Diamonds are forever

January 22, 2009

This may not be the best time to buy diamonds given the state of our economy. As we prepare for spring, clean out your jewelry box and see if any of your diamonds are fake or real. Boyfriends (or girlfriends) and fiances watch out!

Every WIT deserves the real deal, so how do you spot a fake? Here are some great tips that will help you pick the fakes.

1. Ask for a certificate if it is a large and valuable diamond say worth $5,000 or more. Make sure it’s from an impartial diamond grading authority (e.g. GIA, HRD, AGS, EGL USA) who is affiliated with a professional organization like the American Society of Appraisers.

2. If the diamond is unset – do the look through test:
Diamonds have a high “refractive index”. Cubic Zirconia (CZ), glass and quartz have a lower refractive index, meaning they shine less due to the fact it bends light less.

If the diamond is not mounted, turn it upside down and place it on a piece of newspaper. If you can see the print through the stone or even see distorted black smudges, then it probably isn’t a diamond. **Unless the cut is an emerald, or straight step faceted cut, in that case print can be seen through a real diamond.

3. Buy a Diamond Tester
If you are a serious pawn shop shopper these are readily available and can quickly indicate if is a true diamond or stimulant, but you need to read the manual and train as they are not fool proof.

4. Weigh the stone
Cubic zirconia weighs approximately twice as much as diamonds for the same shape and size. Use estimated diameter or millimeter size charts and compare to the stones’ carat weight from a carat or gram scale to compare the stone in question to a real diamond.

5. Put the stone under a UV light
About one third of diamonds fluoresce a bluish colour. If a ring has many diamonds and none fluoresce then it is probably a fake. If you see a very slight green, yellow, or gray fluorescence under ultraviolet light, it may be Moissanite (a high tech stimulant).

6. Have the diamond x-rayed
If you work in a dentist’s surgery etc. real diamonds do not show up on an x-ray, glass, cubic zirconia and crystals all show a darkness on X-Ray photos.

7. Use a jeweler’s loupe to inspect the diamond
Mined diamonds usually have small imperfections or inclusions that can be seen this way. A CZ is usually flawless. Lab-grown diamonds usually have imperfections, too.

8. Use a very strong magnet
Suspend the ring on a piece of cotton a couple of feet long and if the ring moves when the magnet is bought near the ring then the stone is synthetic because it has some metallic particles inside which rarely if ever occur in diamonds. If the diamond is loose then balance it on a small piece of cardboard floating in a glass of water to see if it is attracted to the magnet.

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