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 Post subject: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Know next to nothing about gems. Got to Browsing, came across the "Synthetic Gems" website.

They had both Gems classed as "Simulated"; and those labeled "Synthetic"--but they didn't explain.

Is there a difference?

I mean, in ordinary usage a Man-Made Diamond isn't simulated--it actually IS Crystal Carbon.....

But Cubic Zirconium, or even cut Lead-Glass could be called "Simulated Diamond".....

So the question becomes--Simulated how? How Well? From what Material?

Saxon Violence


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Location: The Frozen Tundra :(
A synthetic gemstone is one that is chemically identical to a natural gemstone, just created in a lab.

A simulated gemstone can be any substance being used to represent another gemstone, i.e., cubic zirconia, a created substance, simulates a diamond, but so too can a natural zircon or natural spinel simulate (pretend to be) a diamond.

How well a product simulates another depends on many factors -

What gemstone is being represented?

Does the color properly represent those found in the natural item?

How close to the RI is the substitute material?

I hope this helps a bit :) .

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Last edited by Barbara O. Ellis, GG on Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:46 am 
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My favorite example is Alexandrite. There is a corundum simulant, and a synthetic (Alexandrite is a chrysoberyl). That highlights that the corundum is the simulant and helps sort of organize the difference in your head.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:15 am 
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simulant = fake, synthetic = artificial.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Quote:
simulant = fake, synthetic = artificial.


Hmm... White zircon can be diamond simulant but no way it's a fake.
Fake comes from misrepresentation.

Synthetic has natural counterpart.
Artificial doesn't have.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:47 pm 
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mikko wrote:
Quote:
simulant = fake, synthetic = artificial.


Hmm... White zircon can be diamond simulant but no way it's a fake.


yeah, the same for other diamond simulants...... colorless sapph as an example...

Quote:
Fake comes from misrepresentation.

Synthetic has natural counterpart.
Artificial doesn't have.


yup AGREE.....

ciao
albé

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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:49 pm 
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http://gemologyonline.com/synthetics.html


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Artificial refers to man made...fake refers to something represented as something else. White sapphire represented as diamond is a fake diamond. Synthetic diamond is an artificial diamond. Simple.
Everything is real, after all, unless it is imaginary.
Using language that is clearly understood by most people is the goal of good communication.
Using language that confuses most people should be avoided.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Although your argument can make sense to both a novice and a pro, you are using terms which are not "gemologically" preferred when describing gems, Richard.

Artificial and fake are words I might use when describing a leatherette chair or Lady Gaga's eyelashes.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:50 pm 
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SaxonViolence wrote:
But Cubic Zirconium, or even cut Lead-Glass could be called "Simulated Diamond"....

The term is Cubic Zirconia. Zirconium is a metal. Zirconia is an oxide.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:08 pm 
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I understand. Sometimes the "gemologically" prefered terms seem an obfuscation.
Such as using "saturation" when color-intensity is really ment. Or denying the existence of "pink".
The fact that every beginner has a difficult time with these terms, that have been adopted (or redefined) by gemology, shows the very akwardness of the definitions.
I love gemology; have been at it 31 years. After grad school I expected the GIA (in residence) to be intense...but found the lectures more geared to a 10th grade education (the lab was challenging). The FGA title didn't inspire me more than the GG. Nevertheless, I love the field; mostly because it is one of continuing education.
We are the step-children of minerologists and crystolographers; always attempting to make ourselves "scientists". We use a vocabulary that we have made our own; one which often confuses the general public, as well as those learning the trade.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:06 am 
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Richard, of course you are entitled to have your own advanced opinions about terminology after 31 years, but this is beginners only section. Each of the terms mentioned here has distinct universally accepted description in gemology. It's not only matter of 'science' or 'not science' but important for communication between dealers and consumer protection (actually, protection for retailer too).

Let's have a fresh example: Italian law about gemological materials has the terminology included into law. It's not arguable anymore, no matter how many years each has had time to 'rethink' gemology. I like that, it makes the confusing world much simpler.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:55 am 
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Mikko, you make a good point. This is a beginner's section.
By all means, everyone must learn the definitions as they are presented in your gemological texts, and use them in your exams.
I am trying only to explain the differences between synthetic and simulant in a way that helps people understand. It works well for customers and co-workers.
Good studying all.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulated Vs Synthetic--Difference
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:55 pm 
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If I did not already know the difference between simulant and synthetic, being new at this, I would be very confused after reading all your comments!!

Simply and non-technically, a synthetic IS what it claims to be, but lab-grown. A simulant can be man-made or natural, but it is not chemically what it is replacing.

Peach


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