If you’re in the market for new jewelry this holiday season, you might wonder about the difference between natural and lab-created gemstones. What are gemstones? How are they made? Keep reading to learn everything you need about these beautiful rocks!
What are Gemstones?
Gemstones are minerals that have been cut and polished to be used in jewelry. They can be found in various colors, sizes, and shapes, and each type of gemstone has unique physical properties. For example, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth. Pearls are composed of organic material secreted by mollusks, and delicate opals are composed of amorphous, non-crystalline silica.
How Are Gemstones Mined?
A common question jewelers worldwide often hear, especially around the holidays, is, “How are gemstones mined?” Most gemstones are mined from the Earth. This can be done either through open-pit mining or underground mining. Open-pit mining is when a large hole is dug in the ground, and gemstones are extracted from the sides of the pit. Underground mining is digging tunnels into the Earth to reach deposit sites where gems can be removed.
How Gemstones Are Created
They can also create gemstones in a laboratory. Creating a lab-grown gem is like the natural process that creates jewels underground. However, lab-grown rocks can be made in just a few weeks instead of taking years to form. Lab-grown gems can be completed in various colors and sizes that aren’t found in nature.
Jewelers use high-pressure-high temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques to create lab-grown gemstones. These processes require a combination of heat, pressure, and chemicals to turn carbon into a diamond.
Natural Vs. Lab-Created Gemstones
So, which should you choose? Another common question for customers looking to invest in jewelry is, “natural vs lab-created gemstones, which is the best option?” Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the uniqueness of natural gemstones, while others like the consistency and affordability of lab-grown options. No matter your type of gemstone, your jewelry will be beautiful and unique!
Both are real—the only difference is the time to make them. Natural gemstones take thousands of years of pressure and heat in the Earth’s crust to form, while lab-created gemstones are grown in a matter of weeks or months using advanced technology. But both gems have the same chemical makeup, light refraction, and physical properties.
This is the same for natural and lab-grown gemstones, which have identical chemical compositions.
Both gemstones, natural and lab-created, have the same refractive index, which measures how light bounces off their surfaces.
Natural and lab-grown gemstones have the same physical properties, such as hardness, density, and specific gravity.
The Mohs scale is used to measure the hardness of gemstones. On the Mohs scale, diamonds are a 10, while other gems like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds range from 6.5 to 8.5. Lab-created gemstones have the same hardness rating as natural gems.
This measure of a gemstone’s mass per unit volume is usually expressed in kilograms per cubic meter or grams per cubic centimeter. Lab-created gemstones have the same density as natural gems.
This measures how much a gemstone weighs compared to an equal volume of water. Lab-created gemstones have the same specific gravity as natural gems.
Differences Between Natural and Lab-Created Gemstones
Despite the same chemical makeup, light refraction, and physical properties of natural and lab-created gems, there are some other differences:
Natural gemstones are more expensive because they’re rarer, while lab-created ones can be more affordable. Some consumers also prefer natural gems for their uniqueness, despite the high cost. But lab-created gems can still offer great beauty and value for the price.
Lab-created gems may come in many colors or sizes that aren’t available from the natural spectrum. However, with technology, designers can make lab-created gemstones with unique colors you’ll never see in nature that can become collectors. Finally, some people prefer a unique piece of jewelry made with genuine gemstones rather than a replica. Items.
Because of the rarity of natural gems, some types can be harder to find than lab-created ones. And if you’re looking for specific sizes, shapes, or colors of natural stones, it may be more difficult to source them.
With so many options available, you will find the perfect gemstone for the occasion! No matter what type of gemstone you buy, it will be beautiful and unique! They’re a great addition to any jewelry collection and a thoughtful gift for the special people in your life.