Gemstones come in many varieties. They can be natural, lab-created, or imitation. Natural gemstones are mined from various locations around the world. Oftentimes, colored gemstones like rubies and emeralds can be enhanced by heat treatment to improve their color and clarity. Moreover, these treatments are typically permanent. Other types of treatments may not be permanent, so it is always important to ask about the quality of the natural gemstone.
Manufactured or lab-created gemstones can have the same physical qualities and will most likely look the same as natural gemstones. However, with testing a gemologist can help you truly recognize differences between a natural gemstone and a lab-created gemstone. Lab-created gemstones posses the same chemical structure as natural gemstones. We must say though, lab created gemstones do not have the same value and rarity as a natural gemstone. Natural gemstones can take billions of years to form, whereas lab gemstones can take form in a few weeks depending on type and carat weight.
Some gemstones are made using other materials to create gemstone look alikes. These can be made with glass, cubic zirconia, or various other materials to give the appearance of a gemstone. However, these alternatives do not have the value and sometimes even the visual appeal of natural gemstones. We would recommend this option to those who are on a small budget, or are in the market for fashion gemstone jewelry.