No.5 The Great Diamond Pretenders
We have been looking at how to spot a whether your diamond is real or fake with simple tests that you can try yourself at home. This tiome though we are taking a look the five top fakers....!
Just to be sure, a gemologist will have the hi-tech tools to check a diamond for you
To be totally sure about your diamond, the best thing to do is take it to a reputable jeweller or gemologist to have it tested with the specialist equipment you simply don’t have at home. Two tests that they can undertake are for electrical and thermal conductivity. Diamonds are able to conduct electricity better than other similar stones, including the difficult-to-spot moissanite. Additionally, diamonds are better heat conductors and so the rate at which heat is dispersed after the stone has been heated can differentiate it from most copycats (though not always moissanite), jewelers will use a thermal conductivity probe to evaluate the heat transfer.
So, what exactly are the stones which try to pass themselves off as diamonds, here are the top five offenders to watch out for:
| [If you can see through it, it not a diamond. image Wiki Commons]
1. Cubic zirconium — The most common alternative to a diamond is cubic zirconium, which has been produced on a large scale since the mid-1970s. A favourite in costume jewellery due to its low price but it scratches easily and lacks the same fire and sparkle of a diamonds.
2. Moissanite — First discovered in 1893 by French chemist Henri Moissan and is extremely rare in on earth, mostly originating from outside the solar system and bought here by meteorites. For this reason nearly all moissanite is synthesized, and being harder than cubic zirconium and visually bright they can be difficult to distinguish from real diamonds.
3. White topaz — Although not normally clear like a true diamond, Topaz can sometimes be white or colorless. They are not as hard as diamonds, making older ones appear a little cloudy and are prone to being scratched or otherwise damaged.
4. White sapphire — Sapphires are not always blue, but can also be white. A white sapphire though will not have the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond and similarly to topaz may be noticeably scratched.
5. Synthetic, lab-grown diamonds — chemically, a diamond grown in a lab is no different to one that is mined. Carat for carat though they will tend to be valued u to 30% less than a mined diamond. Some manufacturers are now adding microscopic serial numbers to each diamond to help distinguish it as man-made. The only way to tell them apart is by a gemologist using specialized equipment. Synthetic diamonds tend to be used more in industry rather than jewellery; indeed, only about 2% of synthetic diamonds are made to “Gem-quality” today.
Needless to say, Hatton By Design do not sell any diamond-alternatives (including synthetics), and all of our diamonds are independently certified to give you all the assurance you need.
Read my other articles in Real or Fake Diamond? and try some simple techniques at home to test authenticity: No.1 The Jeweller's Loupe, No.2 The Sandpaper test, No.3 The Fog test, No.4 The light test,
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