Myth Busters Vol. 2

During my career in the gemstone and jewellery business I have come across many myths and misconceptions which I would like to address today and in my future blog posts.


With so much information at our fingertips, it is difficult to know what is true and what is false when searching the web. As a GIA certified gemologist and an accredited jewellery professional, I am happy to share my knowledge on my mission to spread the truth.


Some of these may surprise you, let's dive in!




You should clean your jewellery using toothpaste - FALSE


Avoid using toothpaste to clean your jewellery, it is too abrasive and hardens like glue under gemstones, making it very difficult to remove. I recommend using warm water and mild dish soap instead.


Reserve a soft, clean toothbrush specifically for cleaning your jewellery. Do not use an electric toothbrush, it can damage the metal as well as the gemstones, or cause them to fall out.



For 10 easy tips to keep your jewellery Clean and Damage-Free click here for my previous post


Emeralds & Aquamarines are a part of the same family - TRUE


Emerald is a part of the beryl family along with aquamarine and morganite.


Interestingly, emeralds are often fairly included, noticeable fractures can be seen even without the use of magnification such as a loupe or a microscope.


Aquamarine and morganite on the other hand are mostly eye-clean and show no visible inclusions and only minor inclusions under magnification.



Gemstones can be grown in a laboratory - TRUE


Synthetic (man-made) gemstones have the same crystal structure and chemical composition as their natural counterparts and can be developed by scientists in labs.


For example, natural and synthetic sapphires are essentially the same, however there are slight differences that can only be detected by a trained gemologist, with the use of special equipment. The main difference being: natural sapphires are grown by nature and are mined out of the ground where as synthetic gems are grown in a controlled lab environment.


Natural Sapphire:



Synthetic Sapphire rough crystal:



Synthetic gemstones are generally less expensive than their natural counterparts and should be disclosed as synthetic by the seller.


Synthetic gemstones should not be confused with imitations or simulants which just look like gemstones. For example, glass can imitate a diamond and blue glass can imitate a sapphire, however this does not make glass a synthetic version of a diamond, glass is an imitation or a simulant. There are synthetic diamonds that are grown in labs and can be confused with natural diamonds.


White glass:



Diamonds are the sparkliest of all the stones - This one is tricky!


Diamonds in their rough form are actually fairly dull and unremarkable, until they are cut and polished. Light performance depends on the gem’s cut and its refractive index (how fast light travels through the gem).



Diamonds are loved by many for their unique combination of:

  • Fire - flashes of rainbow colours

  • Sparkle - light reflecting in and out of the diamond

  • Scintillation - pattern of light and dark facets

But do they sparkle the most? That’s a tricky question.


Synthetic moissanite, a colourless man-made gemstone, has a higher refractive index than a diamond, it shows extreme fire, compared to a diamond’s moderate fire. This creates a “disco ball’’ effect in synthetic moissanite which according to some, appears to “sparkle” more than a diamond. Whether you agree, is up to you!


Synthetic moissanite (left) is dramatically lower in price than a diamond (right).




Jewellery should only be worn on special occasions - FALSE


Although some jewellery and gemstones are not intended for daily wear, you CAN wear your favourite pieces on any given day.


In fact, I am a great advocate of wearing your jewellery without saving it for special occasion. Life IS the special occasion, so enjoy it!




If you are on the hunt for custom jewellery or looking to expand your collection, either for yourself or as a gift, I would love to hear from you!

Visit my Gallery for more inspiration

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