Purchasing a diamond for the first time might feel like a challenge. There are so many questions to ask about these brilliant rocks- you might find yourself wondering “What cut is that?” “How many carats is that?” “Is it a REAL diamond?”

With thousands of options for diamonds on the market, it’s no surprise that a huge number of fake diamonds are sold alongside the real deal. So whether you're at a yard sale, an antique store, or a professional jewelers, you want to make sure the stone you take home is a certified diamond.

So how do you protect yourself from buying a fake diamond? Let us show you how to tell a real diamond from a fake one. In this post, we’ll teach you 6 ways to spot a fake diamond with simple DIY tips you can try anytime. We’ll also teach you a few insider tricks for spotting a fake diamond.

Loupe Magnifying Glass Diamonds

Use a Loupe

A loupe is a magnifying glass used to examine a stone very close. Almost all jewellers carry them, so ask to use one. When you’re looking at an actual diamond, you should be able to see little imperfections, called inclusions, inside the stone. A real diamond is formed by a natural process using carbon, leaving imperfections inside of the stone from that process. A fake diamond will be absolutely perfect. You don’t want this!

Next, observe the edges of the diamond. A real diamond has absolutely sharp and precise edges, a fake diamond will have softer, rounded edges.  


foggy fog diamond real

Fog it Up

Another great method is to try fogging up your diamond. Using warm breath, breathe on your diamond until it fogs up. A real diamond will clear almost immediately, a fake will stay foggy for 3-4 seconds. Make sure the diamond is completely clean and clear of dirt & oil or this tip won’t work!


sand paper

Rub it with Sandpaper

If you have any available, bring sandpaper with you when you go diamond shopping. Diamonds are one of the hardest materials in the world, so it shouldn’t be able to be scratched by sandpaper. If you rub your stone with sandpaper and it scratches, it’s definitely a fake!



Sparkles in Natural Light

Another way to test for a fake diamond is with natural light. A real diamond reflects light in a unique way. Inside of the gemstone, light will appear gray and white. Outside of the stone, the diamond will reflect a beautiful rainbow light onto surfaces. A fake diamond will appear rainbow on the inside. You cannot recreate the magical refraction of a diamond.


diamond newspaper test


(Image Source: Delphi Metals Blog)

Refraction Test

Diamonds get their sparkle from the way they refract light. Fake diamonds, like cubic zirconium and quartz cannot mimic the refractive qualities of a diamond. To test this, place your diamond on a newspaper. Because of the way a diamond bends light, you should not be able to see any black ink or text. If you repeat this test with a fake stone, you should be able to see the black from the text, and you may even be able to read the letters. A diamond will never show the text because of the way light scatters inside of a diamond.  


fancy yellow diamond mount

Setting and Mount

Lastly, look at the setting and mount of the ring (if your diamond is mounted). A real diamond is not likely to be mounted with cheap or gold plated metals. Diamonds usually come with a 14-18k solid gold or platinum mounting.


If you want to be absolutley certain you have a real diamond, have the diamond appraised by a licensed gemologist. A gemologist should be able to tell you:

  • if the diamond is real

  • if the diamond is natural or man-made

  • whether or not the stone has been colored or altered

  • whether the stone has a permanent or temporary treatment

  • whether a stone matches the grading document provided by a retailer


At Sage Designs LA, all of our diamonds come with GGA or GIA certification so you know your diamond is real. We exclusively use natural, untreated conflict-free diamonds in all of our 14k - 18k solid gold jewelry. We test every diamond for authenticity before they are mounted on our solid gold jewelry. If you choose to shop with us, you’ll have instant peace of mind. We hope this guide helps you on your journey to find the perfect diamond. Keep shining!