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Colorful Gemstones

Organic or Lab Created- It's Your Choice!

Article by Rhonda Stephens

Photography by JillyLaine Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

Visiting a jewelry store to gaze at all the beautiful gemstones is something nearly everyone has done. If you are planning to add a gem to your jewelry collection, there are considerations to be made, such as will your purchase be an organic gemstone or one created in a lab.

Born under high heat and pressure, gemstones are formed over thousands of years deep in the earth- or formed as soon as six months if created in a lab. Lab-created or synthesized gems are identical to their natural counterpart because they are made of the same material. Synthesized gems often have better color saturation, cost less and have fewer inclusions than found in nature.

Cheryl Kibiloski, owner of The Find Consignment in Monrovia, says, “As a gemologist, I think lab-grown is equally as beautiful as some of the natural gems, but it is a personal preference. Some of my clients only want something that came out of the ground. These gems have come so far. Lab-grown sapphires, for example, have become so much more affordable and desirable. It has all the natural elements in it, takes less time for the stone to develop and costs less because it didn't come from a mine. They are virtually indistinguishable, even to the professionals. It takes a well- trained eye to know the difference."

“I worked in jewelry stores primarily with diamonds, but when I attended the Gemological Institute, I fell in love with the colored gemstones even more than the diamonds. Gemstones have these beautiful inclusions, meaning any material that is trapped inside of another mineral while that mineral forms. For example, peridot has an identifying inclusion that, when viewed through the microscope, looks like a Lily pad inside. Sapphires and rubies have an inclusion that appears to be a fingerprint. It looks like God has left his fingerprints inside the stone. Gazing at gemstones, I have a whole different view-point because not only is it pretty on the outside, it’s cool knowing what to look for on the inside. It brings a whole new element to what you may be wearing on your hand.”

Working in jewelry stores since she was 16 years old, Cheryl knows the business. She trained at the Gemological Institute of America and continued on to gold and silversmithing before opening her business. A talented designer, she is delighted to create the perfect piece of jewelry for her clients.   

“I have an artist with whom I work to create the custom pieces. A client can bring in a photo and we can make the exact ring. Or we can design it and have it created. If you can dream it, we can create it!" Cheryl says.

Gemstone Care Tips:

Tip 1: Always get an appraisal. A jeweler will do this for a small fee.

Tip 2: Take your ring in to your jeweler to have the prongs checked every six months. If ring has micro pave stones, have it checked every three to four months.

Tip 3: Clean your diamonds with a solution of 1/2  Mr. Clean + 1/2  water with a soft toothbrush.

Tip 4: Never garden wearing your rings. The minerals in the soil wear down metal.