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Simulated Glass Gemstones

Glass Gemstones Facts and Information

Glass is essentially silicon dioxide (SiO2), and quartz sand is its primary source.

This article deals exclusively with the commercially or artisanally created varieties of glass used to simulate gemstones. Natural glasses exist, such as obsidian and tektites. These materials are described in separate articles.

Name Glass
Varieties Cristinite, Crystal Glass, Lead Glass, Goldstone, Laserblue, Libyan Desert Glass, Natural Glass, Macusanite, Obsidian, Apache Tears, Fire Obsidian, Mahogany Obsidian, Rainbow Obsidian, Sheen Obsidian, Snowflake Obsidian, Paste
Crystallography Amorphous
Refractive Index 1.470-1.700
Colors Colors
Luster Vitreous
Polish Luster Vitreous
Fracture Luster Vitreous
Hardness 5-6
Fracture Conchoidal, inclusions may cause splintery or granular fractures.
Specific Gravity 2.30-4.50
Birefringence None
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.009-0.098
Heat Sensitivity Yes
Enhancements Enhancements
Typical Treatments Surface Coating
Transparency Transparent to Opaque
UV Long Not diagnostic
UV Short Not diagnostic
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic
Phenomena Aventurescence, adularescence, asterism, chatoyancy, color change, iridescence, orient (by adding coatings), play of color (simulates opal but different mechanism).
Formula Primarily silica (SiO2) with many additives
Pleochroism None
Optics Isotropic. May show anomalous birefringence.
Etymology From the Proto-German glasam