How to Tell if a Diamond is Real

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A diamond is supposed to be a girl's best friend, but you want to make sure that the diamond you're buying really is a gem of a friend and not just a pretty stone. Here are some ways to tell if your precious jewel is real or fake.


1. Diamond Breath Test

The diamond breath test makes it super easy to determine if your glitzy bauble is authentic. With your breath, fog up the surface of the stone. If your diamond looks cloudy for a few minutes then it is likely bogus. Real diamonds clear up quickly because they distribute heat instantly. This makes it almost impossible for real dazzlers to fog up


2. Diamond Reflection Test

A simple method to use is the diamond reflection test. All that is needed is natural sunlight. The way that diamonds reflect light is unusual: the inside of a real diamond stone should sparkle gray and white while the outside should mirror a rainbow of colors onto other surfaces. A phony diamond, however, will have a rainbow of colors that you can see in the interior of the stone as well.


3. Diamonds in Water

This is a quick & simple method. Find a glass and fill it ¾ of the way with water. Drop your diamond in water. If the sparkler subsides, it’s real bling. If it floats underneath or at the surface of the water, you have a bogus rock on your hands. A diamond has a high density, so the glass of water experiment shows if your stone matches this level of density.


4. Diamond Scratch Test

Did you know that a diamond is one of the strongest substances on earth, making it easy to cut through glass?

Sometimes a diamond scratch test can help you decide if the bling in question is, in fact, a genuine stone. You will need a glass plate and a loose diamond for this test. Use the questionable diamond to scratch the surface of the glass. If it scratches the glass, chances are good that your rock is authentic. It’s important to note that scratching the surface of glass with a diamond could damage your precious gem in the process.



5. The Microscope Test

Look at the questionable bling under a microscope. Position it next to a genuine stone and compare the two. All diamonds contain an external or internal flaw, known as an inclusion, in one form or another. Phony diamonds, however, don't have inclusions. If a bauble is too perfect and clear, it's probably not a real diamond gem.


6. Black Light Test

You'll need a black light for this one. Once you get it, switch off the lights in your home and place the diamond beneath a UV light. Wait for its reaction and analyze the color it reveals; almost all diamonds will emit a blue-colored glow but not all of them — some diamonds don't glow beneath UV light. If you see a faint fluorescent glow in a green, gray or yellow color instead, then this normally means that the questionable gem is not a diamond. However, bear in mind that the black light test for diamonds is not a conclusive test and not all diamonds show a blue hue, so it is better to get a diamond specialist to test the dazzler using their advanced equipment.


7. Use a Loupe

A loupe is a tiny magnification device used by jewelers to see minor details up close. Most jewelers use loupes to examine diamonds for their class and clarity. While artificial ice is perfectly constructed, a natural diamond will have tiny imperfections called inclusions that will appear under a loupe's intense magnification.


8. Mounted Diamonds

You can typically determine the authenticity of a diamond by examining the metal quality of the setting.

A pure diamond will most likely be set in a premium metal like gold or platinum, so look for an engraving that says 10K, 14K, 18K, 585, 750, 900, 950, PT or Plat. Diamonds are a huge investment, so it is very unlikely that a substantially sized diamond's setting is anything other than premium metal.


9. Newspaper Test

If it is a loose diamond, you can use the diamond newspaper test to determine if it is genuine or not. With the flat side down, place the gemstone on a piece of newspaper. If you're able to read the letters through the diamond, it is faux ice. A true diamond, because of how it refracts light, you will not be able to see straight through it.  


10. Heat Test

Place your hand over the flame of a candle and heat your diamond for about a minute. You should feel no heat and the stone should remain cool to the touch. Real diamonds have a higher thermal conductivity than glass, so they can get hot quickly--but they can't store that heat in their structure.


11. Diamond & Gem Tester

You can typically determine the authenticity of a diamond by examining the metal quality of the setting.

The easiest and most accurate way to identify a real diamond—aside from bringing it in to a certified jeweler—is to purchase an at-home diamond and gem tester. They are usually affordable and deliver quick/ reliable results.


12. Use a Diamond Scale

All you are going to need is an electronic scale. Diamonds, which are all carbon, have a unique density of 3.52 grams per cubic centimeter. The weight of the diamond should match up with other diamonds with equivalent carat weight, color and clarity grade. If the weight is off even a little bit, you may be dealing with an imitation.



Is your diamond a fake gem? Many of the experiments mentioned, such as the scratch test and the fog test can help to validate whether your diamond is authentic or not. Due to the advancement of synthetic gemstones, we highly recommend incorporating a few of these tests together to really get an answer to whether you have a real diamond or not.