Lab-Created Emeralds vs. Natural Emeralds

What's the Difference?

Lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds are both stunning gemstones, but they differ in their origin and composition. Natural emeralds are formed deep within the Earth's crust over millions of years, resulting in their rarity and high value. On the other hand, lab-created emeralds are synthesized in a controlled environment, replicating the natural process of emerald formation. While natural emeralds may have slight variations in color and clarity due to their natural formation, lab-created emeralds offer a more consistent appearance. Additionally, lab-created emeralds are often more affordable than their natural counterparts, making them a popular choice for those seeking the beauty of an emerald at a more accessible price point. Ultimately, the choice between lab-created and natural emeralds depends on personal preference, budget, and the significance one places on the gemstone's natural origin.


AttributeLab-Created EmeraldsNatural Emeralds
OriginCreated in a laboratoryFormed naturally in the earth's crust
ColorCan be created in various shades of greenNaturally occurring green color
ClarityUsually have high clarity due to controlled growth conditionsMay have inclusions or impurities
PriceGenerally more affordable than natural emeraldsCan be quite expensive, especially for high-quality stones
DurabilitySimilar hardness and durability to natural emeraldsCan be prone to fractures and chipping
RarityReadily available in the marketRarer and harder to find
Environmental ImpactLess environmental impact compared to mining natural emeraldsMining can have significant environmental consequences

Further Detail


Emeralds, with their mesmerizing green hue, have been cherished gemstones for centuries. These precious stones have captivated the hearts of many with their beauty and rarity. However, with advancements in technology, lab-created emeralds have emerged as an alternative to natural emeralds. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds, shedding light on their similarities and differences.

Origin and Formation

Natural emeralds are formed deep within the Earth's crust over millions of years. They are created through a combination of heat, pressure, and the presence of certain minerals. This natural process gives them their unique characteristics and makes them incredibly rare. On the other hand, lab-created emeralds are synthesized in a controlled environment, replicating the conditions under which natural emeralds are formed. These lab-grown emeralds are created using a process called the hydrothermal method or the flux method, where emerald crystals are grown over a period of weeks or months.

Physical Properties

Both lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds share similar physical properties. They have a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making them relatively durable gemstones. In terms of color, both types of emeralds exhibit a rich green hue, although natural emeralds may display slight variations due to their natural formation. The clarity of lab-created emeralds is often superior to natural emeralds, as they are grown in a controlled environment without the presence of impurities. However, natural emeralds may possess unique inclusions, known as jardin, which are considered part of their charm and authenticity.

Price and Affordability

One of the most significant differences between lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds lies in their price. Natural emeralds are incredibly rare and are often associated with a higher price tag due to their scarcity. The value of natural emeralds is influenced by factors such as color, clarity, size, and origin. On the other hand, lab-created emeralds are more affordable and offer a cost-effective alternative for those who desire the beauty of an emerald without the hefty price. The price of lab-created emeralds is primarily determined by the cost of production and the quality of the synthetic gemstone.

Environmental Impact

When considering the environmental impact, lab-created emeralds have a clear advantage over natural emeralds. The mining of natural emeralds often involves significant excavation, which can lead to habitat destruction and soil erosion. Additionally, the extraction process can result in the release of harmful chemicals and pollutants into the environment. In contrast, lab-created emeralds require fewer resources and have a smaller carbon footprint. While the production of lab-created emeralds still requires energy and resources, it is a more sustainable option compared to mining natural emeralds.

Authenticity and Sentimental Value

For many individuals, the authenticity and sentimental value associated with natural emeralds hold great importance. Natural emeralds have a long history and are often considered more valuable due to their rarity and unique characteristics. They carry a sense of tradition and heritage, making them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. On the other hand, lab-created emeralds may lack the same sentimental value, as they are not naturally formed. However, they can still be cherished for their beauty and affordability, especially for those who prioritize aesthetics over the origin of the gemstone.

Durability and Maintenance

Both lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity. Due to their similar hardness, they are susceptible to scratches and damage from harsh chemicals. It is recommended to store emerald jewelry separately to prevent scratching and to avoid exposing them to chemicals such as household cleaners. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap solution is sufficient to maintain the brilliance of both lab-created and natural emeralds. However, it is important to note that natural emeralds with significant inclusions may require extra care to prevent any damage to the gemstone.

Availability and Accessibility

As mentioned earlier, natural emeralds are incredibly rare, and high-quality specimens can be difficult to find. They are often sourced from countries like Colombia, Zambia, and Brazil. Due to their limited availability, natural emeralds may not be accessible to everyone. On the other hand, lab-created emeralds are more readily available and can be found in various jewelry stores and online retailers. This accessibility makes lab-created emeralds a popular choice for individuals who desire the beauty of an emerald without the challenges of sourcing a natural gemstone.


Lab-created emeralds and natural emeralds each have their own unique attributes and appeal. While natural emeralds hold a sense of rarity and authenticity, lab-created emeralds offer affordability, environmental sustainability, and accessibility. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, budget, and the significance one places on the origin and sentimental value of the gemstone. Whether it's a natural emerald passed down through generations or a lab-created emerald that captures the same beauty, both types of emeralds can bring joy and elegance to those who wear them.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.