It is difficult to determine the difference between a natural and synthetic gemstone, owing to their similar characteristics. However, there is a thin line of difference between them. Natural gemstones are likely to have some of the other impurities whereas man-made gemstones are flawless.
Natural Gemstones are formed in the lap of nature without human involvement. Some of these gemstones are ruby, sapphire, diamonds. These are organic gemstones. Inorganic gemstones are the ones that are formed from animal or plants.
These are called pearl, amber, and coral. It must be noted that some of these gemstones are rare and scarce. Therefore, they are fashioned artificially on the labs, thus giving way to synthetic gemstones.
The process is long and arduous. The synthetic gemstones are made from pulverized gemstones and the material, thus obtained is melted and recrystallized, under conditions that vary depending on the method that is being used.
It must be noted that since they have similar properties, for instance, the colour, brightness, density refractive index, hardness, etc.
They are almost similar to their natural counterpart. An example of a synthetic gemstone is cubic Zirconia, which is not found in nature. It copies the look and color of the real gemstone but does not have the same physical and chemical characteristics.
Difference in price
The major difference between the natural and the man-made gemstone is their market value. Most obviously, the natural gemstone will be much more expensive than the man made one. Lab-grown gems are sold at a 50% lesser price than the natural ones. It is, therefore, recommended to always disclose the authenticity of the gemstone through a certificate of authentication when they are being sold.
Unfortunately, most often than not they are being sold under the “authentic” batch without the customers knowing about the same, The synthetic gemstones obviously have more sparkle than the original gemstones because the former does not have impurities as compared to the latter.
Difference in clarity
The biggest difference between the two is that the clarity of the synthetic gemstone is more than the natural one. The former has rarer inclusions and has better color. This is because the process of making the gemstone is controlled, minerals that cause inclusions or differences in color are not introduced.
This makes synthetic gemstones appear to be more perfect than their natural counterparts. In simple words, the natural gemstone may have to be heat treated to bring out the color, but a synthetic version can be grown to have the desired color on demand.
Natural gemstones are still more popular than the lab-tested one. The fact that natural gemstones are rare and, therefore, considered rare. This controls the cost of lab-grown gems even more.
Diamond prototypes are difficult to be produced
Diamonds are difficult to grow, cut and produced artificially. Therefore, the cost difference is much less than compared to the natural one. On contrary to other gemstones, Diamonds that are lab tested, and are more brilliant than natural diamonds sell more because of their dazzle.
It is interesting to note that a good quality lab-created diamond of the same size starts at $375 because the clarity is higher. Similar size natural diamonds with higher clarity might sell for $675, which is less than compared to the market price.
Know what you buy
It is important to ask for the certificate of authentication when you are buying a gemstone from a jeweller. Same is the case with jewellery.
Beware of fraudsters that mark synthetic gemstones as natural and sell them at a higher price. Now, that you know about the basic differences, ensure that you have a better standing as a buyer.