If you want to buy a genuine diamond, you might be wary of being sold a fake; alternatively, you may be wondering if a diamond you already own is genuine.
Diamonds are beautiful and expensive and, for this reason, there are plenty of replicas out there — some mis-sold as diamonds, and some not.
Synthetic diamonds also exist, which can be viewed as an additional risk for those looking to buy an authentic, naturally-formed diamond.
How to tell if a diamond is real before purchase
The only 100 per cent reliable way to tell if a diamond is real is to consult a trained gemologist or an independent gemological laboratory for analysis.
This is the most reliable method as gemologists have access to equipment and technology that isn’t found elsewhere.
Some diamond jewellery is sold with an official gemological institute diamond report or certificate, proving a diamond’s authenticity.
How to tell if it’s a real diamond ring
At Robert Gatward, we hand-select each diamond for our engagement rings from those with the highest level of certification from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the IGI (International Gemological Institute) — meaning you can rest assured that every single Robert Gatward diamond ring is a real diamond ring.
Being an established and trusted jeweller online and on the high street, you can shop with us in the knowledge that any diamond purchased is not only genuine but also of excellent quality.
How to tell if a diamond is real or fake at home
Suppose you have purchased a piece of diamond jewellery and it wasn’t sold to you with a certificate of authenticity from a trusted gemological institute. In that case, you may well be left wondering if it is real or fake.
As previously mentioned, consulting a gemologist or an independent gemological laboratory is the only way to seek a true answer.
The internet is full of suggestions for telling a real diamond by eye; however, it is crucial to understand that most of these methods are unreliable — and some can even damage your diamond.
If you’d like to try an authenticity test at home before seeking advice from a professional, then the following methods will at least not cause your diamond damage.
1. Consider the quality of your jewellery
A real diamond will only be set within a quality piece of jewellery; therefore, you can get an idea of authenticity from a piece’s hallmarks.
Check for materials such as yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. There’s a guide to hallmarking on our blog, so take a look there for more information.
It is unusual for diamonds (especially those of excellent quality or large size) to be set in silver jewellery.
2. Observe the scintillation, brightness & fire
Diamonds sparkle uniquely and, in a round brilliant cut example, you can check for scintillation, brightness, and fire.
Scintillation refers to the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond.
Brightness is the white light reflected internally and externally, whereas fire is where white light disperses into rainbow colours as it hits the facets.
Please note that these factors are best observed by a professional with appropriate equipment and experience.
Another point to be made here is that different cuts of diamond act in different ways.
3. Fog the diamond up
Many people ask how to tell if a diamond is real with a mirror.
The mirror test doesn’t involve using a mirror, but instead, you are holding the stone up to your mouth and breathing on it — therefore fogging it up, like you might a mirror.
If the fog clears quickly, it is said that the diamond is real.
If the condensation lingers, it can suggest that a diamond is a fake.
That being said, this test isn’t highly reliable, and so the fog can sometimes linger on a true diamond.
If you have serious doubts about a diamond in your collection, then the best thing you can do is consult a professional, as home tests simply aren’t reliable.