Russian gemmaker develops synthetic emeralds


“It’s Colombian emerald – it’s beryl dyed with vanadium. It has a very transparent structure and reflects light very well. And it has a pure color, so the intensity of its color hardly depends on of its thickness “, explains the chief technologist of the Siberian manufacturer of synthetic emeralds Tairus, Dmitry Fursenko.

No other manufacturer in the world has managed to achieve such transparency, say the developers.

“These are unique crystals, and no one can replicate them. At least not yet,” Fursenko explains.

Rock beryl, an inexpensive and rather indescribable material, is used to make artificial emeralds. Emerald is a green variety of the mineral beryl.

Beryl is crushed and poured into special containers called autoclaves, where at high temperature and pressure, beryl dissolves and emerald crystals are formed, which are deposited on special plates.

Such a method is called the hydrothermal method.

“We call these containers autoclaves because at high temperature and when filled with water they generate high pressure, like in a pressure cooker, only the temperature is lower in the pressure cooker, and the pressure is lower. , but it is also sufficiently high And here at 600 degrees (Centigrade), one obtains a thousand and a half atmospheres “, explains Fursenko.

The beryl filler is diluted with a special chemical solution, it is its composition which is one of the key factors that determine the quality of the crystal.

“The composition of the solutions is our know-how, even our solutions for traditional emeralds, our concentrations, temperatures, temperature variations, etc., everything that characterizes our process, everything we have selected, and the load quality, there are a lot of nuances, all of this together gives our high efficiency, so this too is not subject to disclosure, ”Fursenko said.

This method currently in use is based on what was first developed in the Soviet Union by scientists at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics in the 1970s and early 1980s, when Fursenko was a student and part of the research group.

It has become a real revolution in its field.

It spread so quickly that the development of artificial emeralds was no longer a problem, the only problem was cultivating high quality emeralds.

The breakthrough, among other things, was a significant reduction in the cost of the process, as an alternative to the method was – and still is – the use of noble metals.

“This turned out to be a unique method as the emeralds grew in a heat-resistant steel autoclave, there was no need to make noble metal coating, it included very little iron, which spoils a lot. color, therefore, I believe this was one of the most remarkable developments in the field of crystal growth in the Soviet Union, ”said scientist-geologist and geochemist Vladislav Shatskiy.

In 1989, on the basis of the Institute, the Tairus company was established, which continued to improve technologies, and is currently the world leader in the research and production of hydrothermal growing emerald crystals.

It takes about a month to develop a stone weighing 600 to 1000 grams.

After which it took out, separated from the plates, washed several times in a special solution and dried.

According to the company, the quality obtained can mislead even professional gemologists.

At first, the company even received expert opinions that their stones were natural emeralds from an unknown deposit.

“Some inexperienced gemologists just issue a certificate that it is a natural material, they cannot find any differences, but we are not proud of this, we say we have become so close to nature that all the differences have already been erased, although, of course, we sell everything only in the form of cultivated stones (synthetically), but their characteristics are very close to nature ”, explains the general manager of the company Tairus, Oleg Kholdeev .

Faceted stones (cut and polished) are successfully encrusted in rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and even crowns.

“The product is successful, the sales geography is very large, it is the domestic market of Russia, we also deliver to countries in Asia, America, various European countries, we have customers all over the world, “says Artemiy Khlebnikov, sales manager of the Tairus company.

Using a similar method, they learned how to cultivate rubies, sapphires, and alexandrites, as well as red beryl – rare stones that are naturally mined only in the US state of Utah and nowhere else.

Other stones are currently in development.


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