Myth: Use a jeweler’s loupe to examine a stone. A real diamond will have inclusions. A “fake” diamond will be perfect.
Fact: Most consumers have difficulty using a loupe and spotting inclusions: unless you have some experience looking at diamonds, the reflections and facet junctions can make it difficult to see small inclusions. Also, some diamonds are flawless and you will see no inclusions!
While it’s true that most diamonds, as products of nature, will have inclusions, it is a myth that diamond imitations, whether they are natural or synthetic, will not have inclusions. Inclusions are the result of a gem’s crystal growth process. In fact, inclusions help gemologists identify natural and synthetic gems. Also, glass imitations can have gas bubbles, which could look like natural inclusions to an untrained eye.
Natural gems that might look like diamonds to the average consumer include: colorless sapphire, colorless topaz, and colorless zircon.
Many natural gems have a synthetic (i.e., lab-grown) counterpart. The man-made material will have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure and optical and physical properties as the natural gem gemstone.
Some of these man-made gems are used to imitate diamond: synthetic rutile, colorless synthetic spinel, and colorless synthetic sapphire. There are also man-made diamond imitations that do not have natural gem counterparts. These are solely the product of man’s ingenuity in the laboratory, like YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet), GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet), CZ (synthetic cubic zirconia), and synthetic moissanite.
Synthetic diamonds are not imitations. They are real diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds are also man-made and have the same properties as natural diamonds. Synthetic diamonds are real diamonds. But the price difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds can be considerable. You cannot spot a synthetic diamond by looking at it through a loupe. The only way to tell is by laboratory testing.
Myth: If it sparkles, it must be a real diamond.
Fact: Many consumers use the word “sparkle” in a very generic way to describe the overall visual effect of a faceted gemstone’s interaction with light. To an untrained eye, almost any faceted gem like synthetic moissanite, synthetic cubic zirconia (CZ), or a colorless natural zircon will sparkle.
On the other hand, an emerald cut diamond does not sparkle like some of these round brilliant diamond simulants.
When gemologists refer to a diamond’s sparkle, it means something very specific:scintillation. In addition to sparkle, scintillation also refers to the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond. Scintillation is only one aspect of a diamond’s appearance; other factors are brightness (the internal and external white light reflected from a diamond when it is viewed face-up) and fire (the scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow). It’s the combination of these factors that give diamonds their unique visual appearance.
If you like these mythbusters- there are more in the link below on "How to Tell if Your Diamond is 'Real'"! (from the foremost authority in Gemology- GIA)
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