Nov 23, 2015 10:30:00 AM

4 Ways to Know You're Getting a Good Diamond

Posted by Icing On The Ring tag icon Diamonds 101

When you are buying a special piece of jewelry and you have selected a diamond, knowing the quality and the authentication can put your mind at ease.

You want to be sure that you have the quality and clarity that you paid for, even if your diamond is GIA Certified.

There are 5 ways that a diamond retailer can use gemological instruments to view differences in diamonds.

Here are four ways to know you're getting a good diamond. Follow these tips if you want to examine a diamond you already own or to be prepared when purchasing a diamond and figure out if there are any major indicators of a fake stone.

Tacori Engagement Ring HT2530A

1. Verify the Carat

4 Ways to Know You're Getting a Good Diamond

(Above image not to scale)

The carat is a measurement for weight of a diamond equal to 200 miligrams.

A digital carat scale is used to measure and verify the weight of your diamond.

Most jewelers will have this tool that you can either ask to use on a diamond that you have from a previous purchase or they will weigh the diamond you are purchasing from them in front of you.

Home Method:

Now unless you have a carat scale in your home there is no exact way to measure the size of your stone without seeing a jeweler.

You can try looking online at other rings or loose diamonds that are the same carat as yours and compare to the best of your ability. Although this technique will only be helpful if your 3-carat diamond is the size of a 1-carat diamond, in which case you should have detected that much earlier, perhaps before the purchase.

Fractions of carats will be harder to detect through visual, digital comparison so going into a jewelry store to look at rings to compare, or asking the jewelry to weigh your stone are a more viable option.

2. Check the Color

Professional jewelers use a white grading tray to check the color of your diamond. The diamond is placed on a white tray with other diamonds and then compared for color differences.

Additionally, professional jewelers may use a laboratory light that bleaches out all the color except for the actual color of your diamond. A lower quality diamond gives of a sight yellow tint.

4 Ways to Know You're Getting a Good Diamond

Home Method:

An easy way to do this at home is if you have a certified diamond already that you can compare your diamond in question against.

Place both diamonds on a white piece or paper, depending on the grade of color both diamonds should be near colorless.

If your diamond has a yellow or off-white hue to it, then it is simply a lower-grade of diamond, but that does not mean that it is fake.

3. Examine the Clarity

Professional jewelers use a gemscope to examine the characteristics and depth of the diamond under 10x magnification.

This microscope is specifically designed for diamonds to see the small inclusions and to verify the quality and clarity of each stone.

When purchasing a diamond, you can ask the jeweler to show you the diamond you are looking to purchase under a gemscope.

4 Ways to Know You're Getting a Good Diamond

Home Method:

Gemscopes can be purchased if you are a gemstone hobbyist, but if not, using a jewelers handheld microscope can help see the details of you diamond.

If you have any kind of microscope you can use to see if your diamond has any impurities; however, most people don't and this is difficult to detect at home. 

For examining clarity, we recommend going to a jeweler to have it looked at.

4. Does it Shine Bright?

Diamonds reflect light aggressively, so one way to tell if a stone is a true diamond is by how bright they shine. 

Professional jewelers use a Brilliant Scope or an Ideal Scope to analyze a diamond’s brilliance, dispersion, and sparkle.

While at the jeweler, ask to view your diamond underneath one of the instruments to verify if the stone truly is reflecting light as a diamond should.

Home Method:

If you are at home it will again be difficult to check the diamond's brilliance accuratly; however, there is one simple method to check whether the diamond is real or not based on how it reflects light.

Place your diamond upside down on a piece of newspaper, then see if you can read the print though the stone.

A diamond would bend the light so sharply that you wouldn't be able to see the print. If you can read print through the stone, or even see distorted black smudges, then it probably isn't a diamond.

The only exception is if the diamond is disproportionately cut then the reflection may be skewed.

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