Lab-grown emeralds look so much like natural emeralds. In an actual sense, you will have a tough time differentiating a natural emerald from a lab-grown emerald. Despite the similarity between the two emeralds, there are slight differences between them.
What are Lab-Grown Emeralds?
Lab-grown emeralds are created by recreating the environment through which natural emeralds are made. Usually, this process is done in the lab under keen monitoring by scientists. However, the time duration required to grow an emerald is dependent on the size of the emerald you would love to produce.
Large sizes of emerald crystal could take as long as a couple of months before it is formed. Some people often think a lab-grown emerald is not a genuine emerald. This is a very faulty school of thought.
Lab-grown emeralds, like the ones by BIRON® Gems, are genuine emeralds. They contain the same chemical composition, properties and structure as the mined counterparts. Often the error is that lab-grown emeralds are mistaken for imitated emeralds. Unlike the lab-grown emeralds, imitated emeralds copy the physical appearance of an emerald. As such, if an emerald will be regarded as unreal, it is the imitated emerald.
How Are Lab-Grown Emeralds Made?
Lab-created emeralds can be produced by flux-growth or hydrothermal processes.
In the flux process, flux is added to a platinum crucible that has a molten solution of elements that make emeralds. Afterwards, this mix of flux and the molten solution will be grown to the grower’s desire. The amount of time you dedicate to growing the crystal influences the size of the crystal. As such, giant crystals will require more growing time than smaller crystals.
The hydrothermal process recreates the heat and pressure conditions to create natural emeralds. However, this procedure creates hexagonal crystals instead of the free-grown crystals that the natural process produces.
Differences Between Lab-Grown Emeralds and Natural Emeralds
The similarities between the natural emerald and the lab-grown emerald are way more than their differences. It requires expertise and knowledge of gems to tell the difference between the emeralds.
They are Free from Impurities
One significant advantage of lab-grown gems is that they allow scientists to produce highly improved gems. Unlike natural emeralds, lab-grown emeralds do not have impurities and inclusions.
The impurities in the natural emerald are because the environment in which it is made is not controlled. Different elements are introduced into the emerald when it is still molten. On the other hand, unwanted elements cannot access the arena where lab-grown emeralds are created. Hence, lab emerald is free from undesirable impurities.
Lab-Grown Emeralds Are More Durable Than Natural Emeralds
The inclusions in natural emeralds cause them to be weaker and brittle. As a result, when too much pressure is applied to the natural emerald, they could easily get chipped. This flaw was
improved upon in the creation of the lab-grown emerald. Lab-grown emeralds are more durable and can withstand more pressure than natural emeralds.
The color of natural emeralds depends on the quantity of chromium in the specimen produced per time. Because of this, the shade of green for natural emeralds is not constant. The emerald could be a darker or lighter shade of green, depending on the conditions in the earth’s crust.
The color shade for the lab-grown emerald is independent of external factors. It could easily be tweaked to meet the needs of different customers. Most of the time, lab-grown emeralds are designed to have vivid green color.
The high cost of the natural emerald is influenced by people’s perception. Because natural emeralds are scarce, their high demand is responsible for their high price. Lab-grown emeralds are more affordable and easier to come by. Since the difference between the two emeralds is negligible, this could be an opportunity to cut down on cost.
Lab-grown emeralds are in no way inferior to natural emeralds. They look as stunning as the naturally mined one. If and when you choose to rock a lab-grown emerald, you do not need to be shy about it. Nobody will spot the difference except you tell them.