Customers' acceptance of man made gems

With all the talk of the loose emeralds going around it made me
wonder how synthetic, or man made gems are received by your
customers? Well proportioned and cut of course (no windowing,
custom designs, etc). I find that you can cut a bigger gem, with
excellent color and ‘fire’ at a smaller cost than using natural
material (which, for larger stones is often sub-standard or extremely

Just wondering.


I use lab-created blue sapphire, alexandrite, Moissanite, emerald. I
try to avoid “simulated” but only use “synthetic” stones with
exactly the same optical and physical properties as the natural

If there have been prejudices, they have not been voice to me by my
customers, but only by other artists.

My hand-fabricated jewelry ranges in price from $150.00 to $500.00
or so.

Some of the natural stones are prohibitive for me and for my

J. S. Ellington

    With all the talk of the loose emeralds going around it made
me wonder how synthetic, or man made gems are received by your

Not at all. In fact, nearly every customer of mine who brings in an
article for appraisal or identification asks the same question: “Can
you tell me if this is fake”? as opposed to “Can you tell me if this
is a synthetic”? Then again, most of them wear diamond-studded
Rolexes and think they’re wearing the last word in classy watches.
Although upper class, they are largely uninformed as to jewelry

James in SoFl


Over the years I have sold many man made (lab grown) gems, almost
always the best available quality, sometimes described by the lab as
“gem” quality. Most often there has to be a process of educating the
customer as to what a lab grown gem is and how it compares to it’s
natural, but often treated, equivalent. I have found that these
stones are well received by my customers and that they will often
decide to use a lab grown stone in other projects. Of course there
are other types of man made stones that are not chemically and
optically identical to their natural equivalent. I do not use these
other types of man made stones.

Joel Schwalb

I find my customers generally fall pretty evenly into one of 3

  1. Those who would never even consider a “man-made” gem.

  2. Those who want the look of a magnificent stone, and can not
    afford a mined gem.

  3. Those who are looking for something in a size and/or color that
    is not available in mined material.

Epaul Fischer
Glyptic Artist

I’m glad to see that they are accepted to some degree. I enjoy
cutting lab created material much more than natural because it allows
me to be more creative without worrying about (a) prohibitive cost of
rough, (b) size of the stone I want to cut, (c) worrying about final
carat weight (trying to get the most for what I spent on the rough).
I like to cut unique designs. If a customer insists on natural, so be
it, but like the emerald conversation, it’s going to cost more money.

There are some great synthetics out there with optical properties
and color combinations that do not occur in nature. Also, some great
color change material in high RI. I’m cutting a custom oval/cushion
right now in a piece of burma blue synthetic material with an RI of
1.93. I expect it to be extremely lively and bright. I have to
replace a stone in an old silver casting (very old) but the
individual doesn’t want to spend a lot of money (I suspect the
original stone was fake). I need a very high RI because the angle on
the pavillion has to be very low since the setting is very shallow.
The lower the pavilion angle, the higher the RI has to be. I could
have gone the CZ route but I don’t like CZ very much.