What Are Lab Created Gemstones?
Diamonds may be a girls’ best friend, but every friendship group needs a few colourful characters. This is where lab created - or lab grown - gemstones come in.
Lab created sapphires, rubies and emeralds are essentially identical to their natural counterparts. They’re not simulants or imitations – they’re as real as natural gemstones. As they’re grown in a controlled lab environment – not extracted from the earth – they’re more environmentally conscious and more affordable.
About lab grown gemstones
- Lab grown gemstones are created either by melting powdered chemicals, or dissolving minerals in a heated solution.
- Despite being created in a lab, the final products are chemically identical to their natural mined counterparts.
- Lab grown gemstones are more affordable than natural gemstones.
How to make lab created sapphires and rubies
The Verneuil flame fusion method was developed by French chemist Prof. A.V.L. Verneuil in the early 1900s as the first commercially successful way of growing lab created gemstones.
The basic principle behind this method is simple and involves dropping powdered chemicals through a high temperature flame, where they melt and fall onto a rotating pedestal to produce the gemstone crystal.
To this day, it remains the most common way of creating sapphires and rubies. It is cost-effective and gemstones take a couple of hours to grow.
How to make lab created emeralds
In nature, many minerals originate by crystallization of ‘hydrous’ or water solutions at high temperature and pressure. This principle is imitated in a lab environment to produce created emeralds and is known as ‘hydrothermal growth.’
Specifically, raw materials are enclosed in a partially filled metal container of water. The high temperature and pressure of the fluid cause the raw materials to dissolve.
This process depends on there being a small difference in temperature between the hotter region, in which the materials are dissolved, and the slightly cooler site of crystal growth.
This production process takes can take between 6-12 months.
Difference between lab created and natural gemstones
Lab created gemstones are essentially identical to natural, earth-mined gemstones and possess the same chemical, optical and physical properties. The main distinction is where they come from.
Creating gemstones in a lab environment means they can be produced faster, that they are more cost effective, and that the quality of the final gemstone can be controlled.
Why choose lab created gemstones?
Lab created gemstones possess the same properties as natural, mined gemstones and therefore also share their beauty. As high-quality natural gemstones are exceptionally rare and expensive, lab created gemstones offer a great alternative, you can have a high-quality gemstone for an affordable price.
What are simulated and imitation gemstones?
Simulant or imitation gemstones imitate the effect, colour and appearance of other gemstones without possessing their chemical and physical properties. These differ to lab created gemstones, which do share the same properties as their natural counterparts, and are real gemstones.
Examples of simulated or imitation gemstones include coloured glass, coloured CZ, and even clear gemstones with a coloured foil backing.
Precious gemstones are a unique choice for meaningful jewellery, and lab grown gemstones are as real as stones extracted from mines.
Their identical chemical properties and dazzling colours come with the added benefit of being more environmentally conscious and less expensive – so you can afford a much bigger, higher quality stone for your budget.
All our rubies, sapphires and emeralds are lab grown gemstones. Check out the full range today.