Keeping jewellers happy

Scientists from National Academy of Sciences’ Scientific-Practical Centre for Materials Research grow their first artificial red emeralds

By Ruslan Nesterov

The latest technology developed by Belarusian specialists is truly a discovery of global importance, explains Vladimir Merkulov, who heads the Superconducting Physics Materials Laboratory, at the Scientific-Practical Centre. He tells us, “For the first time, we can industrially create red emeralds; the first are now ready and are identical to natural stones in their appearance. They are of good quality, keeping their colour and proving strong enough not to be damaged.” In the future, Belarusian red emeralds should occupy a worthy position on the global jewellery market. The first customers are being sought, with marketing work proceeding already.

The technology of growing artificial stones is a novelty discovered by Belarusian scientists, with the technique being kept secret. We do know that beryllium oxide is used to grow each stone, being the major component of the ‘recipe’; scientists from different states independently decide which other elements to use and in which proportion, with Belarusian specialists having their own method.

The Scientific-Practical Centre has been producing artificial stones for several years, creating emeralds and rubies, which are in great demand domestically and abroad. These artificially grown stones are the equal of natural stones in their optical characteristics and transparency. In fact, they tend to have fewer defects.

A natural emerald is a unique and rare stone, with limited deposits on our planet. Foreign experts say that they’ll deplete quicker than oil so, foreign jewellery making companies now prefer synthetic versions.

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