WHAT IS A "SIMULATED" GEMSTONE?
A simulated gemstone is any stone which is being sold as something
it is not. It can be made of a number of different materials, including
glass, plastic, and, oddly enough, other synthetic or natural gemstones.
example, Alexandrites are often simulated by using lab-created color
change sapphires. Natural zircon can be used to simulate diamonds or
topaz. Simulated opals can be made of glass or plastic. Synthetic spinels
can simulate many stones, as they come in so many colors. And many stones
can be simulated by fusing layers of materials together into what are
called doublets and triplets. Doublets and triplets can contain the
actual gemstone as the top layer, fused to some other material which
makes up the bulk of the stone. They require careful examination by
a trained eye to detect.
While most simulated stones are more commonly found in costume jewelry,
some are out there passing themselves off as the real thing. When buying
in large quantities, even a good jeweler can get burned if someone down
the chain has "salted" the lot of stones with a few simulated
stones. However, it is fairly easy for a jeweler to tell the difference
using common sense, magnification or gemological tests once he examines
a stone carefully. Our rule of thumb is, if you are buying a nice sized
stone for hundreds or thousands of dollars from a jeweler you don't
know, ask him or her to explain synthetics and stimulants to you, and
to show you why he knows your stone is natural. Get a money-back guarantee.
But buying from a source you know and trust is always the best bet.