News & Advice

How To Tell If A Diamond Is Real?

Distinguishing a real (natural) diamond from a synthetic (lab-grown) or imitation (fake) diamond can be challenging, but there are several methods you can use to help determine if a diamond is real. Here are some common methods and tests:

  1. The 4 Cs: Consider the diamond’s characteristics based on the “Four Cs” of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Real diamonds exhibit a range of colors (not all are perfectly colorless), have internal and external imperfections (inclusions and blemishes), and are available in various carat weights. The cut of a real diamond should be well-proportioned for optimal brilliance.
  2. Certification: Check if the diamond comes with a certification from a reputable gemological laboratory, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the International Gemological Institute (IGI), or the American Gem Society (AGS). These certificates provide detailed information about the diamond’s characteristics and can confirm its authenticity.
  3. Use a Diamond Tester: A diamond tester is a handheld device that can detect the thermal conductivity of a diamond, which differs from most other materials. When you touch the tester’s probe to a real diamond, it should indicate that the stone is a diamond. However, this method may not distinguish between natural and lab-grown diamonds, as both have similar thermal conductivity.
  4. Conduct a Fog Test: Breathe on the surface of the diamond to create condensation. A real diamond will disperse the moisture quickly due to its high thermal conductivity. In contrast, an imitation stone may retain the fog for a longer period.
  5. Inspect for Inclusions: Examine the diamond under magnification, such as a jeweler’s loupe or a microscope. Real diamonds often have tiny, unique internal characteristics called inclusions. While some synthetics may also have inclusions, imitations typically lack them or have obvious imperfections.
  6. Look for the “Read-Through” Effect: Place the diamond face-down on a piece of printed text. A real diamond with good clarity will refract the text and make it difficult to read through the stone. Imitation stones may not have this effect.
  7. Observe Light Reflection: Real diamonds exhibit strong light reflection, known as brilliance. Move the diamond under a light source and observe how it reflects light. A real diamond will produce sharp, bright flashes of white light (brilliance) and colorful flashes (fire).
  8. Ask for Documentation: If you are considering purchasing a diamond, request any available documentation, such as a sales receipt, certificate, or grading report. Verify the information provided with reputable sources.

If you have doubts about the authenticity of a diamond, especially if it’s a valuable purchase, have it professionally assessed by a certified gemologist or a reputable jeweler. They can provide an expert evaluation and verify its authenticity using specialized equipment.