Perhaps you have a diamond bracelet and you are not sure whether its stones are real. Or perhaps you are about to buy one and you want to ensure that you don’t pay a real-diamond price for fake stones. Whatever the case, here are some tips that can help you tell whether a diamond bracelet is made with real or fake diamonds.
The Breath Test
One option to test if a stone is a real diamond is to breathe on it and observe how quickly the fog created by your breath on the stone’s surface goes away. If the diamond is real, the moisture should disappear almost instantaneously.
If the fog stays for several seconds and does not go away immediately, then the stone is most likely not a real diamond.
The problem with this test is that it is not reliable if you are dealing with a material whose thermal properties are similar to those of diamond: In such a case, the fog may disappear pretty quickly, but that wouldn’t be conclusive proof that the diamond is real.
Real Diamonds Should Not Have Scratches
A real diamond can chip, but since it is very durable, it should not have scratches.
If you see that the stones in your bracelet accumulate scratches over time, then these stones are unlikely to be made of real diamond.
You most likely have imitations made of a softer substance such as glass or cubic zirconia, which are materials that scratch easily.
The downside to this test is that if a bracelet is new, it is unlikely to have scratches on its stones.
All this leads us to the most reliable way to detect fake diamonds: using a diamond tester.
Diamond testers are devices that can detect whether a stone is a diamond by testing its physical properties through the use of heat or electrical impulses.
Devices that test for electrical conductivity are more accurate – those that use heat can mistake moissanite (a mineral often used as a diamond imitation) for diamond because both materials conduct heat in much the same way.
You can have the diamonds in your bracelet tested at most jewelry stores for a fee.
Almost all professional jewelers have diamond testers on hand. Just don’t forget to ask if the tester can detect moissanite.
Unreliable Methods to Detect Fake Diamonds
There are some ways to test for fake diamonds that are widely believed to be accurate but are in fact inconclusive.
Some people think that if a stone can scratch glass, then the stone is a diamond. While diamond can scratch glass, so can other materials that are harder than it.
For example, white sapphire and moissanite, two materials commonly used to make fake diamonds, are pretty hard and can both scratch glass.
Another method that is inconclusive is to look through the diamond and see if something on the other end is clearly visible (e.g., if printed text is readable).
Since diamonds distort light, you shouldn’t be able to see clearly through the stone, or so the logic of this test goes.
Although this is true in many cases, diamonds that have shallow cuts (such as the emerald cut) do not distort light as much as round diamonds, for example.
You may be able to see through such shallow stones pretty well, although they are real diamonds.