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Anything that is extremely valuable will be counterfeited. Fake gems have been around for thousands of years, but as the technology for making them has advanced, fakes are now harder to detect with the naked eye.

Gem buyers today must be aware of three types of gems that are made to look more valuable than they are.

1 – Synthetic gems are lab-grown stones that closely duplicate a natural gem’s physical and chemical properties.

2 – Simulated gems are also manmade. The color of a simulated stone may be similar to that of a natural gem, but it is very different physically and chemically. Cubic zirconia is a well-known diamond simulation.

3 – Enhanced gems are natural gems altered in some way to improve their look. Color can be enhanced through heat, radiation, oils and chemicals. Other methods used to imitate or enhance the value of stones are dyeing, waxing or smoking poor quality stones to make them look richer.

Experts advise buyers to verify a stone’s value with gem-testing labs, such as the...

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