How to Tell a Rhinestone From a Diamond

By Daelyn Fortney

A diamond is a naturally crystallized form of carbon valued as a precious gem. Due to the high cost of diamonds, artificial gems are sold as a less expensive alternative. A rhinestone, for instance, is a diamond simulate typically made from crystal or glass. Before you buy a piece of jewelry, learn the difference between a real diamond and a fake.

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Several tests can be performed to determine if a stone is a rhinestone or diamond.

Step 1

Hold the rhinestone between your index finger and thumb with the point facing down. Run the rhinestone over a piece of glass using very little pressure. Do the same with the diamond. A rhinestone may slightly scratch the glass, whereas a diamond will create a definite cut on the glass.

Step 2

Place the rhinestone and diamond upside-down on a piece of newspaper. Try to read the newsprint through the stone. You will be able to see the words through the rhinestone but not through the diamond.

Step 3

Hold the rhinestone in front of your mouth and breathe on it as you would to fog a mirror. Look at the stone. Do the same for the diamond. The diamond will display no moisture on the surface while the rhinestone will stay fogged for several seconds.

Step 4

Hold both stones under a black light. The stone that fluoresces with a blue color is the diamond.

Step 5

Place a small drop of water on the face of the rhinestone and the diamond. Move the stones in a circular motion. The water will disperse on the rhinestone face, whereas the drop will stay in a perfect globular form on the diamond.

Step 6

Drop the rhinestone into a clear glass of water. In another glass, drop the diamond. The diamond should be visible in the glass of water while the rhinestone will be nearly invisible.

Step 7

Compare the price of the diamond and rhinestone, if you're purchasing from a retailer. If the items are similar in size but one is significantly less expensive, the cheaper of the two will be the rhinestone.

Step 8

Take both the rhinestone and the diamond to an appraiser at a local jewelry store. Ask him to look at the stones. Pay any fees and wait for the results. This method of comparing rhinestones and diamonds is the most accurate.