Gemstones and gemstone jewelry and rings are treasured for their beauty and durability. There are three types of gemstones: Natural, Synthetic, and Simulant. Natural gemstones include minerals and organic materials such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amber, coral, fossil, ivory, cultured freshwater pearls and natural saltwater pearls. Synthetic and Simulant are terms used by the USBM for laboratory grown gemstones. Others in the gemstones industry may use different terms to refer to laboratory grown gemstones.
Laboratory grown synthetic gemstones have essentially the same appearance and optical, physical, and chemical properties as the natural material that they represent. Synthetic gemstones produced in the United States include alexandrite, coral, diamond, emerald, garnet, lapis lazuli, quartz, ruby, sapphire, spinel, and turquoise. Laboratory grown simulants have an appearance similar to that of a natural gemstone but have different optical, physical, and chemical properties. The Gemstone Simulants produced in the United States include coral, cubic zirconia, lapis lazuli, malachite, and turquoise. Additionally, certain colors of synthetic sapphire and spinel, used to represent other gemstones, would be classified as simulants. Colored and colorless varieties of cubic zirconia are the major simulants produced. In the past few years, the use and consumer acceptance of synthetic and simulant gemstones in fashion jewelry and an engagement rings has dramatically grown. Much of this growth is the direct result of the recognition of these gemstones for their own merits, not just as inexpensive substitutes for natural gemstones. Gemstones are widely used in all types of jewelry, rings as well as in decorative art.
For more information please view our Gemstone Chart