Perhaps you’ve heard the term “synthetic gemstones” or “created gemstones”, and it is possible that you wonder whether such stones are fake. Let’s see what synthetic gemstones are and whether it is a good idea to buy them.
Natural vs. Genuine Gemstones
Before we discuss created gemstones, we should first clarify what it means for a gemstone to be natural or genuine.
Natural gemstones, as their name suggests, are those that occur in nature.
They are not treated in any way to enhance color or clarity. The only “treatment” these stones have received is when they were cut in a certain shape.
Genuine gemstones are natural stones that have undergone some kind of treatment to improve their look.
Since natural gemstones are oftentimes far from perfect when it comes to color or clarity, these features are often enhanced by using heat, chemicals, irradiation, or laser treatment.
The name “genuine gemstones” is used to differentiate these stones from the natural ones that have not been treated at all.
What Are Created Gemstones?
Created gemstones are stones that have been made in a lab.
They are created under high pressure by using the same compounds that make up natural gemstones.
This is why created gemstones are identical to their natural counterparts in terms of chemical composition and physical properties.
Created vs. Synthetic Gemstones
The term “synthetic gemstone” is often used instead of “created gemstone.” Although both terms are used interchangeably, there are people who use the word “synthetic” to refer to fake gemstones.
However, created gemstones are not considered fake since they are identical to natural ones in terms of structure despite being created by using different methods.
Fake gemstones, on the other hand, are simply imitations made of a different material.
If you are told that a certain gemstone is synthetic, always ask how the stone was created to make sure you understand the meaning correctly.
What Are Simulated Gemstones and Are They Fake?
Simulated gemstones (or “simulants”) are what people usually consider fake stones. They are made of a material that resembles the appearance of a natural gemstone but has different chemical and physical properties.
Fake gemstones are cheap and are usually made of glass or some kind of plastic. They are often less durable that synthetic gems and can get damaged more easily.
Remember: Simulated and synthetic gemstones are two different things, and when shopping, you should be very careful not to buy a simulated stone advertised as synthetic.
Why Buy Created Gemstones?
So why go to the trouble of creating synthetic gemstones when there are so many naturally occurring ones?
The problem is that a lot of natural gemstones don’t have the quality that buyers desire – these stones have a lot of flaws that detract from their beauty, and the color of natural gems is often dull.
High-quality natural gemstones do exist, but they are rare and expensive. This is why synthetic gemstones were created – they are more affordable, just as durable, and there are more of them.
There is another reason to prefer synthetic gemstones, which is related to why they were created: These stones have few flaws and nearly perfect clarity.
If you compare a created stone with a typical natural one, you will notice that the natural gemstone has more inclusions in the form of black dots or cloudy spots.
If you are about to shop for a created gemstone, make sure you buy it from a reputable jeweler, and don’t forget to ask for a certificate verifying the origin of the stone.
Keep in mind that not all synthetic gemstones are of the same quality – high-quality ones can be tens of times as expensive as low-quality gemstones.
Make sure you are comfortable with the stone’s quality and look before buying.
Where to Buy Gemstone Jewelry?
If you're looking to buy gemstone jewelry, we recommend that you take a look at the vast selection of gemstones available at Amazon as well as Ross-Simons and Reeds Jewelers.
For emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, we highly recommend James Allen because it allows you to take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it.