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Has anyone bought lab grown emeralds from Chatham?

jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
6
My girlfriend loves the idea of an emerald engagement ring. We know that emeralds are usually too soft and brittle for engagement rings. As a possible solution, we've considered getting a lab grown emerald from Chatham. Chatham lab-grown emeralds have a lifetime warranty against a "chip or break under ordinary circumstances." I was wondering if anyone can attest to how nice Chatham emeralds look in person, and how they stand up over time.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,016
I haven't bought any lab emeralds but my understanding is they are the same makeup as mined emeralds. Therefore, I don't think they'd be any more durable, except perhaps that with less inclusions, they'd have less stress points for easiest breakage.

Also, just my opinion but I wouldn't expect all that much from their guarantee without verifying it through reviews or etc. because what constitutes "ordinary circumstances" is subjective. Maybe someone who knows more will come along.

Another idea is, for less worry, to just pick a mined or lab sapphire for the e-ring, whether in blue, pink, yellow or etc. and save the emerald for another time. There are so many gorgeous gems out there. Good luck!
 
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jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
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Apr 9, 2021
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6
Thanks for responding so quickly. Yes, the part about "ordinary circumstances" definitely raises red flags. I started this thread in the hopes that someone will come along and write about how great Chatham customer service is to deal with. Also, even if the warranty covers breakage, it would still be a bummer for the gem to quickly get scratched up and hazy.

Green is her color. We both love the idea of a green stone, but we aren't fully committed.
Green sapphire and YAG are also on our radar. I've looked at many Australian green sapphires and Montana sapphires, and they don't that quite reproduce that vibrant saturated green of an emerald. They are still beautiful however.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2012
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Yeah, I don't think sapphires get to quite that level of green like emeralds do. Maybe a green tourmaline would, not sure.

I've heard Chatham is expensive. I've had lab stones cut by Finewater Gems before and have been really pleased (a light and a dark pink lab sapphire). He does precision cut, not sure if Chatham is. There are a couple of other names heard quite a bit around here for that, for ex. Jeff White Gems, and Stag and Finch. You might want to check them out, too.

There are also some lab emeralds for sale secondhand right now on Loupetroop by businesses or individual sellers:



The last one is by PinkandBlueBling, a member here and I believe she also has a YAG and another lab emerald up for sale second hand. If you go to Loupetroop and click on her user name there, you'll see.

BTW, I don't have any affiliation with any of the folks above, just passing along what I know. :)
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2012
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I'm thinking if you got it for less in the first place, then maybe not such a tragedy if it did eventually need to be replaced. Also, just being careful would probably go a long way too, like remembering to remove the ring before doing any cleaning or gardening or etc.
 

jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
6
I didn't know about loupetroop. It seems like a great resource for gifts. It's also interesting seeing these synthetic gems in more realistic lighting.

Maybe we're ok with the idea of getting a relatively affordable emerald that would have to be replaced at some point, but maybe that's not what I want in an engagement ring. This isn't the only opportunity to get her a nice piece of emerald jewelry.

Oh well. Like you said, there's so much beautiful stuff out there. I'm sure we'll find something great. Once again, thank you for advice.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,101
Chatham lab-grown emeralds have a lifetime warranty against a "chip or break under ordinary circumstances."

Pretty sure that the definition of extraordinary circumstances will be any that cause a Chatham emerald to break or chip :cool2:.

It's still a fragile stone -- just less so based upon fewer fissures. But even clean aqua is not super-durable.
 

Made in London

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
568
Russian Diopside comes in lighter & darker tones of green. I have both shades & the light shades are beautiful
 

jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
6
Wow! I hadn't heard of Diopside. That is some shade of green! It may have been buried in the thread, but I am looking for a gem for an engagement ring. According to my googling, tsavorite, diopside, and demantoid garnet are all pretty soft for an engagement ring according to the Mohs scale. They might be less brittle than an emerald though.

So, I got a Chatham representative to send some sample emeralds to a local jeweler for us to look at in 2 weeks. I'll report back and try to get some specifics about the warranty.
 

jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
6
In all likelihood, I think I'll just continue shopping around for the right lab grown or natural sapphire.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
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2,016
A couple more thoughts here. This may not be what you want for an e-ring but it's another option if she really has her heart set on an emerald green stone. If you wanted to, you could just get an emerald green cubic zirconia. You could even have one of the precision gem cutters listed on this thread or elsewhere cut it with all those extra, precise angles that make it look extra stunning, in any shape and size you like, probably for under $100 a carat (the cost would be for the precision cutting, not so much for the CZ). I had a (clear) CZ e-ring for the first couple of decades of my marriage and didn't have any problems with it. I believe they are about 8.5 on the Mohs scale, so they're quite durable.

Please come back and post what you get if you don't mind. We are very nosy! :)

ETA: Another option would be to get a setting with prongs so you could easily replace the lab emerald if you ever needed to. Even popping in a new one every few years might be more economical than a diamond anyway. I've heard the hydrothermal emeralds are really good. You can get a little bit of inclusion in them so they look more like mined stones and the "muzo" ones are really pretty, with just a touch of blue tint in them. That's what I want, when and if I get one. I believe the cutters listed here charge maybe $150-200 a carat for them.

If I didn't already say this, I've heard Chatham emeralds are higher priced and not as well cut as what you can get with a precision gem cutter but I have not looked into it too much myself. Might be something to "search" for on here though or otherwise compare.
 
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PrecisionGem

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An emerald has a hardness of 7.5 to almost 8. So it's harder than tourmaline and most garnets. The reason you hear about issues with emeralds is because most are quite included, so a good bang and it's possible to cause pieces to break off along the inclusions.
A lab created emerald typically is free of inclusions, which would make the stone quite durable.

If you look at the Mohs hardness scale, there are not many things that could scratch a stone with a hardness above even 6. Glass, and a knife are a hardness of 5.5.

Any stone can be chipped, even diamonds. I know people who make a living out of recutting and fixing chipped diamonds.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,016
An emerald has a hardness of 7.5 to almost 8. So it's harder than tourmaline and most garnets. The reason you hear about issues with emeralds is because most are quite included, so a good bang and it's possible to cause pieces to break off along the inclusions.
A lab created emerald typically is free of inclusions, which would make the stone quite durable.

If you look at the Mohs hardness scale, there are not many things that could scratch a stone with a hardness above even 6. Glass, and a knife are a hardness of 5.5.

Any stone can be chipped, even diamonds. I know people who make a living out of recutting and fixing chipped diamonds.

I am not the original poster but thank you!
 

jorgeuc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
6
An emerald has a hardness of 7.5 to almost 8. So it's harder than tourmaline and most garnets. The reason you hear about issues with emeralds is because most are quite included, so a good bang and it's possible to cause pieces to break off along the inclusions.
A lab created emerald typically is free of inclusions, which would make the stone quite durable.

If you look at the Mohs hardness scale, there are not many things that could scratch a stone with a hardness above even 6. Glass, and a knife are a hardness of 5.5.

Any stone can be chipped, even diamonds. I know people who make a living out of recutting and fixing chipped diamonds.

Thank you for your perspective Gene. Precision Gem is definitely on my radar as a great place to get a lab grown emerald. I've always heard that a hardness of 7 is an important threshold to surpass because quartz has a hardness of 7 and is common component in everyday dust.
I have no personal experience or hard data to back up the claim though.

Right now, my girlfriend and I definitely need to see more rings and stones in person to figure out her stylistic preferences. I'll make sure to come back and post on what I've decided!
 
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