Scott, when I first got into facet in I thought I would NEVER cut a ‘fake’ stone. I love nature, even with all its flaws and assumed I would happily work only in naturally made stone.
With the difficulty of finding affordable clean-ish material to work with and the knowledge that in my inexperience that I should not be destroying valuable natural material to learn with, I figured d myself leaning toward the use of artificially manufactured stones.
As has been mentioned above, the terms for synthetic stones, lab created, or whatever other names they are known by are a turn off for both faceter and for clients as well. I totally get this but I’ve been finding myself explaining to coworkers who I show off my work to, that if you were to imagine a piece of amethyst being melted down and impurities strained out before it is reformed (and without cracks), you have exactly what lab created stone is. It is chemically identical, just without the impurities and fissures that sometimes show up.
I still have a definite soft spot in my heart for a naturally formed, perfect stone to be sure but I’ve been finding myself much more accepting of manufactured stones if I am to be investing my time and focus on cutting a gem.