No.1 Using a magnifying loupe.
In the first of our on-going articles I will be giving you some easy to follow tips to check the authenticity of a diamond. These tests will all be ones which you can try at home.
One of the basic tools of the diamond trade is the jeweller’s loupe, which is essentially a folding magnifying glass to allow you to look closely at a diamond and its setting. They generally have a x10 magnification.
Is my diamond real?
A diamond is a naturally occurring carbon material and so it is quite usual that you will see imperfections on close inspection. If you don’t then you either have an exceptionally rare and extremely valuable diamond, or, much more likely, something that is man-made. So, if you do spot these imperfections then that’s the first step to verifying that your diamond is real, and not a fake!
| Brilliant diamond viewed through a jeweller's loupe
Using a loupe will allow you to see such things as feathering and clouds that affect the clarity of the diamond, which is one of the key ways in which diamonds are graded (however that’s another subject which we shall consider in a different blog post).
Most flaws in diamond jewellery will be imperceptible with the naked eye, but by using a loupe you can look for small specs of other minerals or crystals within the diamond itself, known as inclusions. They can be small dots, specs or longer thinner grains and needles. If you see these then your diamond is probably real.
If you are unable to see any inclusions whatsoever, don’t immediately assume you have a cubic zirconia as laboratory grown stones are likely to be flawless.
Have a look at the edges of the diamond through your loupe; another good indicator of authenticity. If the edges appear sharp then that points to a diamond, if they are rounded then it will be a fake.
A further clue to whether your diamond is fake or real is by inspecting the metal used in the mount. Because diamonds are so expensive it is very unusual to mount them in cheaper metals like silver or gold-plate, they are more likely to be set in 18ct gold (yellow, white or rose) or platinum.
| image: Roma stud earring
18 carat white gold is a good indicator that the diamond is likely to be real.
Read my next article in Real or Fake Diamond?: No. 2 The Sandpaper Test
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- Ways to Spot a Fake Diamond. No.5