Chatham lab created emeralds vs natural

Recently a client contact me about buying an emerald. He wasn’t particular about whether it was a lab created emerald or a natural emerald. He had a budget of $10,000 in the event we found a really nice natural emerald. His only factor was, he wanted to look like a natural emerald rather than a perfectly eye-clean Chatham-created emerald. Generally Chatham lab-grown emeralds are eye-clean and mimic the finest emeralds on the planet. But once in a while, there are some available that have some visible inclusions, for those who want that.

Below is an image of four emeralds I’ve found so far.  Top two are Chatham created emeralds, fine quality $750 and A quality $400.

Below the Chatham emeralds are some natural emeralds:

Left is 2.54 ct columbian. 9.3x7mm $9,000 and right a 2.72 ct zambian 10x7mm $9550.

Natural v.s Chatham created fine quality emeralds

All four of these stones are real emeralds that will test as an emerald and have the same physical, optical and chemical properties as mined emeralds. The top two are grown in a lab, the bottom two are mined.

Even the colors between the natural and lab-grown emeralds is similar. The fine quality Chatham has a similar color as the Colombian emeralds. the A quality Chatham has a similar color to the Zambian emeralds.

Which would you chose given all the factors? If you’re in the market for a natural or lab-created emerald, give me a call: 970-535-4139.

Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites and

About mrahm

Michelle holds a Graduate Gemologist Diploma, Graduate Diamonds Diploma and Graduate Colored Stones Diploma through the Gemological Institute of America's distance education program. Michelle currently serves as President of the Mile High GIA Alumni Association. She also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Jeweler's Association and is a member of the American Gem Trade Association.
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