Table of Contents
What is a Diamond?
Diamond is the hardest mineral known to man. It registers a ten on the Mohs hardness scale and is also sought after because of its extreme clarity and beauty. Chemically speaking, diamond also features one of the most stringent chemical arrangements known to man, which would explain its reliable durability.
Diamond also has a high thermal conductivity index, which makes lab-grown diamonds excellent for cutting different materials. Lab-grown diamonds are used for industrial purposes (usually for abrasive substances) because of their high performance under the worst of conditions.
How is Diamond Made?
A real diamond is formed not on the surface of the Earth, but about 100 miles down. The diamonds that are mined and used for jewelry were brought to the surface mainly by deep-source volcanic eruptions.
These eruptions disrupt the diamond formations beneath the mantle of the Earth, bringing them close to the surface where people can find them. Large chunks of the mantle are torn off during these eruptions, and these chunks contain the prized bits of diamond that require days of mining to recover.
This is why you must know how to spot fake diamonds because you do not want to end up paying for simulants or copies of the real thing. Nothing compares to a real diamond, so we are going to teach you exactly how to identify the genuine diamonds from the fake ones.
What abound industrial diamonds?
Industrial diamonds are also real diamonds, but these are the ones used for non-jewelry applications. The story goes that not all the diamonds that are recovered from mining are aesthetically pleasing enough to become jewelry. So, there are diamonds with high impurities, and these impurities or imperfections prevent them from being used in jewelry settings.
The top-quality diamonds that make it to the cut are profitable enough to be processed and turned into jewelry.
The rest of the diamonds are used for abrasive products. These diamonds are usually crushed, and the resulting crystal powder is repurposed for a variety of industrial tools. Industrial diamond trading is just as profitable as jewelry trade, and the demand for industrial diamonds never ceases.
Identify Real Diamond vs. Fake Diamond
People invest in diamonds for a variety of reasons. Some just like investing their hard-earned money in precious metals and gems, while others spend because they want to show their significant others how much they are valued. There are the many ways that you can check if the gem you are holding is the real deal or merely a simulant or fake.
This test focuses on how severe the diamond is. Real diamonds are extremely tough because they score a 10 in the hardness scale. A real diamond can easily scratch a regular plate or a piece of metal.
However, take note that rubbing a diamond forcefully against any surface can also damage some, so you must leave this test for last as it is the most ‘intrusive’ of all tests.
Take note that any gemstone above the hardness of the material that you wish to scratch can also produce the same effect as a genuine diamond. However, the hardness test is a valid test of authenticity, and a real diamond should be able to hold up against softer materials. Plastic or glass diamond won’t be able to scratch harder materials.
Remember how glass fogs up when you breathe on it? When you blow on a real diamond, it will take just a second for the fog to disperse and disappear completely. The reason for this is diamonds have a higher thermal capacity than other materials, which allows them to disperse heat almost immediately. The gem stays relatively cool to touch, so the surface doesn’t fog.
Fake diamonds will fog up almost immediately, and it will take a while before the moisture on the surface to dissipate completely. Many stimulants are made with glass, so the fake diamonds will interact with moisture and heat the same way.
The Glass Test
This is not the best and most conclusive test, but it will give you a clue about the density of the stone or gem that you are holding. Get a glass of water and fill it to the top. Drop the diamond into the glass and watch how it interacts with water. Real diamonds will sink to the bottom.
The fake ones will be cradled by the surface of the water and float. Why? Because diamonds naturally have higher density, they can’t float on water. They will always sink. Fake diamonds will have less mass, so the surface tension of the water will float them.
Test With Fire
This is perhaps the most extreme type of test, but it can help you quickly identify the fake diamonds. For this test, get a glass of cold water (with ice, if possible) and a lighter.
Light the diamond for at least half a minute to get its temperature up. Immediately after raising its temperature, drop it into the ice-cold water. If you were holding a genuine diamond, the fire and ice water would have zero effect.
However, if you were holding a plastic diamond (we hope not) or a fake one made of glass, it will either melt or shatter/crack when it touches the gold water. This is because glass doesn’t react too well to sudden changes in temperature, and it will break when exposed to these extremes.
The Weighing Test
This is another professional test but will require a professional diamond scale used by jewelers. The size of a diamond can be gauged to approximate its weight in carats. A fake diamond, when weighed, will usually be more substantial than a real diamond. The excess weight of a fake one is the dead giveaway. The diamond should only weigh a certain amount for it to be certified as a genuine diamond. If it’s heavier than usual, the diamond is likely a simulant or a fake.