Whether you’re going to sell or buy a diamond, you need to know if you’re dealing with the real thing. While there are some good counterfeits out there, a few simple home tests can help eliminate most of them. Try these:
Fog test: Breathe onto the stone. If it fogs up, it’s a fake; a real diamond will clear instantaneously.
Check stamps and mounts: Real diamonds will be set in metals that are stamped for purity (14K, e.g.). Also, if you see CZ, that means cubic zirconia, a synthetic diamond.
Heat it up: Hold a lighter to the stone for 30 seconds, then drop it in cold water. Fakes will shatter. (Or just drop the stone in water without heating; real stones will sink to the bottom while fakes will float on top or center.)
Rough it up: Rub the stone with sandpaper. If it scratches, it’s a fake. (Note: lack of scratching doesn’t mean it’s real.)
Read it or not: If the stone is loose, place it on top of a newspaper; if you can read the print or even see black smudges, it’s a fake. Real stones refract the light so this is impossible.
Beware the perfect: Real diamonds nearly all have some imperfections; if your stone looks flawless with a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe, it’s probably bogus.
If, after conducting these tests, you’re still not sure what you’ve got, visit your local Fort Lauderdale pawn shop and ask an expert to follow up with more definitive tests. When it comes to diamonds, it’s always better to know more.