Are Lab-Grown Gemstones “Green”?
Although no gemstone has zero environmental impact, it’s true that the production of lab-grown gems does not require moving large amounts of earth like mining. There’s also no chance of drinking water pollution. Crystal growers do use energy and chemicals derived from the earth but the carbon footprint of crystal growth is a small fraction of natural gemstone mining, fair trade or not.
I recently obtained some amazing 6mm gems from Chatham, who produce the highest quality lab-grown gems, with a colour and clarity seen in only the very best mined gems. They can grow many precious and semi-precious gems such as sapphires, rubies, diamonds and emeralds.
Chatham grows its crystals over a six-month period. They start with a naturally mined seed of fine gemstone. When everything is right, they are able to grow vivid crystals with exceptional clarity. When they cut the crystals, they cut away 80% of the rough to give faceted gemstones that are essentially flawless and highly saturated in colour. The price difference between the finest lab-grown and mined gemstones of the same size and quality can be as much as $100,000 per carat!
Amazing Padparadscha Sapphires and Rubies
True padparadscha sapphire is very rare in nature, so it is difficult to find sapphires of the quality of the lab-grown gem featured in the image above. Chatham take a seed of fine Sri Lankan padparadscha and create the perfect environment so the crystals grow large and clean. The result is this faceted padparadscha sapphire that rivals the mined gems you see in museums. And because it was created in Chatham's lab, it has less of an impact on the environment. The same process is applied to this amazing ruby, which was grown from a seed of the finest Burmese ruby. A natural ruby with the same vivid pigeon's blood red colour and exceptional clarity would command a hefty price tag!
If you'd like a ring or a piece of jewellery made using one of the these stunning Chatham gems please contact me for a quote. You can find more information on custom orders by clicking the blue button below.