Manmade Gemstones– By: Rebecca M.

Many people think that the best gemstones to wear are genuine, that come from the ground.  But who would have known that there are ways to make your own gemstones that can be just as valuable or even more valuable than regular gemstones? When I first read the article, “These Gems Make Their Own Way” by Roberta Kwok, I was shocked to find out that a man named Tom Chatham was the owner of Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds, a company that makes their own valuable gems that can be as big as a golf ball.  He realized that in order to make these gems, they need to create the same processes that happen on Earth in their own laboratories.

These gemstones that are created contain the same appearance and chemical structure as regular gemstones, but the benefit is that they can be produced in very few months, weeks, or days.  Researchers can control the growth of gemstones very carefully so that they can continue to be produced. Some lab-grown gems are even more pure and tougher than natural gems!

Though most people think of gems on fancy rings and necklaces, diamonds and other gems appear in different places in everyday life.  At grocery stores, cash registers usually use sapphire to scan products because sapphire is a very tough material that isn’t easily scratched.  Rubies are also special because they create laser beams.  Red lasers can help remove tattoos because red light breaks down certain colors of tattoo dye in a person’s skin. Little, tiny, diamonds are sometimes used at the tip or sharp materials, like dentist drills.  If you’ve ever gotten a cavity filled, they mat have used a diamond tip because it is super strong and hard.

Diamond is a super stiff material that is hard to bend.  Heat passes through diamond, so heat could not melt a diamond.  Because they are so stiff, diamonds can vibrate super fast.  Cell phones need acoustic filters that vibrate incredibly fast to be able to do all the things that a cell phone can do.  Currently, scientists are working to try to make diamond filters as small as a strand of hair so that they can use less power in the phone.

Another way to use diamonds for good uses is to catch nasty bacteria.  Researchers and scientists are working to make a censor that has many small diamond parts shaped like diving boards coated in molecules that make bacteria stick to them.  These censors can help detect if water is safe to drink.  Diamonds can also be used devices to help blind people see, radar equipment for military uses, and in advanced computers that send secret information that can’t be decoded.  There are so many uses of diamonds that can be helpful, and man-made diamonds are even better because they can be easily made to proper sizes and shapes.  It’s amazing how helpful gemstones can be in life!

Discussion Questions

1) Do you think that these Gems are useful? Why do you think this?

2) What is the benefit of making your own gems instead of obtaining them from nature?

Web Link: http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100526/Feature1.asp

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~ by Student Entry on June 15, 2010.

One Response to “Manmade Gemstones– By: Rebecca M.”

  1. Wow! That is such an amazing discovery! I wish I could make my own valuable gems; then I would become a millionaire and have a mansion! Anyway, I do think that these gems will come in handy, because once many are made, they can most likely be used just like the natural not-man-made gems are used for. For example, rubies, diamonds, and sapphires. One good thing about making your own gems is that you don’t have to go out and spend tons of money on jewelry. Instead, you whip up a gem, and fix it into a necklace. It’s incredible! Or, you could use it if you need to cut something really sharp, that you can’t cut with iron or metal. Actually, these man-made gems sound really cool! Lastly, you did a wonderful job writing your blog, and adding many fascinating details!

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