Is this a diamond?
September 25, 2006 2:46 PM   Subscribe

While walking back to my house a little while ago, I found what looks like a ~2 carat round cut clear stone on the sidewalk. Is it a diamond?

I don't have a jeweler's loupe, nor am I at a point where I want to shell out for an appraisal. I know from this thread that scratching glass or just looking at it with my naked eye isn't going to reveal much about it.

Any other ideas?

PS This is my first AskMeFi question, so go easy on me if I screwed it up.
posted by pyjammy to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can't you just bring it to any jewelry store, explain that you found it, and ask if they can take a quick look?Can't imagine they'd charge to say "Dude, this is cubic zirconia."
posted by GaelFC at 2:50 PM on September 25, 2006

you could test if it can scratch glass.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 2:54 PM on September 25, 2006

Any jeweler worth a damn could tell you if it's a diamond. It shouldn't cost you anything because they aren't actually appraising it for you.
posted by oddman at 3:00 PM on September 25, 2006

Best answer: Try this on for size: it's the first result of googling "tell diamond real" (w/o quotes). Short answer there, no reliable method short of a professional appraisal. It also covers the main homebrew methods and tells you what's wrong with them.

Here's your $0 internet appraisal: no, you did not just find a $5,000+ gemstone. Why? Because life sucks.
posted by nanojath at 3:01 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

You could also try taking it to a mineralogist at the nearest convenient college geology department.
posted by Iridic at 3:21 PM on September 25, 2006

put a drop of water on the large facet, if the drop heaps up and won't stick, you may have a diamond! (diamonds are not wettable)
posted by hortense at 3:33 PM on September 25, 2006

I did this before with a Rolex, just took it to the jeweler and asked if it was real. He looked at it for about one minute, told me it was a fake, and asked if there was anything else he could help me with. They won't charge.
posted by Ugh at 3:35 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: thanks to everyone for the replies so far. a few notes:

1. it does scratch glass
2. it doesn't stay fogged (this was a suggestion in the links from nanojath and banshee)
3. can't read through it, but it's awfully faceted, so I can't see how that makes a difference in this case.
4. I took a photo of it next to my .6 carat engagement ring diamond, for scale. But I know that's not a very useful photo.

I suspect nanojath's appraisal is correct, but i'll take it to a jeweler sometime this week, just to see. I am prepared to be laughed at. ah well.
posted by pyjammy at 4:07 PM on September 25, 2006

Let us know what you find out...
posted by jaysus chris at 4:50 PM on September 25, 2006

Best answer: A close friend went to the Home Depot in the town I'm from and the checkout clerk commented that her emerald ring looked odd... in fact, it no longer had the emerald part that was worth $6,000. After scouring the inside of the store for an hour and finally giving up, she found it on the asphalt under her driver's side car door.

My wife's engagement ring is from the 1930's... by Raymond Yard... very pretty and with two bone white diamonds.. ghostly things they are. One is loose... just a tiny bit. She hestitates to wear it!

So yeah, common stuff occurs commonly, but every now and then, the unexpected comes along.

Enjoy the excitement of the possible for an evening, and hope for the best. Even if it turns out to be paste jewelry, it's fun to have a little fantasy, no?

You have to post again, pyjammy, if it turns out well!
posted by FauxScot at 4:59 PM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

It occurs to me that if it is a real stone, some neighbor of yours is probably heart-broken right now. Perhaps the thing to do is to put up some posters on local light poles. Something like, "Have you lost a diamond? Bring the ring to prove it" or words to that effect.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:15 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: (SCDB - yes, it was in front of our neighbor's house and I will absolutely ask them about it when I see them. Particularly if I make it to a jeweler's first and find out it's real! And if not them, then I'll post something locally.)
posted by pyjammy at 6:14 PM on September 25, 2006

Newer diamonds are often inscribed with serial numbers, but you would have no doubt noticed and commented upon such a detail.

You never know: I found what I thought was costume pearl necklace on the ground at a gas station but it turned out to be real. Attempts to locate its rightful owner leads me to this bit of unsolicited advice:

If its real, turn it into the local police station. They'll take down your name and contact info, if the owner doesn't turn up, they'll give it back to you after a waiting period. The alternative of trying to return it to its owner is a giant PITA, but if you are determined to go that way, have the potential claimants (yes, there will be several) answer screening questions before proceeding. Don't give out your address. Don't give any details of what you found other than the most broad details. Be prepared to deal with more than a few unhinged individuals and prepare graceful exit strategies (one woman called me several dozen times, using different names [and she really sucked at disguising her voice and also had apparently never heard of Caller ID] trying to extract details in order to match what she had 'lost' to what I had found...i.e. she'd call saying she lost a 14" strand, I'd say no match and she'd call right back saying she lost a 15" strand). Another frequent caller contacted me about a necklace she had lost. 3,000 miles away. In 1965. Given to her by her now-deceased husband he was a good man, god rest his soul blahdee blah for as long as I let her ramble on. It was on her fifth heartbreakingly lonely call that I realized this was a job for highly trained civil servants, not me.
posted by jamaro at 6:15 PM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Something like, "Have you lost a diamond? Bring the ring to prove it" or words to that effect.

Not that hard to find a ring that can have a setting that would acommodate a range of diamond sizes. Huge opportunity for deception that will almost assuredly be capitalized on if the note is worded as-is (all, of course, assuming that the diamond is real).

Perhaps a "Have you recently lost an emerald?" poster. Then you can filter out anyone who replies with a "yes"... and the real owner might think it far too much of a coincidence, and call, saying "well, I actually lost a diamond... could you have mistaken it for an emerald?"
posted by cadastral at 6:46 PM on September 25, 2006

It could be real, my mother-in-law dropped her 1 carat diamond out of her ring while on a walk one day, luckily she found it. If you're afraid of the jeweler laughing at you, throw some business their way by having them check the points on your ring so that it doesn't meet the same fate.

I had a jeweler tell me that my grandmother's "possibly yellow diamond" ring was a piece of glass worth $30, and they did it with a straight face.
posted by saffry at 10:16 PM on September 25, 2006

Response by poster: Well, I found a test on this forum (the dot on paper) that pretty much verifies that I have a CZ. Or something else fake.

Oh was fun to dream. In a few weeks, I'm going to visit a friend who manages a pawn shop and deals with gems quite a bit. I'll have him check it out then. I don't mind if he laughs at me.
posted by pyjammy at 6:47 AM on September 26, 2006

even if it is fake id still check with the neighbors. sentimental value is more important to most people.
posted by trishthedish at 8:08 AM on September 26, 2006

Rather than posting "Have you lost a diamond?" I'd be a little more vague and post "Have you lost a gem stone?".

Put the onus on the respondants to describe what type of stone, how big, where it might have been lost, etc.

Good luck! That's quite a rock, either way!
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 11:13 AM on September 27, 2006

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