Monthly Archives: May 2014

7 Really Simple Ways to Tell If Your Diamond Is Fake


You know how when you were a kid, you’d spend Sunday mornings with your mom running errands? Once in awhile you’d probably hit a department store or a jewelry store. You might have looked in department stores for the “diamonds” that were affordable, or the real jewelry stores for the diamonds worth admiring.  And when you’re young, most diamonds look the same – expensive or cheap, it was hard to tell the difference.

Here at Great American Coin Company, we sell natural gemstones and other small, collectible items. But we also know the difference between real and fake diamonds.

In order to test if a diamond is fake, you may know of the scratch test. Today we’re going to forget that.  It’s no longer foolproof.  Here are 7 good and super simple ways to spot if your diamond is fake.

Mount Test

Most diamonds are not mounted in cheap rings.  If you’ve got a really cheap looking ring, the stone is probably fake.

The Fog Test

Blow on your diamond like you would a mirror.  A real diamond won’t fog.  A fake diamond will!

Reflection Test

Diamonds that reflect a colorful rainbow against the light might look nice, but they’re fake!  Real diamonds only reflect in different shades of gray.

Weight Test

Cubic Zirconia is very visually similar to diamond, which is why it’s often used in fake items.  You’ll know your diamond is fake if it’s about 50% heavier than a real one of the same size.

Heat Probe Test

If your diamond is real, a heat probe should have no effect on it.  Real diamonds distribute heat very quickly.

Dot Test

Take a plain piece of computer paper and draw a little dot on it with a pen.  Then, put the diamond face down on the dot.  If your diamond is in fact Cubic Zirconia, you’ll be able to see the dot very clearly.  If you have a real diamond, the dot will appear very broken up.  You’ll barely be able to see it.

The “Too Good To Be True” Test

Simply put, if you’re looking into buying a diamond that’s far too cheap for it’s size, it’s probably fake.  If the diamond you have is far too perfect – as in absolutely no flaws or imperfections, it’s probably fake.  You can look for imperfections with a loupe, which is a very small magnification glass.

Photo credit: Farrukh

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .


The Royal Canadian Mint – History & Facts

If you’re an American coin collector, you’re probably very familiar with The United States Mint.  And if you’re not, the basis of what they do is pretty simple.  They manufacture all of the coins currently in circulation in the U.S., as well as Mint commemorative coins, and US Mint bullion coins.  Canada is very similar, and their manufacturing process is done through the Royal Canadian Mint. Here’s a little bit about it.

What It Looks Like canadianmint1

The U.S. Mint is an impressive looking building.  There’s no denying that.  But the fact is it looks like many other buildings you could find downtown in any large American city.  The Royal Canadian Mint is much more impressive looking.  It’s medieval and gothic inspired with a square central tower — complete with turrets, gatehouses, and more.


The Royal Canadian Mint is not as old as you may think. The first coin was struck in 1908. So what did Canada do for coinage before then? They had their coins struck at the Royal Mint in London.

In 1969, the Royal Canadian Mint started operating as a profitable business.  And boy does it profit.  In 2013, they reported bringing in $3.4 billion in revenue, and $48 million in profits (before taxes).

In 1976, Canada opened the Winnipeg production facility, seen below.  As an impressive building in it’s own right, canadianmint2this is where the Canadian coins are now produced, as well as for 60 other countries.

Ever heard of a “Loonie”?  It’s Canada’s one-dollar coin, and it didn’t come about until 1987.


The Royal Canadian Mint has produced an array of fascinating coins, including the Dinosaur – Coloured Glow-in-the-dark coin, a Year of the Snake coin, Toronto Maple Leafs coins, and many more. At Great American Coin Company, we offer highly sought-after silver and gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins you may be interested in. You can

The Canadian Maple Leaf in Troy Ounce .9999 Silver
On one side of the silver Canadian maple leaf sits the profile of Queen Elizabeth II, on the other side a maple leaf.  Across the bottom of every coin reads “Fine Silver 1 oz Argent Pur”.

The Canadian Maple Leaf in Troy Ounce .9999 Gold
Just like the silver coin, Queen Elizabeth II is on one side, and the Canadian maple leaf is on the other.  These gold Canadian maple leaf coins can be ordered with different amounts of gold in them, thus the writing on the bottom of every coin might be different.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .


How to Clean Your Diamonds and Gems

Gems and diamonds are most commonly used in jewelry. And since jewelry is worn on human skin, it can become unclean very quickly.

Chances are you originally purchased your favorite lovely piece of jewelry because of the way it shined and sparkled. So why not keep it that way? Check out the following tips for cleaning diamonds and gems.

The simplest way to clean a diamond or gem (or diamond/gem ring) is with Windex cleaner and a soft toothbrush. A soft toothbrush is very important, or else you’ll risk scratching your diamond/gem. Simply spray the Windex onto the toothbrush and then go to town (with care) on the diamond/gem. Proceed to rinse the diamond or gem off in warm water and dry with a soft towel – not tissues, paper towel, etc!

Although Windex is ideal, you can also clean your diamonds and gems in a sink filled with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Make sure the drain is firmly closed – you don’t want to use your jewelry! Let the diamond or gem soak for a bit and then take it out, brush it with a soft toothbrush, and repeat. Rinse under regular warm water and dry with a soft towel. Although this “dishwashing liquid method” may sound better than Windex, it may leave a minor “film” on the diamond or gem. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.

The third way to clean diamonds and gems is with a mixture of ammonia and water in a bucket. Obviously ammonia is very strong. Dilute it with a lot of water. Go about the same cleaning process as above.

And there you have it.  Not too complicated at all!

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .


Gold vs. Silver – What Should You Invest In?

If you asked a random person whether it’s better to invest in gold or silver, gold would probably be the most common answer. It’s GOLD after all – it’s so valuable, right? It’s the stuff that pirates dreamed about! While gold is usually a smart investment, silver can be even better. However, both metals have their advantages. Read the short rundown below to find out more.

Why Buy Gold?

Gold can be purchased in a few different ways – coins, bars, jewelry that contains gold, etc. Simply put, gold holds value. Given the fact that gold currency has been around since 800 B.C., this is a mere fact. But first you must understand, gold is not money.

So what’s the main reason you might want to buy gold? The price of course. Gold prices have gone up in recent years. That means that production has increased as well. And what does that mean for demand? It’s almost certainly not going to dip. What this all equates to is simple – buy gold now, because it’ll only cost you more in the future.

Gold is a private investment. Nobody is keeping track of how much you own. And with the economy the way it is, it can also be a wise, safe investment. Investing in it can increase your wealth when the economy isn’t doing well. Think about this. The market crashes. All you have is worthless paper money. Wouldn’t you then be happy you invested in gold?

You’ll never hear someone say, “Invest half your savings in gold.” That’s far too much. But you will hear people talk about the importance of gold when slightly diversifying your portfolio.

Why Buy Silver?

There’s no doubt gold can be a great investment. And although silver is often the symbol of “second place”, many consider it an even better investment. The main reason being: there’s less investment grade silver available than gold. Most of the same theories that apply to gold investment apply to silver as well. It’s an investment that can protect you if something disastrous happens to the economy.

What silver also possesses, though, is practical, everyday applications. It’s used in computers, cameras, jewelry, and many other products. So if it’s readily available, why is it a good investment? There’s the catch – it’s not as readily available as you may think. So much silver is being used for our everyday wants and needs, and the supply is decreasing.

So there you have it. Both gold and silver have their advantages. Speak to a financial professional if you’re interested in investing!

Note: The information above is not investment advice from The Great American Coin Company.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .