How to tell if a diamond is fake or real
You want to gift something precious to your loved one…something that symbolizes purity, eternity, and exclusivity. You ponder on various options but zero in on gifting diamond jewelry. Diamonds being rare and appealing to most make a perfect gifting option. However, with charlatans creeping in everywhere, how do you tell if the diamond you buy is a genuine one?
If you have brought a diamond a loose stone or in the jewelry form, that isn’t accompanied by a certificate from the GIA or AGS, then you be rest assured that it’s a real diamond. However, if you have inherited a diamond or received it as a gift, without any certificate then it may probably be not a legit one.
People long ago would go for the “scratch test” is the surefire way to test a diamond. In this test, one just needs to scratch the loose stone against a mirror. If the stone is hard enough to scratch the mirror, it’s probably a diamond!
However, it was later found that this is not an accurate test to determine the genuineness of a diamond. This test fails when we consider the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale is a scientific measurement of the hardness of mineral hardness. For instance, on Moh’s scale, a Glass is rated a 5.5, and diamonds are rated a 10. So you see diamond is the hardest of the mineral!
So, though genuine diamonds will scratch a mirror, its other counterparts such as quartz – 7, Moissanite – 9.25, and cubic zirconia – 8 all being hard, will also scratch the mirror. The glitch is that artificial and fake diamonds will seem genuine if you rely on the scratch test. So, if you have a diamond and are unsure if it’s real or fake, here are some ways to check its authenticity.
- The Magnification Test
- The Fog Test
- The Black Light Test
- The Newspaper Test
- The Temperature Test
- The Water Test
- The Conductivity Test
The Magnification Test
Things that you will need:
- A magnifying glass having 10X magnification or higher
- A real diamond
- A stone that you think is unreal
Take out the stone that you think is unreal and observe it under the microscope. Then look at the real diamond and identify the noticeable difference. The real diamond will have some inclusions (also known as external or internal flaws). A fake stone such as cubic zirconia or moissanite will have no internal flaws or external flaws.
The reason for this difference is that real diamonds are naturally formed rocks beneath the earth’s surface while cubic zirconia and moissanite are grown in labs. Since these stones are not subjected to external pressure unlike natural diamonds, they won’t have noticeable flaws.
However, if you don’t have a real diamond to compare your loose stone then visit your local jeweler store. If the stone that you doubt is a legit one and doesn’t have any internal flaws, then it is a rare diamond! However, finding a real flawless diamond is a rare feat in itself, unless you have an heirloom piece!
The Fog Test
Things that you will need:
Just the stone that is under the question
All you have to do is just take the stone and go to a location (a room or a garden) that is relatively cooler. Now blow hot air on the stone. The idea is to surround the stone with warm, moist air. If it’s a real diamond, it won’t retain the heat and won’t create a fog on its surface. However, if it’s a fake diamond, it will retain the moisture and get fogged up.
The Black Light Test
Things that you will need:
- A strong UV light
- The stone
- A light bulb
Place the stone under the UV light, and check if there’s any change in its color. If you see a bluish light emitting from the stone, it is most likely a genuine diamond. However, again never fall back on this test alone as certain real diamonds won’t emit blue light as they don’t have any fluorescence.
The Newspaper Test
Things that you will need
- A newspaper
- The stone
Spread out the newspaper and keep the stone on top of it. Though it may sound absurd, try to read the words on the newspaper page through the stone. Since a real diamond refracts light significantly, you won’t be able to read through it. However, fake diamonds such as cubic zirconia are more transparent and you will be able to see through them and read the content. The only flip side of this test is that if the stone in the question is of a smaller size, then it will hamper the view.
The Candle/Lighter Test
Things that you will need
- A lighter or a candle flame
- A glass of cold water
- A pair of tweezers
- The stone
Hold the stone in the question with the tweezers and heat it over a lighter or a candle flame for about 30 – 45 seconds. Then, drop it immediately into the cold water. If it’s a real diamond, it will not be impacted by the extreme temperature. However, fake diamonds like cubic zirconia, quartz, or those that are made of glass will break with sudden changes in the temperature.
The Water Test
Things that you will need
- A glass of water
- The diamond
This is a very simple test as you just need to drop the loose stone into a glass of water. Since a diamond has a high density, it will sink to the bottom. Fake diamonds such as glass and quartz will float or not sink quickly as these are low-density stones. Again, it won’t be worthwhile to entirely depend on this test as large stones of cubic zirconia or moissanite, being heavy can sink quickly.
The Conductivity Test
Things that you will need:
Take your stone to a local jewelry store
A unique thing about diamonds is they resist electricity. So if you want to know if your stone is a real diamond or fake, test it for electric conductivity. However, certain stones such as Moissanite, are so well made that it may become difficult to tell if it’s a genuine diamond. They depict the same level of resistance to thermal conductivity. Most jewelers still use this test to determine the authenticity of the diamond.
After conducting these tests, if you are still unsure of whether your diamond is real or fake, always take it to the expert for review. A highly trained diamond tester or a gemologist will be able to determine its authenticity. You can also take it to a reliable lab for analysis. However, remember that any diamond jewelry that you buy – irrespective of whether it’s a ring, pendant, earrings, or a necklace, should be accompanied by a legitimate AGS or GIA certificate. Your purchase should also come with a grading report. If your jeweler doesn’t give you one, make sure to ask for it.
Most importantly, you will find hordes of information on the Internet, which could be wrong, and performing the methods other than mentioned above can damage your diamond. Be wary of it.
Why GIA holds so much importance?
GIA is an independent, non-profit organization that conducts gem research and sets the standards for determining diamond quality. It is also the creator of 4C’s grading system.
A diamond that is accompanied by a GIA certificate denotes that the diamond is a genuine one. GIA offers a conclusive report of the diamond, right from its grading to whether it has been subjected to any treatment to enhance its color or appearance.
You can also verify your diamond report by visiting the GIA’s online database online and entering your diamond’s report number.
What if I don’t have a GIA report and want to get one?
If you want a GIA report for your diamond, you can visit your local jeweler to send your stone to GIA.
Types of fake diamonds
The term “Diamonds are Forever” De Beer’s famous slogan, which is also deemed as the slogan of the century aptly eludes the real story of the diamonds. Diamonds are formed over a period of thousands of years beneath the earth’s surface, withstanding 2200-degree temperature and pressure of almost 725,000 pounds per square inch!
Fake diamonds on the other hand are not as old as real diamonds. They can be created in a lab in a couple of days – three to four weeks because of the sheer size of the unreal diamonds! Yes, there’s a big audience for the lab-grown market out there. Also, there’s a fine line that separates a fake diamond from a synthetic diamond. Both of these diamonds have different chemical compositions altogether.
Here’s shedding some light at some real stones that look like real diamonds but they aren’t man-made either:
White sapphire is a natural stone and also one of the hardest minerals known to mankind. It is considered an optimal substitute for diamonds. However, white sapphires are priced much lower and they look cloudy, foggy. These stones have a lower refractive index due to which they lack luster. Over time, white sapphires become dull and lose their shine, hence these stones need to be cared for frequently.
Now don’t mistake zircon for cubic zirconia. Zircon is a natural stone that can be cut and polished to fit into any jewelry. However, it is not hard as a diamond and can get chipped. It also loses the luster and wears down really quickly.
White spinel is a colorless stone, which is also widely used as a diamond substitute. On Mohs scale, it scores 7.5 to 8. Though not as shiny and rich as diamond, white spinel is no less than a diamond. In fact, red spinels are used for rubies. Pink and black spinels are also integrated into jewelry and find a great acceptance in diamond admirers.
Rutile is a natural mineral mostly found in red and brown. However, rutile can also be created synthetically in the labs. The colorless rutiles are widely used as a diamond substitute. Rutile scores 6.-6.5 on Moh’s scale, which means it is much softer than the real diamond and susceptible to scratches easily.
- Synthetic fakes:
Here’s a look at some popular types of synthetic fakes.
Moissanite is a great substitute for diamond and produces great sparkle when exposed to light. It has superior durability and clarity. Moissanite is grown in controlled environments in labs using advanced technology. These stones have a smaller carbon footprint and can be recycled easily.
If you have to select moissanite, then opt for a colorless one that falls within the D-F grade range. On Moh’s scale, moissanite scores a decent 9.25, making it suitable for engagement rings. Because of this reason, it can sustain daily wear and tear. Moissanites emit fiery, rainbow flashes that create a ‘disco ball’ like effect, especially in sunlight. The bigger the stone, the more brilliant it would be! Moissanites have a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69, which is much higher than a diamond.
Moissanites are priced based on their size and quality. So if you are looking for an economical and eco-friendly option, these stones would fit your bill.
Cubic zirconia is an artificial stone that sparkles as brilliantly as diamond and that’s probably why it is one of the most popular diamond substitutes. Cubic zirconia is composed of zirconium dioxide, which imparts durability to the stone. This stone scores 8.0-8.5 on the Mohs scale and is comparatively harder than other diamond substitutes. What’s more, besides its shine and toughness, cubic zirconia is much cheaper than diamonds. However, it tends to lose its brilliance after being worn for some time.
Garnets are also used as diamond substitutes. Two varieties of garnets – YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) and GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet) are sometimes used to make diamond imitations. Synthetic garnets’ Mohs hardness rating falls between 7.5 to 8.5 range.
Lots of diamond imitation jewelry that you are available widely and at cheap prices are made of glass. Though cheap, glass stones do not match up to the diamond in terms of sparkle, brilliance and durability. In addition, stones made from glass are susceptible to breakage and scratches.
Are Lab-Created Diamonds Worth Anything?
Lab-created diamonds are perfect for those who do not want to spend money on buying expensive diamond jewelry yet want to sport a jewelry that sparkles as brilliantly as diamonds. Lab-created diamonds or fake diamonds have basically no resale value. So if you buy a lab-created diamond, you won’t be able to reap any benefit out of it.
For instance, if you purchased a 1.20ct lab-created diamond that looks brilliant, no jeweler would buy it back. Hence for the amount that you invested in buying jewelry, you would probably get pennies for it, if you sell it online.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Cheaper?
Lab-created diamonds are not just cheaper than natural diamonds but they won’t also fetch you a decent resale value for your bucks! An average real diamond will still retain almost 50% of its value after you buy it. However, over the time, the price of the diamond will rise and if you ever try to sell it, you should get at least 3/4th of its original purchase price.
Why Are Lab-Created Diamonds So Expensive?
So even though lab-created, fake diamonds are cheaper than real diamonds, they still are priced high. In the past few years, there has been considerable rise in the prices of lab-created diamonds due their demand. Also, sometimes, the quality of the diamond makes it pricier. The reason for it is that the process for creating artificial diamonds is not cheap. Right from using specialized machines to seeking skills of diamond cutters and diamond experts, there’s lot of expenses that goes into making diamonds in lab. Moreover, making diamonds in labs are not easy as it seems and may take 3 to 4 weeks of time. That’s because diamond experts need to multiple the carbon atoms and compress them into a diamond, which takes time, innovative technology and skillset. So, next time if you see synthetic diamond ring valued at $8000, don’t be surprised!
Purchasing a Lab-Created Diamond Today
If you are out to buy a diamond engagement ring in the market, you can save big money by going with a lab-created diamond instead of a natural diamond. However, you will have to comply with the fact that it won’t fetch you any price in the near future. Therefore, if you are looking for a ring that is inexpensive yet beautiful or want an ethical and environmentally friendly, purchasing a ring studded with a lab-created diamond will be a good choice.
Here are few pros and cons of lab-grown diamonds, compared to their real diamonds. .
Since lab grown diamonds are grown in labs, they do not require mining, which jeopardizes the environment and puts mined workers in dangerous or unhygienic conditions. Though a certification like the Kimberly Process helps us in determining the origin of the diamond, it does not account for human rights factors. Violence, illegal mining and child labor are some of the factors that also continue to plaque the diamond mining operations.
A lab grown diamonds will cost you almost 30 to 40 percent less than a natural diamond of the same size, color and clarity. Owing to this, the prices of unreal diamonds have plummeted in the last few years. Even bigger brands have now started selling jewelry studded with lab-grown diamonds to capitalize on the market trend.
It has become increasingly difficult to mine natural diamonds, and that’s the reason the why natural diamonds are becoming more rare and costly. On the contrary, lab grown diamonds have no such constraints. Though this may sound good, the value of the lab grown industry will continue to depreciate with respect to the price. This would further impact their resale value.
Another important factor is that when you buy a natural diamond, you are directly supporting people who depend on mining for income. According to the research by the Diamond Producers Association, a largest trade organization that mines diamonds for lots of renowned companies, diamond mining creates about $4 billion in revenue for employees and further $6.8 billion economic impact in their communities.
Conversely, diamond labs are managed and funded by large corporations in developed countries. The Diamond Development Initiative, an organization dedicated to enhancing working conditions for miners in developing countries, appealed to western consumers to ditch buying lab grown diamonds and resort to buying natural diamonds in an effort to support the wellbeing of mine workers.
Though lab grown diamonds curb an environmental issue, which is not the case with mining, they pose a huge problem of sustainability. The heat and pressure needed to create a lab grown diamond is equal to that of a volcanic eruption, which demands huge amounts of energy. For instance, the HPHT method requires up to 700 kWh per carat, and CVD process use up to 1,000 kWh per carat, which is literally so much energy that it can power up a house for a month.
So if you consider this fact, many diamond mines have lower CO2 emissions than diamond labs. Diamond industry regulators are now contemplating to experiment with certifications that will allow lab grown diamond manufacturers to label synthetic diamonds as “sustainable” or “eco-friendly”.
How Are Lab-Created Diamonds Grown
Synthetic diamonds are created in labs using two different processes:
- High Pressure – High Temperature (HPHT)
- Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
HPHT – HPHT diamonds are made using various processes such as – a belt press, the cubic press, and the split-sphere (BARS) press. These processes use extremely high pressure and temperature, which are conducive to the growth of diamonds.
In the HPIT process, a small diamond seed is placed into the carbon and exposed to extremely high temperatures of about 1500 degrees Celsius. A pressure of approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch is applied to the diamonds. The carbon at this temperature and pressure starts melting and forms a diamond. This diamond is then carefully cooled after which it takes the form of a pure diamond.
CVD – In the CVD process, a thin slice of diamond seed is placed in the seed chamber and heated to around 800 degrees Celsius. The chamber used in the process is filled with carbon-rich gases like Methane and similar gases. These gases are ionized into plasma, which interferes with the seed material to slowly crystallize to form a pure diamond.
How Are Lab-Created Diamonds Certified And Graded?
Fake diamonds or lab-created diamonds are also graded and certified as mined diamonds. These diamonds are then sent to a lab to determine their grading. One need to note is that these labs may have their criteria and grading system. Some popular diamond certification labs include:
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC)
- American Gem Society (AGS)
- International Gemological Institute (IGI)
- Gemological Science International (GSI)
Each diamond is rated individually by different diamond testers and gemologists and the results are compiled together to determine their final grade.
Choosing the Right Diamond for You
It could be confusing for users to choose between a lab grown and natural diamond. Hence, educating users on the difference between fake and real diamonds, their pros and cons is imperative.
Lab grown diamonds are available at half the cost of the real diamonds. They have the same chemical and physical properties and hence become a great alternative to real diamonds. What’s more, since they are priced low, you don’t have to worry about financing or consider going for a loan. Just set your eyes on a dream engagement ring or a necklace and buy it at very affordable rate.
Diamond Producing Countries
Diamond producing countries are countries where diamonds are extensively found and mined. When it comes to producing diamonds, countries fall into three categories – the northern band, the southern band and the third center band. The first two bands are the countries that mine and supply high quality demands whereas the third band comprises of countries that mine diamonds in lower quantity and value.
Countries in Northern band:
It includes Russia and Canada, which constitute two of the leading diamond-producing countries in the world.
Countries in Southern band:
The Southern band includes various Southern African countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia.
Countries in the Center band or the third band:
It includes the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone in Africa, and Venezuela and Brazil in South America.
In terms of production by volume, the top five countries are – Russia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Australia and Canada.
Russia has the world’s largest and richest diamond resources. It is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds by volume. According to a report, in 2014, Russian miners extracted a roughly 38-39 million carats of diamonds!
ALROSA is the main miner from where diamonds are mined mostly and which holds a monopoly on diamond mining operations in the country. This mine alone accounts to over 90% of the country’s annual production.
In fact, in 2014, ALROSA mined 36.2 million carats of diamonds alone. Most of Russia’s diamond deposits and current mining activities, including ALROSA are posited in the Russian republic Yakutia, which is the Siberian region of the country.
ALROSA operates five open-pit mines in Yakutia. It constitutes 4 underground mines and 14 alluvial placers. The Arkhangelsk region, which lies to the west of the country, the company operates the Lomonosov deposit and two more open-pit mines. One more diamond, the Grib diamond mine, which also lies in the Arkhangelsk region, is a new mine operated by Lukoil. This mine currently produces about 1 million carats annually. It is estimated that the production was expected to rise to 4 million carats annually when mine starts operating full-fledged.
The recent estimates on diamond reserve elucidates that Russia has 973 million carats in total diamond resources! And out of this, 608 million carats are known reserves.
Characteristics of Russian diamonds:
The Russian diamond mines are known to produce a wide range of diamonds in almost all sizes, colors and clarities. Russian diamonds are famous for their impeccable fluorescence. Another common feature of the Russian diamonds is that they are mostly available in crystal shape, which has eight facets and sharp corners. Several Russian mines also produce a wide variety of fancy yellow diamonds.
In terms of value, Botswana is the leading diamond-producing country in the world. In terms of volume, it is the second largest producer of diamonds in the world. Botswana is also home of De Beers. The organization sources most of its production from its base country itself. According to reports, Botswana produced 23.2 million carats with a stated value of $3.63 billion in 2013.
This African country has seven mines and most notable among them are Orapa and Jwaneng. These to mines are considered as the most prolific mines in the world and are operated by De Beers. DE Beers also operates to more mines – Letlhakane and Damtshaa. Lucara brand operates the Karowe mine while Kimberly Diamonds runs the Lerala mine, and Gem Diamonds handles the Ghaghoo mine.
Characteristics of Botswana diamonds:
The mines in Botswana produce the full range of diamonds, in varying sizes, colors and clarities. Botswana diamonds are known for their superior gem quality, beautifully dodecahedral shaped stones having greenish color tint, and whose hue range from medium to high colors.
3. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s largest producer of diamonds. However, the production details of this country always remain unclear. The country has long been famous as the diamond mining country. Today, DRC is the third largest diamond-producing country by volume. However, over the past few years there has been a sharp decline in its diamond production.
A majority of DRC’s mining production is in the hands of the informal sector and not the mining companies. According to estimates, roughly 700,000 artisanal diamond miners mine the country’s sedimentary mines. Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), which is a joint venture between the Belgian company Sibeka and the DRC government, is the only commercial diamond producer in the country. De Beers holds 20% stake in Sibeka, which also markets about 1/3rd of the country’s diamonds.
The DRC has tremendous potential to give an impetus to the diamond sector in the country and worldwide. To date, diamond mining has not been explored using modern technology and a diamonds are mined from a relatively small in the country has taken place on a small scale and only a considerably small area has been explored using modern technology.
According to reports, MIBA produced approximately 9 million carats in 2003. However, over the years significant fluctuations were noted in these figures fluctuate due to political tension in the Kasai region. In 2013, DRC produced 15.7 million carats of diamonds whose estimated value was deemed to be around $138.7 million.
Characteristics of DRC diamonds:
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s diamond reserves produces diamonds in various qualities and quality. However, some mines in the country are known to produce diamonds that have distinctive white color and better quality. The MIBA goods are mostly composed of low color and quality, but other regions in the country are producing desirable high white and better quality diamonds.
Australia is the leading producer of colored diamonds in the world. It is famous for producing pink, purple and read diamonds. It is also renowned for producing some of the fines quality yellow diamonds. However, a majority of country’s diamond production is of low color and quality.
Argyle is the largest diamond mine in Australia, which is operated by Rio Tinto. Argyle is also a very prolific mine that produces 12 million carats of diamonds annually. This is second to Orapa in Botswana. Argyle was an open pit mine until recently, which was turned to underground mining facility. Ellendale and Merlin are other two mines in Australia.
Characteristics of Australian Diamonds:
Argyle is notable for producing brown and pink diamonds. This mine was the initial source of diamonds for India’s budding diamond industry. The pink, red, and purple diamonds produced from this mine have optimum quality and most sought after by the diamond enthusiasts. However, only a small portion of its white diamond produce is of significant quality, estimated 5% is gem quality.
Ellendale is another mine in Australia, which is operated by Kimberley Diamonds. It produces high quality yellow diamonds. The Merlin diamond mine is popular for producing diamonds that are white, large, have high clarity and high value. Australia’s largest diamond – a 104.73-carat stone was discovered at Merlin.
Canada’s mining deposits remain concealed until 20th century and today it stands as one of the most important and largest producers of diamonds in the world. In 1991, Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blossom traced the presence of diamond-bearing Kimberlite pipes some 200 miles north of Yellowknife.
Canada has 4 mines –Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake and Victor. Ekati being the first operational diamond mine in the country served as a major resource for high quality diamonds. This mine is owned and operated by Dominion Diamonds. Diavik is operated by Rio Tinto subsidiary, which runs on behalf of Rio and Dominion. The other two mines, Snap Lake and Victor are operated by De Beers. Another diamond mine named Jericho was operational for some time. However, it was later shut down, as it proved uneconomical. Canada reportedly produced 10.6 million carats of diamonds in 2013, which was worth $1.9 billion. This has put Canada on the number 5 rank in the list of the world’s fifth largest diamond-producing country.
Apart from mines, which are functional in Canada, there are quite a few resources operating in the country, such as Stornoway Stornoway Diamonds’ Renard and De Beers’ Gahcho Kué. Two more resources – Star-Orion and Chidliak are in still in initial stages of development.
Characteristics of Canadian Diamonds:
The Canadian diamonds are peculiar characteristics – they are in crystalline or cubical form and have a coating of a black skin. Some Canadian diamonds are brown colors, whose color is improved after the polishing process. However, most diamonds mined here tend to be of medium and high white in color.
The above countries dominate the diamond production market in the world and accounts for nearly 76% of the global produce. They not just produce diamonds by volume but by value, too they represent more than 65% of the world’s 14 billion production!
Next, we will have a look at the other countries that produces diamonds in smaller scale but nonetheless are also important diamond-producing countries in the world.
Zimbabwe’s geographical nature is conducive for diamonds. The country was explored for diamonds and a large number of Kimberlites were discovered in the region over the years. Other areas in Zimbabwe were also explored however only a few proved to be economically viable. Zimbabwe produced 10.4 million carats of diamonds worth $538.5 million in 2013.
Murowa mine is Zimbabwe’s first major diamond mine. It owned and operated by Rio Tinto. Many international and local companies operate a number of other alluvial diamond mines present in Marange.
Characteristics of Zimbabwean diamonds:
The diamonds produced from the Zimbabwean alluvial mines have a larger average size. Most of the diamonds are coated with different color skins, which after polishing preserve their brown or green tinge. Murowa mine produces beautifully shaped and smooth skin diamonds which have high qualities and available in various medium range colors.
Angola’s diamond reserves are estimated to be at 180 million carats. These reserves are deemed to be located primarily in the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, which lies in the central and northeastern parts of the country. As per the reports, Angola’s total production of rough diamonds was 9.4 million carats in 2013. This approximates to a value of $1.28 billion.
The most central and largest diamond mine in Angola is Catoca. It is considered as the world’s fourth largest kimberlite and also one of the largest diamond mines in the world! It is notable for producing diamonds of more than 7 million carats annually. The mine is operated by Sociedade Mineira de Catoca.
Angola also has several other alluvial mines, which are operated by artisanal miners. The notable amongst this is the Somiluana. In Angola, Kimberlite mining is done in agreement with ENDIAMA, which is the state-owned diamond mining company. The locally produced diamonds are marketed by SODIAM, which is also the state-owned diamond marketing company.
Characteristics of Angola Diamonds:
Angola diamonds are typically round dodecahedral in shape and of medium and yellowish colors. They are larger than usual stones.
8. South Africa
South Africa is also one of the important diamond producing nations in the world. Its rough diamonds are typically composed of perfectly round dodecahedral diamonds, in high white colors and qualities. In fact, some of most beautiful stones in the world are originally from South Africa. It includes – the famous Cullinan diamond at 3106.75 carats. It is the largest non-carbonado and the largest gem-quality diamond ever found.
South Africa also produces some amazing pink and blue diamonds, which were found by Petra Diamonds. The country has the most diverse range of diamond deposits in the world, which typically comprise of pit and underground kimberlite pipe/dyke/fissure mining, alluvial mining, and on and offshore marine mining.
Diamond mines in South Africa are operated by De Beers. Petra Diamonds is also a significant operator that bought many mines previously owned by De Beers, Trans Hex and Diamondcorp.
According to the Kimberley process report, South Africa’s total rough diamond production for 2013 was 8.1 million carats, which is estimated to have a value of $1.19 billion.
Lesotho, though not a large producer of diamonds by volume, it is known for producing large-sized diamonds and that too on a consistent basis. Letseng is an important mine in Lesotho which is situated in mountains at an elevation of 3,100 meters above the sea level.
The mine is operated by Gem Diamonds and yields many 10.8 carat diamonds of larger shapes, which are characterized by very high color and quality. This mine also produces several diamonds, larger than 100 carats every year! Lemphane, Liqhobong, the Mothae project and the Kao mine are other diamond mining projects in Lesotho.
Characteristics of Lesotho diamonds:
Diamonds mined from Lesotho are large block-shaped stones that are high white and have superior clarities. In 2013, the total diamond production in Lesotho was 414,014 carats valued at $242.2 million.
Countries such as the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and British Guinea fall in the third band that is the central band as the diamonds produced from the mines in these countries have the same characteristics. They have characteristic brownish color, enveloped by greenish skin and have a round dodecahedra shape.
Diamonds found in Sierra Leone and Venezuela, which also lie in the same band feature similar characteristics. They are square shaped and have a green coat. The Sierra Leone diamonds have crystal-square shape and high quality and hence preferred over the Venezuelan production. Sierra Leone is thus renowned for green-coated diamonds whereas Brazil is famous for producing diamonds in pink, blue and other fancy colors.
Diamonds are the object of desire for many. Right from earlier eras kings and queens to present days celebrities and common people like us desire to own brilliant and lustrous diamond jewelry. This intriguing gemstone are eye-catching in every sense and just sporting it can make look gorgeous, handsome, confident… for some a diamond is a symbol of invincibility, fearlessness, truth, and perfection… you see a diamond would mean different for different people.
Hence, when the urge to buy a diamond gets high, it is easy to get carried away with the radiance of any stone you come across whether online or at your local jewelry store. However, you have to be careful and ensure that you buy a real diamond that comes with a credible certificate of authenticity. There’s a huge market for fake diamonds and the risk of procuring a fake diamond for real is always high. Hence, you should know the difference between a real diamond and the fake one.
Real diamonds are rare, expensive and have a distinguishing dazzle. The motive of this article is not to undermine the value of unreal or synthetic diamonds. Artificial diamonds provide a price choice for consumers who want a diamond jewelry that imitates a real diamond piece. It’s a different story. When you are investing in a real diamond, you should get the real stone for your price. Also, there’s a common misconception that diamonds are assets that can appreciate over time, so they make a good investment opportunity. This is not wholly true. You may only get 50% or slightly more of the initial purchase price when you set out to sell the diamond.
When you contemplate buying diamond jewelry, whether it’s studded with real diamonds or unreal ones, don’t shy away from asking questions to your jeweler. It will help you find the best diamonds that meet your requirements.
Also, once you know, that you have a real diamond, the next best step is to take the diamond to the lab that can register and fingerprint your diamond. Yes, gemologists can quantify the uniqueness of your diamond by generating a fingerprint of it. It will help you in case you further seek to have insurance for the gem. Also, if your diamond gets stolen and if it shows up in the international database, you can always retrieve it back by furnishing the documents.
We hope this blog enhances your knowledge about diamonds and help you distinguish between a real and a fake diamond!