Women have a special love for jewellery and when it comes to precious gemstones, their excitement knows no bounds. While splurging on these expensive lustrous pieces, it’s of utmost importance to identify the major characteristics of each gemstone which will enable you to invest in authentic pieces. Due to advancement in technology and progress in science, man has found ways to cheat and how. Labs produce and stimulate fake gemstones which are almost look-alikes of the authentic ones and can give anyone a run for money. You don’t have to be a gemmologist or a subject-matter expert to identify the fake gemstones, all you need is some knowledge alongwith a few handy tricks and tips which will make it easier for you to analyse which is fake and which is not. Let’s get started.
Types of Stones
There are primarily three types of gemstones mainly: Natural or Real Gemstone, Lab Created Gemstone and Stimulated Gemstones. So, let’s study the major differences between these tree before going ahead.
Natural or Real Gemstone
These gemstones are dug directly from the Earth and they are the major source of minerals which are found from within the Earth. Diamonds are the best example of natural gemstone which is subjected to thermal heat, pressure and carbon dating. It undergoes intense pressure, cutting and finally crafted into the jewel piece. Their real value is so high because of its rarity, these breath-taking stones are often tested in lab to ensure they are readily wearable. For example: Tanzanite is one exotic gemstone that hit our head and we lost in the beauty of this purple-blue stone, however, very few are aware that it is brownish in color when it is freshly dug.
Lab Created Gemstone
Most of the gemstones are treated in the lab to verify their variability and practical usage, however labs also create identical gemstones which often cause fraudulency amongst customers. Lab creates inexpensive stones which look exactly the same and feel better to touch and experience because they are crafted with flawlessness and that’s what makes them perfect. However, a real gemstone will always have imperfections and flaws. The surface will always feel rough and uneven, so make sure when you’re testing a lab created stone whether it’s real or not.
These gemstones are often created through a completely different process and therefore, they compromise a different chemical composition. These stones appear to be like a mirage in a dessert, Diamonds may appear to be real until you closely observe, and they will feel different as you touch the, it’s generally Cubic Zirconia.
How to Identify a Real Gemstone?
One of the most common techniques that a gemmologist generally follows is by testing the gemstone with Refractive Index Test which measures the reflection from the surface of the gemstone with a highly sensitive machine. This can however, only be conducted by a specialized expert.
For a layman, here are some quick trick and tips to test gemstones:
Feel the edges and surface of the gemstone, if it has sandy texture, it is certainly not a real gemstone. Also, check whether the gemstone is perfectly carved such that it doesn’t even look real, it’s lab-created.
Check the malleability of the gemstone by bending or hammering or crushing it. A real gemstone will break but never bend.
Check the color and texture of the gemstone. When you break the stone into small pieces, you can check if it’s the same color as outside and not too highly pigmented. Lab created stones use artificial colors and they look too dark as compared to the natural ones. The real gemstones will possess subtle shades and not dark ones.
Soak the gemstone in water for a few days or weeks to check the colorfastness of the stones. Fake stones are dyed and hence will not be able to retain their original color while the natural ones will stay like original.
To identify whether it is stone or a glass, put the stone in your mouth. If the stone turns hot after a while, its fake since the natural stones have thermal conductivity which implies that they will borrow heat from your mouth to stay cool for longer.
How are Lab Stones Created?
Black Onyx is a commonly replicated stone which is often created in the labs by treating with sugar and caramelizing it with heat.
Red Carnelian is dissolved in acid and then heated.
Blue Sapphires are generally heated by the miners and they are originally yellow sapphires.
Magnesite are nothing but chalk turquoise beads dyed as magnesite and sold at obnoxious prices in the name of turquoise stones.
Turquoise stones are dyed and hardened with resin and this process helps in stabilizing turquoise stone beads.
So, whenever you’re splurging on gemstones and stacking your trousseau with exotic gemstones, remember to cross-check and follow our handy tips!