Gemmology
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Synthetic stones and simulants

A synthetic gemstone is a lab-created material, which has the same appearance and chemical, physical, and optical properties as the natural one. A simulant has an appearance similar to that of a natural gemstone but has different properties. It is possible for a stone to be both synthetic and a simulant. It is important to know that the simulant may also be a natural gemstone. Some of the most popular rubies turned out to be natural spinels.

Synthetic quartz — specimen S-005
Synthetic quartz — specimen S-006

Examples of synthetic stones and simulants

Top (left—right): synthetic quartz — specimens S-006, S-005; left: synthetic corundum — specimen S-004
Cubic zirconia — specimen S-004

There is a large industry producing synthetic quartz using a method known as hydrothermal transport and recrystallisation. See the samples above.

The so-called cubic zirconia, S-007, is a lab-created material, cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide, and example of well-known diamond simulant.