— Once relegated to cheap reproductions hawked by unscrupulous sellers, synthetic and simulated gemstones have since come into their own as viable alternatives to natural gems. In modern times these gems offer convenient and affordable options to pricier genuine gemstones. But what makes a gemstone a simulant or synthetic?


What is a synthetic gemstone?

Synthetic bixbite ring in sterling silver.

Bixbite is an example of a synthetic stone.

Simply put, a synthetic gemstone shares the same physical prosperities of stones that form naturally. The difference is that humanity aids these jewels in their formation. Guiding their growth through each step, synthetic gemstones frequently display superior overall quality.

Despite this, they lack the unique fingerprints that make natural gems so unique and rare, allowing each to coexist side-by-side. A synthetic gemstone is a great choice for anyone who desires to own a rare and unusual stone but doesn’t want to pay the associated higher cost.

Synthetic stones might be described as created, lab created, or manmade.


What synthetic stones are at Shop LC?

Moissanite line ring in sterling silver with 14K yellow gold finish.

Moissanite is diamond alternative growing in popularity due to its visual properties.

There is a range of exciting synthetic gems you’ll find from Shop LC. By creating these stones under controlled conditions, you have the opportunity to own rare jewels rarely found occurring in nature!

  • Created Bixbite: Bixbite is the red variety of beryl, the same mineral that forms emerald and morganite. Only known to be found naturally in Utah and New Mexico, created bixbite is a striking raspberry gem similar to ruby in color. No new material has been produced since early 2016, already making this synthetic gem a growing rarity.
  • Moissanite: Another mineral rarely seen on Earth, moissanite was first discovered in the Canyon Diablo meteor crater of Arizona. For years, they were thought to be diamonds until proven otherwise by the French chemist Moissan. Though a synthetic gem in its own right, moissanite is frequently preferred as an alternative to diamond for its superior scintillation.
  • Strontium Titanite: Known as tausonite in its natural form, these crystals are not suitable as faceted gems. It’s created by heating two metals, strontium, and titanium, at a high temperature. With over four times the fire found in a diamond, it’s been a popular on again, off again diamond substitute since its invention in the early 1950s.


What is a simulated gemstone?

Cubic zirconia engagement ring and wedding band set.

Cubic zirconia is the most popular diamond simulant available on the market today.

A simulated gemstone is any stone or material sold that resembles a genuine gemstone by one or more properties. Most importantly, simulants need to possess the right color of the stone they imitate. Secondary to this quality are other factors considered.

Simulants are typically used in place of rare, and therefore pricier, genuine gemstones. For anyone wanting a particular look without the concern for a gem’s unique origin, a simulated stone is a perfect solution. They’re affordable and ready to wear, and available in a variety of styles and designs.

Simulated stones may also be called imitation stones.


What simulated stones can I find at Shop LC?

Glass pearl drape necklace.

Glass pearls are an affordable way to imitate the look of pearl in extravagant jewelry like this drape necklace while saving on cost.

There is a range of gemstones that, at times, might be imitated. It’s always made clear when you’re shopping with Shop LC. There are two simulated stones that our customers love above all others. Cubic zirconia and glass pearl are the workhorse simulant gems of fashion jewelry.

  • Cubic Zirconia: As the most popular alternative to diamond, you’ll find many sellers offering cubic zirconia as simulated diamond. Since its introduction in the 1970’s, no other diamond simulant offers the look of diamonds in the price range and color options you’ll find with cubic zirconia. Sometimes given a bad reputation for its status as a simulant, it’s a great choice for anyone wanting to experiment with wearing gemstone jewelry without a big investment.
  • Glass Pearl: Despite increased availability, pearl jewelry can still be pricey at times. Simulated pearl offers your affordable alternative to expensive pearls. Glass pearls are an especially good choice as they are spherical, without the natural deviations in shape and size that make genuine pearls more expensive. Find these simulated gems in all the natural colors pearl occurs in, plus some that it doesn’t!


What is an assembled gemstone?

Rainbow quartz pendant in sterling silver.

Triplet gemstones allow us to create unique stones such as Rainbow Genesis Quartz!

While some gemstones may be created under controlled conditions, there is a new method of gem creation that’s rising in popularity. Assembled gemstones are finished stones created from two or more pieces fixed together with a bonding agent, such as epoxy.

Assembled stones are popular as a way of protecting delicate genuine gems. Doublets are an excellent example of this. Opals, such as boulder opals, are frequently made as doublets. A clear protective material, like resin, is placed over a sliver of natural opal material. This provides the look of the stone, with the durability of the protective layer. Since boulder opals often occur as small strips of material, it’s also a creative way to bring stones to market that might not otherwise ever be available.

Triplets are very popular with Shop LC customers. A triplet combines three layers of material. The top and bottom layers are typically made of a clear material. Shop LC uses rock crystal quartz for this purpose. The middle layer is a coloring agent while cementing the top and bottom layers together. Triplets are affordable, abundant, and available in any color our designers can imagine.

Synthetic opal doublet split shank ring in sterling silver.

Black Ridge Quartz combines synthetic opal with quartz to create a unique doublet gem.

Shop LC triplet gems imitate some of the rarest and most exotic gems we know today, and some yet to be discovered!

  • Alexandria Quartz: By using a special coloring agent, this triplet gem emulates the amazing color change property of alexandrite. As you move from incandescent to fluorescent light, the gem shifts from enchanting blue-greens to rich purple-reds.
  • Black Ridge Quartz: This doublet gem combines synthetic opal with a protective layer of faceted icy crystal. The deep color of opal, combined with its excellent play-of-color, is enhanced by the kaleidoscope effect of the crystal’s faceting. This creates a one-of-a-kind jewel that’s perfect for anyone who has aspired to own one of the famous, rare, and expensive opals found in Lightning Ridge, Australia.
  • Rainbow Genesis Quartz: One of the first triplet gems ever offered at Shop LC, you won’t find this kind of quartz in nature! This stone displays a rainbow effect that covers the same spectrum of colors witnessed in the natural miracle of its namesake.


What kind of synthetic, simulated, or assembled gemstones do you want to see next from Shop LC?