Do Lab Diamonds Pass A Diamond Tester?
Lab diamonds, also known as lab-grown diamonds, are diamonds that are made using the same physical and chemical elements as real diamonds but, unlike natural diamonds which are pressured and heated up into shape deep in the bowels of the earth—(lab diamonds) are forged into shape using pressure and heat in a laboratory.
Diamond imitations like cubic zirconia do not generally pass a diamond tester. But can lab-grown diamonds pass a diamond tester?
The answer is yes. And this is because of the way diamond testers work and the nature of lab diamonds.
How Do Diamond Testers Work?
Diamond testers assess the genuineness of a stone using either of these two methods:
- Thermal conductivity
- Electrical conductivity.
Thermal conduction is basically heat conduction. Lab testers that use thermal conduction to evaluate a stone, check the speed and the amount of heat that is transferred through a stone within a given time.
Every mineral has a unique chemical structure and bonding. Hence, each mineral, including diamond, has consistently uniform measures of thermal conductivity.
Now here is why diamond testers will not distinguish mined diamond from a lab diamond.
Both lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds conduct heat in an identical fashion. The measures of thermal conductivity will therefore be the same.
The same principle applies to electrical conductivity.
This is because, in chemical structure, lab-grown diamonds are just the same as natural diamonds. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accepted them as real diamonds three years ago.
Even though diamond testers are not able to distinguish lab diamonds from mined ones, the following methods can be useful.
What Is The Magnetic Test?
Mined diamonds have traces of other elements like iron. A Neodymium magnet is usually preferred. It costs only $8. Since smaller stones may not have detectable magnetic attraction, test at least 0.5 carat stones. Remember to remove the diamond's setting before testing. Also, test many different facets of the diamond before hurriedly concluding that there's no magnetic attraction.
Take Your Diamond To A Jeweler To Tell The Difference Between Lab Grown And Real Diamonds
Most lab-grown diamonds are labeled as such. The problem is, the label can be very tiny and impossible to detect. However, with the aid of a jeweler's loupe (with 20x magnification or more), you can spot the label on the girdle of the diamond.
A jeweler's loupe can also help you spot some metallic inclusions which are a key feature of lab-grown diamonds.
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