No.2 The Sandpaper test
Continuing our features of ways to test for fake diamonds which you can try at home, today I'm going to look at the 'sandpaper test'...
Is my diamond real?
How do you tell the difference between a real diamond and a cubic zirconia? It may be an heirloom or a suspicious gift, the synthesised diamond-look-a-like can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from its more valuable alternative.
| Brilliant diamond solitaire engagement ring
The Sandpaper Test
One easy way to find out is the sandpaper test. We’ve all heard that diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth, which apart from their beauty is a key reason why they are used in jewellery; they won't get damaged. So this test is quite logical, if you rub a diamond with sandpaper, the diamond itself is so strong that you wont make a single scratch on it.
The downside of course is that if your diamond is not real, you are going to end up with a scratched cubic zirconia, so make sure you only try this test if you are not going to keep that piece of costume jewellery!
Where this test doesn’t work so well is if your suspicious diamond is in fact moissanite which tends to be a laboratory grown gem as it is extremely rare to find naturally. Moissanite is a gem in its own right, often used as a diamond alternative and the difficulty in testing for its hardness with sandpaper is that moissanite is only slightly less strong than diamond, and much harder for example than steel. So, if you have a moissanite in your ring, sandpaper won’t distinguish it from a diamond. You will have to try a different test!
Be very careful trying the sandpaper test on a diamond in a setting as the sandpaper is quite capable of scratching gold, platinum or silver.
image: Georgina engagement ring
Take care not to scratch the settings of the diamond which won’t be able to withstand rubbing by sandpaper.
Read my first article in Real or Fake Diamond?: No.1. The Jeweller's Loupe
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