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Understanding the Difference Between Genuine, Synthetic and Simulated Stones

Date September 24, 2014

Designing and purchasing jewelry and birthstone rings can often be an arduous task. With so many designs, styles and colors to choose from, creating a piece for yourself or someone you love can be a challenge! When it comes to choosing a stone for the piece, the challenge is often amplified. It is important to understand all of your options before choosing the gemstones that your piece will feature and showcase.

There are three broad categories of gemstones typically discussed when it comes to designing and purchasing jewelry: genuine, synthetic and simulated. The characteristics of each type of stone vary. Understanding the qualities and benefits of each can help you to understand what variety of gemstone is right for you.

Genuine Gemstones:
Genuine gemstones are naturally formed in the earth and are collected through the process of mining. Many types of natural stones are rare and hard to come by, making them expensive. There is no way to control the size or quality of natural gemstones. As such, gems that are sizeable and of high quality are often in high demand.

Genuine stones are valuable and beautiful. Since they are created naturally, each one is completely unique. However, it is important to keep in mind that genuine stones are often slightly flawed and may include some natural color variations. Typically, because they are rare and naturally formed, genuine gemstones are the most expensive when compared to similar synthetic or simulated stones.

Synthetic Gemstones:
Synthetic gemstones are lab created versions of genuine stones that have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as naturally created stones. Since these stones are lab created, they contain fewer flaws than naturally created stones. Though they are not created in nature, synthetic gemstones are still considered to be genuine because technicians recreate the natural conditions for stone formation in a controlled environment in order to create them. Lab technicians are able to accelerate the stone formation process and synthesize many stones, making these stones less rare than genuine, naturally formed gemstones.

Because synthetic gemstones can be created in a lab environment and do not have to be mined, they are not as rare or as expensive as naturally formed gemstones. Though they are more affordable, synthetic gemstones often feature brighter colors than natural gemstones. Their price, bright coloring and near-flawlessness make them an appealing choice for many jewelry buyers.

Simulated Gemstones:
Simulated gemstones mimic the visual appearance of naturally formed gemstones but they are not actually formed of the same chemical composition as the natural stones they seek to replicate. Labs can use cheap materials and produce many of these stones, keeping gemstone prices low. Despite their lower price point, these stones are incredibly beautiful and often offer more sparkle than naturally formed stones.

Simulated gemstones offer the beauty of authentic gemstones with added color and sparkle at a more affordable price. Because they are both stylish and practical, they are a popular choice and are featured in many fashion jewelry pieces.

At MothersRings.com, we feature both genuine and simulated stones in our rings and pendants. Our genuine stones include gemstones that are naturally formed and lab-created, while our simulated stones offer many of the qualities of natural stones at a reduced price. No matter which type of stone you choose to feature in your design, you’re guaranteed a beautiful piece of jewelry that will be cherished for years to come.