Do Technologies Rule the World?

Photo credit: Vincent Erhart

Every day technologies are getting more sophisticated and complicated. It comes to the point when you can’t distinguish what has been created by nature, and what – by man.

Every once in a while, there are situations when a well-recognized jewelry brand is caught up on selling synthetic gems – and hiding the fact. I can tell for sure – not all of those companies fraud customers on purpose. These are known situations when synthetic gems are put or hidden in the deposits. So, in fact, they go through the whole cycle of mining and cutting and preparing gems for sale. It happens like this, as some technologies of creating synthetic stones evolve so freaking fast, that technologies of recognizing it have no time to be developed. Just imagine a situation - you buy a ring - and you receive a certificate of the gemstone’s authenticity, or you’ve got a really expensive present - with the same certificate. So you kind of sure, that coloured gem you have in your piece of jewelry - was created by nature, and not in the lab. Nevertheless, a few years later you find out - it is synthetic. What would your reaction be?

I guess you’d be frustrated. You probably spent a fortune on that ring, and it is not even authentic. Who to blame in the situation like that? Well, as some jewelry companies might cheat on their customers to cut their expenses and get bigger profits, others wouldn’t even know they’ve worked with synthetic gems. So my guess, you’d rather be mad at those people, who add synthetic gems right into deposits - where no one expects to find it. As I mentioned before, technologies of creating gems are evolving way too fast. Although all of those have something in common.

The first group of methods is called after the process it requires – melt category. In these cases, the chemical ingredients for melting are absolutely the same, as the natural ones. Under right temperature and pressure, and with the right amount of time – the chemical mixture results in the desired gem.

The second group stands for solution process. In this case, different chemical ingredients are used. Components are dissolved in the solution at high temperature. Afterward, while cooling down the temperature, the crystal or gem are formed initially on a seed crystal or stone.

During the last century, researchers came up with numerous different ways to create synthetic gems in the laboratory. Most of these methods fall into these two categories.