Diamond Articles

How to Tell if a Diamond is Real

July 10, 2019 - Diamond Articles
Whether you are adiamond lover, aspiring gemmologist or simply curious about your own diamonds, have you ever wondered how to tell if a diamond is real? There are dozens of diamond alternatives on the market that can dupe the untrained eye. To find out if you own a genuine diamond, we share our tips and tricks that will help you to tell if a diamond is real. With easy at home tests and industry tips from our gemmologists, you will be able to spot real diamonds in no time.

Get answers to the following:


Popular diamond alternatives

There are many diamond alternatives on the market that can be easily mistaken for the real thing. The most common diamond alternatives are:

  • Cubic Zirconia
  • Moissanite
  • White Sapphire
  • White Topaz
  • Zircon
  • Glass

For some, these stones are good diamond alternatives, however, they do not hold nearly the same value as natural diamonds. For example, a nice one carat diamond will be worth over a thousand pounds while a comparable moissanite will cost a few hundred pounds and a similar CZ will be just a few pounds. And because of their negligible value, there are very limited places you can sell diamond alternatives. Read our tips below on how to spot a real diamond from a diamond alternative.

It is worth noting that in addition to these diamond alternatives, there are also real diamonds that have been artificially created or altered:

  • Lab grown diamonds: also known as synthetic or man-made diamonds, are made in a controlled environment under great heat and pressure, in a process similar to how diamonds form naturally.
  • Treated diamonds: natural diamonds sometimes receive artificial treatments, such as laser drilling or HPHT (high pressure high temperature), to enhance their colour and clarity. However, once a diamond receives one of these treatments, they are no longer considered natural and are worth less than their entirely natural counterparts.

While lab grown diamonds and treated diamonds are real diamonds, they are worth less than untreated, natural diamonds. To find out if your diamond is lab grown or treated, you will need to have a trained gemmologist examine the stone.


How to tell if a diamond is real

There are several quick and simple tests that you can conduct at home to help you tell if your diamond is real or is a diamond alternative:

  • Glass Test: The simplest way to tell if a diamond is real is with the glass test. Lightly wet the diamond’s table (the flat top of the diamond) and place that end against glass. Real diamonds will adhere to the glass while fakes will fall.
  • Transparency Test: Also known as the read through test, all you need for this test is your stone and a book or newspaper. Place your stone table down over text and see if you can read any of the words. If you can read the text, then you do not likely have a diamond. Keep in mind that this test does not work well with poorly cut diamonds and stones under half a carat because they are too small to look through.
  • Sandpaper Test: If you are willing to potentially scratch a fake diamond, you can try the sandpaper test. Rub your stone against sandpaper and see if it scratches. As real diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, they will not be scratched by the sandpaper as opposed to softer diamond alternatives. Be aware that this can cause damage to your stone.
  • Fog Test: Breathe onto the stone as if you were trying to fog up a window. If the fog clears up after one or two seconds, then you likely have a real diamond. Since diamonds do not retain heat, the fog will quickly dissipate, unlike their fake counterparts who will retain the fog for longer.

While these easy tests are great starting points, the best way to tell if a diamond is real is to have it evaluated by a trained gemmologist. Does your stone have certification from a reputable diamond grading lab such as the GIA?

how to tell if a diamond is real

Certification from a reputable diamond lab will indicate if your diamond is real as well as its characteristics. If do you not have official certification, you should meet with an experienced gemmologist to give you an assessment. Gemmologists have the necessary diamond expertise and tools to determine conclusively if a diamond is real or not.


How to sell diamonds

Now that you know how to tell if a diamond is real, are you looking to sell your diamonds or diamond jewellery? At WP Diamonds, we specialize in buying diamonds, diamond jewellery, designer jewellery and luxury watches. Established in 2012, we are international diamond buyers with a dedicated team of GIA trained gemmologists, providing a quick, easy and safe way to sell.

what diamond certificates help with

Our free process is designed to make selling diamonds, designer jewellery and watches simple. There are no fees involved or commissions deducted from your final offer. Sell via appointment or online with our free, fully insured shipping in as little as 48 hours. We work with hundreds of customers a day from around the world, see what they have to say about their experience selling to WP Diamonds.

To begin the selling process today, simply complete our online form with information about your diamonds, jewellery or luxury watches. One of our experts will promptly contact you with an initial quote. To receive a final offer we provide two convenient options:

  • Schedule an Appointment: We host free weekly appointments in Birmingham, New York and Hong Kong, as well as monthly London appointments. During your 30-minute appointment you will meet with one of our experts who will evaluate and price your pieces. You can accept payment by bank transfer.
  • Sell Online: We can provide you with a free, secure, trackable and fully insured Special Royal Mail Pack. As soon as your items arrive at our office they will be assessed and priced by our experts. We will contact you with our firm buying offer which you can accept by bank transfer. We never use any high-pressure sales tactics and you can always request to have your items returned to you for free.

Click the button below to see how much you can get paid today.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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