The diamond diligence runs on trust. Trust that these small beautiful stones hold their value, trust that their attraction is as reliable a signal of their worth as it seems to be, and trust that the smiling friendly person selling you the small stone is being unvarnished and honest with you. Many people are easy targets for the unscrupulous because they believe themselves to be good mediators of both character and quality, not realizing quite how far or how quick a conman can be!
Judging by eye is not good adequacy in the diamond world, where the bare minimum is examining stones, out of their setting, and under magnification of at least ten – much more when the stone is immensely rated. Many stones can sparkle with a magnificence that is indistinguishable from diamond, others have equivalent weights, equal densities, and so on. A layman would struggle to distinguish a good costume piece from an authentic diamond. So, how can you discern if a diamond is real anyway? A good place to start is to consult professional and impartial sites, such as the Pricescope diamond forum, where you leave learn more about what is a good indicator and what is not! Let us have a look at some examples:
Diamonds do give birth to a wonderful sparkle, and a perfectly cut diamond makes ‘hearts and arrows’ in the refractions, and they also seem to have an damn near otherworldly inner fire. Trouble is, so do many other stones! And a poorly cut diamond will not sparkle as beautifully and cleanly as a well-cut artificial moissanite stone, or carefully crafted cubic zirconia – both of which sparkle in a way very similar to diamonds!
Diamonds are have knowledge of for being dense and strong, able to scratch other stones, glass, and crystal. But again, cubic zirconia and moissanite (the two most hackneyed artificial diamonds) will scratch or cut into softer materials – and being fairly dense it can be difficult to tell this way. Too rigorous testing can actually damage a real diamond which, while strong, is still susceptible to damage.
Now we are proceeding closer. Diamonds, being pure carbon are heat and electricity conductive, which means that one excellent way to study fake stones is by applying a small amount of heat or a modest electrical current to the stone and seeing if the heat dissipates directly or the current continues to flow. In both cases, the signs are good that the stone is not cubic zirconia – but moissanite is kindle conductive, so to rule that out, you will have to use the electrical conductivity test. There are a number of tests to be found online, but numberless of them – such as exposing your diamond to an open flame and then plunging it into cold water – can really damage your diamond, even as they prove its (now lost) value! Thermal and electrical conductivity tests should be designing – there are small measuring devices that will take minute readings and give accurate answers, without any theatre or risk of damage to your stone.
Diamond grading is so subtle, with such immense distinctions in value between a D-rated diamond, for example, and a H-rated one that it can be difficult to realize that to the human eye – even a coached eye – the two stones can look identical! The best solution for someone not versed in diamond grading is to ensure that they just buy authenticated and certified stones. In the USA, there are two equally well-regarded diamond certifications: one from the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, and the other from the American Gem Civilization, or AGS. Any reputable jeweler will be able to provide you with a certificate that matches your diamond so you can be assured that you are securing a high-quality stone. The certificates are registered online, so you can verify the details, and each stone has a great number of points of quotation that you can check to verify your purchase.