Lab-Created Stones Provide Sustainable Jewelry Solutions
Precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies need to be mined before they are cut and set into jewelry. Unfortunately, mining practices can cause irreparable damage to the land. Some mining companies follow regulations, but even clean mining means that soil and water often needs to be moved in order to extract gem stones.
Problems with Mining Gems
Diamonds are often the stone that people think of when they consider harmful mining practices. However, the mining of gemstones in general is responsible for environmental damage.
Consider Alexandrite. This stone is in demand but is becoming more difficult to find. Alexandrite is still being mined in small quantities in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Russia, but the lack of available stones has caused the price per carat to skyrocket. In many instances, one carat of Alexandrite costs more than a new car.
Fortunately, there are solutions to limited supplies, high prices, and environmental damage. Lab-created stones provide eco-friendly opportunities for everyone to be able to afford beautiful jewelry that looks like the mined versions. In many cases, the lab-created version has the same chemical and aesthetic properties as a natural stone.
For people who love Alexandrite, but don’t like the price, lab-created options are available. As a mined gem, Alexandrite is difficult to find. The rare stone is a chrysoberyl, with a bit of iron, titanium, and chromium. Chrysoberyl comes in several colors, and the addition of chromium is what gives Alexandrite its unusual color.
The eco-friendly, lab-created Alexandrite has the same unusual color combination of purple, green, and blue that the mined gem has. To the naked eye, the lab-created Alexandrite looks just like the stone that comes from the mine, and can be purchased for a fraction of the price.
Moissanite and Diamonds
If you are looking for an eco-friendly alternative to a mined diamond, Moissanite might be for you. In the late 1800s, Henri Moissan found the stone in a meteor crater in Arizona. He originally thought he found diamonds, but soon realized that the stones were made of a different composition. Mined moissanite is not easy to find in nature, since it comes from the stars. But, the lab-created gem is available for an affordable price.
It took many years to recreate Moissanite in a lab, and the results were worth the wait. Moissanite has the sparkle of diamonds. It also has unique qualities that separate it from diamonds. With Moissanite there is something special about saying that you have a gem that fell from the heavens.
Many people associate lab-created gems with fake stones. When gems are created in labs, they are made of the same materials as those found in nature. The only difference between a lab-created stone and a mined-stone is where the stone is made.
Manufacturers who create sapphires use corundum, just like the stones found in nature. A mined or lab-created sapphire are the same in physical qualities and hardness. They can both be used in industrial applications, and they can be placed into iconic jewelry settings. When you choose a lab-created sapphire, you support eco-friendly manufacturing rather than environmentally-damaging mining processes.
Shopping for Lab-Created Gems
When shopping for eco-friendly jewelry, there are considerations to make - just like you would make when shopping for mined-stones. Lab-created sapphires are often free of inclusions, because they are not exposed to environmental conditions that create small flaws. People who shop for gems often look for stones with the fewest flaws.
When shopping for Alexandrite and sapphires, look for lab-created options in vivid colors. Eco-friendly sapphires come in blue, but they are also available in pink, purple, and multi-color. You would do the same while shopping for mined stones. Shoppers also should consider the facets and cut, as well as the number of carats and price.
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