How to Tell If a Gemstone is Genuine or Synthetic

By Gemexi Team | Gemology
  • Updated On Mar 19, 2020
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How to Tell If a Gemstone is Genuine or Synthetic

For many people, gemstones are an investment of a lifetime. Irrespective of why they buy it, genuine gemstones can be expensive and deserve to be valued. But here is the catch – you should pay for real gemstones and not be cheated into buying fake ones. There is so little difference between real and fake gemstones that it is very easy to be taken for a ride. This holds true especially for those who haven’t studied gems or have very little knowledge about gemstones and do not know how to check gemstones. The gemstone market is filled with fake replications that it is very easy to be duped. Though it is true fake gemstones can look very “real” and there is no harm in wearing them, it is unethical and wrong to pay more for what is less. Moreover, if you are wearing gemstones for religious reasons or to be benefitted by their metaphysical properties wearing fake ones will not help you in any way.

While there are various gemstones test done in laboratories to find out their authenticity, there are also a few DIY tests that you can try out at home if going to the lab isn’t a feasible idea for you. Let us take a look at a few of them.

#Surface of the Stone
One of the easy ways to test gemstones at home is by carefully examining their surface. Real gemstones have rough and sandy texture while factory manufactured, mass-produced stones have a smooth surface. Natural stones have to wear the brunt of nature and are honed over thousands of years by coming in contact with various elements of nature. On the other hand, artificial ones are created within minutes in factories under simulated conditions and are thus likely to have smooth surfaces. 
#Malleability of the Stone
When we think of gemstones we immediately think of hard stones that stay as they are for a lifetime (and sometimes even more). This is a basic understanding of gemstones and in all fairness is mostly an accurate assumption. Genuine gemstones are not malleable, that is they cannot be easily shaped by hammering, bending or crushing. This is because gemstones have a crystalline structure which can only be shaped by cutting, abrasion or fracturing. If you want to check the malleability of your gemstone remembers to do so cautiously. Though real gemstones are not malleable they can shatter when hit hard with a hammer.
#Understanding Gemstone Quality
We often make the mistake of equating the quality of a gemstone with its price. This is a completely wrong approach to understanding the genuineness of gemstones as there are both expensive and cheap varieties available in the market. Before buying any stone learn how to check gemstones and do not equate its price with its authenticity. Gemstones primarily have crystalline formation but are broadly categorized into two types – precious and semi-precious stones. There are other things to keep in mind – such as the weight of a gemstone, its hardness (which is measured in Moh) etc. Before you buy any gemstone these are some basic things you should be aware of. 
#Identifying Synthetic Gemstones
It is not easy to distinguish between genuine gemstones and synthetic ones. Synthetic ones have almost the same structure, physical properties and chemical composition as the genuine ones. But there are certain ways in which you can spot the difference. All you need to do is carefully examine the stone at home, use a magnifying glass when necessary and look out for the following this. Synthetic stones do not have angular growth within its structure but have carved growth patterns. Gas bubbles within authentic gemstones are rare though not unknown whereas most synthetic ones have tiny gas bubbles within their structure.
#Color of the Stone
Carefully examining the color, hue, tone, and saturation of the gemstone in hand can give you enough clue about the authenticity of the gemstone. Almost all gemstones known to mankind have been properly described by geologists based on their color, hue, and saturation. There can be numerous variations of a color to describe a gemstone. If you want to authenticate a gemstone by yourself, you can read up about gemstone colors and try to determine what you have in hand. 

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