This beautiful, more aquamarine than aquamarine, gemstone is a cut from a lab-grown garnet. Did you know that most lab-grown or synthetic crystals are grown for scientific reasons, not for us jewellers? That is because synthetic crystals are more perfect than those nature usually produces. In the earth multiple small crystals often start out close together, and end up growing into and through one another, creating twinning planes and changes in the lattice orientation. (And that is before we even start talking about inclusions.) For scientific applications, this makes nearly every natural crystal a tragic case of perfect potential but inadequate execution. Enter the lab-grown crystal.
This particular one is Yb:YAG (Ytterbium: Yttrium Aluminum Garnet). As a scientific material, it is being heralded as a promising material addition because of its large absorption bands mean it requires less thermal management in the lasers. As far as gem materials go, it has an impressive RI of 1.83, and hardness of 8.25 on the Mohs scale (tucking it just under sapphire) and a dispersion value of .033 (to diamond’s .044, so not too shabby for a garnet).
Setting this particular stones apart is that fact that most Yb:YAG is annealed (heated) when it is intended for laser use. Annealing usually removes all the blue color from Yb:YAG, but this laser rod was not annealed. Most other blue Yb:YAG out in the market today was created in China for gem cutters. It is a more vibrant hue, but this material is of the same optical standard used in lasers. That means the quality of its crystal is very high.
Cut in an unnamed design that seeks to emulate the facet pattern of an antique diamond cushion cut, this gemstone has stunning aquamarine-like color, but with amazing sparkle and more dispersion than you’d find in an aquamarine. I can’t believe we’re actually selling it.
Total Weight in Carats: 5.55
Dimensions: 9.6 mm x 8.5 mm x 6.25mm
Reg #: SG 07-16-10-0440-0402
Cut design: “Unnamed” by Anonymous, modified by Kristina Leach for the material
Cut By: Kristina Leach