synthetic opals

Fresh daith pierced by Darren with an implant grade titanium captive bead ring with a gorgeous anatometal cluster bead. Those opals are mesmerizing! 

We are OBSESSED with these gorgeous “Trio” ends we just got in from Anatometal! Solid 18k rose gold with synthetic lavender opals, and oh so cute!

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We just got this gorgeous piece in from Le Roi Fine Jewelry, and it is really hard to not just stare at it all day! Solid Yellow Gold “Snowflake” threadless end featuring a 3mm synthetic Purple Opal and 1.5mm Clear cz’s. Such a vibrant piece!

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Beautiful new set of gemmed eyelets from Anatometal featuring synthetic White Opals and solid gold pentagram inserts. Pretty sure our client is going to very happy with these!

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Gem Science: Synthetic Gems

Some Gems can only be created through synthetic means. Either they don’t occur in nature in the desired quantities, or their natural look isn’t acceptable for high fashion. Most synthetic Gems are created for scientific observations or as a by-product of heavier elemental fusion, but the ones listed below are some of the ones available commercially.

Artificial Gems

Gilson Gems

A French company named Gilson has pioneered almost all of our modern synthetic Gem creation techniques, and they have allowed many people to purchase Gems that normally would have been far too rare to afford. Below is a polished bead of Gilson Lapis Lazuli, virtually indistinguishable from the genuine article.

The Gilson technique also creates most of the world’s Turquoise and Coral, both extremely rare and difficult to harvest Gems. However, Gilson Emerald has flaws that make it worthless in high-class jewelry due to the difficult-to-replicate nature of Emerald. 

Flux-Melt 

The only way to generate synthetic Emerald is through the Flux Melt technique, which was pioneered Edmond Fremy. By mixing a solvent with the secret patented ingredients and heating them for months, a synthetic Emerald is formed. However, like Gilson Emeralds, these Gems are of poor quality and do not measure up when examined with a loupe.

Flame-Fusion

To create synthetic Corundum (Rubies, Sapphires) a different technique called Flame-Fusion must be used. Again, secret patented ingredients are run through a 4,000 F flame that causing them to fuse together in liquid form. This liquid then slowly drips onto a platform, creating a large stalactite of Corundum known as a boule. This boule can be shaped in the desired cut and the rest is re-melted to be made into more Gems. By altering the ingredients, Rubies and Sapphires can be formed.

Imitation Gems

Glass

Glass Gems have been used as a cheap stand-in for centuries, but these can be easily broken or become dull over time. On the plus side, glass can be used to create any transparent Gem, and is sometimes featured in collections as a Gem itself due to it’s unique refractive properties.

Imitation Opal

Once again, Gilson shows up with their signature product, Gilson Opal. Opal is a Gem that is flexible with how it’s created and set, meaning that some Opals, like most Opal Doublets, are a combination of synthetic Latex Opal and natural Opal. However, synthetic Opal’s play of color resembles a mosaic while natural Opal is a much subtler, pastel gradient. An Opal Triplet is a natural Opal base layered with a synthetic Opal on top, then final covered in a Quartz finish.

Imitation Diamond

Perhaps one of the most common offenders, imitation Diamond is very often seen in pop culture. Cubic Zirconia is by far the most common, but the main giveaway is that Zirconia is much heavier than Diamond. Strontium Titanate is also a popular choice, but it is much softer than Diamond can has a deeper brilliance. Finally, Yttrium Aluminum Garnet, or YAG, is a rarer but still viable imitator, but is unpopular because it looks duller than both the others and is much, much heavier.

Doublets and Triplets

Sometimes you can combine a rare Gem with it’s imitator to produce a passable fusion, called a doublet or a triplet. A doublet is made up of a backing of the actual Gem, covered with a large cut of the imitator. This way, the reflection of the actual Gem can be seen through the imitator, and the cost is kept down. A triple is the same but covered with a coating of Quartz or Glass.

Color Correction

Staining

This technique can only be used on porous Gems, such as Lapis Lazuli or Turquoise. By applying a reactive chemical or paint to the Gem, you can radically enhance its natural color or cause it to look like another. Howlite, when stained blue, becomes imitation Turquoise. In particular, Jet and Lapis Lazuli are stained to bring out their deep blacks and blues.

Irradiation

By exposing a Gem to radiation, you can deepen its color. However, Gems are energy conductive, so sometimes the Gem will slowly return to its normal color as it release the radioactive energy over time. Amethysts and Topaz are very famous for the rich purples and blues they take on when exposed to radiation.

Oiling

The use of oils to subtly change a Gems color is an ancient practice, but these days oiling is used to head cracks or blemished, particularly in certain species of Emerald.

Heat Treatment

Extreme heat can cause a Gem to change color. By throwing Brown Zircon in a fire for an hour, you’ll get beautiful Blue Zircon. Sometimes, the color change is unpredictable and you’ll end up with uneven colors or rainbow gradients.

Wowza! Absolutely gorgeous threadless end we picked up from the folks at Le Roi Fine Jewelry. This beauty is solid Yellow Gold and features 1.5mm Mint Green cz petals and a 3mm synthetic White Opal center. How opulent are you feeling today?

This little cutie was so much fun, and definitely one of our best clients in the last while! Mic pierced her earlobes, not a peep or a flinch, and she picked out some beautiful 3mm synthetic Purple Opals from NeoMetal. Such a great choice for a great little visitor!

Triple flat with NeoMetal synthetic opal cabochons

Piercing by Lenae Gherardi
Diamond Heart Studios
Flemington NJ
Diamondheartpiercing.com Facebook.com / diamondheartpiercing @diamondheartpiercing

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Okay okay okay, here they are, the AMAZING pieces from BVLA I spent months saving and waiting for!! These beauties are frickin ridiculous, and I am completely in love. I think for my very first set of solid gold jewelry, I chose pretty well, yeah?

In my nostrils: 4mm synthetic Purple Opals set in solid 14 karat Rose Gold “Crown” settings. These 14g ends are threaded into the 4g implant-grade steel plugs I had custom made by Anatometal.

In my philtrum: 8mm (yes, 8 whole mm’s) synthetic Purple Opal set in a solid 14 karat Rose Gold “Crown” setting. Again this is a 14g threaded piece on a custom made implant-grade steel disk back labret from Anatometal.

Also peeking out from the side: more synthetic Purple Opals from Anatometal and NeoMetal, and Rose Gold plated small “Knuckle” weights from Diablo Organics.

Fresh daith piercing done by Mic, cute little 16g implant-grade steel circular barbell with synthetic Capri Blue Opals from Industrial Strength. So adorable!