antique-estate-jewelry

Imitation and Synthetic Rubies

by on September 17, 2011

Imitation Rubies

Like other colored stones, rubies have their share of fake stones.  They are general made out of pieces of rocks or glass.  They are have been and are currently made into ruby jewelry such as antique ruby rings, ruby engagement rings, ruby bracelets and necklaces.

According to the Gemological Institute of America, “Imitations differ from synthetics in that the material used for imitations is not of the same chemical composition and crystal structure as the gem being imitated”.  Glass was the most used material used to imitate rubies.  “Other materials presented as ruby included natural spinel, red garnet, synthetic cubic zirconia, dyed natural corundum, and quartz”.

To create a ruby from colorless quartz, it is heated then dipped in cold water creating cracks.  It is then soaked in red dye and the quartz soaks up the red dye in the cracks giving it the appearance of a ruby.

Doublets are two different materials that are fused together to make one stone and is another way to create an imitation ruby.  Synthetic ruby and natural green sapphire is another kind of doublet used as an imitation.  Green garnet and glass are used to make a doublet and is yet another form of imitation ruby.  The green garnet and glass are set into a bezel to hide the difference in color.  Synthetic rubies cost less than the natural ruby.

Synthetic Rubies

Manufactured rubies were created in 1902.  They have the same chemical composition as natural rubies but do not have the rarity factor.  Rarity is one of the factors that make a natural ruby so valuable.

Be aware of synthetic rubies when planning your jewelry purchase.  A trained gemologist can evaluate the ruby stone and distinguish it between a synthetic or natural ruby.

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