So you’ve inherited a big box of shiny jewelry from a family member and you’re trying to figure out if any of it might be the real deal. How can you tell the difference between sparkly glass and plastic and a true gemstone?

Most of the time, fashion jewelry doesn’t have real gemstones. This isn’t a problem. Fake gemstones (often glass gemstones) are more affordable and more durable than many of their real counterparts.

But if you want to know whether or not your gemstones are real, we want to help you out. Keep reading to learn all about how to identify precious gemstones.

How to Tell if You're Wearing Real Gemstones

Look for Defects

Many people would be aghast at the idea that their precious gems are somehow less than perfect, but imperfections are a good thing if you’re looking for real gemstones.

While there are lab-created real gemstones that are less likely to have any imperfections, real gemstones that come from nature are never going to be perfect. They may have small discolorations, cracks, or breaks in patterns.

Often, these problems aren’t visible to the naked eye. You may need to use a magnifying glass to even get a glimpse, or you may not see it at all.

A perfect stone is less likely to be a real stone. A stone with a slight defect may have come from nature!

Tap The Stone

This isn’t going to work for all fake gemstones, but very cheap fake gemstones often feel different.

If it’s big enough, tap the stone with your fingernail or the blunt end of a needle (but be careful not to press too hard). If the “gem” is made of plastic, this is going to be obvious when you tap it. It will feel softer and it won’t have a sharp tapping noise.

If a gem is made of glass or stone, just not the stone that it claims to be, this won’t be as effective.

Take It to a Professional

As a layperson, it’s hard for you to figure out whether or not your gemstones are real. If you’re dying to know whether or not your sparkly stones are the real deal, take them to a professional.

Jewelers and pawnshop workers are great choices for this (though we recommend getting more than one opinion, just in case). They know what the real deal looks like and they can point out the things that they’re identifying as fake.

For example, they might notice that your tourmaline gemstone is too perfect and shiny to be real, or that the gem that you thought was cubic zirconia is too flashy, so it’s actually a diamond in disguise!

Pay a professional to investigate your stones!

Real Gemstones or Fake: Which do You Have?

Is your jewelry adorned with real gemstones, or are they impostors?

There’s nothing wrong with “fake” gemstones. Both real and fake stones look great in jewelry designs. Fake gems are perfect for everyday wear while real gems are best for special events.

Whichever you have, wear your gems with style!

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