Have you ever noticed how people fog diamonds with their breath in movies? Believe it or not, that’s one of the quickest ways to authenticate a diamond. A loyal reader, Samantha, recently bought fake diamond rings. What she thought was a family heirloom of a relative turned out to be just cubic zirconia. And she only realised it when she needed to fix the setting.So how to spot a fake diamond without even having to take it to the store? Here are some tricks that you can try to quickly authenticate a diamond.
1. Do the fog test
Put the stone in front of your mouth and fog it like you would a mirror. If it stays fogged for a couple seconds, it’s probably a fake — a real diamond disperses the heat from your breath instantaneously and won’t fog up easily. Even if you wait in between fogging it up and looking at it, it will still clear much faster than a fake.
2. Rub sandpaper against the stone.
This is an easy test since diamonds are one of the world’s hardest materials and won’t be scratched by the rough surface. If it’s a diamond, it will remain perfect, if it’s a cubic zirconium, it will scratch it up.
3. Drop it into water
Drop the stone in a glass of water and see if it sinks to the bottom. A real diamond will sink due to its high density. A fake one will float at the top of the surface or in the middle of the glass.
4. Heat up the stone and see if it shatters.
Heat it up with a lighter for 30 seconds, then drop it straight into a glass of cold water. The rapid expansion and contraction will overwhelm the tensile strength of weaker materials like glass or quartz, causing the stone to shatter from the inside. Real diamond is strong enough, nothing will happen.
These simple tests can help give you signs if the diamond is fake. If you’re still unable to authenticate, we would recommend that you then see a specialist to tell for sure.
THINKING OF SELLING YOUR DIAMONDS?
How to Assess Your Most Valuable Jewels
People who own gold or diamond jewelry often think of selling some or all of their pieces in order to raise cash. Jewelry owners who are thinking about doing this, however, should take the time to carefully assess the value of what they own. It’s easy to either under or overestimate the value of jewelry. There are several guidelines to keep in mind when assessing the value of gold or diamond jewelry.
The Value of Professional Appraisals
Insurance companies and professional appraisers can provide an estimate of what jewelry is worth. Keep in mind, however, that dealers rarely pay the appraised value for secondhand jewelry. Appraisals are most commonly done for insurance purposes, to estimate the cost of replacing the jewelry at a retail price.
Determining the Value of Gold and Diamonds
The value of gold jewelry will, first of all, vary according to the current price of gold. You can weigh your gold jewelry to get an estimate of its worth. The higher the karat, the more valuable it will be. 24-karat gold will be worth close to the current value of gold. 14-karat gold, on the other hand, is only 58 percent pure, so it will be worth only a little more than half the value of the precious metal.
Scrap dealers, who are only interested in the gold itself, will not consider factors such as the age, craftsmanship or condition of the jewelry. For this reason, it’s often more lucrative to deal with jewelers or retail customers who are interested in acquiring jewelry rather than scrap dealers who only care about the weight of the gold.
As with gold, appraisers can authenticate whether diamonds are authentic. According to WP Diamonds, if the stones are authentic, there are several factors that determine value. The most important ones are carat size, clarity, shape and color. It’s easiest to assess the value of diamonds that have been certified by professional institutions such as The Gemmological Association (GEM-A).
Condition of Jewelry
The condition of jewelry is another factor that has a significant impact on value. Jewelers, auctioneers and other retailers rate jewelry on a scale from fair to perfect. Flaws, scratches, damage or wear will reduce the value of a stone or a piece of jewelry.
Retail Customers Usually Pay Higher Prices
Dealers are obviously looking to make a profit on jewelry, so this is reflected in the prices they offer. There are also subjective reasons that retail customers often pay higher prices than dealers. People who bid at live or online auctions, for example, may bid pieces up because of their beauty, distinctiveness or because a certain style is trendy that year.
These are some of the factors that determine the value of jewelry. People who want to get the best possible prices for their pieces should make sure they have a clear idea of their value. They should also consider whether they want to sell to a dealer and get fast cash or perhaps hold out for a better price from a retail buyer.