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Sincere or Scam: How to Tell if a Diamond is Real

January 15th, 2024

a row of diamonds on a dark background

With fraudulent diamonds becoming more and more prevalent, identifying a genuine diamond from a counterfeit can indeed be a daunting task. At Lewis Jewelers, our team of experts understands the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to precious gemstones. That's why we have crafted a simple guide to help you navigate the intricate world of diamonds. Our guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to distinguish between real and imitation diamonds, ensuring that your jewelry investments are as precious as they should be. Trust Lewis Jewelers to provide you with the insights needed to make confident and well-informed choices when it comes to these cherished gems. Follow along with the various tests outlined below to help reliably determine the authenticity of your diamond. 

The Fog Test

This easy at-home method can be used to determine the authenticity of a diamond within seconds. The fog test assesses how the stone interacts with moisture and heat. By gently breathing on the diamond's surface, you can observe its reaction. If the diamond clears instantly, there's a higher likelihood that it's real. Real diamonds have excellent heat conductivity, causing the moisture from your breath to dissipate swiftly. In contrast, fake diamonds or cubic zirconia may retain heat and moisture, leading to a slower dissipation of the fog. While this test provides a basic indicator, it's important to note that it's not foolproof and should be used in conjunction with other methods.

a diamond with light shining through it

The Weight Test

Comparing weights of the stone in question with a real diamond is another straightforward and practical way to analyze authenticity, as it relies on the fact that diamonds are denser than most imitations. You will need a genuine diamond of similar size to conduct this test. A real diamond should feel noticeably heavier in your hand due to its higher density. However, it's critical to understand that synthetic diamonds and high-quality imitations can closely mimic the weight of real diamonds, making this test less conclusive. 

The Loupe Test

When examining a diamond under a jeweler's loupe or magnifying glass, experts look for tiny imperfections called inclusions. Depending on their clarity rating, real diamonds typically have pinpoint-like inclusions, which are natural and formed over millions of years. Fakes, on the other hand, may lack these characteristic features. By carefully inspecting these imperfections, gemologists can often differentiate genuine diamonds from imitations with a high degree of accuracy. However, using a careful eye, any diamond lover can purchase a jeweler’s loupe to be used to look for inclusions at home.

a sparkling diamond on a black background

The Sparkle Test

This test is a visual technique to distinguish a real diamond from imitations, relying on the unique brilliance of genuine diamonds. Real diamonds possess a captivating sparkle, dispersing both white and rainbow-colored light when exposed to various light sources. This remarkable play of colors, fire and scintillation, sets authentic diamonds apart from imitations. While some imitations may exhibit a degree of sparkle, they often lack the intensity and range of colors that authentic diamonds display. Observing how a gemstone responds to light and captures its mesmerizing sparkle can be a valuable clue when identifying real diamonds.

Professional Testing

Although the aforementioned at-home tests can offer priceless insight, taking the jewel in question to a trusted jeweler, like Lewis Jewelers, is the best and most reliable test. Consulting a qualified jeweler or gemologist with access to specialized tools like a diamond tester or a refractometer ensures an accurate evaluation. These instruments can precisely measure a diamond's electrical conductivity, refractive index, and other properties unique to real diamonds. Professionals can also identify synthetic diamonds and discern them from natural ones. This approach is especially recommended for valuable or high-stake diamonds.

an emerald-cut diamond being held between two prongs

Discover Gorgeous Diamonds at Lewis Jewelers

Dive into a world of exquisite diamonds at Lewis Jewelers, your trusted Ann Arbor jewelry store. With a legacy of craftsmanship and excellence, you are welcome to explore our stunning collection of diamonds. From engagement rings that represent everlasting love to dazzling diamond jewelry that adds a dash of elegance to any occasion, we offer a wide range of options to suit your desires. Our expert team is here to assist you in finding an immaculate diamond. Visit us, explore our diamond selection, and trust us for jewelry repair and consultation. Contact us today to begin your diamond journey at Lewis Jewelers.