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How to Spot a Fake Diamond
The majority of diamond retailers are reputable companies who only sell authentic, natural diamonds from accredited suppliers. However, there are some unscrupulous traders who purport to sell the 'real thing', yet dupe innocent couples with man-made replications cultivated in laboratories, or colourless minerals that look and reflect almost like a diamond. Understanding how to spot a fake diamond will not only arm you with the knowledge needed to differentiate natural diamonds from their lab-manufactured counterparts, but also assist in you in finding a beautiful diamond befitting of your taste and budget. These useful tips may also help you to avoid making a poor buying decision.
Tip #1 - Understand Diamond Quality: Couples who are familiar with the four Cs -- colour, cut, carat, and clarity (as outlined by the Gemological Institute of America)-- are significantly less likely to be taken in by the allure of fake or low quality diamonds, because they can discern the difference between authentic stones and cheap knock-off's. Every stone sold by English Diamond can be identified by the unique GIA number laser inscribed onto the diamond, which is generally easy to spot with the aid of a 10x magnification jeweller's loupe. Our diamonds are also supplied with an official GIA certificate, which affirms information pertaining to grades and finish. Visit our “4C's of Diamonds” section for further information on colour, cut, carat and clarity here.
Tip #2 - Buy From A Reputable Source: To avoid questionable quality and fakes, you should always seek to make your diamond purchase from a well established retailer. A reputable dealer who can answer detailed questions honestly, is far less likely to be involved with counterfeit diamonds and controversial suppliers. The experts at England Diamond have intimate knowledge of diamonds, and employ professional equipments to identify real diamonds from fakes, simulants, and artificial imitations. Our diamond stock is sourced from only vetted suppliers, however, we also thoroughly inspect every piece of diamond we sell.
Tip #3 - Analyse the Quality of Diamond Settings: Diamonds are an expensive investment, and as such, it is rare to find them inset into inferior metals, or insecure settings. If the setting of a diamond engagement ring appears to be crooked, loose, or the prongs seem liable to bending or snapping easily, the inset stone may be far less valuable than suggested by the retailer. You can learn more about the various types of engagement ring settings by visiting our “Ring Settings Introduction” here.
Tip #4 - Conduct a Fog Test: Have you ever noticed that when you breath on a mirror, the heat appears to dissipate very quickly? In much the same way as glass, diamonds disperse heat in a matter of seconds. So, when you breathe onto the surface of a diamond, the fog should vanish almost immediately. Conversely most counterfeit or artificial diamond won't dissipate the heat so quickly, and may remain foggy for more than two seconds.
Tip #5 - Check for Damage: Diamonds are tenacious gemstones, and for the most part, are quite resistant to surface wear and tear, chipping and breakage. A stone with obvious, eye noticeable surface damage, such as small chips, scuffs and scratches, is unlikely to be authentic.
Tip # 6 – Inspect Reflection Colour: A diamond's refraction index causes the reflected colours and sparkles within the stone to appear grey to the human eye. Diamonds with a tendency to reflect rainbow colours within the stone are usually not the real thing.
Tip #7 – Conduct a Transparency Test: No diamond is ever completely transparent, therefore this simple test is a good way to discern a natural diamond from a counterfeit, or replica. To check a loose diamond's transparency level, turn it upside down over a newspaper or similar item of literature with clear readable print. If you are in fact holding a real diamond, the text will not be legible when looking through the stone. If it's possible to read the print, it's likely the stone doesn't have the right light dispersion qualities synonymous with real diamonds and is probably a fake.
Tip #8 – Assess the Diamond Using An Ultraviolet Lamp: This is a nifty trick employed by diamond experts to gauge the authenticity of diamonds. Some real diamonds tend to glow a soft blue colour under ultraviolet or black lamps, whereas most counterfeit stones will give off other colours.
Tip #9 – Look for sharp lines with a Jeweller's Loupe: A magnifying tool, such as a jeweller's loupe, is a handy instrument for viewing diamonds up close. At 10x magnification, you'll be able to ascertain the cutting method. Real stones will have clearly defined facets with sharp lines and geometric precision, whereas a fake is less likely can be so well made due to the material’s ability to withstand very tough polish and cutting.
Tip #10 - Is it Too Perfect?: Irrespective of grade, most natural diamonds will comprise some minor flaws and blemishes identifiable under magnification. While it's possible to obtain stones that are aesthetically flawless, they are generally expensive, and often quite rare. Great care should be taken when examining the stone. If it appears to be flawless with no natural inclusions or blemishes, beware it could possibly be a fake or lab-produced replica.
Tip #11: Buy a combination Diamond/ Moissanite Tester: Moissanite is a rare natural mineral that looks a lot like a diamond, yet hard to detect. It forms alongside diamonds, characterised by similar crystalline properties and characteristics. Combination Diamond – Moissanite testers are widely available on the internet, and can help you to differentiate between diamonds, moissanite and synthetic fakes. In the unlikely event you are unable to get a positive result, an experienced diamond expert here at England Diamond will be more than happy to examine the stone using our professional equipment and expertise.