Spot a big diamond on a celeb but not sure if it is the real thing? Style stars have been known to spot fakes. Even Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore dangling cubic zirconia and pearl earrings to her mother-in-law, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Read on to learn about the types of fake diamonds out there.
Types of Fake Diamonds
The most popular type of fake diamond, cubic zirconia is a man-made stone created with zirconium dioxide, and it is almost as hard as a real diamond. Introduced in the 1930s, commercial production began in earnest in 1976. Cubic zirconia can be created in a wide range of colors and can be made to resemble sought-after diamond types like pink and champagne.
A diamond simulant that is often priced more than cubic zirconia. Doubly refractive and quite beautiful in a setting, Moissanite is named after the French chemist who discovered it in 1893.
ZirconA natural mineral that comes in a wide range of colors, the white gem zircon can be cut and polished in order to stand in for a diamond. This type of fake diamond is doubly refractive, a real gem from the earth. Zircon is different from cubic zirconia as it is an actual stone.
White sapphires are corundums, the same family as rubies and blue sapphires. White sapphires actually range from blue to colorless, and colorless white sapphires are used to sub for diamonds.
Spinels, like sapphires and zircon, are a natural mineral that comes in many colors. White spinels are beautiful, sparkly, and pretty but, as a jeweler points out, it is hard to get the color right.
Marcasite is iron sulfite, and this type of fake diamond has the same look as today's chic black diamonds. Popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as in Art Nouveau jewelry designs, marcasite jewelry is collected by fans of vintage jewelry.
Fake Diamonds from the Lab
So what is the difference between real diamonds vs. fake diamonds? Synthetic diamonds have the same chemical composition as real diamonds but are created in a lab rather than in nature. According to the Federal Trade Commission, lab-created diamonds are classified as fake. DeBeers Diamonds, a major name in the historical diamond business, now has a division devoted to lab-created diamonds.
How to Tell if Diamonds Are Fake
If it Chips
While the price is often what attracts the buyers to the idea of a piece of fake diamond jewelry, it does come with drawbacks. Although the hardness of some fake gems comes close to the hardness of a real diamond, fakes can chip. If you notice that the diamond is chipped -- that is how to tell if a diamond is fake.
Change in Color
Fake diamonds also require frequent cleaning in order to maintain the natural brilliance of a real diamond. This can help you spot a fake diamond in an instant - if the color is a bit odd, the diamond isn't real.
One rather simple way to spot a fake diamond is by using a newspaper. Yes, a newspaper. Place the diamond on the paper, if you can read the letters through the diamond, it is a fake.
Another very simple test is to breathe on your jewelry. If your breath clouds the gemstone for more than an instant, it is not real. A real diamond will disputes the fog almost immediately.
To tell is diamonds are real, fill a glass of water about ¾ of the way up, and carefully drop the diamond in the glass. If it sinks, it is a real diamond, and if it floats, you have a fake diamond. A real diamond has high density, making it sink to the bottom.
A great way to tell if diamonds are real is the heat test. Since real diamonds are very strong, heat will not affect it. Fill a glass with cold water, and safetly use a lighter to heat up the stone for about 40 seconds. Drop the stone directly into the cold water. If the diamond breaks, it is a fake.
For this test, all you need is your eyes. Hold the diamond under any lamp, and watch how the light reflect off the diamond. A real diamond reflect white light exceptionally, giving it a lot of sparkle. Real diamonds also reflect fire and colored light really well, whereas fake diamonds do not.
Why a Real Diamond is the Right Choice
The purchase of a diamond is a big decision, one that involves both financial and emotional needs. Some jewelry wearers will only want to adorn themselves with real diamonds, others might be happy with fake diamonds as a placeholder until they can buy actual diamonds.