Synthetic: "A man-made substitute possessing the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and thus, the same properties as the gemstone it represents." There are different methods for creating lab grown synthetic gemstones, with many of the best methods requiring considerable time and therefore, costing more than less expensive methods. This can make the difference between a few dollars per carat for some synthetics vs. hundreds of dollars per carat for others grown using a different method.
We do carry one synthetic because of the demand by
stores/goldsmith as well as the public. Since the
price of Natural Alexandrite is so high, the alternative
is a lab grown Alexandrite. We purchase the rough
directly from the lab and use our cutters to facet various
shapes/sizes, and can offer both stores and the public
Simulant: This typically is an inexpensive item that appears to be a more expensive item. Many simulants are glass, doped glass, plastic or other compounds. For example, green glass would be a simulant of emerald. We have seen many examples of simulants in older rings that are thought to be Alexandrite, but in reality, the stone is a simulant (glass or doped glass) that does shift in color slightly, but does not have the true color change expected of an Alexandrite. Most simulants are easy to detect because they do not contain the chemical composition or physical properties of the gemstone they "pretend" to be.