Gemstones add such a vibrant and unique touch to any piece of jewelry, but does it matter if you choose real stones for jewelry making or synthetic gemstones? We all know that the most traditional way to wear jewelry is with gemstones. But what exactly are the distinctions between these two precious stones and how do they affect the look and feel of your creations?
Characteristics Of Real Gemstones
Real stones have a very different feel and quality than the synthetic stones. Real gemstones have a defined form, a higher luster and a bright sparkle. They’re also very durable, with less fussy cutting. Real stones are not delicate and go on and on for several years. Real stones are made up of three layers: the outer layer, called the crust; the mantle; and the core, which is also known as the heart. The heart of real stones can be made up of many minerals that include calcium’s pyroxene group, aluminum oxide, silica and ferric oxide. The mantle is behind the heart and contains different types of minerals such as alumina, chlorite, talc and pyrite. The core is made up of iron and can contain hematite, rutile, sphene and corundum. This layer is the least stable part of a gemstone. As a result, the most prized crystals are on the outside of a gemstone’s heart. The more onyx-like materials are usually found on the outer shell that protects the more precious parts of a gemstone.
Additional Characteristics Of Real Gemstone
Real gemstones are made in the layers of earth in several years. These are found only in some prominent parts of the earth because they require certain specific components to form. For example, the topaz gemstone cannot be found in the part of the earth with no significant iron content in that area. Similarly, quartz is formed of two major earth components, oxygen and silicon, and so it is quite commonly found in various regions. Such is the case with all the semi-precious and precious natural stones for jewelry making.
Characteristics Of Synthetic Gemstones
Synthetic gems are created in a lab environment by application of certain chemical treatments. The composition of these gems follow the same rules as real stones, however they are made in a very different way with synthetic chemicals. These gems are usually much cheaper than their real counterparts. As they’re made in a lab environment, they don’t contain the same elements found in natural gemstones. They’re usually very soft and quite fragile. Also, most synthetic gems are less durable when it comes to sustaining the years of wear and tear, which means that they will chip or scratch more easily. The type of base material used to create them is not natural and so, this is one of the reasons these are termed synthetic in the first place. Synthetic gems are created using a variety of materials including plastic, resins, glass, metals and special gases. Artificial gemstones are created using these materials along with other chemicals including waxes or oils.
Additional Characteristics Of Synthetic Gemstones
Synthetic gemstones can be formed quite easily in any laboratory of the world. Through chemical treatment, heat and pressure treatments, the desired gemstones can be formed in no time. These are openly made and sold around the world. For example, it is said that amethyst is often heat treated to form citrine and this is because the real stone has become quite rare. Although this is not the exact process of making synthetic stones. The fact that stones and chemical components have to undergo certain treatments to shape them into preferred form.
Weighing The Differences
When you’re choosing the perfect gem for your jewelry design, it’s important to remember that there are pros and cons to both real and synthetic gems. Real stones are usually more expensive than synthetic stones, but are also more durable. They have a greater variety of colors, cutting styles and clarity grades to choose from. Natural gems are less likely to fracture or scratch easily, which means they can be worn for longer periods of time without worry.
1. Price Difference
Natural stones are usually more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. That’s not to say that real gemstones aren’t affordable, they’re just significantly more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. Real stones for jewelry making usually cost between $50 and $500 per carat whereas synthetic gems can be as low as $2 and as much as $1000 per carat. The great thing is that synthetic gemstones are more affordable than ever before, which means that you can afford to buy a variety of different shades of your favorite colors to mix and match with other jewelry designs.
2. Quality And Durability
Natural gemstones are less prone to scratches or fractures due to their higher durability. They’re also more consistent in their quality, so they have fewer flaws than their synthetic counterparts. However, the real test is how well your jewelry holds up during wear. For example, if you love wearing chunky bracelets or necklaces with big gemstones, real gemstones are usually better because they are less likely to break or chip when clanking against one another. On the other hand, synthetic stones are less likely to shatter in large pieces when knocked together in a drawer or in a bag.
3. Treatment Involved
Natural stones for jewelry making come in a variety of different colors, clarity grades and cutting styles, whereas synthetic stones are most often available in just one color. Also, the treatments that synthetic stones go through are far more elaborate as compared to their real counterparts. While synthetic ones are to be made through chemical processes, the real stones are only treated to retain their quality, durability and purity. Different treatments are done on it like heat and pressure. These are done only to clean the stone or rid it of impurities attached to it. On other side, the synthetic gemstones are only formed from such treatments. These treatments are the only thing that give shape and face to the stones, and so, make them what they are.
4. Difference Of Value
Real gems, especially diamonds, are worth a lot of money. In fact, the price of a diamond can more or less be proportional to its size and quality. Large jewelry making stones are usually more expensive because they have a higher value per carat. Synthetic diamonds are made by using carbon atoms in a similar fashion to natural ones. However, they’re never known to be as valuable as natural jewelry-grade diamonds because there is no shortage of synthetically created diamonds on the market.
5. Availability Of Colors
Color range in synthetic gems is sometimes limited due to the availability of certain chemicals and raw materials. This is less of a problem when you’re making use of the latest advancements in modern technology to create highly saturated synthetic stones. The good thing about synthetic crystals is that every batch will be the same color because it’s created at one time.
6. Stability Of Gemstones
Natural gemstones are usually more stable than their synthetic counterparts. Synthetic gems are less stable than their real counterparts, which means that they will chip or crack more easily. The type of gemstone you wear is very important in choosing the perfect stone for your jewelry design. Natural gems are usually more suitable for gemstone rings, pendants and bracelets. Where synthetic gems are made to be worn in clothes, earrings and necklaces.
How To Identify If The Stone Is Real Or Synthetic?
The best way to distinguish between real or synthetic gemstones is by their color. Real gemstones are found in various shades of green, blue, yellow, red or brown whereas synthetic gemstones are off-white.
- The most common way to tell if a gem is real is by looking at the surface. Real stones often show very fine lines of light and dark throughout the stone (think polishing), while synthetic jewelry making stones may show little plated particles on their surface (think plastic).
- Real stones are often more vibrant in color than synthetic stones. Synthetic stones are often duller in color, which is why you should always look for natural gemstones.
- Real stones are always more attuned to nature. Synthetic stones are more artificial and don’t change color as easily as natural stones do.
- The best way to tell real from synthetic is to look at the price of a gemstone and weigh it against how it looks on your piece of jewelry.
- If you’re not sure if a gemstone is real or synthetic, choose the most natural stone for jewelry making you can find. If you’re not sure of the real stone, just look for a nice-looking synthetic gemstone close to the price range.
There are several times when buyers are deceived about the true value of the stone they are being sold. That’s why several people are curious to know why real and synthetic stones are different from each other. So, it is very important for you to choose the seller wisely. It is better to purchase real stones for jewelry making online through reliable sellers like Dream of Stones that are transparent about the gemstone quality and authenticity.