Q & A ... What Exactly is a SYNTHETIC GEMSTONE and should I use them in my sellable work?
Hi everyone! Here's a great question that we all ask ourselves when we move into working with Faceted Gems... we all know an 'Earth Grown' gemstone is always perceived as 'real' and 'valuable' ... but sometimes, we see the word 'synthetic' in a description of a gemstone and we wonder... WTHeck? Is it a 'fake' or a 'resin' thing?
The great answer is NO, it's not! At the molecular level, a 'Man-made' gemstone, also known as a 'Lab-Grown' gemstone, is all the same as what Earth uses to make one. Like I shared in our Membership Livestream this past weekend, when we did the Box Channel set... I don't like using the word 'synthetic' when I describe these gemstones in my work if I'm using them. And I have no shame in using them either because they are beautiful! I prefer to use the words Lab-Grown or Human-Made vs Synthetic as the general public might get the wrong idea about the gem!
Q... Then what do I call a gemstone that is not Lab or Earth grown or just a colored glass gemstone?
A... Like CZs... these are called 'Simulated Gemstones' which means at the molecular level, it does NOT contain the same properties or structure as a Lab-Grown or Earth-Grown gemstone. It might just have the color of one, which is okay and beautiful too!
Q... Should I disclose that the gems are Lab-Grown when I go to sell it?
A... Always. You can always share the positive reasons why Lab-Grown stones are great too! There is a population of buyers who will prefer these over Earth-grown stones so there is no reason, not to disclose what they are... not to mention, it's simply ethical. Here is some 'googled' information to help you begin your research...
Source: Internet searches but... here is more detailed info too...
"Gemstones are called 'synthetic' if they're created in a controlled lab environment, mimicking the chemical and physical properties of their Earth-Grown counterpart. This stands in contrast to natural gemstones, which are formed over millions of years under intense pressure and heat deep within the Earth. Here are some key reasons why some gemstones are called synthetic:
1. Controlled creation: Unlike natural stones, whose formation takes ages and is subject to chance, synthetic gemstones are created deliberately in labs using advanced techniques. This allows for consistent quality control and the creation of stones with specific characteristics, like desired colors or flawless clarity.
2. Chemical and physical similarity: While not always 100% identical, synthetic gemstones possess the same molecular structure and physical properties as their natural counterparts. This means they have the same brilliance, hardness, durability, and even inclusions under magnification in some cases.
3. Affordability and ethical concerns: Natural gemstones, especially rare and high-quality ones, can be incredibly expensive and their mining can raise ethical concerns due to environmental impact and potential labor issues. Synthetics offer a more affordable and readily available alternative, addressing both factors.
4. Transparency and disclosure: The term "synthetic" is not used to deceive. It's meant to be transparent and inform buyers that the stone was created in a lab, not mined from the Earth. Responsible sellers will always disclose the origin of their gemstones explicitly. It's important to note that not all "synthetic" gems are the same.
Some terms you might encounter include:
Lab-grown: More neutral than "synthetic," emphasizing the controlled environment.
Man-made: Similar to "lab-grown," but focuses on the human intervention.
Created: Broad term encompassing both synthetic and simulated gemstones.
Simulated: Refers to stones that only resemble natural ones in appearance but lack their chemical and physical identity (e.g., cubic zirconia).
Remember, the value of a gemstone, whether natural or synthetic, depends on various factors like its beauty, rarity, and craftsmanship. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference.
I will add, that when you are selling your wire wrapped, wearable Artwork... remember that anything you put inside that wire, is a beautiful item because YOUR artwork, is surrounding it! If we love our own Art, then there are buyers waiting to love it with us!
Lab-grown or man-made does not always mean inexpensive, either, but rather more affordable.
I hope this helps you along your journey into wire-wrapped and wire-woven, handmade jewelry! Much love! Now go make something beautiful!