related Read: Lab-created Diamond Vs. Natural Diamond
Tips When Shopping For Diamond Jewelry
A quick reminder: You won’t be able to do all of these tests when shopping for a diamond. So, instead, ensure that you’re purchasing from a trustworthy vendor with a reasonable return policy.
If the gem doesn’t have a gem laboratory-grade report, ask if they would submit it to the lab on your behalf. That shouldn’t be a big deal – if the diamonds are genuine and the vendor is trustworthy, that is.
A diamond certificate is a comprehensive document detailing various characteristics such as color grade, carat weight, cut grade, and clarity grade.
As a result, acquiring a diamond without a diamond certificate or a jeweler’s authentication certificate that exposes the diamond’s worth is not a smart idea.
The best sources for determining a diamond’s genuineness are a grading authority such as the GIA, IGI, AGS, or an independent evaluator linked with a professional organization.
Related Read: What Is The Difference Between Certified And Non-certified Diamonds?
Ways To Determine If Your Diamond Earrings Are Real Or Fake
There are many methods for determining whether or not a diamond is genuine, no doubt about it. Below are some basic at-home steps that will help you determine if your diamond earrings are authentic – so keep scrolling!
1. The Fog Test
This test is quite simple: Put the stone in front of your lips and blow into it to see whether it’s genuine. If it clears out after a second or two, it’s real. But, if the gem remains fogged for more than three seconds, it’s a fake. That is because diamonds transfer heat instantly, making fogging impossible.
Before attempting this test, ensure that your diamond is clean and free of oils. Also, note that this test isn’t ideal. For starters, a diamond does not fog up for a specific time. Plus, the test could be influenced by the environmental temperature or humidity levels.
If possible, compare the stone you’re evaluating to the one you know is a diamond.
2. Thermal Test
For this test, you’ll need a diamond tester; you can find one online for roughly $15.
The thermal conductivity of a gemstone is measured with these diamond testers – and each test lasts around 30 seconds. Check to see if your gem is clean, and then use your diamond tester according to the manufacturer’s directions.
How does it work? Only diamond and moissanite will show up on a diamond tester. Synthetic moissanite has only been utilized as a gemstone since the 1990s. If your item is older, it’s almost certainly a diamond if it passes this test!
Related Read: What Happens When A Diamond Tester Beeps?
3. Water Test
This one’s arguably the simplest method for determining whether or not your diamonds are genuine – but it is not definitive.
Just fill a glass with water and put your diamond into it. Due to the great density of the stone, if the diamond is natural, it’ll fall to the bottom of the glass. And if it’s a replica, it’ll float on the water’s surface.
Nevertheless, not all imitation diamonds float in water – so you’ll have to try one of the other methods to confirm your findings.
Related Read: Diamond Refractive Index: Do Diamonds Disappear In Water?
4. Magnifying Glass Test
Hold your diamond up to the light with a magnifying lens and examine it for flaws.
If you can’t locate any, it’s probably a fake; the majority of genuine diamonds include defects called inclusions. While perfect gemstones do exist, they are either incredibly expensive or lab-created.
However, don’t discard the stone right away. You could be holding a perfect, highly precious – and oh-so-rare – diamond.
5. UV Light Test
Have a blacklight? Turn off all the lights in your house and set the diamond underneath the UV light. Wait for the gem’s reaction – and see what hue it gives out. Most diamonds will glow blue under UV light. If you observe a faint green, gray, or yellow fluorescence instead, the gem is likely not a diamond.
Remember that this isn’t a foolproof test; not all diamonds will show a blue hue. Therefore, it is better to have a diamond professional evaluate the stone using sophisticated equipment.
6. A Loupe Test
A loupe is essentially a tiny magnifier that jewelers use to observe intricate details up close. The majority of jewelers use loupes to evaluate diamonds for clarity and class. If you don’t already have one, you’ll find a broad range of loupes at affordable costs online.
While a synthetic diamond can be flawlessly constructed, a natural will have characteristics that can’t be replicated – such as inclusions, which are microscopic flaws in the gemstone’s structure.
7. Check The Mount
Examine the type of mount used if your gem has previously been set in an earring. Why is that? Only platinum, white gold, yellow gold, pave or halo settings, and side-stone settings should be used for genuine diamonds.
So, look closely at the earring for indications to see if the setting is as stated.
Platinum is marked by the letters PT and karat, whereas notes with 10K, 14K, and 18K identify the kind of gold used. If you see numbers like 585, 770, 900, and 950, it means platinum or gold was utilized.
The gemstone marked with “C.Z,” on the other hand, is cubic zirconia – not a true diamond. It’s also most likely false if you find silver marks like “.925” or the Argentium Silver promotion.
Learn More: Diamond Earring Setting Types: Options To Consider
8. Scratch Test
The scratch test, which entailed scratching a loose stone against a mirror to check which one develops scratches, was formerly a popular method of determining the hardness of a mineral.
While diamonds are exceptionally tough, imitations like moissanite, cubic zirconia, and even black spinel are scratch-resistant and long-lasting, too.
Unfortunately, the scratch test has become ineffective with these jewels. So, it’s preferable to consider alternative options – such as having the diamond examined through a loupe.
Plus, if the gem isn’t a diamond, this is a harmful test that may damage it. Don’t conduct this test if you want to keep your stone looking beautiful.
Related Read: Can You Scratch A Real Diamond?
9. Check Transparency
Keep in mind your diamond has to be clean before doing this test.
Place your diamond flat side down on a piece of newspaper or book with a lot of lettering to evaluate its refractivity. Ensure there’s plenty of light – and that nothing is throwing a shadow on your diamond.
The stone is false if you can read the letters from the newspaper – whether they are fuzzy or not. If the diamond is genuine, however, its facets will refract light in various directions rather than in a straight line. And that means you won’t be able to look through the gem and read the letters on the page.
If you don’t have any newspaper, the dot test is a great substitute: Draw a tiny dot with a pen on a white sheet of paper on a level surface. Place the stone’s flat side on the dot and look down on the paper through the diamond’s pointed end. If the stone has a circular reflection inside it, it is a fake. The diamond is genuine if you can’t see the dot at all.
10. Fire Test
Another way to tell if your gem is authentic is to burn it with a lighter for 30 to 40 seconds – and then submerge it in cold water. A fake diamond will shatter – but this will not affect a genuine diamond.
That’s because weaker materials will not be able to manage the rate at which the heat of the fire expands and then shrinks them. Real diamonds, on the other hand, have been created underground, under extreme pressure and heat.
While using fire to evaluate a stone’s genuineness is precise, it might also be hazardous, so take precautions and use heat-resistant gloves when touching the diamond.
Related Read: What Will Happen If You Burn A Diamond?
11. Use A Diamond Scale
Although not everybody has access to a diamond scale, your neighborhood diamond jeweler most certainly has.
If the diamond is an imitation, it will be heavier than a genuine diamond with an identical cut and carat weight. That’s due to the fact that cubic zirconia weighs around 55% more than a diamond.
You’ll need two stones for this test – a genuine diamond and a replica of the same shape and carat weight.
12. Sparkle Test
All you need for the so-called sparkle test are your eyes: Place your diamond under a regular light source – and watch the dazzling shimmers of light bounce off of it.
Since it reflects white light so beautifully, a genuine diamond has an extraordinary brilliance. Diamonds may also reflect fire or colored light, creating a stunning spectacle.
The white and colored light dazzle will be noticeably different from what you’ll see with the diamond-like Cubic Zirconia. Cubic Zirconia emits a distinct rainbow of light.
However, you should not use this as your lone testing technique; instead, try the other ways mentioned above, too.
What Other Techniques Can Be Used To Determine The Diamond’s Authenticity
Electricity Conductivity Test
An electricity conductivity test done by a jeweler or gemologist can also be used to identify a false diamond. Diamonds – particularly the tricky synthetic moissanite – carry electricity better than other stones.
An electrical tester will reveal if the diamond is genuine or created in a laboratory. Most other stones, such as moissanite and Cubic Zirconia, do not display conductivity.
Send a gemstone to a competent diamond laboratory for a thorough examination if you want to learn about its internal molecular properties.
Why? The X-ray device can distinguish between a radiolucent and a radiopaque molecular structure in the stone. Diamonds are radiolucent – but imitations such as cubic zirconium and crystals are the latter.
Related Read: Do Real Diamonds Show Up On X-ray?
Almost all of the tests listed here can aid in determining whether your diamonds are genuine. However, due to the complexities of imitation gemstones, we strongly advise combining all of these tests to check whether you have an authentic diamond with certainty.
Of course, if you’re still hesitant, you could also take your diamond earrings to a jeweler or a specialist to have them evaluated. These professionals have undergone extensive training – and know how to distinguish a fake diamond from a genuine one.
Fortunately, every diamond you buy will come with a genuine AGS or GIA certificate, so all you have to do is double-check that the stone matches the certificate. In addition, you could get a grading report to set your mind at ease.
And that’s that on how to tell if diamond earrings are real or fake!