Natural vs. Lab-Grown Gemstones: Everything You Need To Know

natural vs lab grown gemstone

In 2022, India rocked the gem market with a staggering $32.4 billion in sales. And guess what? Over 85% of these sparkling wonders are the brainchildren of labs. It's like a gem revolution, and the jewellery industry is loving it.

But are lab-grown gemstones at par with the natural ones? 

Ah, this ageless debate of natural gemstones vs. lab-grown gems! It's a discussion as ancient as lab gems themselves, fuelling more debates than the pineapple on pizza— and we totally get why! 

From engagement rings to fine jewellery, gemstones are an investment. That's one reason why choosing the best quality pieces with superior brilliance, and a near-flawless appearance is key.

So, when it comes to lab-grown versus natural gemstones, which one will give you the best quality? Can the average person tell the difference between a natural gemstone and a human-made one?

Hold tight as we spill all the secrets before you pick your next gem.

Natural vs. Lab-Grown Gemstones: What Are the Key Differences?

Natural Gemstones 

Lab-Grown Gemstones

Long history spanning several centuries

Relatively short history

Relatively rare

Easily available

Typically contain inclusions

Feature few to no inclusions


Also Read: Natural vs. Lab-Grown Rubies

1. History

Natural Gemstones 

Natural gemstones have been around since the era of toga fashion, embraced by ancient Greek and Roman royalty who saw these gems as protectors against envy and harm. In India, some gems were believed to mend relationships with enemies. Rubies, known as 'Ratnaraj' in Sanskrit or 'King of Gems,' are mentioned in the Bible. It was also believed that offering them to Lord Krishna would lead to rebirth as emperors. Medieval Europeans were convinced that these natural gemstones held the secret to health, wealth, wisdom, and a thriving love life.

Later, as the Western world joined the scene, natural gemstones gained the spotlight. From foreseeing the future when placed under the tongue to revealing truth and warding off evil spells, gemstones served diverse purposes and became highly sought after by European royalty and the upper class. 

Lab-Grown Gemstones:

The history of these gems is a bit like a hazy memory from last night's party – the grand entrance date is debatable. Some claim they crashed the scene in 1873, while others insist they popped up in the mid-1900s.

On the flip side, lab-grown gems have a briefer history and are nurtured in a controlled laboratory setting, under the vigilant eye of scientists who don't settle for 'inclusions' as an answer.

If you're all about that flawless gem life, our lab-grown ruby pendants and our lab-grown emerald jewellery pieces, featuring lab-grown gemstone earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, are sure to be your jam.

2. Rarity 

Natural Gemstones: 

Natural gemstones take their time, requiring several years to grace the world. Naturally, their rarity is as a calm day in a bustling Indian market.

Lab-Grown Gemstones: 

Kudos to high-tech wizardry! Scientists have not only managed to replicate the natural gem-forming habitat but can also fast-track the process.

The outcome? Lab-grown gems become as accessible as the Amazon Prime of the jewellery world – it's like gemstone express shipping. 

3. Inclusions 

Natural Sapphires and Emeralds: 

Given their adventure to the surface, it's no wonder that natural gemstones often carry the marks of their journey.

You could say these inclusions, especially the smaller ones, are like gemstone freckles, contributing character to the stone's allure. 

Lab-Grown Gemstones: 

On the flip side, lab-grown gems thrive in a meticulously controlled lab, under the vigilant eyes of scientists who don't settle for 'inclusions' as an answer.

If you're all in for that flawless gem life, our collection of lab-grown ruby pendants and lab-grown emerald jewellery – featuring earrings, bracelets, and necklaces – is bound to be your absolute favourite. 

How are lab grown gemstones formed? 

Flame fusion

It includes melting powdered elements into a liquid, dripped onto a turning rod. The liquid solidifies into a tear-shaped gem, adopting a specific crystal structure based on the elements used.

Flux growth

The flux method dissolves gemstone elements in a solvent called 'flux,' letting the solution crystallize.

Crystal pulling

Also known as the melt process, it involves placing a 'seed' crystal (a piece of the desired gem) into a crucible filled with melted nutrients. More crystals form and attach onto the seed.

Hydrothermal growth

Commonly used for lab emeralds, this method dissolves gemstone nutrients in water under high pressure. As the solution cools, gem crystals grow. 

The outcome of all these processes is a gemstone with identical chemical properties to those grown naturally underground.

Natural vs. Lab-Grown Gemstones: What Are the Similarities?

1. They're Property Twins

Imagine a gem emerges from the Earth's depths, facing pressure and severe conditions, while another is born in a lab where beakers and scientists are as common as sand and seashells.

You might assume these gems have absolutely nothing in common, right? Wrong!

Despite their different origins, these gems share identical optical, physical, and chemical properties. From the way they refract light to their Mohs scale hardness, these gems are practically reflections of each other. 

And if that isn’t a signal to treat yourself or your loved one to our selection of lab-grown jewellery, we don’t know what is.

2. They're Both Valued Alike

Shifting gears to their value, lab-grown gems possess a remarkable trait that often goes unnoticed — they're as valuable as their naturally occurring counterparts. Yes, you heard that right! 

3. Equal Brilliance in Cut and Polish

Lab-grown gems, much like their natural counterparts, can undergo cutting and polishing to achieve an equivalent level of brilliance. 

Whether adorned with a lab-grown gemstone engagement ring or a natural one, rest assured both will exude that deep, passionate red synonymous with love and desire. 

Natural vs. Lab-Grown Gemstones: What is the Best Choice?

If you're a traditionalist enchanted by the notion of donning a piece of Earth’s history, natural gemstones might be your go-to. They exude that old-world charm and boast the allure of scarcity.Conversely, if you have an affinity for sizable stones and modest price tags, then we highly recommend opting for a lab-grown gemstone.

Honestly, the answer boils down to your priorities.

WE WILL HELP YOU FIND YOUR PERFECT GEMSTONE

No matter what your gemstone preference, as an Angara customer you have a huge selection of gemstone options of all varieties. Dive into a treasure trove of options online—choose by type, color, shape, and more. Customization? Absolutely! We'll craft YOUR dream jewellery just the way you want. Shop gemstone elegance now or chat with our design experts for a personalized touch!

So, what are you waiting for? Venture out there and discover your perfect gem now

FAQs

1. What is the primary distinction between natural and lab-grown gemstones?
The primary distinction between natural and lab-grown gemstones is their origin. Natural gems form over millions of years underground, whereas lab-grown ones take weeks or months in controlled labs. Lab-grown gems are often more flawless, eco-friendly, and cost-effective, yet natural gems are valued for their investment potential, appreciating over time. Appearance-wise, lab-grown gems lean towards uniformity, while natural gems offer diverse colors, catering to individual tastes.

2. Do natural gemstones have more intrinsic value than lab-grown gemstones?
Natural gemstones are prized for their intrinsic value, shaped by rarity, formation process, appreciating value, and distinctive imperfections. On the flip side, lab-grown gems offer affordability, sustainability, a consistent appearance, and eco-friendliness. The decision boils down to personal preferences, aesthetic choices, and budget considerations.

3. Can lab-grown gemstones replicate the beauty and characteristics of natural gemstones?
Lab-grown gems imitate the beauty of natural ones, sharing the same minerals for durability and appearance. They might lack imperfections and have consistent color, making them hard to tell apart without expert tools.

4. How to distinguish between natural gemstones & lab- created gemstones?
Due to identical properties, distinguishing lab gemstones from natural ones is challenging. The naked eye reveals no visible disparities, requiring specialized equipment even for a seasoned gemologist. Certifications become crucial for differentiation and pricing, especially when purchasing from reputable jewelers.

 

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