Plastic | Gemopedia

Plastic is sometimes employed as a gemstone simulant, but can also be appreciated entirely upon its own merits, especially when formed with a high level of artistry. Plastics are typically easy to identify, due to a variety of factors such as specific gravity, gas bubbles, hardness, concave facets, flow lines and marks left from the molding process. While no single property is definitive, a combination of three or four will normally allow you to identify the material.
Alternate
Names
Lucite, Plexiglas, Celluloid, Bakelite And Acrylic
Colors
Variety Of Colors

Plastic Classification

Common Name

Plastic

Species

NA

Variety

Colors

Variety Of Colors

Alternate Names

Lucite, Plexiglas, Celluloid, Bakelite And Acrylic

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

RI, magnification, SG; Destructive: Acrid smell when hot point test is used

Comments

Most plastic stones will likely sink in a saturated salt solution. Items will feel warm to the touch when compared to natural gem materials. Plastic is widely used to imitate a variety of materials.

Plastic Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent - Opaque

Refractive Index

1.46-1.55

Birefringence

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

Singly Refractive (SR) With ADR

Fluorescence

SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Strength: none

Comments

Plastic Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

polymer

Chemical Formula

Synthesis

Crystal System

NA

Classification

Nature

Simulant

Crystallinity

Amorphous

Comments

Plastic Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

1.5-3

Streak

Specific Gravity

1.05-1.55

Toughness

Fair

Inclusions

Mold marks, concave facets with a pitted surface that looks like an orange peel. Sometimes flow lines and gas bubbles can be seen.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fracture

Conchoidal, Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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