CREATED GEMSTONES: THE REAL THING?
it will be your mother’s birthday, and you have decided
to buy her a birthstone ring. You know your mother’s birthstone
is an emerald because she was born in May. When you visit
a jewelry store, you discover a vast assortment of emerald
rings. Some of the emeralds are set in gold, some in silver.
Many of the emeralds have a deep and clear green color,
while others have more interesting cuts that make the stone
sparkle. You also notice that some of the rings are in your
price range, whereas others are so expensive you do not
even ask to have them taken out of the case. When you ask
a salesperson why there is such a difference in emerald
prices, she replies that the less expensive emeralds were
created in the laboratory. How can you create an emerald
in a laboratory? Why are natural emeralds and other gemstones
so expensive? Why do some of the emeralds have a deeper
green color? In this WebQuest you’ll find out the answers
to these questions as you do some research into the nature
of the minerals called gemstones.
job in this WebQuest is to decide whether a gemstone created
in a laboratory is the same as a gemstone that occurs naturally.
You will have to find out how natural gemstones form and
what their chemical, physical, and optical properties are.
You will find out how natural gemstones are treated to correct
their flaws or bring out their colors. You will find out
the different processes used to create gemstones in a laboratory.
Then you will have to compare the prices and properties
of created gemstones to those of naturally occurring gemstones
and decide if created gemstones are the same as their natural
you’ve done your research, you will make a decision about
what kind of ring to buy your mother. You will have to prepare
a statement in which you give your reasons for your choice.
You must be able to justify the amount of money you plan
to spend on the birthstone ring. Your goal is to choose
a beautiful emerald ring that will retain its value for
a long time to come.
the geologic processes that result in the formation of natural
how and why natural gemstones are subjected to chemical
or physical treatments.
the chemical compositions of created gemstones with those
of natural gemstones.
at the web sites given here to find the information that
will enable you to make an informed decision about which
type of emerald ring to purchase for your mother’s birthday.
are natural gemstones and how do they form?
are the chemical, physical, and optical properties of natural
are natural gemstones treated to reveal color or eliminate
are gemstones created in the laboratory?
This is the web site for the Chatham Company. Carroll
Chatham discovered how to create emeralds in a laboratory
setting in 1938.Explore this site to find out when different
gemstones were created in laboratories.
Colored Stone Company: Created Gems
ICA Gemstone Library. Choose a stone from the drop-down box to view an array of colored stone photographs.
Gems and Jewelry
Visit this site to see how emeralds are grown by the hydrothermal
are the chemical, physical, and optical properties of created
At this Chatham Company website, click on comparison to
see how the chemical composition of created gemstones
compare to those of natural gemstones.
PhenecGems. Click on the sidebar links to find information about Created and Synthetic Gems, and Cubic Zirconia.
do the prices of natural and created gemstones compare?
This site gives prices for natural and lab-created emeralds,
topaz, amethysts, sapphires, and rubies.
Go to PhenecGems to price natural and created gemstones.
Consumer Price List
At this site you can find the prices of created emeralds,
opals, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
This site provides information about emeralds and where they found.
class periods; a total of 60 minutes for research, 20 minutes
to prepare a written statement.
that you have completed your research on the Internet, decide
what you think about the differences between natural gemstones
and gemstones created in a laboratory. If a created gemstone
has the exact same chemical and physical properties as a
natural gemstone, can it be considered the same as a natural
gemstone? If not, why not? Is a natural gemstone really
"natural" if it has received treatment to enhance
its color or correct tiny fractures? What is the difference
in price between natural and created gemstones? Should a
jewelry store tell customers when they are looking at created
rather than natural gemstones? Now that you know more about
gemstones, write a paragraph in which you state your preference
for buying your mother a ring with a natural or a created
gemstone. Justify your preference by discussing price, quality
of the gemstone, and what the value of the gemstone will
be in the future. Be sure to support your preference with
factual information from your Internet research.
the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become informed
about the availability of natural gemstones and how they
are treated, how gemstones are created in the laboratory,
and the differences between these types of gemstones. You
have developed critical thinking skills as you have explored
the different factors involved in this decision-making process.
You have read information to answer key questions and formed
an educated opinion. Finally, you have written a statement
about your choice for a present for your mother. Would you
purchase a gemstone for yourself? What kind of gemstone
would you buy? Is this a different choice than the one you
made for your mother’s birthstone ring?
GEMSTONES: THE REAL THING?