History of use

How to determine whether a diamond is diamond or not at home?

It is customary to give jewelry with a treasured stone as a gift during an engagement, for a wedding, for the birth of a long-awaited child, or when a man wants to make an indelible impression on his chosen one, declaring his status and wealth. Women also don’t mind adding diamond pieces to their jewelry collection to showcase their wealth. Today, few people buy jewelry outside of retail chains and jewelry stores. People understand the importance of having a certificate that lists the characteristics of the inlaid stone and the fineness of the precious metal. But if the owner inherits a diamond or gives it as a gift, or you decide to purchase jewelry in an antique shop or from a private seller, then you should arm yourself with knowledge about ways to determine the authenticity of a diamond without the services of a gemological laboratory. How many women’s tears were shed when it turned out that the diamond presented or received from the grandmother turned out to be, if not cubic zirconia, then a sample of obviously less value.

Stones that are trying to pass off as diamonds

  • Among semi-precious stones, diamond “doubles” can include colorless (white) topaz, leucosapphire can also be used, but since natural stones are quite rare, they often resort to their synthetic analogues.
  • Cubic zirconia, or cubic zirconium dioxide, is a synthetic analogue, “replica”, first produced in 1968 in the USSR on the basis of the Physical Institute of the Academy of Sciences. Lebedev (FIAN). Initially, artificial stone was created for laser equipment, but its high characteristics and low cost compared to diamonds created a real sensation in the jewelry sector.
  • Moissanite is a natural carbide. It is rare in nature, but synthetic analogues are widespread. The characteristics include high hardness, pronounced diamond shine, and high-quality play of light on the edges.
  • The “double” of the lowest quality is rock crystal. But, since the stone has significantly lower characteristics, the “forgery” is recognized even by a person who is not versed in the intricacies of jewelry.

They can also be replaced with yttrium aluminum garnet, transparent spinel, white beryl, and rhinestones. Conscientious sellers always point out the use of synthetic stones or natural “doubles” in jewelry. We are talking about a fake when you were offered, under the guise of a diamond, a stone with an obviously lower cost and completely different qualities. The seller simply took advantage of your incompetence for personal gain. Such activity will be criminally punishable.

But how do you know that this is a real stone? A non-specialist can only detect a fake by eye, without special tools and equipment, if it is of extremely low quality or frankly undervalued. For example, even an experienced appraiser or jeweler cannot distinguish an artificial diamond from a real one without laboratory testing.

What types of synthetic diamonds are there and what can a lab-made jewel reveal?

Diamonds created in a laboratory, unlike cubic zirconia and other analogues that imitate diamonds in jewelry, are not a decorative element. They are completely identical to natural stones, with the same crystal lattice structure, but are grown in an artificial environment, and are not formed under the pressure of earthly layers.

The international classifier distinguishes such stones into two basic types:

  • HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) are faceted diamonds grown under pressure and high temperature;
  • CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) – considered more advanced, therefore more expensive. They are based on diamonds synthesized by deposition from the gas phase at low pressure.

Cultivated diamonds are significantly cheaper than natural stones, but high quality specimens are still expensive. In this case, only a specialist from a gemological laboratory, armed with a microscope, can determine the origin. Even an experienced appraiser or jeweler will not be able to tell the difference between an artificial and natural diamond by eye. The only clue is the complete absence of inclusions. But even a tester will not always be able to identify a synthetic diamond.

Authentication Methods

How can you identify a fake if unscrupulous jewelers and sellers are also improving their skills in making fakes? There are folk ways to “bring out” a suspicious diamond, as well as professional methods where the authenticity is revealed through the physical and chemical properties of the sample. Jewelers use a microscope and other magnifying devices to measure the mass of the stone, its density, ability to reflect light and thermal conductivity. A fake diamond can also give itself away if exposed to UV light. In ultraviolet light, diamonds emit a bluish glow, but imitation diamonds do not. Moreover, natural diamonds are not visible on X-rays. Traditional methods are based on practical methods of testing the properties of stone without special equipment, but using improvised means.

What testing and evaluation methods do jewelers and gemologists use:

  • Diamonds have an equal intensity of shine on all sides; if you use a directed beam of light, you will get a lot of reflections of a silvery hue;
  • Due to the reflection of light from the facets of the diamond, it is opaque – when viewed from above, the iridescence of the stone forms a spike, and through cubic zirconia you can easily see a letter on a sheet of paper.
  • a natural diamond does not refract light with a split; if the face reflects 2 rays, then this is cubic zirconia.

The weight must match its size. Zircons are heavier than diamonds, so the difference will immediately be reflected on the scale. A cut diamond is framed only in platinum or gold. The more valuable the stone, the more expensive the frame will be. The lower part of the stone always remains open; the diamond is never set with glue.

How to distinguish a diamond from a fake at home

Suppose you come across a piece of jewelry supposedly with diamonds, but there are no supporting certificates for it. How can you check the authenticity of a gemstone without resorting to the help of specialists? There are several recommendations, however, not all popular methods actually work in practice.

  • The easiest way is to breathe on the “test subject”. Synthetic stones will become covered with moisture, but a natural diamond will remain unclouded.
  • Also, fat will collect in drops on the surface of artificial stones, but it will remain a smooth stripe on the surface of the diamond. You can drop vegetable oil onto the stone; if the drop disintegrates when exposed to a needle, then this is a sign of a fake.
  • Diamond can scratch glass. But artificial diamond or lithosapphire are also durable and can blur the test results. If you try to scratch the stone itself, the diamond should remain unharmed, but the fake will give itself away by forming scratches. The main thing is to use sandpaper or corundum, since a diamond will easily scratch its “brother.”
  • To check the authenticity of a stone, just a drop of water sprinkled on the top platform of the cut is enough. If the needle can separate the drop, then the diamond is not real. If you throw a stone into water, the rhinestones and moissanites will float, but the diamond should sink. It is a myth that the stone will become invisible; the diamond will be visible, but you will be able to identify “glued” samples along the connection line, which are not visible without immersion. Also, a diamond is characterized by less refraction of light when in water.
  • 90% of artificial diamonds will be attracted to a magnet

The diamond will not be damaged if you immerse it in hydrochloric acid or hold it over a flame for 3-4 seconds – it will remain clean. Cubic zirconia and moissanite will irrevocably change the shade. That is why the last 2 methods cannot be carried out in the salon. In addition, no one will allow you to carry out these experiments right in the salon; you can perform the above manipulations with the stone only after purchasing it.

Testing a diamond for authenticity in a laboratory

An indisputable guarantee of the authenticity and high quality of a diamond is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate – this is the conclusion of the “highest trust” category. It is legally established in Russia that a gemological certificate of conformity issued by a Russian laboratory must be attached to a diamond sold that is not set in a piece of jewelry.

  • Diamonds weighing less than 1 carat can be tested in a laboratory by the owner on his own initiative. For small samples, the selling organization issues certificates in the form accepted by the company.
  • For samples weighing more than 1 carat, an examination procedure in accordance with one of the standards is mandatory.
  • Also, diamonds worth over $3000 and fancy samples with high characteristics in color and transparency undergo mandatory examination.

The characteristics of the stone, confirmed by the GIA conclusion, are a guarantee of high research standards, which will not be questioned anywhere in the world. The laboratory of the Gemological Institute of America is the creator of an extensive database on the properties of diamonds. Experts use the most advanced tools to identify the nature of gemstones.

In particular, GIA specialists have at their disposal a unique device – DiamondView. This scientific instrument is capable of identifying crystal growth patterns by visualizing the fluorescence of test samples.

  • natural stones have a concentric growth pattern;
  • the cross-shaped pattern and the presence of regular stripes indicate the synthetic nature of the sample.

Unfortunately, none of the Russian laboratories has the same equipment due to its high cost.

GIA experts have also developed an automated technique that allows you to quickly assess the quality of small diamonds. This makes it possible to test large batches of small stones, where natural samples can be mixed with synthetic analogues.

Experts note that truly reliable examination results are shown mainly by non-profit organizations. Commercial structures often “play along” with clients, deliberately inflating the characteristics of the samples provided. Russian commercial laboratories, as well as certificates issued in Israel and Hong Kong, are not quoted in the jewelry sector. At the same time, examinations conducted by state laboratories of the Russian Federation and the USA have proven their impartiality in the evaluation of diamonds. Certificates of the highest level of trust are also issued by:

  • IGI – International Gemological Institute;
  • AGS – American Gemological Society;
  • HRD – Higher Diamond Council.

Lithotherapy

The nature of the birth of a diamond and its transformation into a diamond made people look for healing properties in the stone and its energy. In ancient India, the stone was used to restore mental balance and even treated diseases of internal organs. Followers of Ayurveda are confident that a diamond can slow down the aging process of the body. American naturopaths left behind works devoted to the treatment of cerebral vascular sclerosis with the help of diamond and gold.

Scientists have also studied the ability of diamonds to have a positive effect on the human body. They found that the stone can have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, stimulates natural tissue regeneration, stabilizes and normalizes hormonal levels.

The diamond has powerful energy, allowing the owner to develop his own abilities, but at the same time, the stone tends to absorb negativity, becoming a real carrier of deadly emanations.

Lithotherapy knows cases when a diamond was used as an antidote, exerting an effect on the poisoned body like an antidote.

The doctrine of lithotherapy prescribes the use of diamonds as a preventive and therapeutic agent for the following pathological conditions:

  • senile dementia, amnesia, sclerosis;
  • central nervous system problems, including not only apathy, increased anxiety, sleep disorders and depression, but also schizophrenia;
  • addictions – alcohol, drugs, smoking;
  • headaches of various origins;
  • diseases of the heart and blood vessels;
  • respiratory diseases, including tuberculosis;
  • joint pathologies accompanied by inflammation.

According to lithotherapists, a diamond can reduce fever and help overcome bacterial, fungal and viral infections. It is a pain reliever and also a way to eliminate skin lesions.

Lithotherapists recommend wearing the stone on yourself, and also prepare diamond water, which the patient should drink on an empty stomach. Water (spring, consecrated) – with positive energy, is “charged” for several hours from the stone immersed in it.

All about diamond purity

Diamond clarity is assessed at 10x magnification. The result is influenced by the shade, presence and location of inclusions, internal and external flaws. Purity is determined in accordance with GOST R 52913-2008. The inspection is carried out zonally: peripheral, middle and central sectors are distinguished. Based on the inspection results, a cleanliness group is assigned:

  • 1-12 for diamonds weighing over 0,3 carats;
  • 1-9 for samples weighing less than 0,29 carats.

The quality of inclusions and flaws are assessed depending on the severity of the gradation:

  • smallest;
  • small;
  • minor;
  • small;
  • large;
  • very big.

Certificates are usually marked. To make the expert’s conclusion clear, let’s consider how each option is interpreted.

According to GIA classification:

  • A flawless diamond will be marked IF.
  • If there are up to 3 inclusions, they are light and almost invisible when magnified, there will be markers VVS1, VVS2.
  • 6 light or 3 dark artifacts that a specialist could see at 10x magnification will allow you to assign categories VS1, VS2.
  • SI1, SI2, SI3 – categories that are in greatest demand among ordinary consumers. These are stones with the number of artifacts not exceeding 8. Moreover, they can be seen with a trained naked eye.
  • I1, I2, I3 – these categories can contain not only a large number of inclusions – both dark and light, but also cracks and chips.

Ideally pure natural diamonds are practically never found in nature. The more minor the imperfections in the thickness of the mineral, the higher the final value of the diamond. Unique stones cannot be found on open sale. They are hunted by collectors and members of the elite, for whom such an acquisition becomes both an investment and an indicator of status. For jewelers who cut stones, the quality of the source material will be important. If the defect is leveled out during the cutting process, the result will be a clean diamond with maximum value.

For the average consumer, knowledge about the purity of stones will help them navigate the price range and determine the quality of the jewelry they are purchasing. For everyday wear, they use jewelry with small stones – errors that are not noticeable will not spoil the impression of the owner’s image. At the same time, the ring or earrings will shimmer beautifully, creating a festive mood. If a person wants to purchase a high-quality diamond, the marking will help to assess the variability of the assortment.

In conclusion: if you do not have the skill to evaluate the authenticity and characteristics of precious stones, a qualified, loyal specialist should be present when making a transaction. Buy diamonds only from trusted sellers with an impeccable reputation and all the necessary permits in the jewelry sector. If you have inherited diamond jewelry and are planning to sell something, take care of an expert opinion that will guarantee your reputation and will not allow a potential buyer to demand a price reduction “due to low quality.”

A diamond is a cut and polished diamond that is one of the most expensive stones used to create jewelry. Therefore, buying diamond jewelry without first checking for authenticity is, to say the least, imprudent. However, if you were given a piece of jewelry with a precious stone or you have already purchased it, we offer several simple methods for determining the quality and authenticity of the jewelry at home.

Visual inspection

First of all, carefully examine the diamond using a magnifying glass. A genuine diamond, even of the highest quality, always has tiny internal defects or tiny inclusions of other elements. These may be minor stripes and cracks, dark or light dots. Absolutely pure diamonds are extremely rare and very expensive. Therefore, if the jewelry was purchased at a very reasonable price, then the perfectly clean diamonds in it will most likely turn out to be fake.

Diamond is the hardest mineral in the world, so after processing its edges become very clear and smooth, which also indicates its authenticity. Worn edges with rounded edges are a sure sign that it is glass.

Check out the jewel girdle. This is a border in the form of a narrow belt separating the crown (top) and pavilion (bottom) of a faceted stone. The girdle should be slightly rough to the touch and matte.

Be sure to pay attention to the shine of the diamond. To do this, shine direct electric light on it. The original sparkles not only from above, but from all sides. Also, unlike fakes, it shimmers not with all the colors of the rainbow, but with several shades of gray.

Hold the jewelry up to a bright light source and watch the beam pass through it. Looking at the stone from above, you can see many shimmers and a small point of light in the center. This will indicate the authenticity of the jewelry.

It should be remembered that the most reliable and accurate inspection of a diamond without a setting will be.

Authentication Tips

There are many methods for checking the authenticity of a diamond at home. Let’s look at the simplest and most effective of them:

  • Breath test. The easiest way of all that exists is to simply breathe on the stone and see if it fogs up. Unlike fakes, real jewelry will instantly dissipate the heat of your breath, leaving the surface clean and transparent.
  • Thermal check. This mineral takes a long time to heat up when exposed to the heat of the human body. Therefore, to verify the authenticity of a diamond at home, you just need to hold the stone in your palm for a few minutes. The cold from a genuine stone will be felt for quite a long time.
  • Sandpaper. Rub the diamond with sandpaper and inspect its surface. If there are scars or scratches on it, then this is a fake stone. The mineral has a higher density than sapphire, which is used in sandpaper, so the original will not tolerate any changes during friction. It is important to check that the sandpaper does not contain diamond chips – such a check can ruin a diamond of even the highest quality.
  • Checking the frame. Jewelers never use genuine gemstones to make jewelry from cheap metals. Noble diamonds are in harmony only with expensive metals such as platinum or gold.
  • Water test. By lowering a piece of diamond jewelry or the stone itself into a container of liquid, you can determine the authenticity of the item. Due to their transparency, diamonds are practically invisible in water – only the girdle, inclusions and defects on the mineral are visible.
  • Ultraviolet testing. Under the influence of ultraviolet rays, the original stone will sparkle strongly and cast a bright blue tint. The fake acquires a greenish-yellow light and reflects only isolated reflections.

These simple methods will allow you to independently verify the quality of your purchase. If after the check you still have any doubts, we recommend that you contact a special laboratory. The use of modern technologies and specialized equipment will allow you to accurately identify a fake.

3 common myths

Diamonds are often credited with special, completely unusual qualities, which is why some people use completely incorrect methods of checking authenticity. Incorrect manipulations can irrevocably damage diamonds, so we recommend that you carefully read the information below.

  • The precious mineral cannot be broken. There is a myth that due to their high density, diamonds can easily withstand hammer blows. Under no circumstances should this method be used in practice, since the impact of the stone will simply shatter into small fragments.
  • The original is completely invisible to the water. Even the highest quality diamond will be noticeable due to the different densities of the liquid and mineral. In the water, the junction of the upper and lower parts of the product, as well as inclusions of other elements, will be noticeable.
  • Russian diamonds are of higher quality than “foreign” ones. The place of origin of the mineral does not affect its quality at all. For example, if you compare “Yakut” and “Canadian” diamonds, which have the same color and quality characteristics, they will be completely identical.

We also remind you that only a professional gemologist – a specialist in the study of precious stones, their composition and origin – can establish authenticity with 100% accuracy.

On our website you can see magnificent examples of diamond engagement rings made by our craftsmen.

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