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    Start with a Diamond
    Start with Setting
    Sep 01

    wiki_diamond.jpgDon’t be dazzled when you walk into the diamond jewelry store to start shopping for that perfect diamond ring, fabulous diamond bracelet, or exquisite pair of diamond earrings. It is almost like being a little kid and walking into the candy store with a pocket full of money – it is easy to get carried away with how beautiful all the sparkling stones are!Your first step when you start to shop for loose diamonds or diamonds already mounted in a setting is to go to a jeweler you trust. Don’t be intimidated by a knowledgeable sales person. Always ask questions and don’t think they are dumb ones, either. Everyone starts out in the diamond business with zero knowledge, and learns as they go along.

    Ask for a Certificate of Authenticity issued by the Gemological Institute of America, or an independent appraisal from an authority. Appraisers are often independent contractors, but should be affiliated with a recognized authority such as the American Society of Appraisers.

    But there is no substitute for running a few tests to see if you have a genuine, real diamond in front of you. Once you know three or four ways to test diamonds, you can look at a pile of stones or beautiful diamond jewelry and shop with confidence.

    Test Number One: Check the Diamond’s Setting

    Just because it is shiny, detailed, and made of gold so it looks flashy does not mean it is a quality setting. Learn a little about what diamond jeweler lingo means, such as the difference between 14 carat, 18 carat, and 24 carat gold. Gold plate or gold electroplate does not mean the diamond jewelry is quality, no matter the carat weight of the gold.

    Genuine, real diamond jewelry uses a good mounting method to hold the stones in the setting. This means there should be prongs surrounding the diamonds and other stones, and you should be able to see the entire stone. Look for settings that compliment the diamond no matter how big it is, rather than adding extra (and cheap) metal to make the stone look bigger and flashier.

    Test Number Two: Weigh Your Options

    A genuine, real diamond will weigh about half the weight of a fake diamond of similar size. Loose diamonds, of course, are much easier to weigh than diamonds set in mountings. Your diamond jeweler should allow you to choose the setting and the diamond separately, so you can check that you are getting the stone you are paying for. Your diamond jeweler should have a scale, so ask for it and use it.

    Test Number Three: Breathe On It

    Did you ever wonder why people in the movies breathe on the diamonds before putting their money on the table? It is because your breath creates a fog, and a genuine, real diamond will clear of the fog in a matter of a second or two, where a fake stone will hold its fog much longer-up to five seconds.

    Really sneaky diamond jewelers will sometimes cap fake stones, so the breath test may not always give you accurate results. Make sure your test is accurate by submerging the stone in water. You will be able to see that it is capped because the water will make the cap line stand out to your eye.

    Test Number Four: The Diamond Newspaper Test

    The diamond newspaper test is perfect for checking loose diamonds to literally see if they are fakes. Place a small square of newspaper or other paper with small words on it on a table. Lay the diamond on top of the type upside down and try to read the words through the stone. If you can read the paper, you are probably looking at a very sparkly, very tempting fake.

    A Few More Things to Remember

    Please do not try the old trick of scratching glass with a diamond. This can dull and scratch the edges of the facets, which could cause the diamond to lose a significant amount of value. Besides, you will have a scratch in the glass if the stone is the real thing!

    When you are thinking of making a big investment in loose diamonds or diamond jewelry, save yourself some time, money and heartache by having a trusted expert look at the stones before you buy them. Bring the appraiser to the jewelry store if you cannot bring the diamonds to the appraiser.

    Do not be embarrassed to do your own test for a genuine, real diamond. Sales people should be supportive of your search for the finest diamonds for the best price. If your sales person laughs at you or rolls his eyes, find another diamond jewelry store! Patience is key, and your sales person should want to educate you and help you choose the most exquisite diamonds out there.

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