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What You Need to Know About Synthetic Stones

Did you know that some stones now used in jewelry aren’t created by nature but instead made synthetically? Synthetic stones look just like naturally mined ones and can offer a more affordable alternative compared to their genuine counterparts.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what synthetic stones are and address frequently asked questions regarding the subject. Whether you’re an avid gem collector or simply looking to learn more about these treasures before investing in your own pieces—keep reading!

What are Synthetic Stones?

Synthetic stones are also lab-grown, man-made, generated, cultured, or cultivated gemstones. They have the same crystal structure, chemical content, appearance, and physical qualities as their natural counterparts. The distinction between natural and synthetic gemstones is that the latter are cultivated with human assistance in controlled circumstances and attract cheaper costs due to their abundance.

Due to their growth in a controlled environment, synthetic gemstones typically have fewer inclusions and brighter or whiter hues than their natural counterparts. Depending on the development process, however, lab-created stones may contain the same inclusions and defects as real stones, making them nearly impossible to differentiate from their genuine counterparts.

Pro tip: Using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading gear, gemologists and professional jewelry appraisers evaluate both naturally occurring and laboratory-grown gemstones. They apply gem identification technologies to ensure that if you’re looking for a real gemstone, you will obtain one.

What Are Simulated Gemstones?

Simulated gemstones, often known as simulants and imitations, replicate genuine gems. Simulants have different chemical structures and physical properties, despite their comparable appearance to the actual item. A trained gemologist will always be able to distinguish between a fake and a genuine gemstone, even through eye inspection.

Simulated gems can be either natural or artificial. Zircon is a naturally occurring diamond simulant, whereas cubic zirconia is a synthetic diamond simulant.

Notable is the existence of a set of simulants that are not even gemstones. These “jewels” are referred to as fakes and imitations. Typically, they are composed of plastic, glass, resin, and colors. Fake gems are mass-produced, inexpensive materials that are inferior to synthetic and simulated jewels.

Most Commonly Synthesized Gemstones

Simulated gemstones, often known as simulants and imitations, replicate genuine gems. Simulants have different chemical structures and physical properties, despite their comparable appearance to the actual item. A trained gemologist will always be able to distinguish between a fake and a genuine gemstone, even through eye inspection.

Synthetic Diamond

Lab-grown synthetic diamonds have the same chemical makeup, crystal structure, and physical qualities as their natural counterparts. They are genuine diamonds and not “fakes,” although they differ from natural diamonds.

Diamonds are highly valued for their exceptional hardness, broad transparency (when pure), high thermal conductivity, and high electrical resistance, which are also shared by synthetic diamonds.

Depending on the diamond’s size, color, and clarity, a lab-grown diamond can be 20 to 40 % cheaper than a genuine diamond.

Synthetic Emerald

The presence of distinctive inclusions distinguishes synthetic emeralds from real gems. The inclusions in natural emeralds are frequently diagnostic of their nation or mine of origin. Occasionally there are so-called “three-phase” inclusions, which consist of a liquid-filled cavity containing a gas bubble and a sodium chloride or other salt crystal. In general, synthetic emeralds lack such inclusions but may contain particles of flux or other intrinsic characteristics. Detection always requires a microscope and, occasionally, additional gemological testing equipment.

Synthetic Quartz

Natural quartz is abundant and affordable. However, synthetic quartz can be produced in sufficient quantities and at a low enough price to make the production of gem quartz profitable. By adding particular impurities that give a brownish hue, amethyst is produced. When a radioactive source irradiates this quartz, a purple color is produced. Tons of colorless quartz is produced for electronic uses, although it is rarely cut as a gem.

Synthetic Rubies

Frequently, synthetic rubies are produced by simply melting aluminum oxide containing a hint of chromium. The resulting crystal possesses the same optical characteristics, hardness, and chemical composition as a natural ruby and the same internal atomic structure.

For centuries, ruby and sapphire have been regarded as two of the most coveted and expensive gemstones. There needs to be adequate quantities of natural materials to meet global demand. Therefore, it is not surprising that their synthesis would be deemed a good goal.

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Main Processes For Synthetic Stones

Various methods of creating synthetic gemstones include flame fusion, crystal pulling, flux growth, and hydrothermal growth. Some of them are relatively inexpensive. Others are costly, but all mimic nature with the presence of necessary chemicals, minerals, temperature, and pressure to grow cultivated gemstones.


What Are synthetic gemstones used for?

The primary purpose for the use of synthetic gemstones is in jewelry making. Generally speaking, synthetic gemstones will be set in gold or platinum to reduce the cost that using a real gem of the same size, type, and color would make it too expensive.

Are synthetic gemstones cheaper?

Synthetic gemstones, or man-made gemstones as they are sometimes called, can be significantly more affordable than natural gemstones. This is because synthetic diamonds can take days instead of years to form. Furthermore, all the four ‘C’s’ used to grade a typical diamond (carat weight, clarity, color, and cut) are present in man-made gemstones.

Buying synthetic gemstones?

Unlike natural diamonds, synthetic gems are mass-produced and have no intrinsic value. Therefore, they are appropriate for use in jewelry but not as an investment. The most intriguing stones are the big three cardinal jewels: ruby, sapphire, and emerald, which are not only stable in value but also expected to appreciate significantly over time.

Always acquire natural, untreated gemstones of the finest possible grade with certificates from internationally recognized gem labs and institutes if you wish to purchase gemstones as an investment.

When selling genuine gemstones, sellers are required by law to disclose any enhancements, regardless of the form of enhancement. For prudence, you may always consult a professional jewelry appraiser when engaging in jewelry investments. Some modern synthetic gemstones are harder to detect. It requires knowledge and some suspicion. Typically, a jeweler or gemologist may distinguish synthetics from natural stones by their odd inclusions or growth characteristics.

Reach out to Willyn Villarica Jewelry

Willyn Villarica is your trusted partner for gemstone appraisal services, catering to clients around the globe. Our expertise and commitment to excellence ensure accurate and reliable assessments of your precious gemstones. It’s important to note that while we offer our services worldwide, clients are responsible for covering all travel expenses. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your diamonds expertly graded by Willyn Villarica. If you need to learn more about synthetic stones, drop us a line at admin@willynvillaricajewelry.com for inquiries or to book your appointments. You can also find us on Facebook (Willyn Villarica Jewelry) and Instagram (@willynvillarica_jewelry). If you need more help, just dial +63279497547. As one of the few certified gemologists in the Philippines, a graduate of the GIA Graduate Gemologist® program, and the only NAJA-recognized Filipino appraiser, you know you and your jewelry are in good hands with Willyn Villarica Jewelry.

  • Willyn Villarica

    Willyn Villarica, a third-generation jeweler from the Philippines, brings a wealth of expertise to the world of gemology and jewelry appraisal. As a licensed Graduate Gemologist, accredited by the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, she is not only a master of her craft but also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino member of the National Associ...

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