Diamond earrings are a classic accessory, but before making an expensive purchase you want to make sure you’re getting the real thing. There are a few simple tests you can do yourself to determine if a pair of diamond earrings are genuine or fake. With a little time and patience, you can spot cubic zirconia or moissanite imitator.
Examine the Size and Weight
Real diamonds have a very high density, so diamond earrings will feel heavier than fakes made of glass or crystal. Cubic zirconia, a common diamond simulant, is heavier than real diamonds. Hold the earrings in your hand and compare the weight to other earrings you own. The earrings should have some significant heft relative to their size. This is an indicator the materials could be real diamonds.
Check for Stamp or Hallmark
Most genuine diamond earrings will have purity and authenticity stamps, especially those purchased from a jeweller. Look for a stamp with the karatage, clarity, and certification. For example, “14K” means 14 karat gold, and “GIA” refers to the Gemological Institute of America which provides diamond grading reports. If there is no stamp at all, that could be a sign the earrings are fake.
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Test the Material with a Diamond Tester
A diamond tester evaluates the earrings for the hardness and ability to refract light that real diamonds possess. You can purchase an inexpensive diamond testing device that applies a small electric charge to the earring post. If the earrings scratch glass and conduct heat well, the gemstones are likely real diamonds. No reaction means it’s a stimulant. This method is very accurate for definitively identifying real diamonds.
Examine the Setting and Mounting
The overall quality, detail, and care of the earring setting and mounting can also indicate whether or not the gemstones are real diamonds. Look for a sturdy and durable setting made of materials like 14K gold, platinum, or palladium. Cheap settings and loose or lopsided gemstones are clues that the earrings are not high quality. Under a magnifying glass, small etchings like basket weave or bead detailing in the setting metal are a sign of craftsmanship usually reserved for real gemstones like diamonds.
Refract and Breathes
When held up to a natural light source, real diamonds reflect a prism of rainbow colours. This is due to their high refractive index. Diamonds also have a crisp, bright, white look under the light. Fake diamonds appear dull, and cloudy and lack coloured reflections or “fire.” Real diamonds seem almost transparent, as if they “breathe.” These optical properties are nearly impossible to replicate in fakes, so they’re a sure way to spot real diamond earrings.