Gemstones have been cherished since ancient times. The first amulet using sapphires, garnets and pearls dates back to 300 B.C. Modern times saw a surge in gemstone popularity during the Renaissance time period and they remain popular today. While there is still a great demand for precious gemstones, consumers are recognizing the negative effects mining these jewels can have on the earth and humanity, which is why the demand for lab created gemstones is on the rise.
You might ask, are lab grown gemstones the same as mined gemstones, and the answer is “yes”! Lab created gemstones are 100% identical optically, physically and chemically to their mined counterparts. However, that does not mean all lab grown gemstones have the same quality. There are two methods for creating gemstones, and the finished products are very different from each other.
There are multiple ways to create gemstones, but Flux Fusion provides the best gemstones because it creates an identical internal structure to mined gemstones. This gives the gems more brilliance and light return, which creates more vibrant colors.
An avid scientist, Carroll Chatham spearheaded the Flux Fusion process in the early 1900s. By 1938, he perfected the process of growing emeralds and started his company, Chatham Gemstones. He then moved on to rubies. It took him 20 years, but in 1958 he grew the first rubies. After spending years perfecting that process, he moved on to Alexandrite in 1978. Growing gemstones using the Flux Fusion method takes up to a year.
The process involves taking a small slice of the crystal and placing it in a crucible container. The chamber is then filled with a proprietary blended liquid that feeds the crystal growth. The process is only possible at 1,100 degrees celsius. Any time there is a power outage or disruption that lasts longer than 10 minutes, the crystal growth is disrupted and all of the batches in production are lost. It may seem like a large amount of energy is required to create lab grown gems, but the innovative design of the crucible chambers results in about 5 cents worth of energy being used per carat.
The average batch produces about 10,000 carats but unfortunately, 80-90% of the gemstones are lost during the cutting process. Some of the carats are also forfeited to be used as seeds in future batches.
MiaDonna is proud to exclusively sell the highest quality Chatham grown gemstones created with the Flex Fusion Method.
This method uses a melting of chemicals to achieve a stone similar to a ruby or sapphire. This is what most jewelers use for their created gemstones because it is less expensive and faster, however they do not have the same brilliance and test negative as real gemstones.
It’s important to ask your jeweler which method was used to grow your gemstone before you make a purchase.
Sapphires come in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, champagne and padaparsha. While blue sapphires remain the most popular color for engagement rings, the peachy pink of champagne sapphires is also prominent for center stones. One of the most popular sapphire engagement rings is the ring shared by Princess Diana and Kate Middleton.
Lab created emeralds are a popular choice because of their deep, vivid color, which comes from their growing environment being rich in Chromium. Made popular by celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie and Sofia Vergara, emeralds are said to be the gem of Goddesses.
For most of recorded history, rubies have been the most valuable gems. Fine rubies glow, with red fluorescence making them particularly dramatic in bright sunlight. Rubies are very rare: it’s almost impossible to mine flawless rubies and many mined rubies are enhanced with heat and fracture filling to improve their appearance.
This color changing stone goes from bluish-green in daylight or fluorescent light to brownish or purplish-red in incandescent light. These are very rare in nature which makes them quite expensive. Often called emerald by day and ruby by night, alexandrite is made of chromium, which is the trace element that makes rubies red and emeralds green. Many imitation alexandrite exist and are treated with chemicals to make them look like alexandrite, but if you don’t see it change from green to red, then it’s a fake.
MiaDonna’s lab grown gemstones are a beautiful alternative to traditional diamond center stones. All of our gemstones are the highest quality, and at just $395 per carat, they are extremely affordable. You can find your dream gemstone.