Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lab grown gemstones vs. synthetic gemstones.

What is the difference between "lab grown"
gemstones and synthetic ones?
Spend any time at our store and you will probably hear one of us talking about gemstones that are "lab grown" or "lab created". Or you might read that somewhere on the net or hear it on one of the jewelry channels. So, what the heck does it mean?
There is a very big difference between a "synthetic" ruby and a "lab created" ruby. A "synthetic" ruby can be any material that is manufactured to have the same color as a ruby - it can be any number of materials including plain old glass.
On the other hand a "lab created" or "lab grown" ruby is a gemstone where the crystal material is grown in a laboratory that duplicates the temperatures and conditions that exist when natural ruby crystals grow in the Earth. It is also important to note that the crystal material used in lab grown rubies is corundum - the same material Nature uses to produce rubies in the Earth. Rubies, sapphires, and spinel are all made of corundum naturally, so therefore the lab grown counterparts should also be corundum, which is a very tough, durable material. Rubies, sapphires and spinel (corundum) are second only to diamonds in hardness.

Pictured below is a ruby crystal grown in a laboratory in CA.
Here is a ruby cut from a lab grown ruby crystal.

These are two emerald crystals grown in the
Chatham labs in California.

Pictured below are faceted emerald gemstones
made from lab grown emerald crystals like the ones above.

We love to use lab grown gemstones in our jewelry. We use emeralds, rubies, spinel, and sapphires of many colors (pink, blue, padparadschah, etc.). We also have lab grown alexandrite that changes colors when it is hit with natural light or man-made light.

We offer a Lifetime Warranty on any of the lab created gemstones that we use.

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