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“How do you tell the difference between a natural diamond and an artificial stone?”....This is one of the most common questions that we, along with many other experts, are asked. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that it is nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye. But the good news is that there are a whole bunch of tests that you can do yourself to make sure you aren’t duped into buying a fake stone.
1. Inspect your diamonds with a jeweller’s loupe.
Firstly, a loupe is a magnifying glass that is used by jewellers to view gemstones and their setting under 10x magnification. Because real diamonds are created by the forces of mother-nature they will have sharp edges and carry tiny inclusions within their structure. When you compare a real diamond to a fake stone, the fake will be absolutely perfect i.e. no inclusions and rounded edges.
Now, we would like to caution you that there are diamonds that are Lab-grown, and they too have perfect internal structures. So before you go throwing away perfect gems, you might want an expert to have a closer look at it.
2. Check the quality of the setting and look for metal stamps
When you’re inspecting the setting, you will notice tiny etchings that will state what metal is used, like 9K, 14K,and 18K for gold, and 0.925 for silver. If the piece is plated, then it’s most likely that the stone isn’t a diamond. Because why would anyone mount a brilliant stone in cheap metal? You should also check the quality of the setting. If the setting is poor, that probably means that the diamond isn’t going to be real either.
3. Fakes fog up
Just like a foggy bathroom mirror, a fake diamond will fog up when you breathe hot air over it. But a real diamond will not have the same reaction. In fact, it won’t even fog up slightly; instead it will disperse the heat instantly.
4. Try the rainbow test
Many of us tend to think that diamonds sparkle like rainbows, but they don’t. Diamonds actually have a sparkle that is unique to them. On the inside, you will see a gray and white sparkle called brilliance while on the outside it will reflect rainbows on other surfaces (this dispersion of light is known as fire). But if the stone throws rainbows on it’s inside, then it’s a sure sign that the diamond is a fake.
5. Test the stone’s refractivity
Fakes can imitate a diamond's brilliance, but when it comes to refraction it is much lower than a natural diamond. Diamonds sparkle because of the way they bend light. Like if you rest an unmounted diamond on a sheet of paper, light will scatter inside it preventing a black reflection. But a fake will simply behave like a piece of glass; you’ll be able to see right through it , and maybe even read through it, depending on its size. If your stone is mounted, you can test its refractivity by simply looking through it; if you can see all the way down till the mount, then the stone probably isn’t a diamond.
At Radiant Bay, to assure you of the highest quality, all your precious treasures are certified for diamond quality and hallmarked for gold purity.
Want to know more about how to care for your jewellery? Tell us what you would like us to write about next, in the comments.
The Ornamentalist is a blog by Radiant Bay with a mission to bring you expert opinions, news, ideas and inspirations about fashion, jewellery and all its nuances. Subscribe with us TODAY!