It’s Beautiful, But Is It Natural?

Gem treatments and synthesis have made many popular types of stones more readily available to the average consumer. Treatment can turn once unsalable material into attractive, affordable goods. And synthesis can bring clean, beautifully colored stones within the reach of consumers who otherwise couldn't dream of owning quality emeralds, rubies or other gems. While some jewelers balk at selling synthetics and others have banned certain types of treated stones from their stores, many retailers and consumers readily accept both. Generally speaking, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with either type of gemstone - as long as buyers know exactly what they are getting. Disclosure thus remains the key to selling treated and synthetic stones ethically. (Some sellers, of course, fully intend to deceive; by pretending their goods are natural and/or untreated, they stand to reap a substantial,

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