, 11:59 PM
Bob’s Flashes – What is “real” and what is synthetic?
First let me say that synthetic gemstones have been around for over a hundred years. The first synthetic ruby was made in the late 1800’s. Today, there is a fairly large business in synthetic gemstones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds, opals, and quartz. These synthetic gemstones all have the same chemical, optical and other properties that natural gemstones have. They have always had a place in the market but they have not caused any drop in demand for natural gemstones.
Synthetic diamonds have been around for almost fifty years but they are just now starting to get off the ground in the jewelry world. Will they cause the natural diamond market to fall? Not a chance! Will they sell? You bet! Will they catch jewelers and gemologist off guard? Yes!
Most jewelers are not gemologists and most gemologists do not keep up with what is going on in the world of gemology. I once worked for a very fine and respected jeweler. I took it upon myself to go through his diamond stock to check them out. I found a diamond in his stock that had 14 laser drill holes. The owner had heard of laser drill holes, but had never seen one. All of a sudden he had a diamond that cost plenty that was now worth half as much because of these holes. About five years later I saw the same diamond, 2000 miles away on the west coast, being used as payment to an attorney for services rendered. In this instance, a little education would have saved the jeweler a great deal of money.
As these synthetic diamonds are hitting the market, GIA, AGS and others will be teaching those of us that care how to tell the difference in the latest synthetics. This education is happening now.
Another example is; you buy a Rolex watch that is made of 18kt yellow gold and stainless steel and has a Swiss movement that says Rolex with a number. It looks just like a Rolex but is not…is it real?? NO!
If you have a beautiful ruby or emerald in a Tiffany ring but it just so happens to be synthetic…is it real? NO!
So why would anyone think a synthetic diamond was real? A synthetic is a synthetic. An imitation does not have the same set of chemical properties. It is neither a synthetic nor a real gemstone. It is an imitation. The real deal comes out of the ground, not out of some lab.
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