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How to Tell if a Diamond is Real

BY Peter Vey    |    06 June, 2018
A few tricks can help tell a real diamond from a fake. Here are some quick tips how to tell if your diamond is real.

A few tricks can help tell a real diamond from a fake.

Although we’d all like to think otherwise, the truth is that the jewelry industry has its fair share of disreputable companies. Although most jewelers you meet are completely honest and trustworthy, there’s always a chance that you’ll do business with a “jeweler” who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. If you’re not familiar with the industry, you might even buy diamond jewelry set with “fake” diamonds without even knowing it. 

Jewelry Loupe with 1 Carat Diamonds Used to Determine the Gem's Authenticity

Here are some quick tips how to tell if your diamond is real.

The Fog Test:

This is one of the simplest tests to determine the authenticity of your diamond. Simply take your diamond and breath onto it. If it doesn’t fog up easily, chances are your diamond is real. If the fog lingers for longer than a second or two, you could be dealing with a counterfeit diamond. It’s likely a cubic zirconia, a common cheap replacement for real diamonds.

The Water Test:

Another common way to see if your diamond is real is the water test. Don’t worry; this won’t hurt the gem. Simply fill up a glass of drinking water ¾ high and drop the diamond in. If it sinks, it’s probably a diamond. If it sinks slowly or floats, it’s a fake. This isn’t foolproof for spotting every fake, but it’s generally reliable.

Don’t Try This at Home:

Although there’s a lot of advice out there on the internet to scratch your gem with sandpaper or another hard material to see if it’s real, that’s probably not the best idea. Even though a real diamond is 10 on the Mohs hardness scale and an extremely resilient gem, you don’t want to do anything particularly risky and end up damaging your stone by accident.

Working with a Gemologist:

Although the fog test and the water test are mostly reliable and can help put your mind at ease, the best option is to ask a local jeweler to send your diamond to GIA or another reputable diamond grading agency. Working with a gemologist and getting the laboratory test results back is the only way to know for sure that you have a real diamond.

Qualified Jeweler Inspecting to See if a Diamond is Real

In fact, it’s always important to ask your jeweler if they provide a grading report before you commit to working with them. A GIA or AGS report ensures that your diamond is authentic and it’s common practice to provide this once your jewelry is finished. If your jeweler insists a grading report isn’t necessary, or provides one from a little-known laboratory, you might want to think twice about your diamond purchase.


Have any questions about your diamond jewelry? Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

By Peter Vey on 06/06/2018