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Synthetic Gemstones


#1

You might try Stuller Mountings, 800-877-7777 or Rio Grande Gems &
Findings, 800-443-6766.

Both companies carry a large selection of both natural & synthetic stones
(faceted & cabs) in many sizes & shapes.

Dave


#2

All, Consider that all synthetic gemstones are natural. Humans have
not yet figured out how to make the basic elements that form the
molecular structures of the atoms in minerals. Therefore, the stones
that are manufactured in laboratories are made from natural materials
gathered on the planet. The goal of a synthetic stone is to make the
absolute best stone. Miners goals are really quite similar. Miners
wish to find the absolute best stones. When miners cannot find the
absolute best they manipulate the stones they have to make them
better. Again using natural materials and processes found on the
planet. Where our problem comes is our desire to have a stone that is
facetted from unaltered natural material. How can we tell for sure
that the stone has not been unaltered? I cannot. There are many
tests we can do, but most of them are not totally conclusive. Unless
the stone has a characteristic that we can observe or measure it is
virtually impossible to be 100% sure that the stone is a natural
stone or an altered natural stone. So far most synthetics have some
kind of measurable or observable items that can be used to tell them
from natural. The day is not far off when the difference will be
impossible to tell. It may already be here. What if, someone has a
process that makes synthetic stones that cannot be identified from
natural. Do you think he would tell you. Then what?

Gerry Galarneau


#3
    What if, someone has a  process that makes synthetic stones that
cannot be identified from natural.  Do you think he would tell you.
Then what? 

Fortunately, in the one specific case I know of, yes, they do tell!
With the Ramaura Cultured Ruby from J.O. Crystal Co., the creator of
it (Judith Osmer), was ethical enough to hold it off the market (at
the request of GIA) until a dopant could be added to the raw materials
to create a fluorescence different from natural. Otherwise, in a gem g
rade crystal, there are no discernible characteristics that differ
from natural using normal gemological techniques. The Ramaura Ruby is
the only lab ruby that is flux grown, using spontaneous nucleation,
without a seed. It takes 2 months for the various crystal forms to
grow. A very small proportion of the crystals that grow in the
platinum crucible are gem grade, and fewer are what J.O. calls gem
plus. Those are as close to natural as one can imagine, even under the
highest magnification. Growth lines, twinning, color zoning,
fingerprint inclusions, all look like natural ruby. The J.O. Crystal
Co. webpage tells more about the Ramaura Cultured Ruby and there are 2
links at the bottom of the page… one to a story on the background of
Ramaura ruby and another with a recipe on how to grow it!
http://www.ramaura.com There is an email link on the page too.

I have a specimen cluster of hexagonal plates of Ramaura Ruby up on
eBay if you want to see what the non-gem grade looks like, or I can
send you a direct link to my scans if you email me directly. I’m not
usually interested in lab created stones, but I do love the Ramaura
ruby and Empress cultured emeralds!

Carol

| Carol J. Bova @Carol_J_Bova |
|http://www.bovagems.com & The Eclectic Lapidary|


#4
   So far most synthetics have some kind of measurable or observable
items that can be used to tell them from natural.  The day is not
far off when the difference will be impossible to tell.  It may
already be here. 

In the case of synthetic Quartz,you might say it is indistinguishable
from natural.The property of twinning,before a sure indicator of
natural can now be induced.Cut stones are made flawless,so the bread
crumb inclusion and the seed line bubbles of the synthetic are
removed.If you are dealing with the roughs of each,the boules of the
synthetic are quite easy to identify.But these days disreputable
sellers might cobb the boules into blocks to disguise them.Here the
break or chips on the piece might help you to seperate.The synthetic
has a distinctive concoidal break to the very experienced eye.But a
cleaver cobber can hide this too. Still all and all,the synthetic is
not such a commercial threat to the natural.With the price of
synthetic electronics grade clear Quartz as high as $2,000,even
$5,000/kg most manufacturers are now making boules for the computer
chip market.Those that remain must deal with the expensive
hydrothermal process,so the values of natural and synthetic are
comparable.The price of the natural is depressed.Besides the
introduction of the synthetic to the market,over the last 20 years
there has been massive production at the now near exhusted Maramba
mine,Para,Brazil,20 ton per month production at it’s height,and now
the Anhai mine in Bolivia 12 ton per month.Old timers might chuckle to
see an Idar Oberstein Amethyst auction list I saved from before these
factors occured.Top grade went for $40,000/kg. Mark Liccini
http://www.LICCINI.com