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How to Use a Diamond Tester for Beginners

How to Use a Diamond Tester for Beginners

Melissa Hall
Diamond tester

Diamond Tester is a portable device that lets you check whether a diamond is real or fake.

As the world’s economy becomes less stable, things that were previously considered sound investments by the previous generation. Like shares, business investments, and property, are becoming a little less reliable.

Many people are looking back in time to when investments were tangible things you could hold in your hand rather than the digital capital. We have all become used to over the last few decades.

Things like gold and silver are seeing a resurgence as people are looking less at quick profits and shifting their mindset to long-term stability. Even if that means fewer returns in the immediate future. 

Solid Investments

In the past. Jewellery and precious stones, like diamonds, have also been a safe bet. When it comes to solid investments during global crisis’ and economic downturns.

COVID-19 has had a heavy impact on the diamond industry for many reasons. Including mining operations grinding to a halt, and unstable market trends.

But for some people! crisis means opportunity, and some investment savvy people have been taking a risk on low diamond prices in the hope the market will see a significant recovery as the pandemic subsides.

So if you are one of these investment savvy risk-takers, and have considered entering the diamond game for the first time, how do you know what you are looking for?

Even the savviest of diamond investors who have spent years with one eye in a jeweller’s loupe can be deceived by the sight and touch of a synthetic diamond, and the fakes are getting better as time goes on.

So if it is so easy to deceive a pro, what is a new investor to do to guarantee their investment is worth the money? 

Well, thanks to technology getting better and cheaper, the best thing you can invest in is as a diamond amateur is a good quality electronic diamond tester. As expensive as that sounds, you can pick up a quality pocket-size Diamond Tester for a very reasonable price.

What is a diamond tester?

There are two types of electronic diamond testers. Both work off similar theories but use different methods to determine the authenticity and quality of a diamond.

Heat conductivity diamond testers

A diamond tester works on the fact that different gemstones conduct heat differently. For example, heat passes through cubic zirconia at a different rate to a natural diamond. 

A heat Diamond Tester measures how fast heat is conducted through the stone and gives a reading based on the stone’s response.

Electric conductivity diamond testers

These types of diamond tester generally look and operate the same as heat Diamond Tester; the only difference is that these testers are using electrical conductivity to test the diamond instead of heat.

There is some debate as to which of these two Diamond Tester is more reliable; this being said, there are some recorded instances where heat conduction testers have mistaken moissanite for a real diamond.

For someone new to the diamond game, it may be worth purchasing an electrical conduction tester until you have some of the other traditional diamond testing skills under your belt. Still, having a tester is more reliable than going by sight and feel alone.

How do you use a diamond tester?

The great thing about diamond testers is they require next to no training, and there are no special tricks. Most testers use one or more AAA batteries, or a nine-volt battery to operate.

The tester will have a metallic testing tip to run the heat or current. There is usually an easy to read LED display that registers the conductivity. The bars are typically marked somewhere between one to ten with DIA at the high end to represent diamond confirmation. 

When the tip is touched against the diamond, it will only take a moment for the conductivity to register. If the unit registers near the top of the scale or the DIA marking, you can be more than confident you are dealing with a real natural diamond.

Can you use diamond testers on a set stone?

This is one of the other great things about electronic conduction diamond testers; they can be used when the stone is set into a piece of jewellery. 

Many traditional methods of jewellery testing, like the water test, are useless when the jewel is set; and unless you have a black light or a very well trained eye and a loupe, an electronic tester it is possibly the only way an amateur diamond investor can confidently test a set diamond.

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How do you test a diamond with water?

Water testing is an old method of testing diamonds, and as fake or synthetic diamonds have gotten better over time, it has become less reliable.

This test is only effective with unset diamonds, as having it set in jewellery renders the experiment redundant.

Still, if you are in a situation where you don’t have your electric diamond tester on you, or you are looking to use several methods of testing for assurance, it may be worth implementing it, and it is a super easy test. 

This test works on the basic scientific principle of density. Fill a standard drinking glass with water and drop the diamond into the glass. Due to a diamond’s high density, it should sink, quickly, straight to the bottom and stay there.

If the diamond sinks slowly or floats to the middle or top of the glass, then you have a fake on your hands. 

Turning pro

Like most skills, becoming a diamond expert takes time, research and practice. However, in the world of diamonds, learning curves can be expensive mistakes, and the fact of the matter is your sight and touch can and will deceive you, even after your skills develop.

You can pick up a trustworthy, professional-grade diamond tester online for under a hundred dollars, and this could pay for itself the first time you use it if it detects a fake. It is best to type ‘diamond tester review’ into your search engine to find one of quality that fits your price range.

Even after you get good at spotting real vs fake diamonds, it would still be worth using your tester. If it is good enough for the pros, it will be good enough for you.

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