synthetic gemstone is identical to a natural gemstone
in almost every way. This includes the same basic
crystal structure, refractive index, specific gravity,
chemical composition, colors, and other characteristics.
Since the same gemological tests are used for stone
identification on both natural and synthetic gems,
it is sometimes even possible for a gemologist to
be puzzled as to whether or not a stone is natural
or synthetic. When this occurs, the best course
of action is to send the stone to an accredited
gem laboratory, like the Gemological Institute of
America. They can positively determine whether a
stone is synthetic or naturally occuring. Only minor
internal characteristics allow separation of a synthetic
gemstone from a natural gemstone.
The following gemstones are common synthethics:
A variety of methods are currently used in the production
of synthetic crystals, resulting in different qualities,
appearances and prices.
Process (results in aggregate crystals)
vs. IMITATION GEMSTONES
gemstones merely imitate the color or look of a
natural stone. They can be made out of anything.
A cubic zirconia is an IMITATION diamond, for example.
A blue piece of glass could be an imitation sapphire.
A variety of blue synthetic forsterite is an excellent
imitation for tanzanite, while chemically, it's
composition is much closer to the yellowish green
peridot. Another classic example is the "alexandrite"
set in many jewelry pieces is actually a variety
of vanadium colored synthetic sapphire.