So, you’ve got a beautiful gem in front of you but you haven’t got the first clue whether it’s the real thing or just a good-looking fake.
You haven’t studied gemology in detail, and to be honest you really don’t know your diamonds from your rubies from your sapphires from your emeralds…
Real diamonds can be enormously valuable, but the fakes are next to worthless, even if they sure do look basically the same.
So, how can you tell the difference?
In the Post
- Never Heard of Diamond Testers?
- When am I likely to Need a Diamond Tester?
- Are Diamond Testers Trustworthy?
- The Answers to Your FAQs
- How Do I Use a Diamond Tester?
- Other Ways to Check Diamond without a Tester?
- Diamond Testers for Every Budget
- Handy Diamond Tester Features
Luckily, diamond testers have been invented for these exact situations. If you don’t know whether you have a genuine diamond or not, using a diamond tester is one of the most reliable ways to get the facts straight.
Never Heard of Diamond Testers?
As time goes on and technology becomes increasingly advanced, it’s getting easier to make incredibly realistic imitation diamonds.
Most of them could fool even the most seasoned expert, without a handy gadget on hand to dish up the truth.
That’s where diamond testers come in: they can tell the authentic gemstones from the fakes.
It’s important to remember that methods and materials advance very quickly in this field, so it’s best to use one of the latest diamond tester models. That way, you’ll make sure that you’re getting an accurate authenticity reading.
Because of their hand held design, some jewelers also refer to diamond testers as diamond testing pens.
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When am I likely to Need a Diamond Tester?
If you’re buying, selling, loaning or repairing diamond jewelry, you’re likely to come across a diamond tester.
Selling or loaning
If you’re looking to sell or loan a diamond, it would be standard practice for the dealer you’re collaborating with to use one of these gadgets to test the authenticity of the stone.
That way, they can be sure of its quality before they make you an offer.
As a potential buyer, it’s worthwhile asking the dealer or jeweler to test the stones you’re considering right in front of you. That way, you’ll know for sure that you’re getting a good deal for authentic gems, not just nice looking fakes!
When you have your diamond jewelry repaired, very often it’ll disappear from view while the experts take care of it in their workshops.
Call us paranoid, but it’s always worth getting the jeweler to test the repaired piece in front of you when you come in to pick it up. They should be more than happy to do that as part of their professional service, and it’ll give you total peace of mind.
Are Diamond Testers Trustworthy?
There could be a lot riding on whether the diamond you’ve got is real or just a fake; if you’ve struck really lucky, it could quite literally be a million dollar question.
With such high stakes, it’s important to remember that no method of testing diamonds is totally foolproof.
There is always the chance that your diamond tester will come up with an inaccurate reading and give you misleading results.
However, diamond testers are one of the most accurate options out there for testing diamonds.
The Answers to Your FAQs
How do diamond testers work?
Diamond testers operate on the basis that all gemstone varieties conduct heat in different ways.
Based on the rate at which heat moves through the stone you’re testing, the diamond tester should be able to tell whether it’s genuine or not.
Some also test the electrical conductivity of the stone. The same principles apply for these diamond testers; they just test electrical rather than thermal conductivity.
Which is a more accurate test, thermal or electrical conductivity?
Most up to date diamond tester models have both thermal and electrical conductivity testing built in. This helps them give you the most accurate readings possible.
If you want to be sure your diamond tester can tell the difference between real diamonds and moissanite, you need to make sure it offers electrical conductivity readings.
Multi-tester models that offer thermal and electrical conductivity testing (to tell diamonds from moissanites as well as all other gemstones) are more expensive, but the added accuracy is sure to pay off!
What is a moissanite?
Moissanites are a different type of gemstone with very similar characteristics to diamonds. They’re an incredibly hard substance and are most commonly clear in color.
As moissanites and diamonds are so similar in appearance (most people wouldn’t be able to tell them apart), moissanites are often used as a more economic alternative to diamonds.
Moissanites can be put into much the same ring settings as diamonds. Plus, they really do look the part. They refract even more light than diamonds, which gives them an even more brilliant sparkle!
Moissanites will give you more of a multicolored, rainbow light refraction, whereas diamonds give off a combination of rainbow colors and colorless sparkle.
Like diamonds, moissanites can come in several colors. You might also come across yellow and green moissanites while you’re browsing, aside from the clear stones.
Nowadays, moissanites are created in laboratories, so there’s no mining or interference with the natural environment involved. That makes these little gems quite a popular option for eco-friendly jewelry buyers.
How Do I Use a Diamond Tester?
Diamond testers are pretty quick and easy to use, once you’ve got the basics down. Make sure you read your model’s instructions to be able to correctly interpret the readings.
Here are a few handy tips to remember:
- Make sure you clean the gemstone properly before testing it
- Don’t push the diamond tester tip down too hard onto the gem – this could damage or break it!
- Press the tip onto the gemstone at no less than a 90 degree angle
- If you’re testing a stone set in a piece of jewelry, make sure the tip’s touching the stone and not the surrounding metal
- When testing loose stones, it’s best to use a neural testing base
Other Ways to Check Diamond without a Tester?
The short answer is: yes. However, you will need to bear in mind that diamond testers are the best way to test the authenticity of a gemstone. Still, even the most high tech of equipment still isn’t completely failsafe.
Here are a couple of at-home tests you can do to see if you’re actually holding the real deal in the palm of your hand:
The Fog Test
Hold the diamond in front of your mouth and breathe out onto it. If the stone is still foggy after more than a few seconds have gone by, then it’s probably not a real diamond.
As authentic diamonds disperse heat rapidly, they tend to clear the fogginess almost immediately.
The Dot Test
Draw a little dot on a sheet of blank paper. Place your stone on top of the drawn dot, stand up and look directly down onto the dot through the gemstone.
As authentic diamonds refract light, they’d refract the reflection of the dot. So, if you can see a reflection of the dot in the stone, it won’t be a real diamond.
The Water Test
Get a glass full of water and place the gemstone inside. Real diamonds are dense, so if the stone sinks all the way to the base of the glass, that would indicate that it’s a real gem. If the stone floats or only sinks a little, it’s likely to be a fake.
While these simple tricks might tell you if your gemstone is a bona fide diamond or just a glittering fake, it is still worth investing in a proper diamond tester to ensure you get the most accurate results possible.
Read on for more information on diamond testers for every budget!
Diamond Testers for Every Budget
If you’re looking to test some diamonds without shelling out for a costly piece of kit, this is the option for you.
HDE High Accuracy Professional Jeweler Diamond Tester for Novice and Expert
- Professional Diamond Selector II technology determines whether the stone is real or fake
- Large or small stone testing settings
- Makes audible noises to help you easily tell real/fake readings apart
- Battery powered
Many users are more than satisfied with the HDE High Accuracy model’s performance. Still, it is worth bearing in mind that what you pay for is what you get: the cheaper the model, the less accurate its readings are likely to be.
Medium range budget
For mid-range budgets, the GemOro UltraTester 3+ is a handy option.
This GemOro model has a whole range of positive features:
- Dual solution diamond tester
- Sleek ergonomic shape means it’s simple and comfortable to use
- Tests for all common types of false stones
- Measures thermal and electrical conductivity of the stone you’re testing
- Rechargeable batteries
- Useful protective case
However, it’s important to remember that this mid-range model won’t detect new kinds of moissanite. For the most reliable results out there, it’s worth investing in top quality equipment.
If you’re willing to pay for perhaps the best diamond tester on offer, the Presidium Adamas is a top end choice.
Key features breakdown:
- Textured chrome grip for easy handling
- Replaceable probe tip
- Accurately tests tiny gems
- Memory capacity holds 500 results
- Reliably detects moissanite
But remember: even the best quality equipment isn’t entirely foolproof. The drawback of the Presidium Adamas is that it won’t work effectively if you’re trying to test colored gems.
Handy Diamond Tester Features
If you’re looking to buy a diamond tester, you should bear in mind a couple of extra beneficial features that you might want your chosen model to include.
The tips of diamond tester are incredibly delicate, as they have to be very sensitive to do their job.
Look for a diamond tester with a retractable tip, and it’ll make sure you apply exactly the correct amount of pressure to the surface of the stone you’re testing.
That way, the tip actually protects itself from human error! Plus, you won’t need to spend as much on repairs or replacements.
Quick to reach testing temperature
Traditional diamond testers tell diamonds from other stones by measuring the gemstone’s thermal conductivity.
So, the tip of the diamond tester heats up, then you place it against the room-temperature surface of the gem you want to test. When you do this, heat is naturally transferred from the warmer tester tip to the cooler gemstone. The diamond tester gains a thermal conductivity reading from this process.
So, if you’re testing multiple stones in one sitting, you’ll want a diamond tester that reaches and returns to testing temperature quickly and reliably. That way, your previous readings won’t muddle your later tests.
Able to differentiate between metal and gemstones
You’re quite likely to need to test gemstones that are already set in some kind of metal jewelry piece.
So, you’ll want your trusty diamond tester to be able to identify if you’ve accurately placed the tip on the stone, or accidentally popped it onto the metal.
If you purchase a lower quality diamond tester, it may not include a feature that will warn you that you’re just testing the metal surrounding the stone. So, you’re likely to come up with inaccurate readings.
Accurate across varying ambient temperatures
Diamond testers operate on a basis of testing thermal conductivity. That’s how they tell the real diamonds from the duds.
So, you won’t want your gadget getting muddled up because of changing ambient temperatures. The higher the quality of the diamond tester, the better it’s likely to cope with changes in air temperature, ensuring more accurate readings.
Battery or mains powered
Cordless, battery-powered options give you more flexibility. But, you might want the option to hook your diamond tester up to the mains.
Some models will offer both options built in, so keep an eye out for that on their product specifications.