Lab Grown FAQs

As long as man has collected gemstones, there have been imitations. But the technology for growing actual gem crystals in the laboratory is relatively new. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about lab-grown gemstones.

Are Chatham Created Gemstones real? Or are they artificial?

Our lab-grown gemstones and diamonds are grown just like you would culture a pearl. Natural ingredients are placed in an environment created to duplicate nature. Once the required combination of chemical and environmental factors is created, gemstone crystals grow over the course of about a year (the exact length of time depends on the variety). As a result, the crystals we grow have physical, chemical, and optical properties that are identical to those found in nature. In light of this, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) removed “synthetic” as a recommended term to describe a lab-grown diamond since it implies something fake or artificial, which is misleading.


Can I tell the difference between created gemstones and mined gemstones?

Unless you’re a certified gemologist with a powerful microscope, you won’t be able to tell the difference between Chatham-created and mined gemstones. Every gemological laboratory in the world has reference samples of Chatham Created Gemstones to aid in the separation. Chatham is at the forefront of full disclosure, contributing samples and updates whenever something new is released.


Why do Chatham gemstones and diamonds look better than their mined counterparts?

Under laboratory conditions, computers control temperatures, while foreign materials found in the earth are eliminated from our starting chemicals. This makes our crystal growth more predictable and consistent. We strive for the best qualities and colors found in nature. Lower qualities are not released for sale.


Are there cost savings with lab-grown gemstones?

The price difference between Chatham and mined gemstones of similar quality can be dramatic, especially in fine qualities.  In other varieties, like colorless diamonds, the difference varies from 30% – 80% depending on the size, shape and quality of the diamond. The price difference increases substantially as the weight and quality of the diamond rises.


Does Chatham offer a warranty?

Yes. Trust, integrity, and value are at the heart of Chatham and our products. For your peace of mind, we provide a Lifetime Warranty for all Chatham-created gemstones and a Certificate of Authenticity for Chatham jewelry pieces. Chatham will gladly repair or replace your stone at no charge if it should chip or break under ordinary circumstances, or if any defect in the workmanship or materials become apparent. If you question whether your damaged jewelry is covered under our warranty, please return it along with the sales receipt, to the store where the item was purchased. Then, your Chatham retailer will expedite the item to Chatham for immediate servicing and, if a replacement gem is needed, consideration will be taken to honor the original size and weight.


Are these stones enhanced or color treated?

No. All of Chatham’s gemstones are grown in a lab under a controlled environment producing the most vividly saturated color possible. The chemical structure and coloring agents are the same as its mined counterparts.


Are lab-grown gemstones as durable as mined gemstones?

Yes. In fact , you will find that Chatham stones are more durable because they have fewer inclusions than most of their mined counterparts. This is because we cut away 80% of our rough to deliver near “flawless” pieces. The hardness of Chatham’s stones are exactly the same as their mined counterparts. In addition, Chatham offers a Lifetime Warranty, which is something you will not find for any mined gemstone.


Are lab-grown gemstones “green”?

No products have zero environmental impact. But it’s true that the production of our lab-grown gemstones does not require moving large amounts of earth like mining. There’s also no chance of drinking water pollution. Crystal growers do use energy and chemicals derived from the earth but the carbon footprint of crystal growth is a small fraction of natural gemstone mining. To read more about our biological impact on the Earth, please visit the Lab Grown Guides.