By: Barb H

When it comes to gemstones, in particular diamonds, can you tell if it’s a mined stone or man-made? Some gemstones obviously look fake because they lack luster and shine. Other faux stones can look incredibly real.

Do you know the differences between mined, man-made, and fake gemstones?

Mined or Natural Gemstones

According to the GemstoneGuru, a “natural” gemstone is one “found growing/produced in the natural world without the influence of human activity.” This would include any gems that are mined or discovered in water, like pearls. In general, a mined or natural gemstone, particularly diamonds, will be more expensive than man-made or fake stones.

Man-made or Synthetic Stones for Jewellery

Definition of the Month: The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) defines a synthetic gem as “one that is made in a laboratory, but which shares virtually all chemical, optical, and physical characteristics of its natural mineral counterpart.”

These man-made gemstones have been around for more than 100 years and often offer a more budget-friendly alternative to natural stones when designing or buying jewellery.

Fun Gemstone Fact: In the late 1800’s, the ruby was the first synthetic gem to be created in a laboratory by Auguste Verneuil. In 1902, Verneuil officially announced to the industry and public his flame-fusion process for synthesizing rubies. (courtesy of the GIA)

Fake or Faux Stones

Sometimes called paste gems or glass stones, these imposters hold little value and are most popular for inexpensive costume jewellery. Some fake or faux gemstones may be of higher quality and set in a stylish piece, but ultimately a fake gemstone can’t compare in shine, luster, or true value with a natural or even synthetic stone.

Looking to incorporate natural or man-made gemstones into your next jewelllery design? Our master goldsmiths at The Den have got you covered. Check out one of workshops today.