5 Warning Signs To Spot A Counterfeit Diamond Piece 

Diamonds are undoubtedly one of the most precious gems made by nature. This stone has been adorned into jewelry such as engagement rings, earrings and necklaces for centuries. Their rarity and price tag has, however, created a market for imitations and even lab grown diamonds in recent years. 

Many of these counterfeit diamonds are made of synthetic materials or gems such as white sapphire, topaz, moissanite, and cubic zirconia to name a few. They are made to look nearly identical to real diamonds and have made it challenging for people to purchase authentic pieces. 

Fortunately, methods such as testing can be done to find out if the jewelry is real.  This can be done at home or with the help of a jeweler or gemologist. In addition to this, there are visible indicators you can be cognizant of that could indicate a counterfeit one. 

If you’re planning to purchase this precious gem anytime soon, here are five tell-tale signs to watch out for in spotting a counterfeit diamond piece:

  • Its Light Refractivity Is Dim 

One of the properties that make diamonds a special and beautiful gem is how they sparkle. This glistening is actually light reflecting and refracting off its table or flat surface. An authentic diamond shines in brilliant quality, meaning it should give off a high-intensity sparkle. As such, if you hold the diamond under a lamp, only a white and silver light should be emitted from all angles as you rotate it.

If you perform this same experiment and notice that some areas appear dim and dull, this could be a sign that your diamond might not be the real thing. Additionally, pay attention to whether the diamond shows a few specks of colored light. You don’t have to worry about a certified diamond that shines in a bluish color when placed under UV light as this indicates that it’s real. However, any colors within the red-orange spectrum could be a warning sign of a fraudulent gem.

  • It Floats In Water 

Diamonds have a high density, which is about three times the density of water. This is one of the reasons why it’s one of the hardest substances on earth. Thus, an authentic diamond shouldn’t be able to float in water. There are varying degrees to this, however, as many minerals can also sink in water if they’re large and heavy enough, which is usually the case for counterfeit diamond substances such as cubic zirconia and moissanite.

In this instance, you can perform a water test by using a transparent glass of water if you have a loose diamond ring or a bowl if you have a necklace. When dropping your diamond in the water, carefully observe at eye level whether the stone sinks immediately or gradually. Also be aware if it hits the bottom or floats slightly above. Warning signs to lookout for are stones that sink slowly or don’t entirely touch the base of your dish. 

  • It Shows Cracks And Breaks Under Heat 

Since real diamonds are incredibly strong and durable thermal conductors, they shouldn’t be affected by high heat. Your diamond should also not react to drastic temperature changes when exposed to intense heat and cold in a short space of time. The materials used to imitate diamond quality such as glass and quartz are known to break in these same conditions. 

Therefore, to check whether your diamond can take the heat and then remain intact after cooling, you can conduct a fire test. Hold your diamond jewelry over a candle or a lighter using tweezers for about 30 seconds. 

Then drop the diamond into a glass of ice-cold water immediately and observe. Stones that shatter on contact with the water confirm they were artificial all along. If your diamond doesn’t break immediately, take it out for a closer inspection. Warning signs to be aware of here are cracks including micro-cracks internally or anywhere along its surface anatomy.

  • It’s Transparent 

Another red flag to look out for in your diamond is how much you can see through it. As previously stated, diamonds have an incredible density that makes it virtually indestructible and too compressed to be transparent. This is one of the earliest warning signs you can detect through careful scrutiny with just your eyes. 

All it takes is simply peering into the pavilion or V-shaped area of the stone. If you lift it up and can see any background through it like glass, then it’s more likely a counterfeit piece. For a more thorough testing you can move the diamond over written text such as a newspaper or magazine page. If the diamond is authentic, none of the words should be visible when you read into it. 

  • It’s Embedded In A Low-Quality Mount 

Reputable jewelers will always place a genuine diamond in a high-quality ring or mount. This is also to add to its value and complement its rarity and opulence. These are commonly yellow or white gold, silver, and platinum among many. So, a quick method to scan for a real diamond before you even buy an engagement ring claiming to be made of silver or gold is to look closer at the ring’s interior band for markings and engravings. 

These are small black initials that indicate what the ring is made of. Search for numbers followed by the letter ‘K’ which denotes that it’s truthfully made of gold Karats. The signage ‘PT’ shows that the mount is made of platinum. Lone 3-digit numbers show the gold or platinum content. 

The warning signs that you should lookout for here are letters such as ‘CZ’ for instance. This is an easy giveaway that the gem encased is actually cubic zirconia and the mount is of lower quality ring material and not a legitimate diamond.   


Diamonds are a scarce and precious gem that makes up some of the luxurious jewelry pieces in the world. This rare quality has also led to a counterfeit market springing up to create an alternative version of the pricey stones. 

You can make sure that you’re purchasing authentic diamonds by being wary of signs that elucidate the characteristics of a counterfeit diamond. Many of these have to do with checking the diamond’s strength, weight, and shine. Remember that real diamonds should be impervious to damage no matter what conditions you inflict on them. This general rule should keep you on the right track to ensure you always buy the genuine gem. 


Leave a Comment