Unfortunately, there is no simple way to tell if a diamond is real. Even trained jewelers need a magnifying glass to inspect a stone to be sure that it’s a real diamond. So you might not be able to differentiate between a diamond and a high quality fake, but you can use a couple of quick tricks to get pretty close.
The essential quality that makes a diamond so beautiful and distinctive is its sparkle. There are a number of reasons that diamonds reflect light in a way that makes that visually appealing, such as their density and corresponding refractive index (~ 2.42 compared to about 1.5 for glass), and their cut. The best way to distinguish a diamond from a fake is by inspecting the sparkle of the stone as closely as you can.
Three Steps to Help You Decide:
Here are a couple of tricks to help you take a closer look at your stone, and put it in the appropriate context.
1. Clean the Diamond to Get a Clear View
Any diamond that you want to inspect needs to be cleaned. The amount of dirt and grime that builds up on a stone is absolutely amazing. Although the stone might not appear dirty to the naked eye, if you clean it with dish soap and an old toothbrush, dry it gently and you will notice a significance difference in the appearance of the stone. A dirty stone will appear dull and flat, while a clean diamond will shimmer and pop. Grime obscures light getting into and out of a stone, so by cleaning a stone you are not trying to remove visible dirt, but you are removing dirt that is blocking light from getting into and out of the stone.
2. Light the Diamond Properly
If you are trying to make a quick judgment about a stones quality the lighting is the single most important factor. If you are lucky enough to be in the midst of a sunny day outside, natural light is ideal for viewing a stone. If it’s overcast or evening, florescent light is a close second. Use a florescent light to distribute strong and even light over the diamond. This is much more helpful at obscured or indirect sunlight. If you don’t have a florescent light at home, take the stone to work or find an old desk lamp.
Be sure that the lighting is strong and even. Poor lighting can create more questions than answers.
3. Compare The Stone in Question to a Different Diamond
This method won’t help you grade the stone, but if you compare a ‘real’ diamond to a fake one, often times it is very apparent which is which, even without the help of a jewelers loop (that little monocle’ed magnifying glass). Diamonds are beautiful stones, and their ability to reflect and shimmer in the light is impressive to say the least. A fake diamond will not be nearly as incandescent as a real one, so that is often an easy way to tell if a give stone is real.
Is it imaginary?
There is an old joke in the diamond industry: A stone might be real, but that doesn’t make it a diamond. If you can see something it’s real, not imaginary.
That doesn’t make it a diamond, and it certainly doesn’t make it a precious or valuable diamond. There are different types of diamonds and wide variety of different qualities, but to the naked eye it can be challenging to tell if a diamond is real. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful and important to you.
If all Else Fails, Ask a Professional
If you follow the steps outlined above, you might be able to make an educated guess as to whether you have a real diamond or not, but the only way to be sure is to ask a professional. They will likely remove the stone from the setting and view it in a holistic manner. You would be surprised how much different a stone look in a setting versus outside it where it can interact with the light unobstructed.
Bring your ring to an appraiser, and have them evaluate the stone, and you will have a definitive answer!