What is a Synthetic Gemstone?

The major difference between a natural and a synthetic gemstone is that the synthetic has been created in a laboratory, by man, in a relatively short amount of time while the natural one has been created by nature, deep underground, sometimes over millions of years.  A synthetic and a natural, however, have the same physical and chemical characteristics. A synthetic emerald will have the same chemical composition as the natural one, they will be  just as green,  will refract light the same way,  will have the same specific gravity, will have the same hardness and a similar durability in time etc. It takes a specialist and some gemmological equipment to tell the two apart and nobody can make the difference with the naked eye.  Currently, there is a debate about how ethical they are (more here), but what’s certain is that synthetics are a good alternative as long as the origin of the stone is disclosed and you know what you’re buying.

Which one’s real, which one’s not?

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