If you’re planning to take Grandma’s ring to a pawn shop to sell, it might help to know if the stone is real or Grandma was just fooling everybody all these years. Some simple home tests can illuminate the truth:
Print that: Place a loose stone on top of magazine print; if you can read the letters or even see black smudges, it’s not a real diamond. Real stones refract light, so you can’t see through them.
If it looks too good to be true…: Real diamonds nearly all have some imperfections; if your stone looks too good to be true—i.e. flawless—under a magnifying glass or loupe, it probably is.
Fog test: Breathe onto the stone. Real stones clear up instantly, while fakes will fog up.
Get rough: Rub the stone with sandpaper. If it scratches, it’s a fake. (Note: lack of scratching isn’t a definitive test for authenticity.)
Check stamps and mounts: CZ is cubic zirconia—fake. But stamps like 14K, for example, mean that the stone is set in precious metal, and more likely to be real. (Again, on its own, this is not a definitive test.)
Water tests: Drop the stone it water; if it sinks, it’s likely real, as fake stones will float or hover. If it passes that test, heat it up with a lighter for 30 seconds, then drop it into the cold water. Fake stones will shatter. (Only do this if you don’t care about losing the stone!)
If, after conducting these tests, you’re still not sure of Grandma’s integrity, bring the stone or piece of jewelry to Loudoun Jewelry on Maple Ave, and let an expert take a look. We won’t share Grandma’s secrets—promise.