How to Tell If A Diamond Is Real

There is nothing worse than to have or consider purchasing what is believed to be a diamond but not knowing for sure whether it is or not. Fortunately, there are several effective home tests you can conduct to determine the legitimacy of an expected diamond. 

Whether you want to validate the authenticity of a diamond before purchasing or want to make sure the ring your significant other bought is really what he/she says it is, you can find out exactly whether or not a diamond is real within minutes. The following is everything to know about how to find out if a diamond is real, including five different quick and easy tests you can try at home. 

How a Real Diamond is Made

A diamond is a stone that is comprised of pure carbon and formed through a process that involves extreme heat and pressure. There are two main types of real diamonds, which are mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds. 

A mined diamond forms through a natural process that lasts billions of years. Geologists believe they form in the Earth’s mantle, in which carbon molecules are placed under extreme heat and pressure for a period of one to three billion years. The diamonds eventually rose to the surface through volcanic eruptions inside the Earth’s core.  

A lab-created diamond is just as authentic as a mined diamond, containing the exact same molecules and also are formed through a process that involves time, heat and pressure. The only difference, however, is that a lab-created diamond is formed in a laboratory inside of a chamber, and the process is sped up through human intervention, rather than waiting billions of years for the Earth to produce diamonds naturally.

How to Test a Diamond at Home

The purchase of a diamond is a significant moment in a person’s life, and many find it essential to know its legitimacy, especially if they plan to present it to their significant other or give it to a family member. There are several effective and quick ways to tell if a diamond is real, and each one costs very little and only takes several minutes of your time. Five of the best ways to tell if a diamond real includes the following: 

  • The fog test
  • The water test
  • The magnifying test
  • The black light test
  • The loupe test

Now, without further adieu, let’s get into these five at-home tests to see if your diamond is authentic. You can either pick the one that is most convenient for you or try them all. 

The fog test

One of the easiest ways to test a diamond quickly is to put it through the fog test. You do not need anything for this test except your breath and the diamond. Then, simply breathe on the diamond and see if it fogs up. If the moisture goes away immediately, then it is most likely a real diamond. If the stone fogs up, however, then it is likely another type of stone such as moissanite. The science behind this test is simple; a diamond does not hold heat well, whereas other stones might.

The water test

The water test is another simple trick to see if your diamond is a fake. All you need for this is a half to a three-quarters full glass of water and the stone in question. You then simply gently place the stone into the glass of water and see what happens. Ideally, if the diamond is real, it sinks to the bottom of the glass fairly rapidly, whereas many fake diamonds might float on top of the water. The reason diamonds sink faster than other stones that look similar is that they are far denser. With that said, there are other stones with high density that might sink as well, so a stone that sinks does not necessarily mean it is real. 

The magnifying test

The magnifying test helps determine if there are any imperfections with the stone, which might be an indication as to whether or not it is real. For this simple at-home test, you need a magnifying glass, the diamond in question, and ideally another diamond you know is real (optional). You then simply examine the stone in question with the magnifying glass, looking for any imperfections. Many fake diamonds are far too perfect, whereas diamonds have been through a lot and are not flawless when examined up close. For best results, consider examining a diamond that you know as authentic and comparing the magnified qualities of each. 

The black light test

A black-light test, or a UV light test, is a great way to verify a diamond is real, but a failed black light test does not necessarily mean you have a fake on your hands. The way the test works is simple, and all you need is a UV light and the diamond you are testing. You then turn all the lights off inside the room and place the diamond under the UV light to see if the diamond emits a different color. If the diamond turns a bluish shade, then you should feel confident that it is real. The only downside to this test, however, is that not all diamonds have fluorescence, which means the blue shade might not show up even if the diamond is real.

The loupe test

The loupe test is very similar to the magnifying glass test, although it is often far more accurate and trustworthy. If you take your diamond to a jeweler to have it tested, they are likely to use what is known as a loupe to observe the stone. Instead of paying someone to examine the stone, however, you can purchase your own loupe for less than $10 and do the test yourself. In the same way that you examined the diamond using the magnifying glass, do the same with the loupe, looking (and hoping) for imperfections that indicate the stone went through extreme heat and pressure.

Buy Diamonds from a Reputable Store

The best way to ensure your diamond is authentic and you are not getting ripped off is to purchase your diamond from a reputable jeweler. Regardless of whether you purchase a mined diamond or a lab-created diamond, finding the right store to purchase from is always important. Ideally, you want to purchase from a store known for its high-quality and does not have any bad reviews for giving customers fake diamonds. Of course, you can always conduct your own at-home tests to ensure the diamond is authentic, but the best way to erase all doubt is to purchase from a jeweler you know you can trust. And, always make sure your diamond comes with a certification from a reputable gemologist.

The Bottom Line

A real diamond is a great way to show a significant other, family member, or a friend - or perhaps even yourself - how much you care for him or her. Whether you are about to propose to the love of your life or want to tell your mom how grateful you are for all that she has done for you, giving someone you care about a diamond strengthens relationships and sets a positive tone for the future. Now that you know more about the different types of real diamonds available to purchase (mined and lab-created) and how to ensure the stone is authentic, you should be ready to take the next step in purchasing your diamond for yourself or a loved one.