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If you’ve been considering buying a diamond but are not sure how to tell if it will be the real thing, there are a few things to look for. If you already own diamonds, you can use your current stones for practice.

When you’re paying a lot of money for a diamond, whether it’s a pre-set diamond ring, diamond earrings or even diamond pendants, you want to know you’re actually getting a diamond. This also holds true when you purchase other items such as emerald diamonds or other colored diamonds or even clarity enhanced loose diamonds.

To determine if what you already have or if the diamond you are considering is the real thing, the most immediate way to catch a fraud is to ask for a certificate. A reputable jeweler will be more than happy to provide you with a certificate grading authority in the form on a GIA, LGP, PGGL, or AGSL. You can also head to an independent appraiser with your diamond.

When it comes to independent appraisers, use one that is affiliated with a professional organization such as the American Society of Appraisers. It may not be the best idea to head off to an appraiser that the jeweler recommends. An independent appraiser is a good option especially if you’re buying a stone from the Internet.

If you are purchasing your diamond in person, you will be able to examine it yourself. Diamonds have an incredibly high refractive index, which means they bend light that passes through them. If your shiny stone is made of quartz or glass, they will not sparkle as much. Quartz and glass have a much lower refractive index than diamonds.

To determine the refractive index of the stone, if it’s already mounted, you will need to turn in upside down and place it on a piece of newspaper. If you are looking at a specific diamond ring or an engagement ring for example, you should not be able to read the print through the stone. You also should not be able to see distorted lettering or black smudges of the newspaper print. Under very rare circumstances, which are sometimes due to the cut, will you be able to see newspaper print through a real diamond stone.

If the diamond you’re looking at shows any sign of double refraction, meaning your eyes feel like they’re seeing double vision, the stone is most likely a Moissanite. Another way to tell if your stone is real is to look straight through it. If the diamond is mounted, you should not be able to see the bottom of the stone.

For loose diamonds, grab a white piece of paper and a pen. Make a dot on the paper and put your diamond or stone directly over the dot. Look directly down into the stone. If you see a circular reflection inside the stone, it’s most likely not a diamond.

There are numerous other ways to test if your diamond is real by using microscopes, UV light, diamond testers, heat probes and even x-rays. The next time you visit your doctor, wear your diamond. A real diamond will not show up on an x-ray.

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