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

Nature has given us so many gifts that we cannot count them all. Among these, natural gemstones are probably one of the most beautiful. Throughout history, there are traces of these precious stones. In the modern era, laboratory technologies have been mobilized to copy genuine processes, resulting in indistinguishable from natural gemstones.

In this article, we will explore the difference between lab-created and natural gemstones. So, if you're curious about natural gemstones and want to learn more about their types, properties, and significance, then read on!

What is Gemstone?

Gemstones are indispensable instruments of jewelry. They are precious stones found in nature in pure form. The most common precious stones used in jewelry are; diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, topazes, garnets, amber and many others.

The use of gemstones in jewelry varies from gemstone engagement rings to necklaces. In addition, they come in various colors, including green, yellow, black, pink, and purple gemstones.

What are the Types of Gemstones?

Gemstones can be broadly classified into two groups: precious and semi-precious stones. Their rarity, value, and historical significance often distinguish them.

types of natural gemstones

There are many types of precious gemstones, but here are a few favorites:

  • Diamonds: They are highly valued for their brilliance, hardness, and rarity.
  • Rubies: Ruby gemstone has a deep red color and durability, which make them popular gemstone.
  • Emeralds: Their color and rarity make them highly sought-after gemstones.
  • Sapphires: They come in many different colors, with the blue color being the most famous.

Some of the most popular semi-precious gemstones are:

  • Amethyst: This gemstone is known for its deep purple color and affordability.
  • Garnet: Garnets can be found in all kinds of colors, but they are most common in red.
  • Aquamarine: It is a blue-green gemstone.
  • Topaz: Topaz is a durable gemstone available in a variety of colors.

Other popular gemstones include tourmaline, peridot, citrine, opal, turquoise, and many more. The gemstone lights, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight determines its quality and value.

Natural Gemstones

Even though defects enhance the beauty of natural gemstones, there are many flaws, including cracks, scratches, minor fractures on the surface, stains on the inside, gaps, liquid formation in some areas, etc.

For example, opals, which contain lots of liquid, can reflect the vivid colors of the rainbow. Or, layers within these stones that have formed over time but appear as defects may create an optical illusion from different angles, improving their beauty. Natural gemstones can be used with little correction to their defects.

Genuine Gemstone

Genuine gemstones are pure stones in nature that have undergone some improvement and correction. These processes remove cracks, scratches, and stains in pure stones, and the outer surface is polished. They have brighter and more vibrant colors than natural stones.

Lap created gemstones on black table

Lab-Created Gemstones

80 years ago, Carroll Chatham succeeded in growing emeralds in a laboratory setting. Various techniques were developed after this successful experiment, leading to the widespread use of jewelry manufacturing in the laboratory environment. Almost all precious stones can be produced in a laboratory, including lab-created diamonds, rubies, emeralds, Alexandrites, and sapphires.

How is a Lab Gemstone Made?

Modern technology allows gemstones to be produced in a complete lab environment without harming the environment. In general, there are two methods used for this. They are the melting method and the solution method.
Melting involves rotating powdered chemical elements by applying high temperatures. Compared to solutions, these procedures are slightly more expensive.

In the solution method, different methods are used according to the type of gemstone to be produced. It is possible to perform some techniques by applying high pressure and vacuum.

Certified Gemstones

Certified gemstones are one that has been evaluated and authenticated by an independent gemological laboratory. Certified gems are inspected in detail for color, clarity, cut, carat weight, and any enhancements or treatments they may have undergone.

A gemstone certificate helps buyers determine the value of a gemstone, as well as its quality and authenticity. While many reputable organizations offer gemstone certification services, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS) are the most widely recognized.

Simulated Gemstones

Natural gemstones are expensive, so synthetic gemstones are often marketed as an affordable alternative. However, an untrained eye may not be able to distinguish simulated stones from natural stones due to their various colors and shapes.

Simulated gemstones, however, are not considered to be as valuable or rare as natural gemstones. Therefore, buyers should be aware of what they are purchasing to avoid confusion.

Natural gemstones or lap created gemstones which one is better explain on image

Natural Gemstones or Lab Created; Which One is Better?

A gemstone found pure in nature may be more appealing to you. Lab-produced gemstones, however, are durable and high-quality and resemble natural gemstones in many ways. They even have some advantages and disadvantages over each other.

1. Appearance

While enhanced gemstones are produced using chemical materials, natural gemstones are only subjected to processes such as removing imperfections and o shining them. As a result, they both have eye-catching looks.

2. Price

Since lab-created gemstones can be produced to a large extent in the laboratory environment, they are cheaper than natural gemstones.

3. Durability

Lab-grown diamonds are more resistant to wear, scratches, and breakage than natural gemstones. It is very difficult for a non-professional to distinguish both types of gemstones. However, artificial gemstones' price advantages and durability make them more popular than natural gemstones.


FAQ About Gemstones

You can find the most frequently asked questions and their answers about gemstones in the rest of our article.

Why are Lab Created Gems Cheaper?

Although treated gemstones have a difficult production process, they are very cost-effective as they can be produced in bulk. On the other hand, natural gemstones are more expensive due to their rarity in nature.

Are Lab Created Gemstones Worth Anything?

Lab-created gemstones can be produced with higher quality than natural ones in terms of quality, durability, and aesthetic appearance. This makes them a good option for those seeking alternative gemstones without compromising quality.

Can a Jeweler Tell If a Stone is Lab Created?

Generally, a skilled jeweler can recognize lab-created stones, although it might be obscure to an untrained eye. Gemstones created in laboratories have different characteristics from natural stones, which jewelers can detect with a trained eye and the right equipment. Lab-created gemstones, for example, can have a more uniform appearance and inclusions and a different color pattern from natural stones.

Which is Better, Lab or Natural Diamond?

Man-made gemstones are more attractive and cost-effective if appearance and quality are your top priorities. Alternatively, you can choose natural gemstones if you prefer carrying a completely natural piece of fine jewelry.

What are Simulated Gemstones Made of?

Simulated gemstones are made from materials such as glass, plastic, or other synthetic materials and are often called "imitation" stones.

What is an Imitation Gem?

An imitation gemstone is a type of simulated gemstone designed to look like a natural gemstone but made from materials that are not the same as the original stone.

Imitated gemstones are made from materials that are different from natural gemstones and are designed to look like natural gemstones. They are different from lab-created gemstones, which are made of the same materials as natural gemstones and designed to mimic natural gemstones' appearance at a lower price.