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Lab-created stones

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Lab-created stones


What's your opinion of lab-created stones? In your experience, how do they compare to natural ones? I know in jewelry it's common to do enhancing treatments on crystals, so that applies to my question as well. I ask because I just ordered a bismuth crystal ring, and bismuth crystals have to be made by hand by slowly cooling liquid bismuth, a process that can't occur in nature. Still, though, I've read about certain metaphysical properties of bismuth, and I am curious if it can have these properties despite not being a 'natural' crystal. I'll have to wait and see once the ring arrives but I'd like to hear the experiences of others.
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It is the structure of the crystal that makes a crystal whatever it is. It is slices of quartz that run our quartz watches - are quartz watches natural or man-made?

This is a picture of a lab-grown clear quartz crystal in my collection of 'paraphernalia' - it is a very potent tool. I can't tell it apart from the 'natural' wands I have owned in the past.
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One of my most used stones in magic was a piece of blue goldstone, an artificial glass.

Is a 2013 copy of the Rider-Waite deck with copyright logos and websites any less effective than a 1971 Blue Box edition or a genuine Pam-A owned by Stuart Kaplan?

Synthetics replicate stones, therefore they ought to replicate power, since power and energy come as much from the human brain and heart as from within the earth. Synthetics honour the earth without mining it, without causing extensive environmental damage, exploiting people to get them, or exploiting resources. Many people who use crystals can't afford the steep prices of natural ones, often owned and bought by wealthier people solely for their rarity and not considered mystical.
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Lab created stones are chemically and physically identical to the ones in the ground. They can make them flawless, too. A gemologist can tell the difference between, say, a natural ruby and a lab created one, but they're still red aluminum silicate. Lab created emeralds are gorgeous and still very expensive.

I love lab created stones. I've got ruby and sapphire jewelry that looks great and no one cares that the stones were grown in a factory vs. being dug out of the ground. They're karma-free, too, as a lot of gems are smuggled out of conflict zones and the money goes to people and governments that aren't exactly on the up and up. :/

People who insist that lab created stones aren't as good as natural ones are 1) usually buying them for an investment which isn't exactly a good plan 2) don't know anything about how lab created stones are made and 3) usually enjoy throwing massive amounts of money around to prove a point. That's been my experience, anyway.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkmage View Post
Lab created stones are chemically and physically identical to the ones in the ground. They can make them flawless, too. A gemologist can tell the difference between, say, a natural ruby and a lab created one, but they're still red aluminum silicate. Lab created emeralds are gorgeous and still very expensive.

I love lab created stones. I've got ruby and sapphire jewelry that looks great and no one cares that the stones were grown in a factory vs. being dug out of the ground. They're karma-free, too, as a lot of gems are smuggled out of conflict zones and the money goes to people and governments that aren't exactly on the up and up. :/

People who insist that lab created stones aren't as good as natural ones are 1) usually buying them for an investment which isn't exactly a good plan 2) don't know anything about how lab created stones are made and 3) usually enjoy throwing massive amounts of money around to prove a point. That's been my experience, anyway.
Must concur, with a correction: rubies and sapphires -- the gem varieties of corundum -- are aluminum oxide; they are not silicates.

I think much of the of the prejudice comes from misunderstanding the difference between synthetic and simulant. I've seen "reputable" authors claim that cubic zirconia and strontium titanate are "synthetic diamonds", when they differ chemically and crystallographically from natural (and synthetic) diamonds.

The thing that really irks me is seeing minerals cut into hexagonal prisms with first-order hexagonal pyramid terminations (think "quartz crystal" shape) when they could never have grown into such a set of forms. I see it a lot with malachite, and I usually have to bite my tongue when I do.

(Qualifier: I hold B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in geology, specializing in mineralogy and mineral optics, and have done extensive gemological consulting.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeric View Post
One of my most used stones in magic was a piece of blue goldstone, an artificial glass.

Is a 2013 copy of the Rider-Waite deck with copyright logos and websites any less effective than a 1971 Blue Box edition or a genuine Pam-A owned by Stuart Kaplan?

Synthetics replicate stones, therefore they ought to replicate power, since power and energy come as much from the human brain and heart as from within the earth. Synthetics honour the earth without mining it, without causing extensive environmental damage, exploiting people to get them, or exploiting resources. Many people who use crystals can't afford the steep prices of natural ones, often owned and bought by wealthier people solely for their rarity and not considered mystical.
(I agree with what you're saying, Aeric, totally, I just need to point out that synthetic stones and lab-created stones are not the same (though I know you *meant* lab-created)...Synthetics refer to stones made of glass or plastics, and lab-created stones are grown using the actual crystal for a base blueprint, therefore becoming a crystal. Not being nit-picky, just clarifying, as synthetic crystals are offered for sale on the web, as are lab-grown ones.)

I have a lab-grown pink sapphire, which has become my go-to stone, and works very well to do the thing it is meant to do according to metaphysical meanings of stones. I have several crystals from the earth that I work with, as well as several lab-grown - and, I must say, the lab-grown are every bit as useful and resonant as the ones from the earth. In one or two instances, they seem to be even more intense than their natural counterparts from the earth.

I, too, have a problem with everyone ripping all the stones out of the guts of the earth, and causing all kinds of human misery in the process as well. Lab-grown are fine with me. And the lab-grown crystal carries no scars from being assaulted and broken from its matrix - it is a peaceful cultivation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilkitty View Post
Must concur, with a correction: rubies and sapphires -- the gem varieties of corundum -- are aluminum oxide; they are not silicates.
Whoops, you're right--my bad.

Quote:
I think much of the of the prejudice comes from misunderstanding the difference between synthetic and simulant. I've seen "reputable" authors claim that cubic zirconia and strontium titanate are "synthetic diamonds", when they differ chemically and crystallographically from natural (and synthetic) diamonds.

The thing that really irks me is seeing minerals cut into hexagonal prisms with first-order hexagonal pyramid terminations (think "quartz crystal" shape) when they could never have grown into such a set of forms. I see it a lot with malachite, and I usually have to bite my tongue when I do.

(Qualifier: I hold B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in geology, specializing in mineralogy and mineral optics, and have done extensive gemological consulting.)
I see carved malachite all the time. If it's done well, no problem. It's just that most people don't know it doesn't grow that way.

What I don't like is a lot of the price gouging that goes on. I live in AZ, so things like chrysocolla and azurite are pretty common and therefore inexpensive. Obsidian's pretty cheap, too, as a lot of it comes out of Mexico. What's sad is when people pay something like $125 for a sphere that I *know* isn't worth more than $50. *sigh*
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkmage View Post
What I don't like is a lot of the price gouging that goes on. I live in AZ, so things like chrysocolla and azurite are pretty common and therefore inexpensive. Obsidian's pretty cheap, too, as a lot of it comes out of Mexico. What's sad is when people pay something like $125 for a sphere that I *know* isn't worth more than $50. *sigh*
Price gouging goes on all the time, sadly...I could only buy a tiny piece (about an inch long) in Alberta, Canada of black tourmaline for about $20 and yet here, in Virginia, my local stone and crystal guy will sell me a chunk 150 times bigger for $11. since it comes from either Africa or India, it is hard to say why the price varies so much! And even here, the price varies, according to where you shop. Caveat emptor!

Anyways - back to topic - Lab-grown are every bit as efficient, and often far less pricey than their earth-born mommas!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitterNova View Post
I know in jewelry it's common to do enhancing treatments on crystals, so that applies to my question as well.
It's funny you should bring this up. Over the weekend, I was gifted a palm sized chunk of titanium aura--where a quartz crystal is electroplated with titanium (and sometimes in combination with other metals) to produce an opaque dark rainbow effect. My mother in law said she took one look at it and immediately knew it was for me.

In looking it up, some people said it carries the metaphysical properties of both quartz and titanium. Others said it loses much of its energy when modified this way. All I know is, holding the stone cheers me right up and even has me bouncing off the walls a bit. I have to wonder, is that due to the crystal's now combined properties, or just because it's so freaking gorgeous?

Lab grown stones are fine by me. And apparently, so are at least some enhancements. LOL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotbear View Post
It is the structure of the crystal that makes a crystal whatever it is. It is slices of quartz that run our quartz watches - are quartz watches natural or man-made?

This is a picture of a lab-grown clear quartz crystal in my collection of 'paraphernalia' - it is a very potent tool. I can't tell it apart from the 'natural' wands I have owned in the past.

WOW - what a stonker you have there tarotbear!

I generally go for natural or lab-grown. Lab-grown I might think are happier as they haven't been dug out of the ground somewhere - possibly (not always) creating trauma for both the natural environment and the residents of that area. If I want to buy natural I like to source their origins.
(Though most of my present collection I bought many years ago - before I was really clued into this kind of thinking).

I have a favourite synthetic. It's Blue Goldstone. It reminds me of the night sky and the Goddes Nuit (Ancient Egyptian) - and I have 2 self-strung blue gold stone malas (prayer beads) and some other pieces.
Why this stone? Well, in the "night sky", it embodies this for me:

"And where shall we get religion? Beneath the open sky.
...The crystal sphere of silence is surcharged with deity,
The midnight earth sends incense up, sweet with the breath of prayer.
Go out beneath the naked night and get religion there!"
(Sam Walter Foss - perfectly expressing the essence of my spirituality - Wicca. Well probably not just mine, but it fit beautifully.)

In terms of energetics - I think there's a clearer "power" if you like, from crystal that has grown as it naturally would. And I do like to know what the natural state/appearance of a crystal is. However, I think the greatest power is in our own heads.

Price ofcourse - can be relative to where you are, and who's selling.
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