Posted by khcreations on March 10, 2009 at 8:58 PM
Call them what you like: faux or fake gemstones, imitations, or
simulated gems -- they all have one thing in common, they can look just
like the real thing, but they do not have any of the physical
characteristics of the natural or synthetic gemstone they are meant to represent.
Faux gems can be a very good
option, because they give us an inexpensive way to wear colorful,
lush-looking jewelry without the hefty price tag that comes with the
real thing. There's no reason to avoid faux gems -- what you do want to avoid is paying too much for misrepresented merchandise.
Materials Used to Make Faux Gemstones
- Today's imitation stones are often made of glass or plastic. A
jeweler can easily detect those materials, so have the jewelry
inspected if you think you might have purchased a fake.
- A real gemstone can be mounted in a solid-back setting,
with foil placed underneath the gem to make it look more brilliant or
change its color.
Composite gemstones are made from a small piece of a desirable, genuine stone that's combined with an inexpensive or imitation gemstone. Opal jewelry is often with composites.
Doublets are composite stones made with a large, inexpensive
chunk of some kind that's topped by a thin slice of a desirable
gemstone. The division usually isn't obvious until you look at the
piece under magnification.
One type of doublet is assembled by sandwiching a colored bonding agent
between two clear, inexpensive stones -- the added hue makes it look
like a colored gemstone.
Triplets are composites that are assembled in three parts instead of two.
Creative Gemstone Names Can be a Signal
Descriptive terms are sometimes used before the name of a gemstone, like Oriental emerald (a green sapphire). An American ruby is a garnet. Australian jade is treated quartz. Question the authenticity of any gemstone that's advertised with an extra, descriptive name.