Common Diamond Scams.
Sadly, due to the value of diamonds, fraudulent or misleading scams are numerous. Most scams are minor, but there certainly are more serious, major scams concerning the buying and selling of diamonds.
Carat Total Weight.
The Carat Total Weight (CTW) tag on a piece of jewelry only states the total carat weight of all diamonds in the piece, instead of listing the total weights separately for each diamond. This leads consumers to believe that the main diamond in the piece is actually bigger than it is. The carat weight of the center stone alone is the important factor. Also beware of fractions as jewelry stores are allowed to round off diamond weights. This means that an advertised ¾ carat diamond is probably between ½ and ¾ carat – but closer to ¾.
The laser inscription on the diamond should be the same as the one written on the certificate.
The appraised value is usually obtained for insurance purposes, but be aware that insurers most likely will not pay out that amount when replacing a diamond.
An unscrupulous jeweler may target those who want appraisals on diamonds that were given to them as gifts or that were purchased elsewhere. They will value the diamond as being worth considerably less than the actual value – and then offer to trade it for a much better diamond, along naturally with a cost to make up the difference. This is called low balling.
It is possible to switch a diamond with one of lesser quality and value when it is either left to be set into a piece of jewelry, or when a diamond ring is left to be re-sized. Using a trustworthy jeweler is the only way to avoid this.
Jewelry stores display diamonds in bright lights to ensure the diamonds sparkle and shine. If possible view the diamond in a different, darker type of lighting as well as natural light.
Referring to a diamond as a blue-white diamond is a scam. A blue-white diamond sounds very unique and special, but in fact, this type of diamond is of lesser quality – even though a jeweler could promote it as being something special.
It is possible to artificially enhance the color of a diamond to improve its rating but the cost of this diamond should be significantly lower when compared to the cost of a natural colored diamond. Unscrupulous sellers sometimes apply coatings to mask or enhance the true color of a diamond. These enhancements are very difficult to detect however.
It is not at all difficult using current technology to produce a certificate or document that looks genuine. An appraiser can check to see if the GIA# laser inscription on the diamond matches that from the Gemological Institutions of America website.
A jeweler may try to hide flaws when setting a diamond into a piece of jewelry by positioning the flaw underneath the prongs of the setting. If possible look at the loose stone before it is placed into a setting. Many of these flaws may be more than just a black spot and could be structural in nature like feathering or a thin girdle which makes the diamond more prone to chipping.
By drilling a tiny hole deep into the diamond it is possible to remove spots and inclusions. Another treatment is to fill minuscule fractures. As either of these treatments may significantly reduce or threaten the properties of the diamond the price should therefore reflect this.
A good imitation diamond can look so similar to a real diamond that even a professional jeweler may have difficulty determining whether it is imitation or not.
Real Diamonds are flawed; imitations are not.
Real diamonds contain tiny ‘flaws’ which often create a brilliance that cannot be seen in imitations. Carefully crafted Cubic Zirconia sports absolutely no imperfections, making it easy to label as imitation.
Looking inside a diamond will reveal the truth about its true components and its authenticity. Real diamonds always have something inside. A diamond held in front of an eye and viewed through the side is not transparent nor is it a clear unified colour. These traits however are obvious in a fake diamond which exerts zero degrees of brilliance.
Setting & Mount Test.
Since stones made from substances such as Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite are considerably less expensive than diamonds, they are usually set in less expensive metals. Chances are an imitation diamond would not be set in real gold.
Wear and Tear Test.
Real diamonds have remarkable durability and a hardened sharpness that is strong enough to scratch glass. Scratches or nicks on the surface of a diamond, would determine the diamond most likely is not real.
Place a diamond up-side down on newspaper and if the written matter from the newspaper is legible then the diamond is not real. Real diamonds have so many intricacies in their infrastructure that it is impossible for light to pass all the way through them without being first refracted. So an unmounted diamond set on a newspaper would not allow any clearly-marked letters or even distorted black smudges to be seen through it. This method is very common and enables you to evaluate the real diamond from the fake diamond.
Imitation diamonds are purposely crafted to look like real diamonds from the top so it is visually difficult to spot a fake stone. However the shiny, reflective qualities that are apparent from the top of any diamond are not found once it is viewed from the side angle. Manufacturers of imitation stones are less apt to carry those same shiny, reflective characteristics throughout the rest of the stone and so they have much less impact.
Checking a diamond with the help of an electronic diamond tester can differentiate between a real diamond and an imitation. This tester can check all diamonds except the moissanite stone for which the tester is not reliable.
The best imitation diamond is the cubic zirconia and the weight of this stone is around 50% more than a real diamond of the same size and shape. This weight test can assist in determining the difference between an imitation and a real diamond.
Hold the diamond and breathe hot air from your mouth on to the stone. If fog appears on the stone and stays there for a few seconds then the stone is an imitation – as the heat disappears instantly on a real diamond. The oily layers and dirt on the stone might create some problems so before carrying out this test clean the surface of the diamond properly.
Ultra violet test.
A real diamond projects a blue color if put under an ultra violet light but if the blue light does not appear, it may be an imitation or it may be a very, very high quality diamond.