Home Ruby Unveiling the Truth: Lab-Created Ruby vs. Natural Ruby

Unveiling the Truth: Lab-Created Ruby vs. Natural Ruby

by Madonna

Rubies, with their mesmerizing red hue and remarkable hardness, have captivated humans for centuries. These precious gemstones are revered for their rarity, beauty, and historical significance. Traditionally, rubies were mined from the earth, but advances in technology have led to the creation of lab-grown rubies. However, a debate ensues among gemologists, collectors, and consumers regarding whether a lab-created ruby can be considered a “real” ruby. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, creation process, and value of lab-created rubies, and delve into the question: is a lab-created ruby a genuine ruby?

Understanding Lab-Created Rubies

A lab-created ruby, also known as a synthetic ruby or a lab-grown ruby, is a gemstone that has been artificially produced in a laboratory environment. Chemically and structurally, it is identical to natural rubies, with its deep red color attributed to the presence of the mineral corundum, composed of aluminum oxide and traces of chromium.


Lab-created rubies are meticulously grown using various methods, including the Verneuil process (flame fusion method) and the Flux method. The Verneuil process involves melting aluminum oxide powder and introducing chromium oxide as a coloring agent, resulting in the formation of corundum crystals. On the other hand, the Flux method utilizes a mixture of powdered chemicals and a flux agent to create synthetic rubies through crystallization.


Understanding Natural Ruby

Natural rubies are gemstones formed within the Earth’s crust through geological processes that involve high pressure and temperature. They belong to the corundum family and derive their mesmerizing red color from the presence of chromium. Appreciated for their rarity, beauty, and cultural significance, natural rubies have been treasured for centuries. These precious stones are sought after for their rich history, emotional value, and association with luxury. Due to their limited supply and labor-intensive mining, natural rubies hold a prestigious status among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts worldwide, making them highly prized and coveted gemstones.


How to Distinguish Lab-Created from Natural Rubies

Lab-created rubies exhibit the same physical and chemical properties as natural rubies, making it challenging to differentiate them with the naked eye. To distinguish between the two, gemologists employ advanced techniques, such as spectroscopy, to identify characteristic patterns in the gem’s absorption of light. While these methods can effectively differentiate natural from synthetic rubies, the layperson may struggle to discern any difference without specialized equipment.Here are some ways to tell the difference between natural and lab-grown rubies:

Visual Inspection:

Careful observation of the ruby’s appearance can offer initial clues. Lab-created rubies may exhibit slightly different growth patterns and fewer inclusions than natural rubies, which often have characteristic imperfections.


Using a jeweler’s loupe or a microscope, closely examine the gemstone for characteristic inclusions or internal features. Natural rubies typically have unique inclusion patterns, whereas lab-created rubies may appear more pristine.


Spectroscopic analysis, such as infrared or UV-visible spectroscopy, can reveal distinct absorption patterns in lab-created and natural rubies. Expert gemologists use this technique to identify specific trace elements that indicate the ruby’s origin.

Microscopic Examination:

Inclusions in natural rubies can be observed under high magnification, providing valuable information about their origin and formation.

Gemological Reports:

Reputable gemological laboratories can provide detailed reports on a ruby’s origin, including whether it is natural or lab-created.

Price and Rarity:

The price of a ruby can also be an indicator. Lab-created rubies are generally more affordable than natural rubies due to their controlled production process and higher availability.

Reputation of the Seller:

Buy from reputable and trustworthy jewelers who provide full disclosure about the origin of their rubies. Ethical sellers will always be transparent about whether a ruby is natural or lab-created.

While these methods can be useful, it’s essential to consult with a certified gemologist for a definitive identification. Advances in technology may continue to challenge the ability to distinguish between lab-created and natural rubies, making expert analysis even more critical in ensuring a ruby’s authenticity.

Are Lab-Grown Rubies Worth Buying?

Lab-grown rubies can be a worthwhile purchase for various reasons, depending on individual preferences and considerations. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if lab-grown rubies are worth buying:


Lab-created rubies are generally more affordable than their natural counterparts. They offer an opportunity to own a beautiful and durable gemstone with a vibrant red color without breaking the bank.

Ethical and Environmental Considerations:

Opting for lab-grown rubies supports a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to gemstone acquisition. They do not contribute to the environmental impact caused by mining, making them a socially responsible choice.

Consistency in Quality:

Lab-created rubies tend to have fewer inclusions and more uniform color compared to natural rubies. This consistency in quality makes them appealing for those seeking a flawless gemstone.

Wide Range of Sizes and Shapes:

The controlled growth process of lab-created rubies allows for the production of gemstones in various sizes and shapes, offering a greater selection for jewelry design.

Aesthetics and Beauty:

Lab-created rubies possess the same chemical and physical properties as natural rubies, resulting in a visually indistinguishable gem. They can be equally captivating and stunning when set in jewelry.

Collectibility and Sentimental Value:

While lab-grown rubies may not carry the historical significance of natural rubies, they can still hold sentimental value for individuals who appreciate the beauty and symbolism of these gemstones.

Fashion and Trends:

Lab-created gemstones are becoming increasingly popular, especially among younger generations, who value eco-consciousness and ethical sourcing. They may align better with contemporary fashion and lifestyle trends.

However, there are also factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase a lab-grown ruby:

Prestige and Rarity:

Natural rubies hold a prestigious status due to their rarity and historical significance. For collectors and those seeking an exclusive and one-of-a-kind gemstone, a natural ruby may be a preferred choice.

Investment Value:

Natural rubies have a track record of appreciating in value over time, which may not be as pronounced with lab-created rubies. If purchasing a gemstone as an investment, it’s essential to consult with experts and consider long-term market trends.

Emotional Connection:

Some individuals may have a deep emotional connection to the cultural and historical significance of natural rubies, influencing their preference for these gemstones.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a lab-grown ruby depends on personal values, budget constraints, and aesthetic preferences. For those seeking an affordable and environmentally conscious option with comparable beauty, lab-grown rubies can be an excellent choice. However, for those who value the rarity and prestige of natural gemstones, a natural ruby may hold greater appeal. In either case, it is crucial to purchase from reputable sellers who provide transparent information about the gemstone’s origin, allowing buyers to make informed decisions.


The question of whether a lab-created ruby is a real ruby remains subjective and open to interpretation. From a scientific perspective, lab-created rubies possess the same chemical composition and physical properties as their natural counterparts. However, the debate surrounding their authenticity stems from the historical significance, rarity, and cultural value associated with natural rubies.

Ultimately, the decision between a lab-created ruby and a natural ruby comes down to individual preferences, budget considerations, and ethical choices. Whether one chooses a lab-created ruby for its affordability and eco-friendliness or a natural ruby for its prestige and exclusivity, the beauty and allure of these captivating gemstones remain unchanged. As the jewelry industry continues to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands, the definition of a “real” ruby may evolve, challenging traditional perceptions of gemstone authenticity.


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