Why the Hoopla over Synthetic Gems?

Would you buy an emerald pendant if you knew that the stone was an imitation – or perhaps a synthetic version of the real thing? The odds are good that you would not. In fact, reputable jewelers go to great lengths to have their stones authenticated prior to offering them for sale. What is the excitement all about?

Terminology: Imitation or Synthetic?

Techs make a cubic zirconium in a lab to look like a diamond. Not only is it a synthetic gem, but it is also serves to imitate the brilliant appearance of the genuine diamond – albeit poorly. A lab-created stone usually looks too perfect to be the genuine deal. Of course, when it comes to comparing a high-quality natural gem and an extremely well made synthetic stone, it is possible to stump even the professionals.

How Different is Different?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) points out that a synthetic gem “shares virtually all chemical, optical, and physical characteristics of its natural mineral counterpart.” An emerald may be produced with the help of what experts call a flux growth process. This results in a synthetic crystal formation, which is costly and time-consuming. In contrast, the spinel can be synthetically produced with a flame fusion process that creates the synthetic crystals by melting certain chemicals.

Does It Come Down to Preference?

As noted previously, a mined gem and one that scientists created in a lab environment can be entirely alike. While it is true that in some cases technicians include additional chemicals, in most scenarios the structure is indeed the same. In fact, some experts argue that the possibility of creating the perfect gem – one that has no inclusions and flaws – is only feasible in the lab environment.
Following this logic, you might be paying more for the real deal – a mined emerald, for example – than you would for a far more superior synthetic product. While going forward this may point to a new trend in the industry, for the vintage jewelry trade is makes one thing perfectly clear: stones that have a history have to be the real thing. It would be unthinkable to view a manmade stone in the same way that you would behold a Victorian emerald set in gold.
The low price of manmade gems and the resulting practice of setting them in low-price ring or pendant settings are quickly cheapening jewelry. As stones get bigger and baubles take on large sizes, the intricacy of filigree work, carefully worked settings and the beauty of balancing small gemstones by size and color is neglected. Fairly soon, your sense of style and taste in vintage jewelry will make you stand out even more – and it will do the same for the mined gems, inclusions and all.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts in all types of vintage, estate and antique jewelry. We hope you’ll stop by our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut.
Or, hop on over to our top-rated BigCommerce Store where you’ll find all the synthetic gemstone jewelry you see here. If you find a listing has ended, please email us at info@petersuchyjewelers.com as we may still have the item in stock.

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