Is a Lab-Created Emerald a Real Emerald?
What's the difference between a lab-created emerald and a natural emerald? Is a synthetic gem a real gem? Learn the facts before you buy emerald jewelry.
1 Minute Read
I'm really confused by this whole synthetic vs natural emerald pitch. What are the pros and cons of buying lab-created emerald jewelry?
Answer: A lab-created emerald is a real emerald but not a natural emerald. Synthetic emeralds are some of the most expensive synthetic gems. The methods used to create them in labs require expensive equipment. The process is slow and energy intensive, and the yield of facetable material is low. Nevertheless, a lab-created emerald isn't nearly as valuable as a natural emerald.
Synthetic and Natural Gems Have the Same Properties
People often ask these kinds of questions about synthetic sapphires and synthetic alexandrites, too. In brief, a synthetic or lab-created emerald will have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as a natural emerald.
Interested in this topic?
This article is also a part of our Emerald Specialist Mini Course, in the unit Distinguishing Synthetic and Simulant Emerald.
Synthetics are Much Less Expensive Than Natural Gems
However, synthetic emeralds are MUCH less expensive when matched for size and quality against natural emeralds. (Just take a look at the price range for natural emeralds).
A good natural emerald will set you back a pretty penny. As for whether to purchase a synthetic or natural emerald jewelry piece, you'll have to set your priorities. Balance how much you want a natural gem of a particular size and quality against your budget.
However, I do have one recommendation. Please don't buy from someone who feeds you a line of baloney. That could be just the beginning of a lot of trouble.
Donald Clark, CSM IMG
International Gem Society
Emerald Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Seven Famous Emeralds and Their Stories
Emerald Origins: History and Identification
Emerald Transformation: Cleaning and Recutting a Natural Emerald
How Does Vapor Deposition Create Mystic Topaz and Aqua Aura Quartz?
Creating Ring Mountings for Deep-Cut Gemstones
How Does Topaz Form?
Prosopite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.
Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!