Stones created in a lab are chemically, physically and visually identical to the natural once. The regular person won’t be able to tell the difference between them. It takes a trained eye, high magnification and other instruments.

Natural gemstones are rarer, harder to get, and quite expensive. That’s why lab-created gemstones are available as alternatives.

The more expensive and hard-to-find natural gems in jewellery, such as diamond (white and fancy colour), sapphire (blue and other colours), emerald, ruby and opal, are favourite lab-created stones. They’re not gem imitations; lab-created gemstones are the real deal. They are grown in a laboratory but are identical chemically, physically and optically to natural gems. An imitation gemstone, while also artificially made, does not follow nature’s recipe, so it’s completely different physically, chemically and optically from the natural gem it copies.

How they’re made

The mineral composition of lab-created stones is created through a process similar to what nature does over millions of years, but in a lab at a fraction of the time, and for a fraction of the cost of mining.

The main distinction is natural gems typically have inclusions from the crystallization process — gases and other minerals mixing during the molten stage of stone creation. Because lab-created stones rely on a steady, controlled process of applying minerals, heat and pressure, they usually have fewer inclusions.

Final considerations

  1. In addition to getting a rare, top-quality fine gemstone look for less, many consumers are attracted to lab-created stones for other reasons. Environmentally speaking, lab-created stones do not tax natural resources the way the process for natural gems does — no mines are dug, the labs use a fraction of the utilities and resources necessary for a mining operation and leave behind less pollutants.
  2. Lab-created stone jewellery is also great for traveling, when you want to leave your very expensive jewellery at home, or when you want to look like you have very expensive baubles — or both! Next to natural, nothing that can compare to a fine lab-created stone.
  3. Lab diamonds usually cost about 30% less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality. But these diamonds are every bit as luxurious as their natural counterparts, since their dazzling beauty and durability are the same. It is important to know that there’s a big difference between lab created diamonds and diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. These simulants are not made of the carbon crystals, and do not possess the same brilliance as diamonds. For that reason, simulants sell at much lower prices than lab created diamonds.

Whether you’re buying a gift or treating yourself, purchase lab-created stone jewellery from a trusted jeweller, who discloses what your stone is and how to care for it. Just as there are different quality levels in natural gems, the same goes for lab-created stones. Make sure you understand what you’re getting for the money you’re spending, especially when paying a premium for a piece. It’s worth exploring the possibilities to grow your jewellery wardrobe with classic styles and cutting-edge designs using stunning lab-created stones. Arnold and Co Jewellers specialists will help you to make the right choice.