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Determining If Gemstones Are Genuine Or Fake

Jan 27, 2008
When you shop for gemstone jewelry, it can be quite confusing not only because of the varying prices but also because of confusing jewelry ads that label gemstones to be genuine, natural, treated, simulated or synthetic.

Gemstones that are natural are given by nature and have not been interfered by human hands. These may have been cut or polished when set on your jewelry but have not in any way been altered or treated.

Gemstones that are genuine are the real thing but then are no longer considered natural because they have been treated to enhance their appearance. Because of enhancement, jewelry manufacturers are given the opportunity to improve the stones' looks that customers wouldn't have considered to purchase in the first place when in its natural state.

Gemstones that are synthetic possess the natural stone's optical, physical and chemical qualities as well as having the same composition with its natural equivalent. The difference is that it is created in a laboratory. Majority, if not all popular gemstones have their synthetic versions. Modern synthetic gemstones look so natural that they are difficult to identify. Gemologist and expert jewelers though would be able to tell the difference. Synthetic gemstones don't come cheap but they definitely cost less than natural gemstones of a similar quality.

Imitation or fake gemstones can look like the real deal and they are often made of plastic or glass. Sometimes to add brilliance or to change the stone's color, it is set in a solid back where you can find a foil underneath. There are also composite, doublet and triplet gemstones that contain a small piece or a slice of a genuine gemstone and combined with a big chunk of an imitation gemstone.

Gemstones that are treated, synthetic or even imitations should not be avoided at all. What should be avoided is paying a high price or a price equivalent to what normally natural gemstones would cost. Gemstones are priced according to the law of supply and demand in a very similar manner to other industries.

When buying gemstones, there are important shopping tips. You should only buy from a jeweler or a company that is trusted especially if you intend to purchase natural gemstones. Before paying for an expensive gemstone, always ask for verification from an independent and respected laboratory.

Look at jewelry carefully, research and read sources. You cannot become an expert overnight but through time you will become a savvy gemstone shopper.
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