Q:

How do you identify raw diamonds?

A:

Quick Answer

Scratching another stone with a suspect diamond is an excellent test of authenticity. Scratching determines the hardness of the stone, which is a key identifying characteristic for diamonds.

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Full Answer

A raw diamond looks similar to the expertly cut stones adorning necklaces and rings. At first glance, a rough diamond resembles common quartz or calcite. Diamonds are famous for their hardness, however, and this characteristic is easy to test. The Mohs hardness scale is a system of ranking gemstones based on hardness. The scale ranges from one to ten, with one being the softest and ten being the hardest. Diamond ranks as a ten on the Mohs scale, making it the hardest mineral. Scratching glass with a suspected diamond is a highly inaccurate test of authenticity, as glass ranks at approximately five or six on the Mohs scale; even quartz, with a hardness of seven, scratches glass. The best test of hardness for a diamond is to choose a stone that ranks at a hardness of nine because diamond is the only mineral capable of scratching a stone of this level. Corundrum, such as ruby or sapphire, ranks at a hardness of nine. If a piece of old or unwanted sapphire or ruby jewelry is available, it is an excellent tool for testing a possible diamond.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are diamonds cut?

    A:

    Diamonds are cut using blades, lasers or other diamonds with techniques that include cleaving, sawing and bruting. During the cutting process, a diamond can lose up to 50 percent of its original weight.

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  • Q:

    How do you clean diamonds?

    A:

    Clean a diamond by soaking it in an ammonia-based cleaner overnight. Gently scrub away dirt and debris with a soft-bristle toothbrush, and blot it dry with a soft cloth. Repeat up to two times per week to sustain its brilliance.

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  • Q:

    Where do diamonds come from?

    A:

    Natural diamonds typically come from inside the Earth’s mantle. They form when carbon deposits are acted upon by a combination of high temperatures and pressure. Formation of a diamond from carbon requires one to 3.3 billion years, and they rise in magma to near the Earth’s surface through volcanic action. Once the magma has cooled into igneous rock, the diamonds can be mined.

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  • Q:

    Why are diamonds so valuable?

    A:

    The popularity and perceived value of diamonds come from what is likely the most successful advertising campaign in global history, which was waged by the DeBeers company. Diamonds are not a tradeable investment like gold and silver. Instead, they gained their status through psychological manipulation.

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