What are Precious Gemstones?

Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are all regarded as precious gemstones. This means that unlike semi-precious gems, precious gems are generally much more desirable due to the intricacies and remote origins of these gems. At Lily Arkwright we are proud to offer precious gemstones as part of our Chatham lab grown gemstone collection. Shop the collection here


The value given to semi-precious gemstones depends upon several factors including colour, availability and quality. Gemstones are formed over long periods of time by several processes including:

Igneous- These gemstones are created deep within the earth (Diamonds, Ruby, Sapphire)

Hydrothermal- These gemstones are formed when amounts of mineral rich water cool (Emerald)

Metamorphic-  These are gems that are ‘morphed’ due to intense heat and pressure. (Sapphire, Ruby)

Sedimentary- Gems that form due to water depositing sediments, which dissolve in water where it later builds up and solidifies. (Opal)


Chatham Gemstones

All our coloured gemstones are sourced & produced by Chatham, a company founded over 75 years ago who today are the world’s leading source of high-quality laboratory-grown gems. With many unique and distinguishing shapes and cuts, Chatham have strict standards for proportions, faceting and polishing that ensure that all gemstones have maximum brilliance, high clarity, and vivid colour. 

Chatham employ strict quality control during production that ensures extremely high standards are met each and every time, even if that means 80% of the rough crystal is lost. Selective picking is a crucial part of Chatham’s reputation and this is reflected by averages of 1 in every 200 lab produced gemstones meeting strict standards for colour and clarity.

Another attractive aspect of our Lab grown gemstones mean that we are able to provide a variety of shapes that are almost impossible to find in mined gemstones.

Chathams production process ensures all gemstones are ethically produced and all gemstones are rich in colour and cut providing that very special sparkle.


Enchanting Emerald

‘Emeralds are the gem of Venus, powerful love and fertility charms.’

The original makers of this enchanting gem, Chatham grows emerald crystals in a exclusive and extensive process invented 75 years ago. It takes about a year to complete, of which 9 months of this, is spent simply growing the naturally mined seed of a fine Colombian emerald.


Royal Ruby

‘The gem of passion.’

Chatham grows ruby crystals in a six-month process that has evolved and been refined over decades. The process starts with a naturally mined seed of fine Burmese ruby. The conditions have to be precisely right in order to create the perfect gemstone. 


Serine Sapphire - Brilliant Blue

‘The gem of truth, faithfulness and the soul.’ - Worn by Kate Middleton herself.

Blue sapphires are the most difficult gem crystal that Chatham grows. Sapphires gave birth to the age old tradition for wearing “something blue.” This gem of fidelity is a perfect choice to symbolise a promise. Sapphire became even more popular after Princess Diana and Kate Middleton both embraced this beautiful gem. In fact, The ancient Persians believed that the earth rests on a giant sapphire and its reflections are what we see as the sky and sea.


Serine sapphire - Say Yes to a Yellow Sapphire

‘The symbol of optimism and confidence.’

The stone of individual spirituality. Chatham makes the beauty of yellow sapphire much more affordable with lab-grown yellow sapphires. Growing yellow sapphire crystals takes about six months starting with a seed of fine Sri Lankan yellow sapphire. A real unique twist on the classic blue sapphire.

Our Chatham lifetime guarantee means you can wear a gemstone engagement ring without worry. We think the quality and beauty of our lab-grown gems make them a better choice than mined.