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Real Diamond Engagement Rings – Your Complete Guide

by Willyou.net * Jun 2, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Gold plated or filled rings will eventually start to change color. This is a result of the gold rubbing away to reveal the metal underneath. Real, solid gold rings – of any karat type – won’t do this.
  • Generally, the stamp on the inside of the ring will give you a good indication of the gold content of the ring.
  • The same goes for silver, with .925 being the official designation for real silver.
  • There are plenty of ways to test a diamond at home, although, if you’re really concerned, you may want to take it to a jeweler for a more official, foolproof test.
  • Plus, if you buy your jewelry from a reputable and trustworthy jeweler to begin with, then you don’t need to worry about whether or not you have invested into a fake. 
Real Diamond Engagement Rings - Your Complete Guide

Is Your Gold, Silver, or Diamond Jewelry Real?

With so much fake news in our daily lives, imitation meat and faux fur, counterfeit coins and forged cheques, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, it’s easy to get lost in a world of make-believe. One thing you want to be sure of is the symbol of love and commitment you’ll wear on your ring finger for the rest of your life. But with today’s scams, how can you be sure? 

While getting lost evaluating what’s true and what’s false, there are a million and one decisions to make when selecting a diamond engagement ring. Taking into consideration your partner’s own unique taste and the latest trends, you’ll still have to ask yourself which style of ring will she like? What setting? Which metal? Diamond cut? Size? Price? The list goes on…

The well-meaning recommendations from friends and colleagues, though sometimes helpful, can be overwhelming. With so much incoming information, tons of websites, and an infinite amount of research to cover, most people end up spending more than they’d like on something they’re settling on. Anything to put an end to the exhaustive process!

In order to secure an enjoyable ring-finding or custom-making experience, and ensure you have clear, concise explanations to all your questions, Willyou.net carefully preselects trusted local jewelers for you to work with. Their diamond jewelry expertise simply can’t be beat, so you KNOW you’re getting the BEST. Also, why not let someone else do the heavy lifting? 

With our easy-to-use website,******* you’ll feel in control, choosing your very own personalized local jeweler, diamond setting, and diamond cut. You’ll be able to see your GIA-certified diamond certificate to validate its authenticity, and you won’t need to wonder if your ring is real or not. But until you take the plunge, here are some helpful hints to make you feel like you have your finger on the engagement ring pulse!

Checklist: How to tell if your jewelry is real or fake


How to tell if gold is real

First – Visual Inspection

1 – Check for an official number marking on the item 

2 – Determine how much gold is in your piece from markings. 1-999 in Europe/ 0-24k in the US. The higher the number, the purer the gold. 

3 – Check for letter markings indicating gold isn’t real or pure. 

GP – gold plated

GF – gold filled

GEP – gold electroplate.

4 – Check for discoloration around the edges of jewelry. If you see a different metal underneath the gold, your piece is plated and not considered real gold. 

Silver coloring – silver/titanium. 

Red coloring – copper/brass.

5 – Check for discoloration on your skin after wear. Silver leaves black marks while copper leaves green ones. (Remember, most gold items are blends, so a 14K piece of jewelry can also leave these marks. Use other tests to ensure your gold’s authenticy.)

Second – Magnetism Test
  1. Drop gold into a glass of water to see if it sinks.
  • Gold is a dense metal, so it should fall directly to the bottom of the glass. Imitation gold will float.
  • Gold also doesn’t rust or tarnish when wet, so if you notice a change in color, you might have plated gold.
  1. Hold a STRONG magnet up to check if the gold reacts. 
  • Gold isn’t magnetic, so if the magnet pulls the gold towards it, your piece might either be impure or a fake. This test isn’t foolproof since genuine gold can be mixed with iron (magnetic) and imitation gold can be mixed with stainless steel (non-magnetic). 
  1. Rub gold on a ceramic (unglazed) and see if it leaves a streak. 
  • Drag your gold item across the UNGLAZED ceramic piece until you see some particles coming off. If a black streak is left on the ceramic, your gold is not real. A gold streak usually indicates real gold.
Third – Density Test
  1. Weigh your piece of gold on a scale. (Record weight in grams)
  2. Fill a graduated cylinder halfway full with water. 
  3. Note the starting water level in the cylinder. 
  4. Drop the gold into vial, record new water level. 
  5. Subtract measurements to find the difference in water level. 
  6. Divide gold’s weight by the difference in the water level. 

Now for some math : The density of gold = its mass by its volume. After calculating density, compare the result to the standard density of gold: 19.3 g/mL. 

Fourth – Nitric Acid Test

ADVISORY: Use latex gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when working with chemicals.

  1. Purchase gold-testing kit to get the acid you need for the test
  2. Create a small scratch on the gold using a sharp tool. 
  3. Add a drop of nitric acid to the scratch. 
  • Regular gold : no reaction to the acid
  • GP or SS : milk-colored reaction. 
  • GPB: Acid turns gold.
  1. Scratch the gold on a touchstone to test purity. 

Suspect you have real gold? Rub it on the touchstone creating a streak of gold flakes. Add a drop of 12K, 14K, 18K, and 22K nitric acid to sections of the streak. Check back after 40 seconds. Find the spot where the acid DOESN’T dissolve the gold to assess karat rating.


How to tell if silver is real

  1. Does it have a .925 imprint? 

Check the inside of your ring, the underside of a bracelet, or the side of a clasp. If it’s sterling silver, you’ll find a small .925 marking.

  1. Does it tarnish? 

If the answer is yes, then it’s real. Fake silver will eventually lose its polish, and the metal underneath may turn your skin green. However, real silver can be polished to its original color. 

  1. Look. Smell. Feel 

Look: Do you notice distorted or layered coloring or peeling?

Smell: Does it smell strange, particularly like Sulphur?

Feel: Is it bumpy or generally not smooth?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s most likely fake. 

  1. Acid Test 

Apply a drop of acid on your silver piece. If the acid’s color remains unchanged, it’s real.

  1. Magnet Test 

If magnetic surfaces attract the piece in question, it isn’t silver.


How can you tell if a diamond is real at home?

1 – Water Test 

Carefully drop the loose diamond into a drinking glass filled ¾ full. If it sinks, it’s real. 

2 – Fog Test 

Breath on your diamond. A light fog should form on the diamond. If the fog evaporates right away, the diamond is real. If it takes several seconds for the fog to disperse, it is most likely fake.

3 – Heat the Stone and See if it Shatters 

Fill a drinking glass with cold water. Use plyers or fireproof gloves to hold the stone. Use a lighter to heat the stone for approximately 40 seconds.  Drop it directly into the cold water. If the stone shatters, it is not a real diamond. A real diamond will not react. 

4 – UV Light Test 

Place the diamond under a UV light and watch for the reaction. Most diamonds will emit a blue colored glow. Some diamonds, however, do not glow under UV light. Because of this, if the stone doesn’t glow, the results don’t necessarily imply that it’s a fake. 

5 – Newspaper/‘Read-Through’ Effect 

Gently place the loose stone flat side down onto a page of newspaper with lots of lettering. Ensure the lighting is bright. If you can make out the letters on the newspaper, even if they’re a bit blurry, the diamond is fake. If the diamond is real, its facets will refract light and you won’t be able to see clearly through it.  

6 – The Dot Test 

Draw a small dot on a white piece of paper. Lay the stone, flat side down, onto the dot. Through the pointed end of the diamond, look down onto the paper. If you see a circular reflection inside the stone, it’s fake. If you can’t see the dot or a reflection in the stone, then it’s real.

7 – Sparkle Test

Hold the diamond under a lamp. Do you see bright shimmers of white light bouncing off the diamond? Do you see colorful light reflections as well? A real diamond reflects white light extremely well, providing exceptional sparkle.

Bottom Line:

While all of these useful at-home tests can help you determine whether or not a diamond is real, at the end of the day, your jeweler knows best. Nothing compares to the expertise of a professional local jeweler to give you the assurance you need to know your piece is, in fact, real. With years of experience testing diamonds with a loupe, thermal conductivity probe, fine-tuned scale, and power microscope, a jeweler’s advice is priceless and an essential part of your diamond purchasing journey. 

Willyou.net pre-screens and carefully handpicks our local diamond jeweler partners, so that you can leave the difficult research to them. Instead of slaving away, stressing over trying to distinguish between real and fake, fool’s gold and imitation gemstone, let our expert jewelers do the hard work and provide you with the best. Connect with a local diamond jeweler nearest you today with our website’s store locator. https://willyou.net/jewelry-stores