Diamond testers are devices used to distinguish between natural (mined) diamonds and lab-grown (synthetic) diamonds. They work based on the differences in certain properties of these two types of diamonds. Here’s how diamond testers can separate lab-grown diamonds from mined ones:
One common method used by diamond testers is measuring thermal conductivity. Natural diamonds are excellent heat conductors, while lab-grown diamonds generally have lower thermal conductivity. The tester uses a probe to heat the diamond and measures how quickly it dissipates heat. Natural diamonds typically disperse heat very rapidly, while synthetic diamonds do not.
Some diamond testers also measure electrical conductivity. Natural diamonds are typically poor conductors of electricity, meaning they do not conduct electrical current well. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, can have varying levels of electrical conductivity, depending on the manufacturing process. By testing the diamond’s electrical conductivity, a diamond tester can differentiate between natural and synthetic diamonds.
Diamonds often exhibit fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. The fluorescence pattern of natural and lab-grown diamonds can differ. Some diamond testers use UV light to examine the diamond’s fluorescence response and can identify differences in the patterns or colors.
The refractive index is a measure of how light is bent as it passes through a substance. Natural and lab-grown diamonds may have slightly different refractive indices. Some advanced diamond testers can measure and compare the refractive index of a diamond to determine its origin.
Sophisticated diamond testers may use Raman spectroscopy or infrared (IR) spectroscopy to analyze the diamond’s molecular structure. These methods can reveal subtle differences in the crystal lattice structure of natural and lab-grown diamonds.
It’s important to note that diamond testers are not foolproof, and the accuracy of their results can vary depending on the quality and sophistication of the tester itself. Additionally, the technology used in lab-grown diamond production is continually advancing, making it more challenging to distinguish lab-grown diamonds from natural ones. Therefore, when in doubt, it’s advisable to consult with a certified gemologist or use advanced testing methods for a more definitive identification.