How to Tell a Real Diamond from a Fake

how to spot a real diamond from a fake

To the untrained eye, spotting a real diamond from fake can be a real dilemma. How do you tell what’s real and what’s not? How can you be sure that you aren’t going to get ripped off to the tune of hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds? How to tell a real diamond from a fake is a job for the experts but there are a few tell tale signs that can help you spot a fake. Before you part with your hard earned cash, we share the benefit of our experience and offer you some real pearls of wisdom! 

A fake diamond is what’s known as a synthetic diamond – one that is produced in a lab or ‘above the ground’. Unlike those found in the ground, they are mass produced for the unsuspecting market and hard for the untrained eye to spot. They are for all intense and purposes diamonds, just not the pure ones you find in the ground therefore they don’t have the same value as a real mined diamond. 

There are a few tests and methods that you can try yourself which may help you to spot a synthetic diamond from an organic one which will also make anyone trying to sell you a fake, uneasy too!

The Line Test

Place the diamond on a single black like drawn on a piece of white paper. The black line will appear more visible through a fake diamond. With a real diamond, the line will virtually disappear! This is because white light bends when passing through a diamond.

Weigh Your Diamond

Possibly the simplest way to tell if a diamond is real. A 5mm round diamond should weigh almost bang on 0.50ct. It may be a few points either side but it will be there or thereabouts. A cubic zirconia of the same size will be weightier. The chart below shows you what your diamond should weight if it’s real.

The Breath Test 

If you breathe on a genuine diamond, the moisture beads that form will quite quickly disappear. If the diamond is not real, the moisture will fade much more slowly. This method is used by many experts to spot a fake from a real diamond. The simple truth is that diamonds are the best thermal conductors on the planet. 

Touching a Rock with Your Tongue 

While writing this we have visions of people licking their diamonds to test this theory but it really is something that can only be determined by an expert. The feel of a diamond on the tongue is much different than a non-diamond due to that icy feel and the thermal conductivity we mentioned above. A diamond will take the heat away from the surface of your tongue. 

If it Looks Too Good to be True….

Sadly, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is! If your diamond looks flawless, is very in white in colour and has no visible imperfections, you are probably looking at a fake. While flawless diamonds to exist they tend to be out of many peoples price range. To ascertain a diamonds authenticity, magnifying equipment is required. 

How Sharp are the Facets?

A diamond has very sharp facets when compared to CZ stones which tend to have more rounded ones. Again, magnification is required if you want to look in fine detail. A diamond never loses the sharpness of the facets.

Wear on the Diamond 

Genuine diamonds don’t wear like other gemstones. One reason that the popular “diamonds are forever phrase” was coined. They keep their sharpness and so don’t chip or scratch. If a diamond looks worn and tired, it’s probably not the genuine article. This is a great indicator of how to spot a real diamond from a fake if you are buying a vintage piece. 

Does it Have Small Marks?

Genuine diamonds, unless flawless, have small marks which are known as inclusions. There is a grading scale of how included a diamond is which is used as one of the considerations when valuing a diamond. If your diamond has no inclusions it’s either worth a small fortune or it’s not real. 

guide to choosing diamonds

Still Not Sure?

If you’re not convinced and none of the above tests have made your mind up, we are happy to help. We provide experienced, professional diamond valuations for sale and insurance purposes and have the knowledge and skill to accurately assess your diamond. If you need help and advice with how to spot a real diamond from a fake, get in touch with us and we will offer the benefit of our experience to help you find your perfect gemstone. 

Just give us a call on 01934 628361 or pop along to 24 High Street, Weston-super-Mare where we will be happy to help.