Today’s gemstones have the uncanny ability to look just like the real thing. This can be great if you are simply looking for costume jewelry that looks realistic but doesn’t break your budget. However, if you are shopping for the real thing or wonder if what you currently own is a true gemstone, there are a few ways to tell faux from natural.

Here are 4 warning signs to look for that may indicate you have an imitation gemstone instead of a natural one.

4 Ways to Tell Your Gemstone May Not be Real

Beware the name

The saying goes, “A rose by any other name is not the same.” This holds true for gemstones, as well. Stones with extra names that appear a little too descriptive should be a red flag that it may not be authentic. When it is not simply an emerald or a diamond, it has probably been created in a lab or treated with something to enhance the design.

Check for binding agents

These are used in stones that are too fragile to stand on their own. Binding agents are used to stabilizing the gem or reconstitute it into a new stone that looks like the softer one but is more durable. Colouring agents are also added at that time to make the stone look more natural.

While these methods are an excellent way to create jewelry from stones that might otherwise have been unusable, you should be aware that you don’t have the real thing or should not be paying the higher price. Faux jewelry is quite popular, especially when it is high quality, and it’s a great addition to most any wardrobe. Search for glitzy and glam pieces or fine items at sites like adina’s jewels.

Watch how the colours shine

If you want your bling to be blinding, you might want to try the faux jewelry option. Natural gemstones have a beautiful colour and shine about them, but they tend to sparkle in a way that doesn’t show off. However, synthetic gems are created with chemicals and are either glass or lab-created. These new stones have enhancements that add luster and color to them and often sparkle loudly.

Take it to a jeweler

If all else fails and you are still unsure about whether you got (or are getting) a good deal on a piece of real jewelry, take your gem to a trustworthy jeweler. They are experienced in using tools and techniques to determine the authenticity of stones and other jewelry and can give you an appraisal of how much your piece is worth.

Real vs. Fake – It’s All in the Gem

Since approximately 90% of gems being sold today have been treated to enhance their natural beauty or have been created in a lab, it’s not always a bad thing to have faux jewelry in your accessories box. The important part is knowing whether it is real or fake so you can adjust your budget accordingly. Use these tips or consult with a jeweler to determine if the gem you are questioning is real or not.