How To Spot Genuine and Fake Gemstones

Be a wise jewelry buyer.

Gemstones shot flatlay style against a lavender backdrop.

The beauty of a gemstone is undeniable, that is a fact, but can you tell which one is real or not? Whether you are a jewelry collector, seller, or maker, it’s advantageous for you to develop this skill. Wouldn’t you want to fill your jewelry display tools with only the genuine ones?

Before we do though, a definition of terms is in order.

Natural, Genuine, Synthetic, Simulated

Confused? Don’t be for these are just terms that retailers often use to distinguish the different types of gemstones that are available in the market.

Natural gemstones, as the name implies, are derived from nature without any process being done to them. They are the truly pure ones amongst the different types.

Genuine gemstones, on the other hand, are also real but have gone through some treatments to improve their appearance. They are also more affordable than the natural ones.

Synthetic gemstones are man-made but may share some qualities chemically and physically with natural ones. They are also otherwise known as lab-created gemstones. Some of those made, thanks to today’s technology, look so much like the natural ones that only gemologists can determine what type they are.

Finally, there are gemstones called simulated gemstones which are also man-made but unlike the synthetic ones they generally have different chemical components to the real ones. They can look like natural ones but have different properties. An example of this is the cubic zirconia which is meant to mimic diamonds though they are not identical chemically.

While there’s nothing wrong with purchasing the synthetic or simulated ones, here are the factors you should look out for if you’re only after the real ones.

Close up shot of purple-colored gemstones.

A price that’s too good to be true

Some salespeople would tell you so many things just to get you to buy their products. It’s easy to fool impressionable people once a seller drops words like pure, natural, real but take heed once they say these things but the price seems unbelievably low. Chances are, they’re not the genuine ones that you are in the market for.

A stone that looks too perfect

Of course, we are all mesmerized by perfection and beauty. Doesn’t it thrill you to see a super polished gemstone, devoid of any imperfections, on showcase on your jewelry display stand? Alas, some of these gemstones may turn out to be too perfect to be real. The natural ones may have some color deviations or surface imperfections. Again, while there’s nothing wrong if you’re ok with the lab-made ones, real ones are all helmed by Mother Nature, and yes, they’re beautiful just the way they are, imperfections and all.

There are differences in clarity

Again, the synthetic ones because they are made in a lab were made to have zero flaws. So you would expect these types to have high clarity because they are meant to look that way. Meanwhile, natural gemstones were helmed by nature through the passage of years and have zero human intervention.

How to make sure you’re buying from a trustworthy seller?

Doing research is the key. There’s no other way to know at first glance that the person you are transacting is being truthful or not, so advance preparation is key. Doing research online is a good start. Yes, exactly what you are doing right now! But this is just the start. You can also check with industry organizations such as the American Gem Trade Association, long known as the nation’s authority in gemstones. Reputable sellers are members of the organization and they are required to abide by a strict standard of ethics and business practices.

The Better Business Bureau is another organization you can turn to and check for a gemstone seller’s or shop’s trustworthiness. With a mission whose “focus (is) on advancing marketplace trust,” they are a reputable nonprofit that you can turn to for information on businesses and whether they are complying to set standards which include honesty in advertising, transparency, and the protection of consumer’s rights.

Now if you’re in the market for jewelry display devices that are top-quality and reliable, we are here to help! Head on over to Nile Corp and make your choice.


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