Before we delve into the subject, it's important to make one thing clear. Quality comes at a price. This means that truly natural stones will not be available in the market for 5, 10, or 15 euros. They are valuable stones deserving of their price.
Learn how to difference all kind of stones!
Having said that, if we are genuinely seeking a natural stone, it's important to understand their differences from synthetic stones and how we can also distinguish them from hydrothermal stones. Keep reading and discover the best tips for telling them apart!
While hydrothermal stones might be a concept that escapes the understanding of the average consumer, natural and synthetic stones are concepts commonly used in the market and ones that we are possibly more familiar with. However, just in case there are any doubts, let's briefly explain the concept again, so we know exactly what we are referring to.
1. Natural stones
Natural stones are crystalline and solid minerals that form naturally in the Earth. These stones are also known as gemstones or precious stones and, due to their beauty, rarity, and durability, they are widely used in fields such as jewelry, decoration, and industry.
Some of the gemstones that are most commonly used in jewelry include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.
In addition to these, there are also non-precious or semi-precious natural stones. These semi-precious stones are characterized by being minerals that, while not reaching the high value of precious gemstones, maintain a beauty and durability that are typical of a quality stone. Some examples of these types of stones are minerals such as amethyst, agate, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and onyx.
2. Synthetic Stones
Synthetic stones are characterized by being minerals produced in a laboratory through chemical manufacturing. The quality of synthetic stones is nearly identical to that of natural stones since they have the same chemical composition and crystalline structure. Various methodologies are used to create synthetic stones, such as mineral fusion or growth in controlled chemical solutions.
While we often associate synthetic stones with the sale of stones that appear similar but are not truly natural, the truth is that synthetic stones also have other uses. They are utilized in scientific research to investigate mineral properties and find industrial applications in the manufacturing of tools.
It is important to note that although synthetic stones are often associated with lower-quality minerals, they actually tend to have more consistent and controlled properties compared to natural stones. The key is to ensure proper transparency in their sale to prevent any fraud or deception.
3. Hydrothermal Stones
Unlike synthetic stones, hydrothermal stones are characterized by being formed in nature through hydrothermal processes. This involves the interaction of hot water with rocks and minerals in the subsurface in geothermal and volcanic environments.
During the hydrothermal process, hot water rich in minerals dissolves substances from the surrounding rocks. As the water cools and minerals precipitate, hydrothermal stones are formed, which can contain a variety of minerals and exhibit unique characteristics.
4. How to differentiate a natural stone from a synthetic stone
Identifying whether we are dealing with a precious or synthetic stone is not always an easy task. Therefore, today we will provide you with some simple tips to help you learn how to identify them.
Firstly, one of the steps to follow when trying to determine if a stone is genuine is to pay attention to its characteristics.
- For example, Diamonds are the hardest known mineral, so if it has scratches or imperfections, there is a high possibility that your diamond is synthetic.
- Rubies, on the other hand, are known for their deep and vibrant red color.
- Stones like Sapphires are characterized by their high transparency and the ability to exhibit an optical phenomenon called "star" or "cat's eye" due to aligned inclusions.
- Emeralds are stones with an intense and vibrant green color, which often determines the quality of the stone.
- Lastly, other varieties like Amethyst are characterized by good transparency, allowing light to pass through the stone.
Secondly, another aspect to consider when evaluating the naturalness of a stone is to examine its weight and size. Natural gemstones tend to be much heavier and larger than synthetic ones since they have denser materials.
All of these factors, along with the examination of imperfections, color variations, and texture of the stones, are important aspects to consider when determining whether a stone is real or synthetic.
5. How to differentiate a natural stone from a hydrothermal stone
In order to properly differentiate a natural stone from a hydrothermal stone, we should consider the following aspects:
- Origin and formation: Natural stones originate in various environments such as igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rocks. On the other hand, hydrothermal stones usually come from geothermal or volcanic environments where hot water and minerals interact.
- Appearance: Due to their geological formation, natural stones often exhibit distinct colors, textures, and patterns among different stone types. In contrast, hydrothermal stones tend to have more uniform and consistent appearances compared to natural stones.
- Internal characteristics: Natural stones are more likely to have inclusions or natural markings resulting from their natural formation. On the other hand, hydrothermal stones are usually cleaner and have a more perfect and uniform appearance than natural stones.
- Gemological tests: In some cases, the only way to distinguish between the two, after considering all these aspects, is by conducting gemological tests, measuring hardness, density, light refraction, dispersion, and fluorescence.