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What to Look For | Fakes

How to Tell a Real From a Fake Diamond

Diamonds are so rare and beautiful that many people will pay very high prices to get their hands on one. Unfortunately, there are companies and people who will go to great lengths to try and sell a fake or seriously flawed diamond. These charlatans may tout seriously flawed diamonds inexpensive quality diamonds. Or worse, they may sell fake diamonds as real ones. The occasional diamond purchaser should arm himself with the knowledge of how to tell a real from a fake diamond. To the untrained eye it can seem an impossible task. Fortunately, there are methods available to vet a stone.

Looking inside the diamond with a microscope is one way to guarantee its authenticity. Using a 1200x microscope will reveal inclusions inside the diamond. Another trick to use is holding the diamond up and attempting to look through it. It should not be clear enough to see through. This may seem counterintuitive, but a properly cut diamond will have brilliance that bounces light off from the surface. The result is a shining diamond. A fake will often not show this brilliance.

In fact, fake diamonds usually look real from a bird's eye perspective. Care, however, is often not taken in most other areas, so looking at it through the side is a great way to check. A quick test is to lay the diamond down on a newspaper. A real diamond will not allow you to see through it at all, while you can see lettering or parts of the paper with a fake diamond. A possible exception to this would be emerald or low cut diamonds.

Another trick to determine the veracity of a diamond is to check its hardness. If there are any dings or scratches, the diamond is obviously fake. Remember a diamond is the hardest matter on Earth. Nothing should be able to scratch it! Try getting some sandpaper and rubbing it against the diamond. This may sound scary, but it is perfectly safe if the diamond is real. A fake diamond will likely scratch, a real diamond will not.

Another simple test involves fogging up the real or fake diamond. Breathing on the diamond will result in fog on a fake diamond. A real diamond will remain clear.

These tests are handy when determining if a diamond is fake or real. But none of them is conclusive. Ultimately, the diamond buyer will want to have an second appraiser take a look at the diamond if it is going to be a significant investment.

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