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What are Nano Gems?

Nano gems, often referred to as "nano crystals," are a type of man-made gemstone. They are created in a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, much like the process of creating cubic zirconia (CZ). However, nano gems possess specific qualities that set them apart:

Variety of Colors: Nano gems come in a vast array of colors, some of which might be challenging to find in natural stones or even other man-made alternatives.

High Refractive Index: They typically have a higher refractive index than CZ, making them more brilliant.

Durability: Nano gems are generally more durable and resistant to scratches than CZ, but they fall behind the hardness of genuine gemstones like sapphires or diamonds.

Chemical Composition: Nano gems are made of a combination of elements such as alumina and rare elements, which together provide the desired characteristics of color, clarity, and brilliance.

    Sustainability Perspective: Nano Gems vs. CZ vs. Genuine Stones

    Environmental Impact: Mining genuine gemstones can have significant environmental consequences, such as deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat destruction. On the other hand, both nano gems and CZ are lab-grown, meaning their creation avoids the environmental degradation associated with mining.

    Resource Depletion: Genuine gemstones are finite resources. Extracting them depletes a non-renewable resource, whereas nano gems and CZ can be manufactured as long as the necessary raw materials and production capabilities are available.

    Energy Consumption: The production of lab-grown stones, including nano gems and CZ, does consume energy, often derived from non-renewable sources. However, this energy consumption is typically lower than the combined energy and environmental costs of mining, transporting, and processing genuine gemstones.

    Ethical Concerns: Mining operations for genuine gemstones, especially in conflict zones, have been associated with human rights abuses, child labor, and other ethical concerns. In contrast, nano gems and CZ, being lab-created, avoid these ethical pitfalls, assuming the manufacturing practices are in line with labor laws and standards.

    Traceability: Lab-created stones, including nano gems and CZ, have a clear origin — the lab. This contrasts with the complex supply chains of many genuine gemstones, making it difficult to trace their journey from mine to market and ensuring ethical sourcing.

      From a sustainability perspective, nano gems and cubic zirconia hold an edge over many genuine gemstones due to the reduced environmental impact and potential ethical concerns associated with mining. However, it's crucial to approach the topic of sustainability holistically. While nano gems might be more sustainable in some aspects, considerations about the overall environmental footprint of their production, including energy use and the sourcing of raw materials, should not be overlooked.

      When making a choice, it's essential for buyers and sellers to weigh all these factors, while also considering the aesthetic and functional qualities they desire in a gemstone. Read more on the difference between "lab created" and "lab grown" gemstones here.

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