How to recognize a real stone from a fake? Some tricks are often used for jewels and can deceive those who are not experts. Here’s what to check ♦ ︎
Beware of false stones. But also to those who are half-faked. Perhaps you do not know that the ways to simulate precious stones on jewels are many. Here are some aspects you need to consider.
False stones. Plastic and glass are materials often used to simulate precious stones. Technology today allows you to create something in the laboratory that is not distinguishable from stones such as rubies or fossil resins such as amber. Naturally, an expert jeweler or a specialized laboratory can identify whether they are authentic stones or imitations. If you have doubts, ask for an expert advice.
Artificial stones. Cubic zirconia and synthetic moissanite (there is also the natural one, rather rare) are two of the stones created in the laboratory and which have characteristics similar to authentic gems, such as diamonds. Similar, but not the same. Of course, if you want to sell them, they have a very low value, but at the time of purchase, only a gemologist can distinguish a cubic zirconia, often passed through a zircon, which is instead a natural stone. How to be sure not to be cheated? Simple: a diamond, even a small one, always has a certificate attesting to its characteristics such as transparency, color, clarity and, of course, the carats. Cubic zirconia, no.
Composite stones. One of the trends among jewelers is the proposal to superimpose different stones or materials. It is a way to reduce costs: it consists of a kind of sandwich of different stones: which is more valuable is above, the one that serves to create thickness is below. The goal is to make the stones used on the surface appear larger, adding an imitation or a cheap gem, perhaps in the lower part of the stone, hidden by the setting. This system is less common for transparent stones, while it is more easily used in opaque ones, such as opals or turquoise. Sometimes the authentic stone is just a small layer that is glued onto a less valuable mineral. Another system, on the other hand, concerns transparent stones. To obtain an interesting shade, one expedient is to glue two or three different stones with a special invisible adhesive, so as to make them look like one and transform them into a “precious” stone with a fascinating nuance. The best brands do not hide this choice. But how to avoid cheating? In addition to relying on a brand that enjoys your trust, it is good to carefully observe, perhaps with a lens, the processing of the jewel.
Fantasy stones. Another idea of those who do not want to be transparent with those who buy jewelry is to change the name of the stones. If you read that a ring has an “oriental emerald”, for example, know that it is a green sapphire, which is less valuable. Other examples: an “American ruby” is actually a garnet, which is worth much, much less. And the “Australian jade”? It is simple treated quartz. Conclusion: when you read slightly exotic names of stones, which you have never heard, check on Google. Or on Gioiellis.com, of course.
Reconstituted stones. There are stones that are stabilized or rebuilt, as often happens in turquoise. Stabilization consists in subjecting the stone to a pressure to make it more compact and eliminate the chalky consistency. Furthermore, often turquoise or other soft stones are reconstituted by mixing powder with a binder. In short, they are a kind of pasta, to which dye is often added, to make the color more vivid.
How to defend yourself. It is not easy to recognize these tricks. A very low price is already an indication that something is wrong: no one will give you for less money a precious stone and the probability that a jeweler offers substantial discounts on an emerald, diamond or ruby is as rare as water in the desert. The certificates, for very expensive stones, are a good start to avoid the purchase of fakes. The opinion of a jeweler who can guarantee the authenticity of a jewel is another element to keep in mind. Finally, greater security can it guaranteed by a expert gemologist. Giulia Netrese