Shopping for jewelry is no longer the simple process it once was. Today you have to watch for stones that are simulated, created or treated. The metals come in so many different terms; it can get confusing to know whether something is “real” or not. The best way to avoid issues is to educate yourself and buy from sources that you trust.
Know the Terminology
When it comes to the metals, it’s still easy to know what you’re getting if you know where to look. Gold, silver and platinum are all marked somewhere on the piece if it’s real and with what grade. Have the seller show you the markings if you can’t find them.
Gemstones are another matter entirely. Natural is considered out of the earth and “real” but you can actually get “real” stones created from the labs as well. The difference between the stones is the amount of time it took to create them. Labs simulate the same conditions as the earth just in a faster process. That being said, lab created stones cost substantially less than natural ones. Simulated equals fake, usually glass made to look like the stone. Be careful because some jewelers will try to pass off the cheap stones for the natural ones and charge the higher price.
You also need to be aware if the stones are treated and how. Some treating is okay and normal but some forms used attempt to make a stone look like another one, thus creating a fake. Some treated stones also need special care to keep the look.