If you are not careful, synthetic gemstones can cause you big loss which cannot be explained. In some of my previous articles I explained a little bit what a “synthetic gemstone” is. It is a lab made gemstone with the same characteristics of a natural gemstone, such as “crystal structure”, “chemical composition” just like a natural gemstone.
This one can be natural or synthetic gemstone but for more details about stimulant gems you can check my previous articles. For instance; if you sold a pink gemstone to the customer and you think that was sapphire. But as he took it for a test and result showed that it was a spinel, in reality you have sold a pink spinel and not a pink sapphire, whether you know it or not, you have sold a simulant sapphire.
Imitation gemstone is neither natural nor synthetic gemstone, but it is a material that “looks like gemstone”. If you sell this imitation gemstone then later on a customer discovers it was not natural, you get yourself in trouble to an extent of compensation. You will enter into unnecessary expenses as well as losing a customer.
Another means of avoiding losses is, never estimate a gemstone by its look or by sight, whether it is natural or synthetic. Judging a gemstone by sight needs a lot of experience, especially if you want to know whether it’s a simulant or imitation, but if it is synthetic you need gemological tools to know or distinguish it from a natural sapphire. The best way is to use gemological tools or sending them to the gem lab testing.
This is another crucial area you need to be very careful. It happened to me one day I sent my gem cutter to the sapphire mining area to buy two pieces of sapphires. He bought them, mind you this person has five years’ experience in gemstone cutting. He brought them from Umba in Tanga region where the sapphire deposits are.
After processing them I sent the two pieces to China and the client took them along with him to USA. In getting to USA he tested them and to my surprise they were synthetic which I sold for US$7000. And the customer had already paid a down payment, you can imagine the kind of loss I encountered.
That was in 2015, I believed every gemstone that comes from the mine areas is natural but I never knew the middle men were smarter than me. So don’t make the same mistake. You know some brokers take synthetic gemstones and sending them to the mine areas because they believe everyone sees stones in mine areas are natural. Be careful.