While browsing for gemstones, you may come across a gemstone that looks a little different from the rest. Of course, each gem is completely unique, but doublets are a little harder to detect. Wondering how to identify a gemstone doublet?
First of all, what is a doublet?
A gemstone doublet forms when two separate gems are blended to create one gemstone. These gems are usually larger, but don’t let the size fool you. The majority of material in gemstone doublets are of lower quality. As a result, this means that the doublet is not a 100% authentic gemstone. Does that mean it’s not worth anything? Not exactly. While doublets aren’t true gemstones, they still have desirable qualities. Most notably: they are affordable. Opal Doublets are often used in Jewelry as an alternative to natural Opal because of the natural appearance of the gem.
The Difference Between Gemstones and Gemstone Doublets
Different gemstones are assembled in a way that looks authentic, and for that reason, gemstone doublets are very impressive. Many jewelers refer to doublets as gemstone sandwiches. That’s because of the way different pieces of various gemstones blend to form one stone.
The structure of a doublet varies from one assembled gemstone to the next, but usually, you will find that the top portion of the doublet is typically the only part that is the real gem. The less visible parts of the constructed gem are the scraps if you will. Even though the entire doublet is comprised of real gemstones, the lower parts of the gem are less valuable because they have been artificially assembled.
As you can tell, there is a lot of value in naturally-sourced gems. This isn’t to say that doublets are less visually appealing, rather the price is higher for natural gemstones.
You might also notice that regular gemstones are smaller in size than doublets. This is not surprising since the size is determined by nature, whereas we can alter the size of doublets.
Interestingly enough, doublets are designed to mimic regular gemstones. When the authentic gemstone is glued to the top of the conglomeration of cheaper stones, it’s done so in a way that allows the doublet to look like natural stones, inclusions and all! That’s right–doublets are made to emulate real inclusions. Since doublets have a real gem as the top layer of the gemstone, all light passes through the natural gemstone. As a result, the entire gem looks as authentic as the top layer does, when in reality, the rest of the doublet is constructed from the scrap materials.
What is the Purpose of a Gemstone Doublet?
Gemstone doublets are made for many reasons, one of which is to make use of scrap pieces of other gems that otherwise get left behind. Another reason is to introduce a new family of gemstones into the world. With any sort of gemstone alteration, you should be wary of exactly what you are buying.
Some people will create gemstone doublets as a way of duping others into purchasing what the customer views as an expensive gemstone. Instead of being honest and upfront about the fact that it’s a gemstone doublet, many people are quick to market the gemstones as a pure, rather than an assembled stone.
If you are looking into buying gemstones, always ask questions and double-check the credibility of the buyer before you hand your money over. There are many honest people in the world, but equally so, there are a lot of deceitful people. Ask the jeweler or seller about the history of the gemstone if you are suspicious that the gem is an assembled doublet stone.
There is nothing wrong with buying doublets. However, issues and confusion arise if they are not explicitly listed as such. After all, assembled gemstones look as beautiful as natural gems. It’s a matter of whether you mind that the gem is natural or altered.
How Can You Identify a Gemstone Doublet?
Gemstone doublets aren’t designed to deceive. Rather, they are an alternative to natural gemstones. They can be a very cost-efficient and reasonable alternative for people looking for budget deals on gems. Whatever the reason may be, a lot of people would rather buy a doublet.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s not always easy to identify a gemstone doublet, even when holding one in your hand. How can you differentiate between the two? The best way to get a straight answer is to ask the seller. That’s why it’s paramount to buy from reputable dealers who you trust.
As with any transaction, it’s a great idea to educate yourself so that you don’t fall victim to a deceptive sale. The more you know about a gemstone, the more comfortable you’ll feel assessing it. What does it look like? Can you detect a thin circumference around the gemstone? This is a warning sign that the gem you are looking at is a doublet.
When holding the gem as close as visibly possible, do you notice any small bubbles or pockets of air? If you do, this is another sign that the gemstone is a doublet. These pockets of air are gas bubbles, and they result from two separate gems being melded together.
Yet another indicator that the gemstones are doublets is a variance in luster. If the shininess between the upper and lower parts of the gemstone is noticeably different, then you are most likely dealing with a doublet. The same goes for gemstones that have obvious color differences between the top and bottom.
The bottom line is that if something looks off, it probably is! Trust your eyes and ask questions if you have them. As long as you are okay with purchasing a doublet, then feel free to follow through with your purchase and enjoy the beauty of your new doublet!
To recap, the best way to identify a gemstone doublet is to:
As the jeweler about the gemstone’s history
Visibly inspect the gem for signs that it’s been altered
Bubbles and variances in luster are surefire signs the stone is a doublet
There you have it! When it comes to investing in any type of gemstone or jewelry item, it’s smart to know what to look for and make conscious purchases from sellers you trust.
Doublets are an affordable addition to your jewelry collection and come in a variety of styles. Browse our selection of doublets to find the right one for you!