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Stones created in a lab are chemically, physically and optically identical to those mined underground, yet they have fewer flaws and cost less, too.
The more expensive and hard-to-find natural gems, such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies are favorite lab-created stones. An imitation gemstone, while artificially made, does not follow nature's recipe, making it completely different physically, chemically and optically from the natural gem it copies.
How they're made
The mineral composition of lab-created stones is created through a process similar to what nature does beneath the earth over millions of years, but in a lab at a fraction of the time, and for a fraction of the cost.
The main distinction is natural gems typically have inclusions from the crystallization process - gases and other minerals mixing during the molten stage of stone creation. Because lab-created stones rely on a steady, controlled process of applying minerals, heat and pressure, they have few, if any, inclusions.
Whether you're buying a gift or treating yourself, purchase lab-created stone jewelry from a trusted jeweler, who discloses what your stone is and how to care for it. Just as there are different quality levels in natural gems, the same goes for lab-created stones. Make sure you understand what you're getting for the money you're spending, especially when paying a premium for a piece.
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