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Is the Diamond he gave you Real or Fake?

Updated on January 9, 2018
Gold and diamond necklace
Gold and diamond necklace
The Diamond Selector  in 'diamond discovery mode'.
The Diamond Selector in 'diamond discovery mode'.
The diamond selector
The diamond selector

Or is it a CZ?

I sighed! It looked perfect to me, and I knew my wife was going to be bidding on it when the auction started – and I knew I was going to be paying for it. I hadn’t a clue which granddaughter’s birthday it was for, but I could guarantee my other half had chosen the correct granddaughter and how it was going to be wrapped and where it was going to be presented.

When it came to costume jewellery I was as knowledgeable as any other grandfather; it was shiny and it sparkled, but even I was aware that this piece of jewellery was shiny and sparkly in an elegant manner. And it was a certainty to please one of the 3 granddaughters whose birthdays were approaching, from the 7 year old to the 24 year old.

We had no intentions of attending any auctions that Saturday; my wife was going to drop me off at the billiard hall and she was going to go shopping / browsing. That way we could escape from each other and cabin fever for a few hours. We would both be happy and we could meet up at Tim Hortons later and swap stories. But my wife, who was driving, saw a sign for an auction, and before I knew it, we were doing an emergency stop and screeching up a side road.

“Auction” she explained belatedly. And there was I thinking we had an emergency. I swallowed my heart, which had been in my mouth since the first screech, and resigned myself to being late for my game. I phoned my opponent and explained; his laughter didn’t make me feel any better, and his shout to the guys in the hall had me grinding my teeth.

“Hi guys, Mac’s going to another auction: with any luck somebody will bid for him this time.” Very droll.

I wasn’t too late for our game. The necklace that looked perfect to me came up almost immediately and Elle won it for a miserly $20. She was quite excited about. As I paid for it, she whispered to me,

“It’s an 18 carat gold chain; nobody else seems to have noticed. And there’s a possibility that the stone isn’t a CZ, but a real diamond.”

“How do you work that out?” I asked, checking my watch. “And what is a CZ?”

“Cubic Zirconia, it’s a stone invented by the Soviets. It is heavier than diamond, but doesn’t quite have the same sparkle, but if you remember that diamond is the hardest natural mineral, and rate it as 10, CZ is the next hardest at 8.5 - 9, and it is man made.

"I also work it out because of the 18 carat gold. Pure gold is described as 24 carat, and is really too soft to use in jewellery, so it is usually mixed with alloys of silver, palladium or copper. 18 carat gold means that it is 18 parts of pure gold mixed with 6 parts of alloys. Now if I was a jeweller, I don’t think I’d use an18 carat gold chain for a cheap synthetic stone; but if the stone was a diamond, I would. I’m going to find out, aren’t I?”

That's when I slapped my forehead! That's when I suddenly understood the reason for the screeching tyres! That's when I suddeny understood the reason for the detour. She wanted to try out her recent acquisition, the Diamond Selector instrument.

When I returned from the billiard hall, vowing to take up a hobby I might be good at, like marbles, my better half was just getting around to testing the diamond.

The Diamond Selector 11 instrument, made in Japan, looked efficient, and was very compact. It had only cost her $16.00, on eBay. She’d bought it after previously having had to pay a jeweller $60.00 to check for a stones status. What had annoyed her then wasn’t the $60.00, but the fact that the stone wasn’t a diamond and the $60.00 outlay was a waste of money.

The Selector 11 had a full set of instructions and it seemed to be relatively easy to use. If you made a mistake and touched metal with the delicate tip, it would buzz to warn you. If the stone wasn’t a diamond it would stay silent. If it was a diamond it would flash a red light and beep.

The delicate probe had to be treated gently as it was very easy to bend or break it. When my partner first tried it on the necklace, she touched the mounting of the stone and the detector gave out a continuous loud warning buzz. The probe had to be applied to the diamond at the right angle to be sure of accuracy. (The right angle, strangely enough, was at right-angles to the stone.)

On her second attempt, she made sure the Selector was at right angles after she had set the temperature gauge. This caused a series of amber lights to glow, which apparently proved that everything was fine. A second later, three red lights lit up and the Selector 11, beep, beep, beeped. It was a diamond, or was it? To be sure, she applied the Selector another dozen times, revelling in red lights and beeps. Eventually she stopped playing with the lights, and did some measuring and then looked up a table of some sort.

Apparently, not only was the stone a diamond, but it was a .3 carat stone (whatever that meant) – on an 18 carat gold chain.

My wife grinned. “Well, well,” she said. “It appears I ‘did good.’” She stressed the ‘I’ as she slipped the chain over her head and centred the stone. “It will go very well with my white dress.”

I was about to remind her that the necklace was supposed to be for a granddaughter, when I saw her cocking her head to one side as if she was listening for something. It was her ‘I dare you’ look. Clearing my throat, I spoke casually, “We must find time one day to choose birthday gifts for the girls.”

My wife leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. “And to think it only took you 37 years. As husbands go, you are a really fast learner."


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    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Well, well, well. Isn't it strange how you always find out the really useful things - afterwards! Thanks for stopping and passing on such useful information, drbj. Very interesting indeed - to think, she could have saved $16 on eBay. I'd better not tell her today, I'll leave it until tomorrow.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Thank YOU for reading and sharing, CyberShelley. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I go to the auctions for the fun and camaraderie - my other half goes to bid on junk which she normally gives away. She 's forever saying "So and so would love this. What do you think?" Considering I don't usually know who 'so-and-so' is, I just nod and get out my wallet.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      That's interesting R.J. $180 sounds like a great price and would make a theoretical profit of $160 - I say theoretical because someone I know is practically clutching the necklace in her sleep - as if I could prise her mean, as if I would prise it from her clenched fist. Thanks for the visit and the comment young man.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Congrats to your wife, John, for finding such a buy. There is another cheaper way to distinguish CZ (cubic zirconia) stones from the real thing. If you look at a diamond, any diamond, through a jeweler's loupe (magnifier) you will see tiny impurities or flaws - all diamonds have them. No diamond is absolutely clear. But CZ stones are - they do not have any impurities or flaws. Just sayin'.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      A lively and interesting take on the auction from your viewpoint, which I must say I enjoyed immensely. Thank you for sharing! Up, interesting and funny.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      You and your wife did well on that one. I do remeber years ago when I did a little reserach of diamonds that $6 per .01 carot seemed to work for determining value for smaller diamonds like yours .3 X $6 = $180. I would bet it has changed since then, but should still be fairly close. Well done story. Up and useful for most raders.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Thank you Mike. I appreciate your visit and comment. We could have sent the necklace to the oldest granddaughter but 'my wife' decided that the necklace was too old fashioned for such a modern lady. ( We have no idea who she takes after - there are no ladies in our genetic make up.))

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Well I'll be. I just purchased this exact model. A friend had some jewelry to sale and I wanted to make sure I was not putting my name on custom stones. Well done John and even more so John's wife. Auction, bidding, discovery, and the sense to keep it at least from the 7 year old.

      oh the diamonds were not real