How to Spot Fake Diamond Jewelry: 7 Easy Things to Check

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Buying diamond jewelry is a big commitment. Because this precious stone is one of the most expensive in the gem world, it is important that you spend time to make sure you are not being duped.

Whether you are planning to go jewelry shopping online, or at a shabby jewelry store, there are certain things you should be aware of to confirm the authenticity of your new diamond stone.

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Here are 7 steps to help you identify fake diamond jewelry:

1. Check the Certification

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All diamond jewelry that comes from authorized sellers will include a certificate from a grading authority like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), International Gemological Institute (IGI) and American Gem Society (AGS). These agencies are trusted to provide a detailed report about the diamond, including the carat, shape, cut, clarity and more.

2. Check the Reflection

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The reflection of a genuine diamond stone will have different shades of gray and white on the inside, which is also known as “brilliance”. On the outside, the stone should have a reflection of light rainbow colors. Fakes will have rainbow-colored reflections on the inside.

3. Do the Fog Test

One of the most popular ways to check for a diamond’s authenticity is by doing the fog test. Breathe on the stone and watch how quickly it fogs up. Because diamonds are able to disperse heat very rapidly, the fog should vanish from a real gem almost instantly. On the other hand, fakes will stay fogged for longer than 2 seconds as condensation builds up.

4. Check the Refractivity

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Refractivity is the diamond stone’s ability to bend or refract light that passes through, contributing to the stone’s brilliance. This is one of the stone’s most important qualities. Brilliance is an inherent property of a diamond and can not be easily replicated in fakes. To test the stone’s refractivity, try the newspaper method. If your diamond is mounted, turn it upside down and place it on a newspaper (or other text printed materials) and observe. In fake diamonds, you will be able to see through and read the print. A real diamond, on the other hand, will bend the light and you won’t be able to read the text.

5. Do the UV Test

Most (but not all) diamond stones will have a light blue hue when displayed under ultraviolet light. Test your diamond jewelry by looking for this fluorescent blue hue. However, because not all diamond stones will have this blue undertone, the absence of a blue hue under UV light does not always confirm that the stone is a fake. Other gemstones can emit different colors like green, yellow or gray.

6. Drop in Water

The water test is one of the easiest ways to check for authenticity but this only works with loose diamond stones. Real diamonds have high density, which make them sink fast in water. Low quality fakes will be a lot lighter than genuine diamonds and will either float on the surface or sink significantly more slowly.

7. Inspect Through a Loupe

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A jeweler’s loupe is a handy tool for a diamond lover/collector. When inspected through a loupe, mined diamonds will reveal slight imperfections on the surface called inclusions. Typically, these natural diamonds have tiny flecks of minerals and imperfections in the carbon. Closer inspection of a real diamond will also display sharp edges, while fakes will appear more rounded. Fake diamonds often will look absolutely and impossibly perfect through the loupe.

Watch the informative video below for more tips on how to spot fake diamonds:

Credit: Tiffany & Co./GIA

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