Simulated gemstones are known as "faux." Fabricated from affordable, alternative materials, such as plastic or acrylic, simulated gemstones are made to look like stones found in nature. Crystal and glass are also used to create stunning gemstone look-alike jewelry. Popular simulated gemstones include simulated emerald, simulated pearl, and simulated turquoise.
Synthetic gemstones are called "created." These gemstones are lab-created and have the same properties of their natural counterparts. For example, a synthetic alexandrite will have the same shifting colors as natural alexandrite, but will be a fraction of the cost! What makes synthetic gemstones so special is that, since their conditions are controlled in a lab, they are often more impressive in appearance than natural gemstones, containing more vibrancy and less inclusions. Some popular created gemstones are synthetic moissanite, synthetic sapphire, and synthetic alexandrite.
Cubic Zirconia, known as CZ, is the best selling diamond simulant on the market. Like synthetic gemstones, CZs are manmade in a lab, resulting in a colorless shine equivalent to a perfect "D" on a diamond's color grading scale. Some CZs are even colored to create different looks. CZ jewelry is so convincing, only the trained eye will be able to tell that it isn't a diamond!