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Natural or synthetic spinel?

Roselina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
224
Hello :)

I have a pendant with what is supposed to be a red spinel. I am pretty sure it is synthetic. However, I was wondering if there is a way to tell if a spinel is natural or synthetic.

Thank you!
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,108
The tell tale sign of a synthetic is it being essential “flawless” under x20 magnification. Natural gemstones are rarely without inclusions.
The other sign from the flame fusion process is what’s called “curved striae”. Can be a bit tricky to detect but you need a loupe for magnification and a bright light.
Because the growth process of flame fusion synthetics is like “drip drip drip” it creates “lines” in the material. Natural gems don’t have these type of lines. You might also see fine air bubbles as well but that often requires higher magnification. AAA28103-49B0-4CE2-9737-73680AB9741C.jpeg
 

Roselina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
224
The tell tale sign of a synthetic is it being essential “flawless” under x20 magnification. Natural gemstones are rarely without inclusions.
The other sign from the flame fusion process is what’s called “curved striae”. Can be a bit tricky to detect but you need a loupe for magnification and a bright light.
Because the growth process of flame fusion synthetics is like “drip drip drip” it creates “lines” in the material. Natural gems don’t have these type of lines. You might also see fine air bubbles as well but that often requires higher magnification. AAA28103-49B0-4CE2-9737-73680AB9741C.jpeg
Thank you so much!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,355
I have to chime in that there are now very good synthetics where the maker deliberately adds inclusions to make the stone appear natural.
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,701
The curved striae lines can be very hard to see in newer material. Also they are not found in other processes used to grow spinel crystals.
The only grown crystals I have seen with inclusions are some beryl. These are not intentional by the lab however, but a limiting factor in the process. The hydrothermal emerald material typically has rows of very small bubbles near one side. The crystal slabs are then graded for clarity, and the cleaner pieces are more expensive.
 

Roselina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
224
I finally found it! Set in a non precious metal in vintage style, I‘m almost 100% certain that it is synthetic. I was thinking to set it in a rose gold bezel, but it might not be worth it. It looks nice with a deep red colour, but I don’t wear it because the pendant keeps turning. But if I reset it, it might bother me to know it‘s synthetic... 459CA2CD-BBED-417B-8728-94A7F984790A.jpeg 295D3ED2-B441-4149-A983-D44ADF09204C.jpeg
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
3,747
I finally found it! Set in a non precious metal in vintage style, I‘m almost 100% certain that it is synthetic. I was thinking to set it in a rose gold bezel, but it might not be worth it. It looks nice with a deep red colour, but I don’t wear it because the pendant keeps turning. But if I reset it, it might bother me to know it‘s synthetic... 459CA2CD-BBED-417B-8728-94A7F984790A.jpeg 295D3ED2-B441-4149-A983-D44ADF09204C.jpeg
Its lovelly
Such a deep colour
If it turns out to be synethic it is still very beautiful
 

pokerface

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
208
Looks like glass to me. It could be synthetic garnet rather than synthetic spinel but I sincerely doubt that's a real stone. The tiny bead-set points are marcasite. It's classic costume jewelry. I personally would not bother with a reset - just enjoy how it is.
 

Roselina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
224
Thank you all for your thoughts. I have never considered it being glass but it might very well be the case. :)
 
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