After inheriting, buying, or receiving jewelry, the first thought that often comes to mind is whether the stone is real.
Fortunately, there is a way to check whether it’s a real diamond, a fake, or some other similar gem.
In this guide, you’ll learn about a diamond tester and other methods to spot a genuine diamond. And if you’re looking for exquisite yet affordable jewelry with diamond-like stones, check out our collection of cubic zirconia rings below.
Joyce Layered Stack Ring
Esther Petite Cluster Ring
Jessica Simple Twist Ring
Real diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds vs. fake diamonds
Before we can discuss the diamond tester and the other methods to test the authenticity of a diamond, we must first understand the differences between each stone.
A diamond is a rare and beautiful colorless crystal typically mounted in jewelry. This stone is naturally occurring and can be found below the Earth’s surface.
But because of how expensive and difficult it is to acquire mined diamonds, more companies now prefer a lab diamond. Despite not being formed deep in the Earth, a lab-grown diamond still looks and feels the same as a natural diamond.
This synthetic stone has the same chemical composition, crystal structure, physical behavior, and optical properties as a real diamond. Even if you place the two side by side, a diamond tester won’t be able to tell them apart.
While jewelry shopping, you’ll find that several white gems have a similar appearance to diamonds. These stones may look identical to the real thing, but they have different physical, chemical, and optical properties than a lab diamond and mined diamond.
Knowing their differences can help you better distinguish a fake diamond from a real one.
Some of the common diamond simulants include cubic zirconia, white zircon, moissanite, quartz, white sapphire, white topaz, white spinel, and glass.
Even though they’re considered fake diamonds, many people still buy cubic zirconia and moissanite jewelry due to their beauty and affordability.
How does a diamond tester work?
A diamond tester is a probe with a small needle-like tip that you place on the stone to test whether it’s a real diamond. It uses thermal conductivity to measure the amount of speed with which heat travels through the gemstone.
The concept behind this process is based on the fact the different stones conduct heat differently. If the device detects that the diamond is real, whether lab diamond or mined diamond, it will indicate it on a display or produce a sound signal.
That is because moissanite conducts heat at the same rate as a diamond. You need a moissanite tester to distinguish the two.
Another type of diamond tester uses electrical conductivity in a gemstone. It follows the same principle as the thermal test. Electricity passes through a fake diamond, such as cubic zirconia, differently than with a real diamond.
In this test, you will only need a glass of water and a loose stone. Drop the gem into the water and observe how fast it sinks to the bottom. Since diamonds are dense, they should quickly sink.
A fake diamond such as glass or quartz, on the other hand, will drop slowly. However, other imitations, including cubic zirconia, are dense enough that they will also quickly reach the bottom.
Test #2: Jewelry mount and markings
The mount and markings of jewelry can also give you clues to what the stone might be. Because of how expensive a diamond is, jewelers will only set it in high-quality jewelry.
You will find it mounted on materials such as yellow gold, white, gold, or platinum in a halo, paved, or side-stone setting. Look inside the ring for any markings using a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe.
Jewelers often put notes such as 10K, 14K, and 18K to indicate a gold setting. Numbers like 585, 770, 900, and 950 also signify that the material is platinum or gold. A C.Z. engraving means the stone is cubic zirconia and not a diamond.
Test #3: Sparkle test
You can also test if a diamond is real under a bright light since it sparkles differently from imitations. But unless you have enough experience, you might have a difficult time recognizing the differences.
A real diamond will have a good mixture of white light and colored light. It will also display a strong contrast of light and dark areas.
What’s the best diamond tester?
Both diamond testers are highly accurate and can save you a lot of time and effort when testing a diamond. But between both tools, a diamond tester that uses electrical conductivity is better since it can detect moissanite.
If you’re doing these at-home methods, keep in mind that there are several synthetic diamonds, and each has its own complexity. Consulting with a diamond expert or a laboratory might be a better choice if you don’t have enough knowledge and experience.