Professional Diamond Valuation

The best way to know if you have a diamond or an imitation is to bring it to us for valuation at W.E. Clark & Son, where our highly qualified staff can give you a definitive answer. In the meantime though, we have put together a short guide to give you an idea of what to look for and give you a good indication of whether your diamond is real.


Firstly, try to compare the dispersion of the stone you have with a real diamond. Dispersion is the way the stone splits the light in to its spectral colours. A diamond will show you all the spectral colours but they are displayed in a more subtle way to most diamond imitations.

Cubic zirconia, for example, has a higher dispersion to diamond, so it looks overly colourful and has an unnatural ‘play of colour’ (flashes of colour as the stone is moved) in comparison to a diamond.


The next visual clue is lustre. Lustre is how much light is reflected back from the surface of the diamond. Diamond has an ‘Adamantine’ lustre and is extremely high, in part due to its very high natural hardness, meaning it can be polished extremely well to ensure as much light as possible is reflected to the wearer of the item.


The next stage would be to use a jeweller’s loupe, a small magnification device which magnifies the image by ten times. Using the jeweller’s loupe you can look closely at the edges of the facets on the stone; no other stone is as hard as diamond which means the facet edges are very sharp and straight. With Diamond imitations the facet edges are going to be much softer and are often cut very poorly due to the quality of the material used.


Inclusions (natural imperfections within the stone) can be difficult to recognise; training is required to look for different types of inclusions and other indicators so we can identify with certainty if it is a diamond.

If you would like to know more about diamonds – their clarity, cut, colour and Carat – please read All About Diamonds.

To spot a real diamond will require a great deal of expertise and training to know exactly what you are looking at. I have been training for many years in gemmology so if you have any questions about diamonds or other gemstones please do get in touch.