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Natural vs. Lab-Created Gemstones: What Is the Difference?

When you are in the market for fine jewelry, you will notice that there are two types of gemstones available for purchase: natural and lab-created or lab-grown. While both of them can make stunning additions to your gemstone collection, you should always understand the difference before making a purchase.

Natural Gemstones

Natural gemstones are formed without any human intervention and are found in nature. These stones, including rubies and diamonds, are prized because they are beautiful, very durable, rare and valuable. Natural gemstones can include topaz, amethyst, sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond and more. Most of these are naturally-occurring minerals.

Lab-Created Gemstones

While natural gemstones are found in nature, lab-created gemstones can be almost anything, including completely synthetic varieties. Synthetic gems can have the same chemical composition and breakdown as natural gemstones, but they were made in a lab instead of created by nature. As a result, they are often more affordable and can be easier to find in stunning, perfect varieties. Labs use many creative tools to create gemstones, including different pressures, equipment, temperatures, ingredients and methods.

For example, lab-created rubies and spinel can be made using the flux-grown method. This method mimics the natural environment and ingredients that are used to create these stones in nature. The raw ingredients are dissolved in a very hot crucible and then allowed to slowly recrystallize. The method makes gemstones that look very realistic and have inclusions, but it can take some time.

Which One Is Better?

In short, there is no perfect stone, only the perfect stone for you! Some people enjoy the stones that can be created in labs and the more affordable nature of them. Others want the real thing. Because modern technology has come so far, it is very difficult to spot a real or lab-created gemstone with the naked and untrained eye. If the price on a piece you are examining seems too good to be true, it generally is. SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is always available to help determine if a stone is natural or lab-created and what the true value of your piece is. We are here to guide you to the perfect piece for you and your loved ones!

Find Out the Value of Your Natural or Lab-Created Stones

Whether you have a family jewelry piece you are interested in learning the value of or you’re looking to expand your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.

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