Make Sure Diamonds are Real Before Pawning Them

February 12, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

Fake diamonds aren’t anyone’s best friend.

Experts believe the public holds nearly 500 million carats in gem diamonds. If you’re one of those lucky people and you want to make some cash pawning your diamond, you might want to check its veracity first.

There are alternatives to diamonds out there which look the part at a glance. But if you’re pawning jewelry, you need to know for sure. Here’s a short guide to telling real and fake diamonds apart.

Water Test

If your diamond is loose, the quickest test is simply to drop it into some water.

With one exception, all rocks sink in water. Diamond follows that same rule due to its dense structure. If your diamond sinks, you likely have the real deal.

Some diamond imitations do sink, so combine this with other tests for the full picture.

Breath Test

Diamonds disperse heat quickly, so you can perform a simple check with your breath alone.

Fog your diamond like you would a piece of glass. If the fog lingers, it’s probably a fake. If you have a genuine diamond for comparison, try comparing the two for a more obvious result.

Refraction Test

Diamonds are famous for the way they glitter like stars in the light. That’s a direct result of a diamond’s refractive properties, so it also makes an ideal condition for testing.

There are two main ways to test a diamond’s refractive properties:

First, look at the way the diamond sparkles. It should glitter with white light, like tiny camera flashes. Diamond imitations often refract different wavelengths for a more kaleidoscope effect.

Second, try placing the diamond on some text. If you can read the text through the diamond, you’re likely looking at a fake.

Setting Test

If your diamond is set in a piece of jewelry, the setting may hint at the diamond’s nature.

It’s unusual for someone to set a diamond in a cheap material. It doesn’t achieve much except to cheapen the diamond. Your setting will often have an engraving indicating its materials. Take a look at some common engraving terms to find out if the setting is genuine gold or platinum.

An engraving of C.Z. will instantly tell you that you’re dealing with a fake. It stands for cubic zirconia, one of the most widespread fake diamonds.

Personality Test

Not all the ways of verifying a diamond involve physics. There’s a quick social test, too.

People often forget to take the gifter into account when verifying a diamond. If you’re pawning jewelry, take a moment to think where you got it from.

For example, if your diamond was a gift from someone with a weak track record for the truth, you have an immediate reason to suspect your diamond is a fake.

Verify Before Pawning Jewelry

These simple tricks should help you verify your diamond before you try to pawn it. Failing to do so can lead to serious embarrassment and disappointment. If you’re still not sure, consider taking your diamond for a professional appraisal.

Interested in pawning a diamond?

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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