Different opinions about gems suitability and synthetic diamonds has been always a sensitive subject, many people do not agree with lab grown gemstones or on the other side others think of sustainability of the jewllery consumption, including gem mining and ethical consumers concerns. There is a narrow edge in between those two perspectives and supporters of one side or another. If you are on one of these sides, I would like to emphasize the fact that there is a third option to try to be a mediator and place yourself in the midst of it all. This controversy began when political and financial issues were involving gemstones in negative sombrous matters. “Blood Diamonds” financing wars in Sierra Leone, Angola and Congo, or rubies from Burma that supported military junta.
Mining processes that can negatively impact wildlife or pollute the environment with toxic waste and also impacts on water quality Workers have to process about a ton of rock to recover less than half a carat of rough diamond. The ratio of diamond to ore is usually about 0.30 ct. of rough diamond per metric ton (1.102 US tons) of ore. Mining involves a lot of money and labor for relatively small quantities of diamonds. It costs millions of dollars to identify a possible diamond deposit. It costs even more to build and operate a mine in a location that’s found to contain diamonds.
Depside all these there are many mining companies like De Beers recycling and re-using streams, and mineral, in the form of fine and coarse residues. The process could be under control the only important think you have to do as a customer to inform yourself about the provenience of your gems, conflict free diamonds, ethical sourcing and environmental protection, those will be the primary factors when deciding to buy gem.
The Kimberly Certification process was introduced 2003 to prevent "conflict diamonds" from entering the mainstream rough diamond market by United Nations General Assembly Resolution. KP members are responsible for stemming 99.8% of the global production of conflict diamonds. Any certification will help you to see the true colors of your gem, a GIA certification will help you identify the quality of your purchase.
Lab grown(Synthetic) vs Simulants
The most important fact to highlight is that Lab Grown diamonds are NOT the same with imitation Diamonds. The differences between them are subtle, but very important!
Lab-grown refers to a manmade (synthetic) material with the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical and physical properties as the natural gem material. Lab-grown diamonds contain carbon atoms. They’re arranged the same way in both natural and lab-grown diamonds. There are many jewllery brands that use lab grown gemstone to the highest standards and have the most beautiful creations. You would never be able to tell and say “they are not real”! They are real, they have the same structure but the growing conditions were facilitated by men. They protect the environment and they have more accessible prices. Their color it is completely gorgeous and they will impress at the same level as the natural materials do.
In 1902 Frenchmen Auguste Verneuil , produced a synthetic ruby crustal by exposing aluminum powder aluminum oxide and coloring material to a flame.
Mikimoto was the first brand that introduces the cultured pearl creation technique to the market in 1893. The first pearl oyster farm at the Shinmei with his wife and partner Ume. After many failures and near bankruptcy, he was able to create the hemispherical cultured pearls. The process only helps the natural creation of a pearl a small incision is made and the nucleus is inserted along with a small piece of mantle gland. The oyster is then placed back in the water and allowed over several years to coat the nucleus with nacre. Many of them will not have the expected results. Having this in mind you can practically see how the cultured pearl are still a natural wonder just with a human touch.
Many celebrities are supporting lab grown diamonds such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Beyonce, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, Jenifer Huston, Jenifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift ,Julia Roberts, Sofia Vergara and many others. Some of those incredible jewllery design promoting lab grown material are Anabela Chan, Taylor&Hart, Lebrusan studio.
I am totally in love with Anabela Chan's designs , the colors the style and the unique surreal natural forms that take life into your hands.
Lab-grown industrial diamonds, which are used as abrasives and in cutting tools, have been manufactured since the mid-1950s but gem quality lab-grown diamonds have been commercially produced in limited quantities since the mid-1990s.
Materials that simply look like natural gems are called simulants or imitations. The materials can be either natural or manmade. “Substitute” is an older term for the same thing. A number of materials have been used as diamond simulants. Some of the classics are glass, zircon, and colorless lab-grown spinel. YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) and GGG (gadolinium gallium garnet) were developed in the late 1960s. Today, those simulants have been almost entirely replaced by CZ— synthetic cubic zirconia. It has “synthetic” in its name because cubic zirconia actually exists in nature, but in crystals too small for use in jewelry. CZ was used mistakably and intentionally in place of diamonds.
Synthetic moissanite was introduced in the late 1990s as a diamond simulant. It was so successful that, today, it’s sold mostly as a gem in its own right.
Let recap what you need to know when you are buying gems?
Be aware if they are lab grown, simulants or a natural gem!
If they are a natural gem you need to dig dipper and see the certifications the quality, the provenance of a conflict free zone. Localities also can indicate by different inclusions and colors and some could be appraised with higher prices depending of the source.
If you are a gem connoisseur or you just want to own a precious gem I will advice you direct your attention to natural or lab grown gemstones. Fine jewllery pieces are always made of the finniest materials on the other hand if you would only like a fashion adornment , or travel pieces as some might say , you can look at the stimulants ones. A faux pearl it’s a simulant of a pearl made of plastic or glass. A synthetic moissanite could me a central stone for a cocktail ring for you beach vacation evenings empowering you outfits like a diamond.
Some people will prefer synthetic gemstones over the natural ones due to their impact to humanity but there is always a grey area a frontier in between the two conceptions. Nowadays De beers use direct traceability but we can demonstrate the positive impact your diamond has had along its incredible journey – from helping more than 700 women small-scale micro-entrepreneurs across Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. De Beers is committed to ensuring that all diamonds are sourced in a manner that upholds the social, ethical and environmental expectations. They to operate carbon neutral mines, and to deliver a positive impact on biodiversity overall. Sustainability its vey important theses days and more and more people are tying to reuse the stones and the metals from vintage and retro jewllery pieces.
As you can see there are many forms of preserving and trying to protect and cherish the natural wonders that nature has formed in millions years for us!
It will be always your decision and your attention that will help you choosing the right GEM!