The Beauty of Laboratory Grown Precious Stones
The natural gemstone industry is fraught with environmental, social and ethical problems. Mining of gemstones is a dirty business which can be dangerous for miners, not to mention some of the world’s largest deposits of gemstones are in conflict areas.
Precious stones are also in scarce supply, which makes them expensive.
Imagine being able to replicate these gemstone so they retained their natural beauty, but dispensed with the problems of the natural gemstone industry. Well now there is no need to imagine, technology has made it possible to manufacture gemstones.
Why are gemstones so desirable?
Precious and semi-precious stones have been coveted by humans for centuries and used by royalty and religion as a sign of commitment, godliness and wealth.
It all seems a little ancient and quaint, and far removed from our reality, but we still refer to precious and semi-precious stones because this is how our ancestors referred to them. Precious stones continue to be coveted but we are now in thrall of their appearance, rather than because they are a symbol of godliness.
Types of gemstones
Precious stones are emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds. They are labelled as ‘precious’ stones because they were historically the gemstones that were most difficult to get hold of.
Semi-precious stones are a long list of gemstones such as: garnet, opal, onyx, amethyst, amber, pearl and a whole host of others. They are semi-precious because they were historically more commonly found.
The same rules of supply do not hold true in today however. Some semi-precious stones are now more difficult to find than precious stones.
It can be hard to tell the difference between laboratory grown stones and naturally occurring gems. Some manufacturing processes replicate the look, strength and chemical make-up of the natural stones so well only the trained eye could identify one from the other.
There are 2 types of manufactured stones, these are laboratory grown and simulated gems.
- Simulated stones are created with glass or plastic and are manufactured to look like traditional gemstones. Some of these you may have in your jewellery collection and love already, like Swarovski crystals or cubic zirconia.
- Laboratory grown gemstones are a newer type of stone that speeds up the natural process of creating gems in the laboratory. These stones have the same chemical makeup and look exactly like the mined stones. Laboratory grown gems are as strong, as clear, and reflect light in the same way as naturally occurring gemstones.
As the supply of naturally occurring gemstones is increasingly becoming mined out, the availability of man-made gems is a great alternative for those of us who love the appearance of precious stones.
An Affordable Choice
For once in a lifetime events, such as an engagement, a naturally occurring diamond or sapphire will still remain highly desirable. But beautiful stones don’t need to be beyond our jewellery collection for evening or everyday wear.
Laboratory grown stones retain all the beauty and strength of their naturally occurring counterparts, without the price tag or the environmental and ethical concerns.
They are the natural choice for a quality stone at an affordable price.
By Sharon Coleman
Sharon Coleman is a freelance writer and loves to write about consumer products. You can find more of her articles at www.thewordworld.com