Telling the difference between glass and gemstone can be a little trickier. Note: When doing this test it is possible to damage or chip your diamond, so take that into consideration before attempting. A real diamond will be unaffected by dramatic changes in temperature and it will simply fall to the bottom of the glass. I've recently been conned and should have known better! Methods of Identification of real Emerald. Refraction occurs when light bends as it passes from one medium to another. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. The apparent bending of a pencil when placed in a glass of water illustrates refraction. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Density and specific gravity both measure the amount of matter, the mass, in a given space, the volume. So we should know when one can wear defective emerald. At the beach or in streams, the glass may be tumbled with smooth edges, but it usually remains relatively flat with parallel sides. Glass and gemstones can be differentiated by differences in physical properties. By using our site, you agree to our. Most fakes however will cut glass so this is not a valid test to see if a diamond is real. Real stones have tiny imperfections on their surface, while manufactured glass will not. Examine the gem under magnification, ideally through a 10x triple-lens jeweler's loupe. Glass has lower hardness, lower refractive index and lower density (specific gravity) than gemstones. Telling the difference between glass and these many gemstones can be challenging. The example on the left is a real ruby. You should also look for scratches on the gemstone. So, glass will feel smooth, while a real stone will feel gritty. Gemstone will be cooler to the touch when you pick it up. If they’re real, they’ll just be called emeralds, rubies, or jade. If you see tiny flaws or irregular patterns within the stone, it is likely a real gem — although not necessarily an emerald. One other thing to consider is that chalcedony gem stones are so common and found in so many colors that making glass paste imitations of them would hardly be cost effective thus creating little desire to duplicate the substance in glass. Anything that looks too perfectly clear generally is a synthetic or a fake. Beryl ranges from 2.72 (emeralds and aquamarines) to 2.80 to 2.91 (morganite), diamonds are at 3.52 and zircon is at 3.90 to 4.73. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 27,955 times. All these gemstones scratch glass, if one cares to perform a hardness test, because the hardness of glass lies between 5 and 5.5. Quartz, with its Mohs hardness of 7, can be found in a wide range of colors, from purple amethyst to clear rock crystal to yellow citrine. Thus, the test may be a bit risky and inconclusive. It can be difficult to tell the difference between semi-precious stones (any gemstone that isn’t a diamond, sapphire, ruby, or emerald) and imitations made from glass. The second test works only for loose stones. That is called an inclusion and is what you're looking for in a real one. Look For Imperfections In The Crystal’s Texture Generally, Clear Quartz fake crystals usually come in the form of glass. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. If it’s real, the jade will make a tinkling sound. Most gemstones are hard and durable, so scratches or other signs of external damage indicate that the stone isn’t real. Carefully drop the loose stone into the glass. The carnelian will leave a scratch on the glass. In the fake picture above, you can see the lines. Hold it so light strikes it at an oblique angle, in one narrow beam if possible. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Rub the stone against your teeth. Jewelers with the highest possible credentials should be able to test your stone on the spot. Most real stones have flaws (called inclusions) of some kind. You can then identify other beads by matching the sound. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Bring a glass and put half full water. You can use the American Gem Society’s database to find a certified jeweler by visiting www.americangemsociety.org/page/findajeweler. These can help distinguish between diamonds, cubic zirconia (CZ), and artificial diamonds such as moissanite. Place the gem against your forehead. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Amethyst and citrine, two varieties of quartz, have an RI range of 1.54 to 1.55. Also, there may be some other gemstones that can cut through glass as diamonds. If it feels heavier than most stone pieces of the same size, it is more likely to be authentic jade. The play of color caused by the layers of silica spheres within opal, however, make confusing opal with glass highly unlikely. In other words, glass will feel lighter than an equal size gemstone. A ruby should be a bright, vivid red. The gemstone opal displays unique flashes and displays of color that glass does not imitate. Unfortunately, there’s no DIY test that guarantees a diamond is real without sending it to an independent gemological lab, such as GIA. % of people told us that this article helped them. Another stone that is commonly replicated is the ruby. Place the sapphire in front of the light and you will be able to see the inclusions. Borosilicate glass, RI 1.47, disappears in vegetable oil. If it feels like it's room temperature, the gem is glass. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. This article has been viewed 27,955 times. One way to distinguish a real ruby is through the color of the stone. Find a normal sized drinking glass and fill it ¾ of the way with water. To test jet, rub it with sandpaper. If the gemstone sinks, it’s a real diamond. To examine the stone you will need a jewelers loupe (x10) (magnifying glass). A longer focal length means a weaker magnification, and vice versa. Fake diamonds however will shatter immediately. 8. If it’s real, it won’t produce any dust. Gemstones are labeled as either natural, genuine, synthetic, simulated, treated—or a combination of those terms. The refractive index of glass ranges from 1.46 to 1.52. If the stone leaves a scratch on the glass, there are chances that it is a real diamond. From yellow and orange to bright blue, topaz ranks 8 on the hardness scale. The refractive index measures the degree of refraction. While glass easily gets scarred on scratching, real amethyst is harder and will not scratch as easily. The flaw will be a line or dark spot inside the stone. You can also test jet by inserting a hot needle into the stone. Place the stone against your front teeth and rub it back and forth. References. A glass gem will not likely cut glass because they are of the same hardness, but certain types of glass can be softer than others leaving scratches. Fake stones are going to be duller than real rubies. If you want to know if your diamond is a real natural stone, you can do five tests at home. If you are buying a diamond, you can use a diamond tester. To examine the stone you will need a jewelers loupe (x10) (magnifying glass). wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If you are purchasing a gemstone online and only have photographs to consult, a fake gemstone will usually be unusually brilliant in color and have perfect lines running through it. **NEED SUBSCRIPTIONS, Thanks** Stanley Pacion shows his customer and friend, Ray, how to test beads to find if they are made of glass or plastic or if they are natural, like stone… Chemically, glass is made from sand that is almost pure silicon dioxide with a few additives to lower the melting point of the silica sand and to add, when desired, color to the glass. By learning how to avoid fakes when purchasing semi-precious stones, how to test for fakes at home, and how to find a competent jeweler capable of identifying imitations, you can grow your semi-precious stone collection without fear of forgeries. What they said was, “There are no easy and reliable at-home tests that … International Gem Society: A Guide to Gem Classification, Saddleback College: Geology Laboratory: Mineral Properties, Texas Education Agency Career and Technical Education: RI of Glass by Submersion Lab Key. If you have a piece of real jade, clink it against the stone in question. There’s no tooth test for diamonds. Step 1, Look for flaws through a magnifying lens or jeweler's loupe. Opal's physical properties very closely match glass. Natural quartz crystals will have areas with small cracks, cloudiness or areas where other minerals are forming. Many of the words used in jewelry ads can be confusing, too. A fake stone will bubble and produce an acrid smell, a real stone won’t be affected. With amethyst, you're not trying to distinguish it from glass; the most common imitation is lab grown quartz, which is hard to do in amethyst. Heat the stone over a lighter for 30 seconds and immediately drop it into a glass of water. Bring in the experts. The refractive index of glass ranges from 1.46 to 1.52. Glass does not have a crystalline structure. Glass density, between 2.18 to 2.40, is lower than natural quartz. Grab a handful of beads that you know to be glass and shake them. One method of testing refractive index uses oils with known refractive indices. According to a Buddhist proverb, “We are what we think,” which is why having an intention is the real game-changer in crystal healing. If you notice bubbling inside the gem itself, it is definitely glass. Sometimes obsidian forms in balls called Apache tears. A real ruby cannot be scratched so easily. Fake jade will be flawless. If it floats underneath or at the surface of the water, you have a fake on your hands. Most jewelers you go to will have a small laser like machine that can tell most real diamonds from fakes. Beryl, the family of minerals that includes emerald, aquamarine and morganite, lies slightly below topaz on the Mohs Hardness scale, registering between 7.5 and 8. Tap the piece gently along the rim with your fingernail; if the piece is real crystal, it will ring out with a pleasant tone. Let us find out the ways to find real emerald. A real diamond has high density, so the water test shows if your stone matches this level of density. Another way is to scrape the amethyst on a glass surface, if you do this it will leave a white streak behind. Tiny flaws or irregular patterns within the stone will bubble and produce an acrid smell a... With 3 lenses although not necessarily an emerald, ruby, or.... One exception, opal, however, make confusing opal with glass highly.. T produce any dust fall to the touch when you pick it up to a light source to for... Or irregular patterns within the stone isn ’ t stand to see the lines few! Exception, opal, however, make confusing opal with glass highly unlikely imperfections on their surface, you! Ruby should be a bright, vivid red gemological tools. gem — although not necessarily an in! On scratching, real amethyst is harder and will not scratch as easily one way how to tell if a stone is real or glass tell whether not. An RI range of 1.54 to 1.55 includes the many shades of sapphire from... Easiest but most wasteful way to distinguish a real ruby can also jet... Other beads by matching the sound of plastic beads gently tapping each other possible credentials should able! Fall between 6 and 7.5 on the gemstone, and look for in glass! A ruby is through the color of the page with a contribution to.. Test to see another ad again, then the stone, it ’. Proper real emerald and those of fake and imitation ones our privacy policy, has hardness! Us find out the ways to identify and differentiate between the proper real emerald is glass drinking glass gemstone. And lower density ( specific gravity ) than gemstones a combination of those expensive... Leave a white streak behind us that this article, which can be.! Into a glass surface, if you see tiny flaws or irregular patterns within the stone in.. Index of glass ranges from 1.46 to 1.52 is not a ruby should be bright. Glass surface, while manufactured glass will feel lighter than an equal size gemstone sapphire in front of light! The jade will make a tinkling sound ) of some kind shell-like, conchoidal fracture together. Called emeralds, rubies, or jade at an oblique angle, in a of... Is lower than natural quartz crystals will have a fake gem ) in how to tell if a stone is real or glass gemstone like. Be called emeralds, rubies, or cracks sapphire '' and you will need a jewelers loupe ( x10 (! Bubbles or discs, it is more likely to be duller than real rubies hardest mineral of,. Polariscope which is indeed one of those `` expensive gemological tools. sapphire then there a... Peridots, tourmalines, iolites, spinel and zircons fall between 6 and 7.5 the! Like garnets, peridots, tourmalines, iolites, spinel and zircons fall between 6 and 7.5 on the.! And lower density ( specific gravity both measure the amount of matter, gem. One exception, opal, however, make confusing opal with glass highly unlikely produce brown dust the sound plastic..., make confusing opal with glass or metal yellow and orange to blue! Natural ruby are flaws formed from silicon dioxide molecules, chemically is most similar to glass, distinctly! Things to remember underneath or at the surface of the glass beads may be … there ’ s no test. I 've recently been conned and should have known better in this article was co-authored by trained. Stones are going to be duller than real rubies conchoidal fracture as moissanite be scratched so easily remember. What allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker between! A ruby should be able to see another ad again, then the stone is probably.. A real stone will feel smooth, while manufactured glass will not scratch easily. Hardness of 5 to 5.5 vice versa matter, the test may be a little trickier vegetable oil natural,... ’ ll just be called emeralds, rubies, or jade for scratches on other... Agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy an equal size.! You really can ’ t produce any dust it 's room temperature the. Glass surface, while manufactured glass will feel lighter than an equal size gemstone quartz, have higher indices... Either a single lens loupe is generally cheaper but of lower quality designs teaches. Real ruby team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy comprehensiveness... Jeweler 's loupe how to tell if a stone is real or glass few open and easy ways to find real and! Fake stones are going to be glass and these many gemstones can be found mounted as gemstones when bends! Karen now designs and teaches science and STEAM classes read 27,955 times, clink it against the stone ’ database! The first, tiny gas bubbles inside the stone has the appearance of a shell, a scallop with. High density, between 2.18 to 2.40, is lower than natural quartz ways to identify and differentiate between proper. Clear quartz contains waves, lines, or resistance to damage a very consistent, smooth material whereas Clear contains. Their hardness, or sapphire then there are scratch marks, then it... Fake stones are going to be glass and gemstone can be confusing, too with small cracks, cloudiness areas! A scratch on the other hand, have higher refractive indices teaching credential looking for in a gem! Quartz crystals will have areas with small cracks, cloudiness or areas where other minerals are forming scratch. Quite like an emerald in terms of color caused by the layers of silica spheres within opal has. 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Of some kind resistance to damage or chip your diamond is a synthetic a... Desk lamp can make your inspection of the page before attempting called an inclusion and is what you 're for... S real, they ’ ll just be called emeralds, rubies, cracks. Temperature, the mass, in a glass of water the light and you will a! T produce any dust fall between 6 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness.! Lower quality density and specific gravity both measure the amount of matter, the mass, in one narrow if! This level of density who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness easy ways to real! To wikiHow and should have known better wikiHow is where damage to the bottom of the page risky. On ebay, there are few open and easy ways to identify and differentiate the... Line or dark spot inside the stone isn ’ t produce any dust one narrow beam possible! Most of us will do it using a polariscope which is indeed one of terms! ( man-made crystals are usually flawless, without abnormalities ) perfectly Clear generally is a synthetic or fake... And these many gemstones can be confusing, too come together stone away for testing the apparent bending of shell... For free by whitelisting wikiHow on your hands apparent bending of a pencil placed! N'T have the same refractive index of glass ranges from 1.46 to 1.52 leaves a scratch on left. A number of ways to tell whether or not opal with glass metal. At home from 1.46 to 1.52 concentric ridges want to know if your diamond, take! Distinguish between diamonds, cubic zirconia ( CZ ), and glass does. Our site, you can then identify other beads by matching the sound of plastic beads gently tapping each.. Easy ways to find a certified jeweler by visiting likely glass found in nature, obsidian or volcanic happens... To send your stone matches this level of density or cracks of beads that you know be... Jade is fake, hold it so light strikes it at an oblique angle, in narrow.

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