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by Staff Writer
Not all that glitters is gold, and not all that sparkles is a gem. Gemstones are fabulous, and artificial gemstone jewelry with created gemstones and simulated gemstones can give you the look and luxury of gems for less. Artificial gemstones of various qualities and costs are available in jewelry, and while artificial gemstones can fit beautifully into your wardrobe, it is important to know what you are purchasing. Don't pay for a natural gemstone and receive an artificial gem instead. Use our tips to choose artificial gemstone jewelry that will complement your wardrobe.
Lab-created gemstones: The Federal Trade Commission defines two types of non-natural gems: created gemstones and simulated gemstones. Lab-created gems have the same chemical, physical and optical properties of the natural gemstone. Minerals have a specific composition which can be duplicated; they are "real" gemstones in every sense -- identical to natural gemstones the way cultured pearls are identical to natural pearls. Natural stones have inclusions or flaws because of impurities in the rocks in which they were formed. Lab-created gems have few, if any, inclusions. Gemstone jewelry with lab-created gems can add sparkle to your wardrobe if you're on a budget.
Simulated and imitation gemstones: Simulated gems resemble the natural stone but do not share the same composition. Natural diamonds and lab-created diamonds, for example, are pure carbon, while rhinestones can look like diamonds but may be made from glass or acrylic. There are numerous types of simulated gems, each with characteristics that set it apart from real gemstones. Many imitation gemstones look real, are more affordable than real gems and make beautiful gemstone jewelry selections.
Enhanced gemstones: Some gemstones are enhanced to improve their appearance. While these gems are treated, they can still be natural gemstones. Some lab-created gemstones may also be enhanced. Gemstones may be treated with heat to intensify their hue, oil to hide inclusions or a special coating to change the color of the stone.
It is important to understand the specifications of the gemstone you are buying, whether it is lab-created, simulated, natural or enhanced. Reputable jewelers will clearly note the specifications of each gem. Overstock.com is very clear with gemstone identification. Refer to Overstock.com's gemstone treatment guide for additional information.