Valentine’s Day is coming, and during this time of year, my husband tends to be looking for a gift. He’s lived with me for many years and is very aware that I have a magpie gene. Yes, it’s true, I am drawn to sparkly shiny things. Always have been.
Armed with this knowledge, he knows a trip to the jewelry store will almost always result in me loving my present.
This year, however, I was doing a bit more research so I could help him.
Five Reasons I’m Considering a Lab-Grown Sapphire
There is No Chemical Difference – Lab-grown sapphire’s are not like cubic zirconia is to diamonds. A lab grown sapphire has exactly the same chemical composition as a sapphire mined from the earth down to the molecular level. Yeah. Molecular level.
Some new manufacturing processes allow for the stones to be made much larger and eliminate most of impurities in the process of creating the stones. Seriously, it’s like science fiction made real.
And yes, they are real stones. Made in a similar way to the way they made by the Earth, just made faster. Only way to tell if a quality lab-grown stone is lab-grown is for a trained gemologist to inspect it under a special microscope and look for the telltale signs of how the manufactured gem was seeded.
Environmental Sustainability – Lab grown gems are much more environmentally sustainable. Not only does it take less energy to create one than to mine one from the ground, but there’s no long term damage to the earth and surroundings communities. Some of the mining techniques used to extract gems are horrendous.
Origin – You know exactly where the gem was created. There is no worry about conflict minerals. If you read up on how many of the miners are treated, this alone can be worth it. They aren’t called blood diamonds because of their color.
Price – Lab grown gems are much less expensive than gems mined from the ground.
Colors – You can get a rainbow of colors at the same quality.
I’m still not completely sure what I think, but I am huge proponent of science. I am trying to wrap my brain around why we wouldn’t manufacture all gems if what my research shows is true.
Perhaps I’m missing something. What do you think? Is there a reason you’d prefer a gem that came from the earth rather than a lab? Why do you think we still mine gems at all?