Counterfeit gems have been around for thousands of years. But, as the technology for making them has advanced, these fake stones are harder to detect with the naked eye.
Gem buyers today must be aware of three types of gems that are made to look more valuable than they are:
Synthetic gems, says writer Vivian Marino, are “lab-grown stones that closely duplicate a natural gem’s physical and chemical properties.”
Simulated gems are also manmade. The color of a simulated stone may be similar to that of a natural gem, but it is very different physically and chemically. “Cubic zirconia is a well-known diamond simulation.”
Enhanced gems are natural gems altered in some way to improve their look. “Color can be enhanced through heat, radiation, oils, and chemicals.” Other methods used to imitate or enhance the value of stones are “dyeing, waxing, or smoking poor quality stones to make them look richer.”
Experts advise buyers to verify a stone’s value with gem-testing labs, such as the Gemological Institute of America, before any sales are final. When paying big money for jewels, you want to be very careful about getting the genuine article.
The same may be said about that which becomes the basis of our convictions and beliefs. We must be discerning to guard against being misled.