Gemstones can be a romantic gift to your significant other or personal purchase that holds symbolic meaning just for you. Whether you want a gem for its glam or because it is a symbol of something special, buying a rare stone like an emerald or ruby can be daunting. What makes matters more confusing is when jewelers mention lab-created or synthetic gems versus a natural stone. Let us help clear up the confusion and answer your questions about “created” gemstones.
What Does Lab-Created Mean?
Often, natural gems are rare and expensive; lab-created stones can be an affordable alternative. They are not imitations; they are grown in a laboratory and are identical (chemically, physically, and optically) to those found in nature.
These created gems have the same molecular make-up as those found in the earth and are made through a process similar to what nature does over millions of year, but in a fraction of the time. Under laboratory conditions, temperatures are controlled and foreign materials found in the earth are eliminated making the starting seed’s growth more predictable. This allows for a high-quality and vibrantly colored stone.
There are many different processes for synthesizing gems – and some are more expensive than others. However, they all have certain things in common:
- They are all created in a laboratory
- They all mimic natural processes
- They all use the same ingredients found in natural stones
How Are They Different?
The main difference between the two types of stones is origin: grown in nature versus grown in a lab. Natural gems typically have inclusions from the crystallization process when gases and other minerals mix during the molten stage of the stone’s creation. Because lab-created stones rely on a steady, controlled process they have fewer inclusions.
Created stones are also different from imitation gems, which are not real but made to look like a gemstone. Look out for names like simulated or imitation; these are not the real deal.
With all of these different descriptions, the buying process can get a little confusing. If you are wondering if your gem was created in a lab, look for these names:
Buying a “Created” Gem
Surprisingly lab-made stones have been on the market since the early 1900s, and the favorites have traditionally been sapphires, emeralds, and rubies due to the rare and expensive nature of the natural gemstones.
When you are starting your search, keep in mind that a synthetic gem is a real stone but not a natural stone. Because of this, they can be more affordable when matched for size and quality against their natural counterpart. Decide for yourself if buying a natural stone is more important to you, or if you would rather have a lab-made gem for a potentially better price. Everyone has opinions on what is important to them, but regardless of your choice, contact Lavalier.com as soon as your jewelry is purchased. No matter what you choose, your jewelry is still invaluable to you and should be protected. We can help you with a personalized jewelry insurance quote today.