Trick or Treat: How Can You Tell If a Diamond Is Real?

By Claire Swinarski

Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means there will be tons of games and costumes afoot. In the spirit of the season, it's a great time to answer an extremely important question: how can you tell if a diamond is real? When it comes to jewelry, it's important to be able to tell the difference between tricks and treats. Here's a guide:

Check the Band and Setting

First, check the setting. A real diamond isn't going to be set in a fake metal. Due to the high cost, a real stone will most likely be in a high-quality setting. Check the inside of your band. It should be stamped with the level of gold or platinum, such as 10K or 18K. "PT" can be a stamp for platinum as well. If it says "CZ," that stands for "cubic zirconia," a synthetic diamond.

Another way to tell is by dropping the stone in a small glass of water. How can you tell if a diamond is real? A real diamond will sink to the bottom, while a fake will float due to differences in the level of density.

Test the Stone

Real diamonds are resistant to heat, so you can test the stone by holding the diamond between your thumb and forefinger and blow on it as if you were warming up your hands. If the fog disappears after a second or two, it's a real diamond. If it remains, it's a fake.

Test the diamond's resistance to temperature change by heating the diamond over the stove and then quickly dropping it in a glass of ice-cold water. If the stone shatters, it's not a real diamond. Real diamonds are extremely strong and able to withstand major changes in temperature.

You can also test the diamond's transparency by placing it flat-side down on a newspaper or magazine. Real diamonds reflect light so strongly it's impossible to see through them. If you can read the words through the stone, no matter how blurry, the stone most likely isn't a diamond. If all you see is reflected light, that's a good sign.

Trust the Pros

If you aren't feeling confident about your own abilities, take the diamond to an expert to be certain. Any jewelry store employee should be able to tell you fairly quickly if you've got a trick or treat on your hands. Experts have specific microscopes and UV lights that will help them identify real diamonds.

Although kids might be running around pretending to be monsters and goblins, don't let just any old stone put on a costume and pretend to be a diamond. These tests will help you know if you've gotten the real thing and will put your spooked mind at ease.