Buying diamond jewellery, for most people, is not a routine activity. But can you tell whether a diamond is fake or real? And how do you recognise a real diamond? Knowing the authenticity of your diamond jewellery in advance is an important step. These are some more ways you can check the authenticity for yourself.

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What is a diamond and how is one made?

First of all, let's set straight a common myth. A diamond is not a variety of coal, which comes from the remains of plants. So how are diamonds made? They were made long ago in earth's history. They were made of pure carbon which was exposed to very high temperatures and pressures at depths of approximately 150 kilometres. They were formed between hundreds of millions and several billion years ago. Sometimes when a volcano erupted, it brought diamonds to the surface. Diamonds also formed elsewhere in our solar system. We know this because diamond fragments have been found in meteorites, which crashed on earth.

How do I recognise a real diamond?

Is a diamond ring being offered at a surprisingly low price? If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. If so, be wary of fake diamond jewellery. Real diamonds have a quality mark; however, this laser engraving can only be seen using a microscope or diamond loupe.

A diamond's cut can also make it clear whether it is real or fake. If the top surface is cut straight, then you probably have a real diamond in your hands. Fake diamonds often show signs of wear because they are not as tough as real, hard diamonds.
A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure
A pink cushion diamond with blemishes proving that the diamond is real. - BAUNAT

A third way to test a diamond for authenticity is to see if the stone is uneven. All-natural diamonds have blemishes. These tiny little spots and cracks on the surface or inside the stone are called inclusions. They are often only visible under a microscope.

What is the difference between a diamond and a brilliant?

A common misconception is that diamonds and brilliants are two different precious stones. This is not the case. Brilliant is the way a diamond is cut, it is the most common cut and can easily be recognised by its round shape. The brilliant shape has a remarkable, intense sparkle.

What is the difference between moissanite and synthetic diamonds?

There is indeed a distinction between moissanite and synthetic diamonds. The latter is produced in the lab, where the natural formation process is simulated. Synthetic diamonds might in the long term be a valuable alternative to natural diamonds, which are becoming scarcer. However, a synthetic diamond will never have the emotional value that a natural diamond has.
 The structure of moissanite is different from that of diamonds. – BAUNAT
The French chemist Henri Moissan discovered moissanite in 1893, in a piece of meteorite in Arizona (USA). The mineral has some unique properties which make it suitable as an alternative to diamonds. Both have a similar crystalline structure, although it is hexagonal in moissanite and cubic in diamond. The hardness is also similar, thanks to very strong atomic bonds, with a score of 9.5 on the Mohs scale for moissanite compared with 10 for diamond. Other gemstones, such as sapphires and rubies, score 9.
You can tell whether a diamond is fake or real from the way light is refracted. BAUNAT sells only 100% natural diamonds

Even though moissanite is quite rare, it is considerably less expensive than real diamonds in your engagement ring, and that has everything to do with quality. Whereas a diamond shines, moissanite looks somewhat cloudy due to refracting light differently. Moissanite scores very well in terms of dispersion, even better than natural diamonds, but it is precisely down to this that the mineral betrays its true "cheap" nature. The mineral also takes on an undesirable grey or green appearance in natural light.

What tests are there to recognise a real diamond safely?

If you want to test whether a diamond is fake or real, by rubbing it with sandpaper it or scratching it across a mirror, for example, this could impair the stone's sparkle. So only use safe tests such as the following:

1. Weight test

If you have both an fake diamond and a real one, you only have to compare the weight.

2. Writing test

If you have just a single unset diamond, place it upside down on a newspaper or book. The writing will not be legible if the diamond is real, because the high refractive index (not to be confused with reflection) causes dispersion. With quartz or glass you can still see the writing.

3. Colour test

Check the gemstone colour under ultraviolet light, such as the UV light from a tanning bed. Diamonds are often fluorescent, meaning the stone will glow blue under UV light. Bear in mind that there are also diamonds which do not fluoresce, so this test does not apply to all diamonds.

4. Breath test

Hold the diamond up in front of your mouth and breathe out. Real diamonds won't fog up, because the heat dissipates across the stone instantaneously. Make sure the diamond is not dirty or greasy, otherwise the precious stone will mist up. This is also known as the fog test.

5. Water test

If you drop the diamond into a glass of water, a real diamond will immediately sink to the bottom because of its weight and density. An fake diamond will float halfway down the glass or sink slowly.

6. Warmth test

Warm the loose stone for 30 seconds with a heat source (such as a lighter) and then immerse it in a glass of cold water. No problem for a real diamond, but an fake diamond will crack.

Which test gives 100% certainty about the authenticity of the diamond?

The above tests can give you an initial impression of the stone's authenticity but are of course not 100% accurate or reliable. Moreover, the quality of fake diamonds has improved in recent years. Do you want to be 100% sure whether a diamond is real or fake? Then go and see a qualified jeweller, they will always provide you with a certificate for any diamond jewellery you purchase. You can then read all about the quality and properties of the gemstone.

The certificate not only guarantees value for money, but also means it is easier to sell the jewellery later on should it be an investment diamond. Have you bought a diamond which you are not sure is authentic? Then you can have the precious stone tested for authenticity by a diamond expert.

Book an appointment with our specialist

Which diamond jewellery do you want to buy?

At BAUNAT we only work with 100% natural and authentic diamonds. This means you can always be sure the diamond in your ring has the best sparkle. Or would you rather prefer a bracelet, necklace, earrings or a combination? The choice is yours. The experts at BAUNAT are always ready to assist you with professional advice. Book an appointment soon at one of our showrooms.

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What else is essential to know?

You now know how to distinguish real diamonds from fakes, but there is of course much more to know. In these blogs you can learn, among other things, about the difference between white gold and platinum, and between synthetic and real diamonds. Read about it now and become a true jewellery expert.
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