I’ve been hearing for years that artificial gems (diamonds, rubies, moissanite, etc) cost a ‘fraction’ of the real thing. Is this true? If so, where can I as a consumer buy a handful of this stuff?

Note that I don’t want jewellery-grade gems, I realise that would cost a lot simply due to rejects and labour to cut / polish. I just want stuff I can mess around with for hobbies and crafts.

  • @Mothra@mander.xyz
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    477 months ago

    Buy cubic zirconium then, it’s the cheapest artificial gem which is still jewellery grade (though on the lowest tier, just above high quality glass).

    I’d bet you can find them on ebay and if that fails, google a jeweller supply shop in your country. They are very common and affordable.

    There are artificial rubies and other gems which aim to mimic the index of refraction of the real gems, they are much more expensive and they exist in different types, but, they are still cheaper than the real thing.

    For crafts, get the cubics.

    • @wahmingOP
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      287 months ago

      Just looked them up, I knew they existed before but did not realise they came in different colours! Also, they’ve been around forever so I never really associated them with artificial gems. Thanks!

  • @Edgecrusher35@lemmy.ml
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    7 months ago

    Lab grown gems have almost zero chance of being haunted by the souls of the children that died mining them. Of course they are of a lesser value. Does anyone actually want some lonely soulless rock?

    • @wahmingOP
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      57 months ago

      I would prefer my boardgames to stay unhaunted , tyvm.

        • @wahmingOP
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          57 months ago

          In crushing my opponents, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentations of their women

          • @Rednax@lemmy.world
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            57 months ago

            So you are looking for empty gems, so you can fill them with the souls of your “friends”, allowing you to call upon them anytime to play more boardgames.

            A reasonable goal.

  • candyman337
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    177 months ago

    They are a lot cheaper yes, diamond mining companies artificially limit supply to keep the price of the mined diamonds up. We have an abundance of them, so the lab grown ones are significantly cheaper because their supply isn’t artificially limited

  • @Landrin201@lemmy.ml
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    177 months ago

    My fiancee and I both got artificial sapphires in our engagement rings.

    Real ones were nearly double the price.

    You wouldn’t know they’re lab grown. They look great.

  • Dandroid
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    167 months ago

    My wife and I got moissanite for her engagement ring. It was about 1/10th the price of a diamond of the same size. I think it looks even better than a diamond, personally.

  • @ninjan@lemmy.mildgrim.com
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    7 months ago

    Alibaba has, unsure if you could find them through a more local store. Though I’ve never come across completely uncut lab diamonds, generally you can find rejects or poorly cut small ones pretty cheap.

    EDIT: did a quick search on Alibaba and there are uncut lab diamonds as well even cheaper.

  • rigatti
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    117 months ago

    My wife’s engagement ring is a giant moissanite rock (2 carat, I think) that would have cost 20x more if it were a diamond. She has gotten it cleaned at some jewelry places that even said they would have thought it was a diamond without really close inspection.

  • @StarkillerX42@lemmy.ml
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    87 months ago

    I shopped at gems n gems (website) while ring hunting. We’re literally talking a dollar a gem, buy 50 or 100 if you want to make sure you get something you’ll like. I ended up not going with that option because I’d end up needing a local jeweler and wasn’t enthusiastic with my options, but still went synthetic from an online jeweler.

  • Justas🇱🇹
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    47 months ago

    .45 carat moissanite was 80 euros from a local jeweller, directly from manufacturer would be even cheaper.

  • HobbitFoot
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    27 months ago

    You can look for industrial grade gems, but they are going to look like crap.

    • @jarfil@beehaw.org
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      97 months ago

      “Industrial” are both natural rejects, and artificial. “Artificial” are grown perfect (even “too perfect”), but still need cutting and polishing. A piece of plastic is more shiny than any uncut gem.

  • SargTeaPot
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    27 months ago

    A bag of plastic gems on AliExpress couldn’t cost much and imo would work fine for hobby board game pieces

    • @wahmingOP
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      57 months ago

      Well yeah, but there’s a certain fun to playing with actual gemstones 😁