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Synthetic Diamond Articles from Gems & Gemology

When General Electric created the first gem-quality synthetic diamonds in 1971, the first place the company sent them after cutting was to GIA for examination and research. In the 44 years since then, GIA researchers have closely followed the development of laboratory-created diamonds – from those early experiments to the production of commercial quantities in the gem market.

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An Introduction to Simulants or Imitation Gem Materials

This article provides an overview of synthetic gem materials.

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Olive-green serpentine cabochon.
Serpentine Cabochon with Unusual Olive Green Color

A green cabochon from China resembling jadeite is found to be antigorite, a member of the serpentine group.

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Plastic bead with visible fragments of coral.
Coral Inclusions in Plastic

An orangy red plastic bead is revealed to be a composite when white coral fragments are identified by spectroscopy and gemological properties.

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Rock crystal coated with brown skin.
Coated Rock Crystal Imitation of Ruby

A coated rough rock crystal resembles a purplish red ruby.

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Synthetic cubic zirconia imitation of peridot.
Color-Change Synthetic Cubic Zirconia as Peridot Imitation

A greenish yellow material set in a ring as a peridot imitation is identified as synthetic cubic zirconia.

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Synthetic or Imitation? An Investigation of the Products of Kyocera Corporation That Show Play-Of-Color

An investigation of the difference between synthetic opal and opal simulant.

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Synthetic Gem Materials and Simulants in the 1990s

The 1990s witnessed important developments in the commercial viability of gem-quality synthetic diamonds.

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"Opalite": Plastic Imitation Opal with True Play-Of-Color

A plastic imitation opal that shows true play-of-color was advertised as "new" and offered for sale under the trade name "Opalite" at the Gem and Lapidary Dealers Association (GLDA) Tucson show in February 1988.

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Inamori Synthetic Cat's-Eye Alexandrite

This article reports on a detailed gemological examination of this new synthetic cat's-eye alexandrite.

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