Like many coins, there are increasing amounts of fake gemstones flooding the market. Natural gemstones are created by nature with no human interference. Jewelers may cut or polish natural gemstones, but they are not altered other ways.
With so many synthetic or imitated gems available today, it can be very hard to distinguish a real gemstone from a fake, especially over the Internet. Therefore, we’ve provided some tips to help you avoid imitations:
Too good to be true
The first sign of fake gems is certainly a low price. That said, you should always avoid gemstone deals or sales that appear too good to be true. Instead, make gemstone purchases from reputable dealers that guarantee authentic gemstones and include cash-back returns. Plus, most jewelers will have tests and equipment that can classify authentic gemstones and reveal imitations.
Compare with real gems
When possible, compare gems with real gemstones. Taking a gem class or workshop is a great way to gain access to authentic samples. When examining real gemstones, always use a loupe. The higher the magnification the easier it will be to spot a fake. Also, real gemstones have minor imperfections and inconsistencies, whereas man-made imposters will look waxy or slick.
Weigh the stone
Generally speaking, synthetic gemstones weigh more than real ones. Synthetic gems are denser, however, you can clearly feel the weight difference between the two types of gems. Synthetic gems often have chemicals added to make them look real, making them heavier than genuine stones.
Examine the color
Carefully examine the characteristics of the gemstone. A fake gemstone will have an uneven luster and color. Uneven color could suggest a poor dye job. Some frauds even paint the tip of a gemstone to make the color stand out better. Also, synthetic gems typically have more sparkle than real gemstones.
Talk to an expert
Before making a purchase, talk to an expert. You should also consider having the gem appraised before purchasing it. A gemologist will be able to spot a fake right away. He or she will also be able to confirm the value of the stone. There are plenty of books on gemstones available. Pick one up and study it before you make any purchase.
Synthetic gemstones have similar properties as natural gems, but they are man-made. Because fake gems are becoming more prevalent throughout the jewelry industry, it’s important to educate yourself about fake gemstones. This will help you to understand what you are buying when you purchase jewelry or loose gemstones.
Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on Google+.