While most consumers have heard of lab made diamonds, you may be surprised to hear of a similar new market – lab made gemstones. For many years, rubies, emeralds and sapphires have been deemed the top cardinal gems, valued for their durability, rarity, and of course, their eye-catching, brilliant colors. This has left these colorful gemstones out of reach for most consumers. But e-commerce jewelry store Clarabelle is adding two more reasons to love the precious gems – affordability and sustainability.
The company, headquartered in Chicago with operations throughout the world, creates 100% lab-made rare gemstones, as well as diamond simulants like moissanite, using new hydrothermal technology. The gems are then set in uniquely designed silver and gold settings to create beautiful and affordable rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Clarabelle’s mission is multipronged, representing an environmentally conscious operation that offers reasonably-priced, high-quality lab-made gemstone jewelry, and then markets the products with the utmost transparency. As a truly global company, Clarabelle has offices in the United States and Europe, sources precious metals from Australia, and operates seven jewelry crafting stations in Asia.
The company aims to provide an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditionally mined gemstones, a process that has a damaging impact on the environment. Mined stones can lead to deforestation, soil erosion, carbon emissions and human rights abuses. The Clarabelle team feels deeply about these issues and has pledged to do its part in reversing the effects of such practices in the past. For each piece of jewelry purchased from their online store, a tree is planted through a partnership with onetreeplanted.org.
In addition to the environmental harm stone mining causes, exorbitant prices of the gemstones kept them out of reach for many.
“Traditionally beautiful gemstones like emeralds, rubies and sapphires were not accessible to many consumers because the prices of the mined stones were set at crazy prices and production would be tightly controlled by large corporate interests,” said Alex Gilbert, CEO of Clarabelle. “We’re excited to open this market segment up to more consumers by using a hydrothermal lab-grown process, while still delivering incredible quality and great customer service.”
Affordability is a big draw for Clarabelle’s quality line of lab-made gemstone jewelry. For example, many earrings featuring emerald gemstones in a gold-plated setting cost a reasonable $200-$300 for a set. That price is one-fourth of the price of similar earrings with a naturally-mined emerald through traditional jewelry stores.
Innovation at its Finest
While many people are familiar with lab-grown diamonds, creating gemstones in a laboratory is a relatively new concept as it is just starting to gain market traction. Through the process of hydrothermal technology, Clarabelle’s scientific experts are able to replicate the natural production of gemstones, keeping the work well above the Earth’s surface.
Heat and pressure technology is used in hydrothermal growth. During the process, nutrients are dissolved in a hot water solution until crystals form. Nutrients are specific to the properties of each gemstone. For example, to create a manmade ruby, aluminum oxide is mixed with chromium oxide, which gives the gemstone its red color. Other minerals can then be added to adjust the depths and variations of the color.
Minerals used for Clarabelle’s emeralds include beryl to form the crystal, as well as chromium and vanadium, which gives the gemstone its rich green color. For sapphires, aluminum oxide is mixed with several minerals, including cobalt and iron, to achieve various colors of blue.
Following the trends
The use of advanced technology to produce reasonably-priced, environmentally-friendly gemstones is welcomed news, especially for those who are bucking the trends of expensive diamonds and finding the true beauty in colored gemstones for religious, ceremonial and everyday occasions. According to an article for BRIDES, more modern couples are considering lab-made stones like moissanite; but even more notable, nontraditional couples are gravitating to colored gemstones including sapphires, emeralds and rubies for their nuptial jewelry selections. With Clarabelle, those couples can have the best of both worlds.
Clarabelle’s exquisite lineup of engagement rings ranges from traditional designs to uniquely crafted pieces highlighted with elegant colored lab-grown gemstones. Those in the market for such a ring can find options featuring oval, round, heart-shaped, princess square, double stone, and teardrop cuts. High-quality lab-made gemstones also take center stage with Clarabelle’s collection of gemstone necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
“As a company that prides itself on quality, education, safe environmental practices and providing luxury jewelry for everyone, we will continue to embrace the new technology that will allow us to further advance the industry in a more ethical direction,” said Alex. “It is a true pleasure to see the satisfaction on the faces of our consumers who finally own their very own colored gemstone jewelry piece. Whether it is ruby, emerald or sapphire, everyone deserves to enjoy the exquisite beauty of a gemstone and feel good about how it was made.”