Gemstone Education

Should You Buy a Diamond Detector?

Previously, we wrote an article which can help you decide whether or not you are looking at a real diamond.

One of the many methods we mentioned was the use of a diamond detector, also called a diamond or moissanite tester.

Diamond testers are devices which have specifically been designed to help distinguish between diamond, and a similar looking mineral which is often used as a diamond substitute called moissanite.

There are a number of different types of diamond testers on the market. They are small, portable, and can be very reliable if you purchase a quality device.

How Does a Diamond Detector Work’diamond tester detector ring

The device projects heat into the stone you are testing. Diamonds typically take a while to heat up, and when tested with heat probes, stay relatively cool.

When you use a diamond tester to send heat into a stone, you are essentially doing the same thing as using a heat probe and receiving an accurate electronic readout. The tester measures how quickly the stone conducts the heat, and tells you whether it is most likely to be a diamond or not given the result.

Another related test which we mentioned in the other article is the fog test. Since real diamonds disperse heat instead of conducting it, diamonds do not fog easily if you breathe on them. Stones which do and remain foggy for a couple of seconds are usually not real diamonds.

Unlike the breath analysis, which usually requires a real diamond to compare to, you do not need to have a real diamond on hand to use the diamond tester to conduct the similar test. The diamond tester also removes some of the subjectivity of your observation from the equation, which means more accurate results.

What to Look For in a Diamond Tester

Diamond testers typically run around $100. Some cost more, others less. If you are shopping for one, look for some key features. The best diamond detectors can detect metal. Metal can register as diamond if a device is not designed to identify metal. Also look for a tester that can detect diamonds in rooms with different temperatures.

You also want one which does not need a lot of time to reset between tests if you plan to test many diamonds. And you may want one with a rechargeable battery which allows it to be portable if you are taking it to shops with you. Look for a warranty too.

Do you actually need one?

If you are only curious about a diamond you have inherited or been given, it probably is worthwhile to try some of the other techniques we suggested in our other article on how to tell a real diamond instead. But if you are in the industry and you purchase a lot of diamonds to resell or as an investment, a diamond tester is a very reasonable buy and an excellent investment in itself.

It will probably pay for itself very quickly in terms of the amount of money it saves you by steering you clear of gems that are not real diamonds. Think about your needs and be sure to read reviews before you purchase a tester!

Gem Coach

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