All You Need To Know About Hydrothermal Technology

Lab-grown Emerald

There are two main emerald growing processes being used in the industry, the flux melt and the hydrothermal processes.  Emerald roughs grown in these ways have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as natural emerald roughs. BIRON® uses the hydrothermal process and the emeralds we grow are, quality-wise, within the top 5% in this field.

The hydrothermal process is the process of crystal growth under conditions which occur at high heat and pressure. This process requires special thick-walled vessels – autoclaves, made of special high-strength corrosion and heat-resistant steel. An autoclave is not large, its working volume is about 250 ml, and about 100g of emerald crystals can be produced in one growth cycle.

Hydrothermal Autoclave

The essence of BIRON®’s hydrothermal growth of emerald crystals is the placement of crushed natural beryl as a nutrient, rectangular thin plates cut from the highest quality emerald crystals grown in previous cycles as seed and the addition of the necessary amount of water and mineralizer (a mixture of a certain composition that increases the solubility of beryl in a hydrothermal solution) inside the autoclave which is then sealed.

The sealed autoclave is placed in a special vertical oven in which the autoclave is heated and pressure applied. Infusible compound starts to dissolve and result in internal saturation difference causing particles to travel towards and surround the seed, and an emerald rough is formed by crystallization.

Either natural substances or completely analogous to natural substances are used as initial products in the technology of BIRON® emerald cultivation.

The secret of the top quality of BIRON® Colombian green emerald is in the control of the composition of the mineralizer and the precise application of heat and pressure.

The total duration of one growth cycle is approximately 1 month, during which one or more crystals of emerald could grow up to a total weight of about 100 g.

We built the gemstone growing setting in a laboratory, and the growing period has been shortened from millions of years to a few weeks.  Formed emerald roughs present beautiful Colombian colour and premium grade clarity.

The roughs are then sent to our own factory for cutting, faceting and polishing as per our clients’ specifications.

We offer a consistent and reliable supply of superior quality lab-grown gemstones.  BIRON® Colombian colour emeralds, shine and sparkle in the same way as top tier natural emeralds, but are less brittle, have less cracks and are available in larger carats, these all translate into boundless possibilities for designers and jewellers.