When I was a little kid I had a fascination for all things jewelry, the fascination turned into a hobby and I decided to make some of my own pieces and I really think it was a great outlet to channel creativity. I loved mixing colors, textures and creating my own pieces that I knew no one had. One of my biggest pet peeves were fake stones. Nothing would upset me more than seeing people selling designs at sky high prices made from crystal colored pearls, acrylic “Swarovski” crystals, etc.
In looking for the materials for my designs I would always be very cautious of this, although some faux pieces are high quality, I would always prefer to pay a little extra for the real thing. There’s just something about stones that can’t be replicated in synthetics.
FireMountain Gems is a great resource I rely on. They divide stones in 3: natural, synthetic, and imitation. Like the name suggests natural stones are the ones created through means outside of human control, these are only found, cut and polished by humans before they are sold. Synthetic stones are created in labs, they have the same composition but are man made and usually don’t have some irregularities or imperfections that natural stones might have. Finally imitation gemstones are basically made to look like the real thing, but their quality and composition is nowhere close to natural, and sometimes not even close to synthetics stones.
Here are some useful pointers to use to identify faux stones.
1. Take a bite- Yes! Put the stone against your teeth, it needs to make a particular noise, if it feels hollow or feels like your putting your teeth against plastic when you do this, it’s a fake (please don’t knock your teeth out during the process)
2.Touch: real stones usually conduct temperature quickly, if you’re in a cold place the stones should be really cold to the touch
3.Look: at the color, sheen and for any signs of “paint” chipping or color bleeding. If the color is dull, or seems too uniform, these are huge red flags especially for commercial pieces.