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An artificial stone that is man-made to imitate, often its colour, the appearance of a natural gemstone, but having wholly different physical characteristics (e.g. hardness, specific gravity, colour dispersion, double refraction, dichroism) as well as different chemical composition, and hence also distinct from a synthetic gemstone. Examples (called 'simulants') are usually made of various types of glass (e.g. paste or strass) or plastic; such copies are moulded and hence are not required to be cut or faceted.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson