Laboratory-Grown Gemstones vs. Natural Gemstones
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 'Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries', Section 23.24; It is unfair or deceptive to use the word "real," "genuine," "natural," "precious," "semi-precious," or similar terms to describe any industry product that is manufactured or produced artificially.
Made by human beings instead of nature: artificial, man-made, created or manufactured to possess the same chemical, physical and optical characteristics as natural gemstones. Examples of synthetic gemstones are lab-created emerald, ruby or Chrysoberyl (Alexandrite).
To have or take on the appearance, form, or imitate a natural or synthetic gemstone. Examples of simulant gemstones are Cubic Zirconia and glass. Gem synthesis has been around since the late 1800's. Experiments led to the manufacture of gemstones for the jewelry industry as well as for industrial purposes. The true beauty of these gemstones is revealed during the cutting process.
Distinguishing a real gemstone from a synthetic one is a skill which every individual should learn. Gems are expensive and the last thing you want is to pay a great deal of money for a piece of jewelry which isn’t real. To help you determine whether a gemstone is real, we have compiled a list of techniques you can use to determine whether a gem is real or synthetic. The difference between synthetic and real gemstones is very difficult to distinguish just by looking at one.
A real gemstone is natural which means it’s subject to flaws because of the wear and tear it experiences in the outdoors. A synthetic gemstone is created in a laboratory and therefore appears to be flawless.
Moissanite – a lab-created diamond substitute – is one of the most popular diamond substitutes because its hardness and thermal conductivity are quite like diamonds and almost perfectly formed. This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish a real from a synthetic gemstone. Although you would think it would be the other way around, a real gemstone will not look perfect and is likely to have scratches, dents or other flaws.
These flaws make each gem unique to one another. Another way to determine whether a gem is real, or fake is by the weight of the stone. Synthetic gemstones often weigh more than real ones. Synthetic gems are denser than their counterpart and when held in the hand, you can feel the weight difference between the two types of stones. In rare instances you can tell a real stone from a fake because synthetic gemstones tend to sparkle more than real ones. Real stones have been worn through weather and other forms of nature and for this reason do not sparkle as naturally as their synthetic counterpart.