Major Categories of Gemstones

When shopping for gemstones, it can look a lot similar to shopping for a used car. You tend to have many questions at the back of your mind, such as: can you trust the seller? Is the price the seller is giving reasonable? Can you tell if it has the best features? And so on.

Understanding how gemstones are made allows you to have more confidence while you are shopping. You will be able to explain the gemstone composition used in a piece of particular jewelry, such as the wickedtender crystal rings, to whoever you are selling the jewelry.

In the jewelry-making industry, gemstones are categorized in the following way: synthetic/artificial natural and imitation. As some of us do not have personal gemologists, who can help out while shopping, the below explanation will help make your shopping experience more seamless.

Natural Gemstone:

Natural gemstones come from the purest source, which is nature. Natural gems are created naturally over a long period without the help of humans. Natural gemstones are found in places like; deep inside the earth, by rock cliffs, along river beds, and at other locations.

Although natural gemstones are quite different from others, they have two similarities: they get help from nature, and it takes lots of time for them to be created. In general, natural gemstones would have been cut or polished at the point of sale, but they do not get alerted or enhanced in any way.

Treated Gemstones:

Treated gemstones are natural gemstones that have been enhanced to improve clarity or color as the case may be or both in some cases. We have many ways to strengthen and treat natural gemstones, such as the use of heat and the process of oiling. When you sell a treated gemstone, you are mandated by law to disclose that it is a treated gemstone to your clients and the treatment procedure used on the gemstone because many people consider it treated as synthetic or created gemstones.

Synthetic/Man-Made Gemstones

Synthetic gemstones are laboratory-created gemstones that have all the chemical, physical and visual properties of their natural counterparts. Scientists create synthetic gemstones by using the same elements and conditions found in the earth in natural gemstones. Also, its creation takes a shorter time than it takes for the natural gemstone to be created.

Through modern equipment and technology, synthetic gemstones frequently look like natural gemstones. Generally, a synthetic gemstone with the same cut and polish as natural gemstone will not be identified just by looking at it. Natural gems are created by nature; hence they rarely have flaws and imperfections; however, imperfections or flaws may occur over time.

Synthetic gemstones usually appear flawless, giving an added appeal for clients that want perfection. Stating that synthetic gemstones are fake will be too harsh mainly because they have similar chemical composition and beauty; the difference is more appropriately started as the difference between natural and synthetic, rather than real and fake.

There are many terms used to refer to synthetic gemstones, such as; lab-grown, lab-made, man-made, artificial, etc. All the listed terms refer to gemstones created in the laboratory and not in nature. The main difference between synthetic gemstones and man-made gemstones is that synthetic gems are made up of the exact chemical composition as their natural counterparts, whereas man-made gems often include materials that don’t exist in their natural counterparts.

Imitation Gemstones:

Imitation gemstones are often referred to as simulated gemstones. Imitation gemstones do not have the same chemical attributes as their natural counterparts. Imitation gemstones are usually made from ceramic, glass, plastics, etc., but are created to look like natural gemstones.

Imitation gemstones often look like natural ones that can be difficult to differentiate by merely looking at them without looking closer. An example of imitation is cubic zirconia, popularly known and commercialized alongside diamonds for over three decades.

The price of gemstones is often affected by supply and demand. However, since natural gemstones are obtained from limited resources, this has a high price tag. Synthetic gems are generally less in price, but they are not inexpensive either due to fabrication. Imitation gemstones are the most affordable.

Whether natural gemstones, synthetic or manufactured gemstones, or imitation gemstones, gemstones are a staple in the jewelry-making industry.


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