Updated: Jan 16, 2020
You've come across a jewelry website and you noticed a "Lab Created"section, if you're anything like me then you probably asked yourself; "What is a lab created jewelry?". In some ways it could be a hard concept to grasp considering the value that some of these natural gemstones hold is crazy and it almost hurts me to know that they can be easily replicated. Replicated so well in fact that jewelry experts around the world cannot even tell the difference between a lab created gemstone versus a high quality natural gemstone. It's an interesting topic fueled with some handy information so let's go ahead and dive into it a little deeper.
Lab created jewelry uses a controlled lab environment to create minerals such as the most popular of course, diamonds, but also other minerals like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc. Hence, lab created. The process that these scientists use to create authentic gemstones in a laboratory mimic the natural process to a tee.
If you're here because you're worried about lab created jewelry taking over the world, fret not. At least not yet. Lab created jewelry is on the rise and has exponential potential but the education just isn't quite there yet among the public.
For decades jewelry has been a luxury in our lives, defining power and status in some cases and loyalty and love in others. It has become a passion for some and an obsession for many but one thing is for certain, I have never met a person who has never owned a piece of jewelry.
Rappers and athletes wear citizen-paying salaries around their necks and on their wrists while mothers and wives wear life-long bonds on their ring fingers. I mean the potential is there. It's no wonder why in 2018 the jewelry and watch sales totaled at around 82.5 billion dollars in the United States, just a little fun fact for you.
So good, we all know what jewelry is. That's great. But what about this new thing creeping its way into the industry? Yeah, that thing... lab created jewelry. The sole reason you're here.
Well friend, I've got good news for you. Lab created jewelry is nothing but great for the industry. Although some businesses like to promote advertisements such as "real is rare" and what not. The truth is these businesses are lagging on the social evolution going on around the world and seem numb to our environmental status at the moment. With that being said a lot of businesses are also beginning to introduce the "healthier" alternative, if you will, and even create their own businesses around lab created jewelry...this is where I don't advertise GloLabs.
Note: Lab created jewelry, lab grown jewelry, lab made jewelry--all the same.
So where exactly does lab created jewelry stand in the jewelry industry? Well, that can get complicated. We now know that lab created jewelry uses a controlled lab environment to create authentic gemstones, the most popular being the precious stones that can be costly (non-precious stones can be created in a lab environment as well). These stones are then graded the exact same way natural gemstones are, by the 4 c's: color, clarity, cut and carat weight.
The gemstones created in these labs carry the EXACT SAME, and I emphasize exact same, chemical make up as their natural counterparts as well as being physically and optically identical. Like we noted before these stones are not distinguishable from a high quality natural counterpart by even the brightest jewelry experts and leave a lighter carbon footprint. Ironically enough, the differences that can be observed prove that lab created gemstones carry greater purity and show improved quality over the natural gemstones who aren't considered to be high quality.
Food for thought; Imagine your natural diamond being so good that someone claims it was lab grown.
Now that we understand that lab created jewelry is quite literally a more efficient and legitimate alternative, there is another thing worth mentioning--it's also an environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternative. Now I know we already talked about how lab created gemstones leave a lighter carbon footprint, but let's get into the numbers a little bit because I just love numbers.
Creating gemstones in laboratories help the planet one high quality gemstones at a time. Mining for diamonds, notably the most popular gemstones of modern time, and other gemstones result in over 6000 acres of disturbed land a year along with leaving tons of waste in it's path. Lab created diamonds and other minerals result in 0 acres of disturbed land and about 0.17 pounds of waste. A significant difference.
The defendant will argue and claim that the diamond mining industry is a great safe place for workers and provides great compensation. They will also argue that their natural gemstones, we'll use diamonds for example, are conflict free--which means they aren't blood diamonds, which only means there isn't any behind the scenes business going on to assure that they obtain them. Conflict diamonds fall into the company of 98% of all other natural diamonds at the moment and isn't a very good argument when we are talking about the well being of our planet.
I will say, however, because I'm sympathetic towards the mining industry that mining for diamonds is a great work opportunity for some. However, times are changing and our planet has to become a priority.
I grew up in Charleston, West Virginia where the main economic source of income was coal mining. I can remember everyone and their cousin was a coal miner at one point. But, just like in the coal industry, science has found a new eco-friendly alternative and some things, although great leaps are being made, still need to change for the better of our planet.