Common Gemstone Misconceptions

By on March 20, 2009
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Don’t be Fooled!

There are many misconceptions in the world of gemstones.  This is partially due to dishonesty, uninformed customers or sales representatives, and contradicting information.   Often times, one may purchase what they think is a natural gemstone, but is in actuality, man-made or dyed to appear like a certain mineral.  If ever in doubt, ask–or do a bit of your own research.  The following examples are only a few misconceptions that can be found within the jewelry market:

•    Cherry Quartz:  Cherry quartz is quite lovely and is well-liked by the fashionable and trendy jewelry designers and consumers.  However, many confuse Cherry Quartz as naturally occurring.  Cherry Quartz is not quartz at all; it is glass.  The faceted and polished glass contains red and pink inclusions to make it appear as a quartz variety.  Even so, just because it is glass doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful!

Cherry Quartz Cabochon

Cherry Quartz Cabochon

•    Black Onyx:  Black Onyx is another popular stone used for jewelry making.  While the natural occurring onyx has a black base layer and white top layer, “black onyx” is a term used to describe a one-colored chalcedony and is always dyed.

Black Onyx Cabochon

Black Onyx Cabochon

•    Flower Sugilite:  Flower Sugilite is a stunning purple stone in its true form.  Yet, it is not a “sugilite” variety.  Flower Sugilite is another common name for lepidolite.

Flower sugilite cabochon, which is lepidolite.

Flower sugilite round cabochon, which is lepidolite.

•    Zircon vs. Zirconia:  Avoid the confusion of the difference between zircon and cubic zirconia, because they are different!  Zircon is zirconium silicate and Cubic Zirconia is zirconium dioxide.  Both can be mistaken for a diamond, as they are used to imitate the precious gem.

Cubic zirconia diamond for wire wrapping

A round, diamond-like clear white cubic zirconia stone – a fraction of the price of a real diamond, and no one would be the wiser!

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