There few feelings in this world that are worse than the one that comes after being ripped off and cheated because the other person took advantage of your lack of knowledge in a certain field. The jewelry industry offers endless possibilities for such deviant practices since being able to determine the value of precious stones and metals is beyond the capabilities of most. When it comes to family relics, you can easily take it to an expert and have them give you an answer in minutes; determination of actual value might take longer, but when it comes to authenticity, a trained eye will usually be able to spot a real gem in no time. You can also set your mind at ease if you decide to go to an official jewelry retailer – they protect their public image and will never attempt to trick you into buying something worthless. But what do you do when it comes to buying an expensive necklace you saw in a pawnshop’s window and fell in love with?
Before jumping into the distinction between real and fake, understand all of the different ways in which precious stones are classified. Some fake stones can cost more than natural ones due to the materials used to create them and the techniques utilized for cutting and shaping them. Natural, genuine, synthetic, simulated, treated, simulated are all ways in which gems come and their value depends on that very highly.
Natural – there is no interference from human hands whatsoever. Gems labeled as natural come in shapes and forms the nature created. They tend to be the priciest option out there as it is very rare that gems naturally occur in perfect shapes and sizes for jewelry making.
Genuine – a gem as natural as the first one in its composition but worked in some way to improve its appearance and make it a suitable piece for an accessory. A lot less expensive than purely natural gems, they are the go-to option for those with limited budged who still want to treat themselves to authentic natural beauty.
Synthetic – created to resemble natural gems in their shape, size, chemical composition and optical qualities. It can be extremely difficult to distinguish them from genuine ones because our technology has improved to the point where it allows to create gems identical to the ones found in nature.
Simulated – they do not carry many similar qualities to natural stones, such as chemical composition or optical qualities. However, they can be made to look similar like precious stones and thus are liked by many.
Ask questions. Read up on different way gems occur and are treated, understand how gems are cut and which ones can have blemishes and imperfections, how much they should weigh. If the salesperson is claiming that the gem on the ring is natural, they should be able to answer all and any questions you might have regarding it. Moreover, wherever you are, ask for certificates of authenticity. Regardless of whether the person evaluated the gem themselves or took it to an expert, they are supposed to be able to provide you with a document that proves its worth. Don’t take anyone’s word for it when it comes to buying expensive jewelry because if it turns out you purchased some neatly treated red garnet earrings instead of ruby ones, unless you have an official document, there is no way of getting your money back by proving fraud.