Eli5 what’s the difference between gemstone and a glass


Difference between gemstone and a glass . There are gemstone simultant to which people say that this is a glass not a gemstone . So what’s the difference between gemstone and a glass

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Pretty much everything. Glass is made of silica sand mostly, also known as quartz. Most gems for jewelry are made of completely different materials. Some stones are made of the same material, like amathyst is made of quartz too, but it’s still not the same.

Glass is made in a way that keeps it from forming a crystal structure. And the crystal structure is a requirement to make a gem a gem.

“glass” is a broad term to differentiate a fake gemstone from an authentic one. (also sometimes called “paste” as well.) But in reality there are three categories (and arguably a fourth) for a stone you might see set into jewelry.

1) costume jewelry (glass/paste)
2) created gems
3) natural gems (either ethically sourced or non ethically sourced.)

Glass or paste is a fake gemstone. It is made from colored glass or some other kind of composite material and molded to resemble a cut gemstone. These stones are made of inexpensive materials and are relatively inexpensive to make.

Created gems are grown in a lab and are chemically identical to a natural gem. But because they can be manufactured, they are more common and consequently less valuable than a natural gem.

natural gemstones are mined from veins of rock after naturally forming in the earth over many years. And are more valuable than created stones because they are rare and hard to find and get. But their actual value depends on size, clarity and color. Non ethically sourced natural gemstones are generally mined in countries where workers have few if any protections and are paid little to work in dangerous conditions. (historically by enslaved indigenous people) Ethically sourced stones are acquired through less unsavory means.