The simple answer is yes they are real. In simple terms, there are two types of real diamonds. The first is dug out of the ground and the other is man made.
Real Diamonds vs Man Made Diamonds
For Gemologists as ‘real’ diamond is not a term that they would use. ‘Real’ diamonds would normally be a term used by the consumer due to their lack of knowledge in regards to man made diamonds. A ‘real’ diamond is the cubic crystalline form of carbon. It does not matter if it has been dug out of the ground or has been grown in a lab.
1. Man Made Diamonds or Lab Grown Diamond– As the name would suggest, a man made diamond is made by man. These diamonds are 100% identical to a real diamond, the only difference being that it has not been in the ground for billions of years.
2. Natural Diamonds – Nearly completely formed of carbon and are naturally occuring. They were formed around 150km-200km below the earth’s crust over 1-3 billion years ago.
Other Types of Diamonds
Apart from the natural and man made diamonds, there are other types of diamonds. These diamonds are not real diamonds, but are very similar in many ways.
Fake Diamonds – Another crystalline substance which seeks to mimic the look and feel of a diamond. Cubin Zirconias fall into this category. These stones generally don’t have inclusions or imperfections. Furthermore, these stones can be naturally occurring or man made.
Enhanced Diamonds – These are real diamonds that have been artificially treated to improve their appearance. Normally these diamonds are enhanced in terms of clarity. These would be called Clarity Enhanced Diamonds. These diamonds would previously have eye visible imperfections. The inclusion or inclusions would be treated to be made invisible to the naked eye.
Diamond Alternative – The most popular alternative to a diamond is a moissanite. In terms of durability, diamonds are a 10 on the Scale of Hardness. As for moissanites, they are a 9.25 on the scale. Moissanites have a higher level of clarity when compared to diamonds. As a result, this stone is often used as a substitute to diamonds are they are less expensive and are very similar.
How to tell if it is fake or real?
The only way to know for sure if the diamond you have is fake or real is to get it valuated. The top certification bodies such as GIA, IGI and HRD will tell you exactly if your diamond is real or not. Also the companies making diamonds are not trying to fool people and will often have their logo or ‘labgrown’ laser inscribed on the diamond.
In addition to a loupe, gemologists usually have a thermal conductivity probe or as it is known a Diamond Tester. This tool tells you exactly if you stone is a diamond or not.