I thought I would do another series.  This one would be on gemstones because I was always getting questions about the gemstones I used.  I will also let you know how I decide to buy certain gemstones over others.  So let’s get started!

What are Gemstones?

Gemstones are rocks or mineral crystals that are cut and polished and then used in jewelry.  People who hunt for “rocks” are called Rock Hounds.  There are groups all around if you are interested.

I took a course to learn to cut stones and polish them.  This is a skill!  I loved it, and I think this could have become a fun avenue to pursue given more time.  

I was learning to make cabochons, stones with a flat bottom and a curved dome.  There are people whose expertise is cutting gemstones, such as diamonds, into beautiful shapes.  The round brilliant cut is classic and the most popular cut, having 58 separate cuts to provide an amazing sparkle.

Precious Gemstones

Four gemstones comprise the precious category.  They are diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.  They are the most expensive, and they are the most sought after.


Semi-Precious Gemstones

Semi-precious gemstones make up all the other stones.  I couldn’t find any references as to why the gemstones were divided this way.  But my go-to reference for a gold standard is always Rio Grande.

The most important thing to consider is what appeals to you!  Whether it’s about your favorite color, birthstone, or anniversary year, go after what brings you joy and happiness.  

What Are Lab-Created Gemstones?

Lab-created stones rely on a steady, controlled process of applying minerals, heat, and pressure.  The result is that they usually have fewer inclusions. So you get high-quality lab-created stones, and their prices are significantly lower than their natural gemstone counterparts.  

Some lab-created gemstones are inexpensive, and some are very expensive, but they’re all conducted artificially in a lab. They mimic or reproduce natural processes and use the same ingredients found in the natural stones. However, these processes occur in labs, not in nature.

The benefit of lab-created gemstones is that the color is more even and there are fewer, if any, visible inclusions (flaws).


Ethics of Gemstones

What is even more important to me is that I don’t have to worry about unethical practices.  That is what got me interested in knowing where exactly my gemstones come from.  I trust Rio Grande, and locally, I also trust Mountain Gems.  Many of their employees are Rock Hounds.  They can tell you where the gemstone was located when they found it and who cut and polished it.  This matters to me.



Are Lab-Created Gemstones Real?

The short answer is yes!  You cannot tell the difference with the naked eye, and they have the sparkle.  

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