How to Tell Glass from Semi Precious Stone Beads
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It may be difficult to distinguish between semi-precious stones (any gemstone that isn’t a diamond, sapphire, ruby, or emerald) and glass imitations. You may develop your semi-precious stone collection without fear of forgeries by understanding how to prevent fakes when buying semi-precious stones, how to test for fakes at home, and how to locate a qualified jeweler capable of recognizing imitations.
Purchasing Beads Knowledgeably
1. Locate a reputable gemstone merchant. You can find respectable and trustworthy gemstone sellers both in person and online by visiting websites that maintain vendor review and certification databases. If you already know who your suppliers are, you may search them up in these databases by going to http://gemaddicts.com/?page id=19 or https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gemselect.com.
2. Avoid stones with unusual names. Excessively elaborate phrases and titles are frequently a red flag that a stone isn’t what the vendor says. When shopping for semi-precious stones, look for plainly labeled semi-precious stones.
- If you’re wondering if a stone’s name indicates that it’s a fake, you may look up a list of misleading gemstone names online at https://www.gemsociety.org/article/list-false-misleading-gemstone-names/.
- Stones with names like Oriental emerald, American ruby, or Australian jade might really be green sapphire, garnet, or treated quartz. If they are genuine, they will simply be known as emeralds, rubies, or jades.
3. Examine the backside of the stone for evidence of enlargement. Fake gemstones are occasionally put on top of foil to enhance sparkle or modify the hue of the stone. Genuine gemstones do not need their shine to be exaggerated, and are usually put in a solid black setting.
- A fake gemstone will generally be particularly dazzling in color and have flawless lines going through it if you are buying a gemstone online and just have images to review.
4. Look for inclusions and defects using a jeweler’s loupe. Inclusions (materials trapped within the stones as they develop) or imperfections indicate the authenticity of a gemstone. If you use a jeweler’s loupe (a special magnifying lens) and don’t notice any imperfections or defects in the stone, it’s a good sign that the stone is glass or synthetic.
- Examine the gemstone for scratches as well. Because most gemstones are strong and robust, scratches or other outward indicators of damage suggest that the stone isn’t genuine.Jeweler’s loupes are available with a single lens or three lenses. A single lens loupe is often less expensive but of inferior quality.
- The majority of professional jewelers use a loupe with a 10x magnification.
- Keep in mind the focal length (the distance between the loupe and the gem). Longer focal lengths result in lower magnification, and vice versa.
Testing the Beads at Home
1. Determine what sort of stone the bead is supposed to be. You may inquire with the original seller about the sort of stone the bead is made of. If the vendor is unavailable, you might consult a gemstone identification guide at http://www.minerals.net/, which can give you an idea of the visual qualities of each gemstone.
- Concentrate on the hue (color), tone (how dark or bright the color is), and saturation (the intensity of the color).
- The color will assist you in identifying the overall kind of stone, whilst the tone and saturation will assist you in identifying the unique variant of that stone you own.
- For example, a high-value emerald will be blueish green or pure green, with a light tone and brilliant saturation (it should be almost transparent).
- Using a light source, such as a desk lamp, will help you examine the stone more easily.
2. Press the stone between your teeth. Rub the stone back and forth on your front teeth. Real stones contain small flaws on their surfaces, but manufactured glass does not. As a result, glass will feel smooth, but genuine stone would feel rough.
3. Look for alternative tests intended for the sort of stone you believe you have. Some gemstones need tests that are different or more extensive than the tooth test to establish whether they are genuine or fake. A simple Google search will provide results for such testing.
- Check to see whether the amber floats in water. Real amber floats, whereas fakes sink. Rub the jet with sandpaper to test it. If it is a forgery, it will emit brown dust. If it’s genuine, it won’t emit any dust.
- A heated needle inserted into the stone may also be used to test the jet. A false stone will bubble and have an unpleasant odor, however a genuine stone will not be impacted.
- To see whether the jade is genuine, hold it up to a light source and look for inclusions. The imitation jade will be immaculate.
- You may also hit the jade softly with glass or metal. If the jade is genuine, it will produce a tinkling sound.
Consulting a Jeweler
1. Locate a trustworthy jeweler in your region. To locate evaluations of local jewelers, ask family and friends for suggestions, look online, and utilize social media. It’s also a good idea to look up jewelers with the Better Business Bureau at https://www.bbb.org/.
2. Make a call ahead of time to ensure that the jeweler is ready and able to test your stone. It’s usually a good idea to make a reservation. Some jewelers may charge a price to test your stone, and some may be more informed about certain stones than others. Ask how much experience they have with your sort of stone to see whether they are knowledgeable about it.
3. Inquire about the jewelers’ credentials. The American Gem Society and the Gemological Institute of America both certify jewelers. Calling beforehand is also a smart way to learn about the jewelers’ certification
- Visit www.americangemsociety.org/page/findajeweler to search the American Gem Society’s database for a certified jeweler.
- You may also search for a certified jeweler using the Gemological Institute of America’s database, which can be found at https://www.gia.edu/retailer-lookup.
4. Bring the stone to a jeweler for evaluation. Monday nights are often less crowded for jewelers, so it’s a nice time to go. When you arrive, ask to meet the graduate gemologist to guarantee that the jeweler inspecting your stone has the best qualifications available.